Snowdonia’s heritage railways
Snowdonia is a region that is proud of its heritage and traditions, and it’s no surprise that it’s somewhere where steam railways have continued to thrive. Can you really think of a better place on earth to travel by steam?
At almost 200 years old, the Ffestiniog Railway is the world’s oldest narrow-gauge railway. It will huff and puff you along a beautiful 13.5 mile journey from the harbour town of Porthmadog, climbing over 700ft into the heart of Snowdonia and to the slate quarrying town of Blaenau Ffestiniog.
Now, you’d be entirely right to expect to see some truly outstanding mountain scenery along the way. But you probably wouldn’t expect to be able to ride this proud little steam train right through the garden of your very own holiday cottage too, would you?
Rhiwgoch – a one-of-a-kind North Wales holiday cottage
Wonderful Rhiwgoch – a handsome, traditional farmhouse with 4 bedrooms – sits in an elevated position over the Vale of Ffestiniog, in the Snowdonia National Park, North Wales. This is a real wow factor holiday cottage with big landscape views.
But its real USP is this: the Ffestrail Porthmadog to Blaenau Ffestiniog steak railway line runs right through the bottom of its garden. The steam train passes through several times a day, and if you’re lucky it might even blow you a whistle in exchange for a wave as it puffs on by. No one with a heart could possibly resist the high excitement of its approaching chuff chuff chuff and the tell-tale plume of smoke.
And the house more than lives up to this exceptional quirk and setting.
It is a solid, handsome, stone-and-slate Welsh farmhouse which has been recently – and beautifully – renovated. Expect a large farmhouse kitchen, a beautiful timber conservatory and lots of living space in the large downstairs sitting room (with wood burning stove, naturally).
There’s also a ground floor bedroom and bathroom which is handy for anyone who doesn’t enjoy going up and down stairs – ideal if you’re bringing grandparents, or anyone with mobility issues.
Upstairs there are three further bedrooms: a double, a twin and a single with the option of an extra pull out bed. It is bright, exceptionally well presented, and the entire space has a lovely happy feel to it.
There’s plenty of room for seven guests, so it’s the ideal stay if you are looking for somewhere that will comfortably accommodate a large family or group of friends.
Dog-friendly too, so perfect if you’re looking for A North Wales holiday cottage that will welcome your pooch, too.
A hot tub in the garden
The house is set in large gardens which blend seamlessly into the big landscapes beyond.
There is a terrace for al fresco drinks and dining, and further seating and a small stove for toasting marshmallows (or whatever else you fancy) on the lawn. There is a private hot tub here too, with the most stunning views looking west. This is an outrageously idyllic place for an evening sundowner.
Cradled by Snowdonia’s mountain landscapes, long views from the house and gardens take in beautiful peaks and hills as they roll down to the Irish Sea. By day the views are of mountains and coast. And on a cloudless night, thanks to this region’s Dark Sky Reserve status, you can expect to be wowed by huge starry skies.
Porthmadog is a short drive away, and you’re also close to the popular holiday towns of Portmeirion, Beddgelert, Criccieth and Harlech too.
Rhiwgoch sleeps 7+ 1 in a cot. Find out more, and make a booking at this cottage, here.
A few more ways to steam around North Wales!
A ride on the Ffestrail is just the start of it! Another must-do for anyone with a soft spot for a choo choo is the Welsh Highland Railway – the UK’s longest heritage railway. It runs for 25 miles from nearby Caernarfon, skirting the western slopes of Snowdon, through the stunning Aberglaslyn Pass and onto the harbourside at Porthmadog.
You’ll find equally charming steam railways at Llanberis, Bala, Fairbourne – near Cadair Idris – and Talylln, near Barmouth. They will all take you on a unique and unforgettable journey on your next holiday in North Wales.