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The Snowdonian Panorama


Saturday 6 April 2019

This tour is now full, please call the office to be added to the waiting list.

What could be finer than a springtime day out to Snowdonia, with the option of a visit to spectacular Bodnant Garden or a magical journey by narrow gauge steam railway all the way from Blaenau Ffestiniog to Caernarfon via Porthmadog, taking in the full length of both the Ffestiniog and Welsh Highland Railways.

Our train runs via the West Coast Main Line, diverging at Crewe and passing Chester before heading along the North Wales Coast to arrive at Llandudno Junction. Here coaches will be waiting for the two off-train options.

BODNANT GARDEN (NATIONAL TRUST)

The garden at Bodnant is one of the finest in the world. It is situated above the River Conwy on ground sloping to the south-west and looks across the valley towards the Snowdonia range.

The garden is in two parts. The upper part around the house consists of the Terrace Gardens as well as informal lawns shaded by trees. The lower portion, known as ‘The Dell’, is formed by the valley of the River Hiraethlyn, a tributary of the Conwy, and contains the Pinetum and Wild Garden.

Springtime at the Garden is a great attraction and draws people from all over the world. In April be enchanted by the magnificence of the camellias, magnolias, daffodils and other spring bulbs. It is also likely to be the time to see the beautiful collection of rhododendrons.

The coach journey from Llandudno Junction takes less than fifteen minutes and we will have around four hours at Bodnant. After wards the coaches will take us to Llandudno itself where you have an hour or so to take a seaside stroll in this beautifully preserved seaside town before returning to Llandudno Junction and rejoining the train. A discount is available to card-carrying National Trust members

THE FFESTINIOG AND WELSH HIGHLAND RAILWAYS

Just imagine a narrow gauge railway that runs for forty miles from the little town of Blaenau Ffestiniog, winding its way through glorious mountain scenery all the way down to Porthmadog. From here it races across farmlands before hugging the sides of the dramatic Aberglaslyn Pass. It swings around tight curves and climbs to emerge into the foothills of Snowdon itself, skirts high above peaceful lakes and finally descends past streams and woodlands to end its journey beneath the walls of an ancient castle.

Although the Ffestiniog Railway survived and prospered, tragically the much longer Welsh Highland saw its last passenger train in 1937 and fell into total dereliction and decay. Everybody was pretty sure that was the end of the story.

Well, maybe not quite everybody. The brave vision of a few and the sheer determination and guts of many more means it’s not a dream any longer. Our coaches take us to Blaenau Ffestiniog where our narrow gauge train of corridor stock, complete with toilets and a buffet car, will be waiting for our scenic marathon, with a break of around an hour at Porthmadog. After the Welsh Highland section of the journey our coaches will be at Caernarfon ready to take us back to Llandudno Junction.

 

FREE TIME IN LLANDUDNO JUNCTION

We are also offering a ‘train only’ option to Llandudno Junction. From here there are scheduled train and frequent local buses (not included in the fare) into Llandudno itself, some three miles distant. Other local services link the Junction to Conwy and Colwyn Bay.

 

All timings are provisional and intended only as a guide.

StationDepartArrive
London Euston07.1022.05
Watford Junction07.2521.45
Milton Keynes Central07.5521.10
Rugby08.2020.40