In September 2021, join us on this new tour which takes in the most beautiful railway lines in Wales. You will have three nights and two whole days exploring Snowdonia and North Wales to enjoy time at the internationally famous Italianate village of Portmeirion, visit beautiful houses and gardens or indulge your passion for steam with visits to the many great little railways of North Wales.
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Saturday 4th – Wednesday 8th September 2021
- The Heart of Wales Line by steam
- Journey over Barmouth Bridge and The Cambrian Coast
- The North Wales Coast
- The Welsh Marches
Day 1 – Saturday 4th September – London to Shrewsbury via the Heart of Wales Line
We depart from London Paddington in the morning for an express run along the Great Western Main Line to the Cathedral City of Gloucester where we will have a lunchtime break.
Leaving Gloucester we are soon travelling along one of the most beautiful and lesser known routes in Southern Britain, hugging the ever widening Severn Estuary past picture postcard views of both the Bristol Channel and historic towns like Lydney and Chepstow where we cross over the River Wye in full view of its Castle. Sit back and enjoy the relaxed pace of steam-hauled travel as we head into Wales passing through the Capital City of Cardiff and on towards the far West of the country.
At Pontarddulais we begin our journey, double-headed over one of the most remote and scenic railways in Britain, the Central Wales line marketed now as The Heart of Wales, which sees only a handful of single short passenger trains per day. This single track line passes through the Carmarthenshire Hills, the edge of the Brecon Beacons and then heads straight through the middle of the Black Mountains. As our two locomotives climb the challenging gradients, wind their way around the hills and cross the many majestic viaducts on the route, we are surrounded by classic moor and mountain countryside dotted with streams and jagged peaks.
We will chug into the market town of Shrewsbury by the evening to enjoy some time exploring the surrounding medieval streets and the Abbey and Castle before settling into our hotels for the night.
Day 2 – Sunday 5th September – Shrewsbury to Pwllheli
After breakfast in the hotels, we depart Shrewsbury, diesel hauled, for one of the most beautiful journeys in Britain. We travel up through the mountains of mid-Wales before we descend down to the West side of the country to Machynlleth, shortly before we reach the coastline of the Irish Sea. For the rest of our journey we are never more than a short distance from the sea as we climb up and down cliffs – a dramatic backdrop for those enjoying their lunch. We then cross the world famous two-mile-long Barmouth Bridge past the ancient capital of Wales, Harlech, and turn sharply west towards the LLeyn peninsular passing Porthmadog before arriving in Pwlhelli. From here, passengers will be transferred to hotels in Snowdonia.
Days 3 & 4 – 6th & 7th September – Exploring Snowdonia
Snowdonia has so many famous tourist places to visit that there really is something for everyone! For lovers of steam railways there are of course several of the famous Little Trains of Wales in the area including the Ffestiniog railway, the Tallynn Railway, Snowdon Mountain Railway and of course the relatively recent addition of the 24 mile long Welsh Highland Railway that cuts through Snowdonia from Porthmadog to Caernarfon. As part of our optional excursions we will be organising journeys for our passengers on these railways.
Optional Excursions away from railways will include visits to Bodnant Gardens, Puffin Island and some of the beautiful castles of the region at Beaumaris and Penrhyn.
Day 5 – Wednesday 8th September – North Wales to London
We meet at Bangor or Llandudno Junction and set off, steam hauled, along the North Wales Coast line which again runs eastwards along the shore line with views to Snowdonia to the South before passing through Flint and back into England at Chester and south to Shrewsbury.
For the second half of the day passengers will enjoy a unique journey by steam as we head across the stunning Welsh Marches with spectacular views of the Black Mountains including the famous Sugar Loaf. We pass Ludlow and Hereford to South Wales before we are back into England. From here we head back along the Great Western Main Line to Reading and London Paddington as we did on day one, arriving in the early evening.
For more information, or to book, please call the Booking Office on 01483 209888. Alternatively, fill in the form below to register your interest in the trip, and a member of the booking team will reply with your holiday quote.