Snowdonia and Northern Fells
Friday 26th July to Thursday 1st August
Friday 16th to Thursday 22nd August 2013
This popular tour to Cumbria and around North Wales features main line steam trips and steam trains on ‘Great Little Trains of Wales’.
Main line trips include travel over the famous Settle to Carlisle Railway, along the picturesque North Wales coast line, and up the dramatic Conway Valley to Blaenau Ffestiniog. We travel on an interesting variety of ‘Great Little Trains’ including the Snowdon Mountain, Ffestiniog, Talyllyn, Welshpool and Llanfair, and Vale of Rheidol Railways.
One highlight of the tour is to travel over the railway wonder of the 21st Century, the rebuilt Welsh Highland Railway.
These journeys by steam train present a very special way of seeing some of the best scenery in the British Isles.
All in all a steam epic! With limited spaces available, we recommend early booking to secure a place.
We meet at the Holiday Inn Hotel in Liverpool, located opposite Lime Street Station, which will be our base for two nights. Arrive at your leisure giving you time, if you wish, to explore this fine city. Dinner and overnight accommodation is at the Holiday Inn Hotel. (D)
The Settle to Carlisle Railway
Today we join the “Cumbrian Mountain Express” steam train at Liverpool Lime Street Station. Our journey begins with an impressive exit from the station hauled by a magnificent Pacific locomotive, either “Duchess of Sutherland” or “Oliver Cromwell”. Breakfast will be served at our seats soon after departure. We head north to Preston and Carnforth then skirt the Lake District before entering the Lune Valley. Our steam locomotive will be fully extended as we begin the ascent to the summit of Shap Fell. Descending through Penrith North Lakes, we halt at Carlisle for a two hour break and time to explore the Border City. Leaving Carlisle we join the Settle and Carlisle Railway, climbing up through Langwathby and Culgaith and pausing for water at the market town of Appleby. Spectacular scenery follows as we climb the steep gradient to Ais Gill summit and pass through Dent Dale, with the Peaks of Whernside, Ingleborough and Pen-y-Ghent dominating the landscape. Twenty major viaducts and fourteen tunnels culminate in the magnificent 24 arch Ribblehead Viaduct. As we continue back to Liverpool Lime Street, we enjoy a four course dinner, silver-served at our seats. We stay overnight at the Holiday Inn in Liverpool. (B D)
Steam along the North Wales Coast
After breakfast we join the “North Wales Coast Express” special steam train at Liverpool Lime Street Station and take our reserved 1st class seats. Hauled by steam locomotive No. 6201 “Princess Elizabeth”, we take the Liverpool to Manchester Railway route of 1830 before joining the West Coast Main Line to Warrington. On leaving Chester we cross the River Dee and enter Wales, running along the Dee Estuary and then beside the Irish Sea as we pass Prestatyn and Rhyl. This coastline is known for its stunning beaches and, at Colwyn Bay, we have fantastic views of the Great Orme. We pass through several small seaside resorts on the Irish Sea coast before arriving at Bangor. Here we transfer by road coach to Penrhyn Castle for a short visit. This dramatic neo-Norman fantasy, with extensive grounds, was built in the early 19th Century for a wealthy Welsh family. It is crammed with fascinating objects and has a stable block which contains an industrial railway, dolls, and model railway museums. Afterwards our coach takes us across Anglesey to Holyhead where we rejoin our steam train for the return journey to Llandudno. We walk to the Imperial Hotel and check in for dinner and overnight accommodation. (B D)
The Snowdon Mountain and Welsh Highland Railways
This morning we transfer to Llanberis Station for a diesel trip on the Snowdon Mountain Railway, with its superb summit views, weather permitting! Back in Llanberis there will be some free time to explore this delightful Snowdonian town and have lunch. In the afternoon we take a trip on the newly completed Welsh Highland Railway from Caernarfon to Porthmadog, through the magnificent Snowdonia National Park. This fantastic forty mile journey, steam hauled by a two foot narrow gauge Garratt locomotive, begins close to Caernarfon Castle. It takes us through spectacular mountain scenery, Beddgelert, and the famous Aberglaslyn Pass. On arrival at Porthmadog, we return by road coach to the Imperial Hotel in Llandudno, for dinner and overnight accommodation. (B D)
A Steam spectacular to Blaenau Ffestiniog; the Ffestiniog Railway
After breakfast we take a ride on the 3’6” gauge Great Orme Tramway from Llandudno Victoria Station to Great Orme Summit Station. Afterwards we go to Llandudno Junction Station to join ‘The Welsh Mountaineer’ special steam train to Blaenau Ffestiniog. It will be hauled by a former LMS ‘Black 5’ or ‘8F’ steam locomotive along this incredibly steep branch line, climbing uphill into Snowdonia through Betws-y-Coed and Pont-y-Pant to Blaenau Ffestiniog. There will be around two hours to explore Blaenau Ffestiniog and find lunch before we travel on the Ffestiniog Railway to Porthmadog. We transfer to Portmeirion where we have dinner and overnight accommodation at The Hotel Portmeirion. (B D)
The Cambrian Coast and Talyllyn Railway
After breakfast we transfer to Porthmadog Railway Station where we join a service train for the scenic journey south along the Cambrian coast to Tywyn. At Tywyn we travel on the narrow gauge Talyllyn Railway (TR) for the full length of the line to Nant Gwernol and return. On return to Tywyn, there will be a tour of the TR museum and time to purchase lunch. We then board a service train from Tywyn to Aberystwyth where we have dinner and overnight accommodation at the Marine Hotel. (B D)
Vale of Rheidol Railway and Welshpool and Llanfair Railway
Today we travel on the Vale of Rheidol Railway from Aberystwyth to Devil’s Bridge. From Devil’s Bridge we transfer by road coach to Welshpool. There will be time to find some lunch in Welshpool before we begin our journey on the picturesque 2’6” gauge Welshpool and Llanfair Railway. We take an enjoyable steam hauled ride through the delightful Banwy Valley to Llanfair Caereinion, and return to Welshpool. From here we return to Liverpool by road coach, calling at Chester Station on the way for the convenience of customers who may wish to catch a train there for their homeward journey. (B)
Available on the tour
Price per person: £1225
Single supplement: £190
• 6 nights accommodation with breakfast in 3 or 4-star hotels
• 5 breakfasts in hotels and one on the train
• 6 dinners
• All seat reservations and coach transfers
• The services of a tour manager
Meals included each day are shown as: B = Breakfast - L = Lunch - D = Dinner
The Railway Touring Company
14a Tuesday Market Place