Snowdonia and the Northern Fells

Friday 19th July to Thursday 25th July 2019
7 - Days


Prices from: £1795


Experience the very best of British steam on this highlight-packed rail tour through the magnificent landscapes of Cumbria and North Wales.


Departure Date: 19-Jul-2019
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You’ll travel on main line steam over the famous Settle to Carlisle Railway, with its twenty-one viaducts and fourteen tunnels, and along the picturesque North Wales Coast line to Bangor. Discover the breathless variety of ‘Great Little Trains’ on the railways of Snowdon Mountain, Ffestiniog, Fairbourne, Talyllyn, Welshpool and Llanfair, and the Vale of Rheidol. A definitive tour highlight is sure to be a trip over the rebuilt Welsh Highland Railway, one of the rail wonders of the 21st century. With overnight stays in comfortable hotels, fine cuisine and efficient luggage transfers, this unique steam tour is the ideal way to explore these outstanding landscapes in relaxed comfort and style. It’s sure to be popular, and with limited spaces available we recommend you book early!

Friday 19th July
Exploring Liverpool
Your tour begins at the Holiday Inn Hotel in Liverpool, located opposite Lime Street Station and your base for the next two nights. Arrive as early as possible and explore this fine city at your leisure. Dinner will be at your hotel this evening. (D)

Saturday 20th July
The Settle to Carlisle Railway
Today you join the ‘Cumbrian Mountain Express’ steam train at Lime Street Station and your journey begins with an impressive departure hauled by one of the magnificent Pacific steam locomotives ‘Duchess of Sutherland’ or ‘Oliver Cromwell’. Breakfast will be served at your seat soon after. You head north to Preston and Carnforth and skirt the Lake District before entering the Lune Valley. Your fully extended steam locomotive ascends to the summit of Shap Fell before descending through Penrith North Lakes, pausing at Carlisle for a two-hour break to explore this Border City. Leaving Carlisle you join the Settle and Carlisle Railway, climbing up through Langwathby and Culgaith and pausing for water at the market town of Appleby. Through stunning scenery you climb the steep gradient to Ais Gill summit and traverse Dent Dale, from where the Peaks of Whernside, Ingleborough and Pen-y-Ghent dominate the landscape. There are over twenty major viaducts and fourteen tunnels on the line culminating in the magnificent 24-arch Ribblehead Viaduct. On the way back to Liverpool you enjoy a four-course dinner, silver-served at your seat, before returning to the Holiday Inn for the night. (B D)

Sunday 21st July
Steam along the North Wales Coast
After breakfast you take your reserved First-Class seat on the ‘North Wales Coast Express’ special steam train at Manchester Piccadilly Station and journey along the West Coast Main Line to Warrington. On leaving Chester you cross the River Dee and enter Wales, running along the Dee Estuary and then beside the Irish Sea as your train passes Prestatyn and Rhyl. This coastline is known for its stunning beaches and, at Colwyn Bay, fantastic views of the Great Orme headland. You pass through several small seaside resorts on the Irish Sea coast before arriving at Bangor. Here you transfer by road coach to Penrhyn Castle for a short visit. This dramatic neo-Norman castle was built in the early 19th century for a wealthy Welsh family. Crammed with fascinating objects, its stable block contains an industrial railway, a doll collection, and model railway museums. Afterwards your coach takes you across Anglesey to Holyhead to rejoin your steam train for the return journey to Llandudno. You take the short walk to the Imperial Hotel there and check in for dinner and overnight accommodation. (B D)

Monday 22nd July
Steam on the Snowdon Mountain and Welsh Highland Railways
This morning you transfer to Llanberis Station for a steam-hauled trip on the Snowdon Mountain Railway, with superb summit views, weather permitting. Back in Llanberis there is free time to explore this delightful Snowdonian town and have lunch. In the afternoon you take a trip on the Welsh Highland Railway from Caernarfon to Porthmadog, through the magnificent Snowdonia National Park. This fantastic 25-mile journey, steam hauled by a two-foot narrow gauge Garratt locomotive, begins close to Caernarfon Castle. It takes you through spectacular mountain scenery, the village of Beddgelert, which owes its fame to the legendary tale of Prince Llewelyn ap Iorwerth, and the famous Aberglaslyn Pass. On arrival at Porthmadog you return by road coach to the Imperial Hotel in Llandudno for dinner. (B D)

Tuesday 23rd July
The Great Orme Tramway; the Ffestiniog Railway
After breakfast you take a ride on the 3’6” gauge Great Orme Tramway, Britain’s only cable-hauled street tramway, from Llandudno Victoria Station to Great Orme Summit Station. Then you go by coach to Blaenau Ffestiniog, where you will have lunch. Following lunch there’ll be some time to explore Blaenau Ffestiniog before you travel on the Ffestiniog Railway to Porthmadog. There you transfer to Portmeirion, where the surreal TV spy drama ‘The Prisoner’ was filmed in the 1960s, for dinner and an overnight stay at The Hotel Portmeirion. (B L D)

Wednesday 24th July
Steam on the Fairbourne and Talyllyn Railways
After breakfast you transfer by road coach to Fairbourne for a return journey on the Fairbourne Railway. This 12¼” gauge railway runs for 3.2 km (2 miles) alongside the beach to the end of a peninsula at the mouth of the Mawddach Estuary, one of the most spectacular locations along the Cambrian Coast. You continue by coach to nearby Tywyn where you travel on the narrow gauge Talyllyn Railway (TR). The TR is notable for being the first preserved railway in the United Kingdom. This 2’ 3” gauge railway runs for 11.7 km (7.25 miles) to Nant Gwernol. On return to Tywyn there’ll be time for lunch and a visit to the narrow-gauge railway museum there. You then transfer by coach from Tywyn to Aberystwyth for dinner and an overnight stay at the Marine Hotel. (B D)

Thursday 25th July
Vale of Rheidol and Welshpool and Llanfair Railways
Today you travel steam-hauled on the Vale of Rheidol Railway from Aberystwyth to Devil’s Bridge, where unique waterfalls have attracted many thousands of visitors since the 18th century, including William Wordsworth, who wrote about the ‘Torrent at the Devil’s Bridge’. From Devil’s Bridge you transfer by road coach to Welshpool and after lunch in the town you begin your journey on the picturesque 2’6” gauge Welshpool and Llanfair Railway. There’s an enjoyable steam-hauled ride through the delightful Banwy Valley to Llanfair Caereinion to follow, before you return to Welshpool. From there you journey to Liverpool by road coach, for your homeward journey. (B)

Please note: Locomotives will be confirmed nearer the time of departure


Details

Price

  • Tour price £1795
  • Single supplement £195

All prices shown are per person.

Price Includes

  • 6 nights accommodation with breakfast in 3 or 4-star hotels
  • 5 breakfasts in hotels and 1 on the train
  • 6 dinners
  • All train and tramway travel as detailed in the itinerary
  • 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

 

Map feature coming soon!