AITO: The Association of Independent Tour Operators
Wales - Steam, Castles & Slate

Wales - Steam, Castles & Slate

Wales - Steam, Castles & Slate Overview

We visit North Wales and its famous narrow gauge steam railways. Along the way enjoy Welsh food, beer, wine and history including the castles and slate mining industry that shaped this area.

ITINERARY

Day 1 – Chester

Meet at our hotel in Chester before a relaxing cruise on the River Dee late afternoon. We have a welcome dinner at our hotel.

Day 2 – City Tour & North Wales Coast

We take a walking tour through 2000 years of history, taking in all the main sites of Chester, including the Rows, the Walls, the River and the Cathedral. Enjoy an afternoon tea followed by a train journey along the North Wales coast to Llandudno for a 2-night stay including breakfast and dinner.

Day 3 – Penrhyn and Conwy Castle

By coach to Swallow Falls before enjoying some free time in Betws-y-Coed and a chance to visit the Conwy Valley Railway Museum. We continue to Penrhyn Castle, a 19th Century fantasy castle, built by a local quarry owner, before a visit to medieval Conwy Castle.

Day 4 – The Great Orme

Travel to the summit on the Great Orme Tramway. Enjoy the wonderful views before visiting the Bronze Age Mines. Continue to Pant Du for a tour of the vineyard, orchard and the mineral water source before a tasting session and afternoon tea. End the day with a visit to Caernarfon Castle be-fore checking into our hotel for a 2-night stay in the town.

Day 5 – Slate in Llanberis

Take the Snowdon Mountain Railway to the summit and back, and ride the Llanberis Lake Railway past 13th Century Dolbadarn Castle. Lunch at the National Slate Museum before a visit to Electric Mountain, a power station hidden in a former slate mine. Dinner is included this evening.

Day 6 – Mountains to Coast

Journey on the Welsh Highland Railway from Caernarfon to Porthmadog and enjoy lunch at The Australia, brewery tap for the town's very own Purple Moose Brewery. Later we take a brewery tour and visit the Maritime Museum, situated in the last remaining slate shed on the harbour. We stay 2 nights in Porthmadog and dinner is included this evening.

Day 7 – Ffestiniog Railway and Criccieth Castle

Travel on the Ffestiniog Railway to Blaenau Ffestiniog and visit the nearby slate mine before lunch (included). Return to Porthmadog, tracing the journey slate took from the mine to the sea. Transfer to Criccieth to visit the castle, stroll along the beach, sample fish & chips or enjoy a seaside ice cream.

Day 8 – Beddgelert and Bala Lake Railway

A visit to the Snowdonian village of Beddgelert includes a short walk to the legendary Gelert’s Grave. This is followed by a scenic return trip on the Bala Lake Railway, before a 1-night stay in the town.

Day 9 – Llangollen

Visit Mary Jones World to learn about the girl who walked 26 miles to buy a book. Continuing to Llangollen we take a canal boat trip across the impressive Pontcysyllte Aqueduct, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. We then take a return trip on the Llangollen Railway before our farewell dinner at our hotel in the town.

Day 10 – Valle Crucis Abbey and Erddig Country House

We head to Valle Crucis Abbey, one of the best preserved Cistercian abbeys in Wales. On our way back to Chester we visit Erddig, a much-loved 18th Century home, garden and estate filled with the stories of a family and their servants.

Price Includes

  • All rail travel as stated in standard class
  • 7 dinners, 3 lunches and 2 afternoon teas
  • All excursions as stated
  • Heritage railways as stated
  • River and canal cruises as stated
  • Accommodation in good quality hotels on a bed and breakfast basis
  • Services of a tour leader from Chester and throughout the tour
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