Snowdonia is known for its stunning and beautiful landscape. It is no surprise then that throughout the year, people from all over the world come to walk, run, climb, swim, kayak and, even white water raft up and down the rugged landscape in the different and varied terrains the area offers. There is however another way to see the sites which you might not have considered…by train. Be it by electric, diesel or steam, there are lots of rail options for you to take advantage of that will take you throughout Snowdonia and even to the top of Snowdon itself. If this is sounding slightly more up your street as a way to explore Snowdonia, here is how we recommend you see Snowdonia by train…
It’s been named by the Guardian as one of ten most epic train journeys in the world. Starting from Shrewsbury, it winds it way through rugged mountains and market towns to the west coast of Wales where it follows the Gwynedd coast line up to Pwllheli. The area of specific interest is that from Dovey to Pwllheli which is all coastal and really does make for a beautiful journey.
Visiting the summit of the tallest mountain in England and Wales is on the top of many peoples bucket list. However, getting there by foot isn’t for everyone and so the Snowdon Mountain Railway is the perfect answer. Originally built back in 1896, the railway has been taking people up to the summit for over 150 years! The 50’s bought enclosed carriages, the 90’s introduced diesel engines and the summit centre was remodelled in 2009 – getting to Snowdon Summit can be on everybody’s bucket list.
Take a step back in time and explore Snowdonia on a steam train. The Ffestiniog Railway is a 13.5 mile journey from Porthmadog to Blaenau Ffestiniog climbing through the mountains and forests, past lakes and waterfalls. The Welsh Highland Railway runs for 25 miles from Caernarfon, past the foot of Snowdon, through Beddgelert, the Aberglaslyn Pass and on to Porthmadog. It really is a fantastic day out and a chance to experience how things were in the golden age of rail travel.
This 9 mile return journey on a narrow gauge steam train takes you around the largest natural lake in Wales, Llyn Tegid in Bala. The views of the Arenig Fawr, Aran Benllyn and Aran Fawddwy mountains alongside the lake are truly breathtaking. There are 9 stops along the journey and you can get out along the way if you want to stop for a picnic etc and wait for the next train to come along. A great way to spend a morning or afternoon in the very heart of Snowdonia.