Wales by Rail
- 9 Days
- From £829
- United Kingdom
- Spectacular ride along the Heart of Wales line
- Three heritage railway journeys – the Vale of Rheidol, Welsh Highland Railway and Ffestiniog Railway
- Unforgettable journey on the Snowdon Mountain Railway to the highest point in Wales
- Castles of Caernarfon, Harlech and Conwy
- Decide when you would like to travel
- Adapt the route to suit your plans
- Travel from your local station in England or Scotland
- Add extra nights, destinations and/or tours
- Standard Class rail travel from London (although we can book your travel from any station in England or Scotland, contact one of the team for details and a price)
- 8 nights’ hotel accommodation with breakfast
- All necessary tickets and supplements for heritage railways
- Return trip on the Snowdon Mountain Railway
- Clearly-presented wallets for your rail tickets, hotel vouchers and other documentation
- All credit card surcharges and complimentary delivery of your travel documents
You can start your journey from your local station. Just let us know which route is most convenient for you. Coming from England, you’ll travel through the Severn Tunnel en route into the city of Swansea in South Wales. Here, check in at the Grand Hotel (or similar) for a 2-night stay.
TMR RECOMMENDS: Start your rail adventure through Wales with a stay in capital city Cardiff, just under an hour from Swansea by regular train service.
Today you are free to explore the city centre of Swansea, and perhaps head down to the Mumbles, a headland to the west of the city and regularly voted amongst the best places to live in Wales. If you are feeling more adventurous, why not take in a tour of Mythical West Wales as part of a small group?
This morning you board a Transport for Wales service to Shrewsbury, which sounds mundane enough, but this is the truly spectacular Heart of Wales Line, which takes you in a northeasterly direction through the Welsh countryside. Opened in 1868, the line is single-track for much of the way, and the train is usually formed of one carriage, reaching two notable summits along the way – Sugar Loaf at 820 feet and and another summit near Llangynllo Tunnel, the highest spot on the line at 980 feet above sea level. You dip in and out of England briefly as you change trains at Shrewsbury, and then take the Cambrian Line through the rolling hills of mid-Wales as far as the university town of Aberystwyth on Cardigan Bay. On arrival, check in at the Glengower Hotel (or similar) for 2 nights.
Head back to the station at your leisure this morning for a ride on the first Heritage Railway of your trip, the Vale of Rheidol Line. The 2-ft gauge railway takes you on the 12-mile route from Aberystwyth to Devil’s Bridge. Inaugurated in 1902, the line was the final route on the British Rail network to still be steam hauled in the late 1960s, and now operates as a steam-hauled heritage line. Spend some time at Devil’s Bridge before returning back to Aberystwyth to enjoy an evening in a traditional Welsh pub and sampling some seafood at one of the excellent restaurants.
This morning you travel north along the Cambrian coastline with Cardigan Bay on your left. Look out for the famous Barmouth Bridge stretching for almost half a mile across the estuary of the River Mawddach, and shortly afterwards the 13th-century Harlech Castle on your right.
When you reach the port town of Porthmadog, change onto the adjacent Welsh Highland Railway, a 25-mile steam-hauled railway line through the western edges of Snowdonia passing the village of Beddgelert and over the Aberglaslyn Pass. On arrival in the royal town of Caernarfon, head to the Ty Dre Town House (or similar) where you have a 2 night stay.
This morning, jump on a bus from the centre of Caernarfon for around 40 minutes to the small town of Llanberis, where you join the Snowdon Mountain Railway, a rack and pinion railway that conveys passengers along a 4-mile route up to the top of Snowdon, the highest point in Wales. After around half an hour at the top, where there is a cafe and visitor centre, you descend back to Llanberis and connect with a bus back to Caernarfon. Spend the rest of the day and evening in the charming town whose old centre and castle has been designated a UNESCO heritage site and was the location of the Prince of Wales’s investiture in 1969.
Taking a circuitous but scenic route today, you return to Porthmadog on the Welsh Highland Railway and change onto the iconic Ffestiniog Railway, a single-track 13-mile route through the heart of Snowdonia, again hauled by a steam locomotive. When you reach the slate-mining town of Blaenau Ffestiniog you change onto a regular Transport for Wales service to Conwy, where you have a 2-night stay at the Bridge Inn (or similar) in the shadow of the magnificent castle dating from over 700 years ago.
Today you are at leisure in Conwy to explore the castle, perhaps take a train to Llandudno on the coast or head over the Menai Strait to Anglesey and have your photo taken at the station of Llanfairpwll, whose full name is the longest place name in Europe! Enjoy your last evening in Wales taking in one of the town centre’s renowned pubs and have a stroll along the River Conwy.
Your Welsh holiday comes to an end today as you make your way to Conwy station and head east along the North Wales coast through Llandudno, Colwyn Bay and Rhyl to the English border.
Remember, we can arrange your holiday from any station in England or Scotland and tailor make your itinerary to your own requirements.
Typical hotels on this itinerary
Located directly opposite Swansea Railway Station, the Grand Hotel has been a landmark of the city since its opening in 1930. The hotel’s rooms feature digital TV, power showers, air conditioning and there is free Wi-Fi available throughout. The Grand Hotel features a comfortable guest lounge, informal dining in the Bistro Bar and there is also a popular Sports Bar.
Situated right by the beach on Aberystwyth’s Victorian promenade, the Glengower Hotel is a short walk from the centre of town, and has a private sun terrace with beautiful views of Cardigan Bay. The bar serves award-winning cask ales and a large selection of refreshments. The fresh daily homemade menu is available for lunch and dinner, and traditional Sunday lunches are also available.
This hotel provides a stylish range of accommodation in the middle of Caernarfon, just 2 minutes’ walk from Caernarfon Castle. Set in an Edwardian building, Ty Dre Town House has en suite facilities with bath or shower. There is a flat-screen TV, hairdryer, telephone and tea & coffee facilities in the spacious rooms.The reception is located at the Black Boy Inn.
The Bridge Inn is located right next to the majestic Conwy Castle. There are 6 individually decorated en suite rooms, a restaurant with home-cooked food and traditional wood-fired pizza. The bar is well stocked with a selection of spirits and local ales, all inside the wall of historic Conwy.