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“THE Welsh Narrow Gauge Railway Experience”

Ffestiniog & Welsh Highland Railways
Ranked #1 of 19 things to do in Porthmadog
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Owner description: The Ffestiniog Railway takes you on a 13 1/2-mile journey from the harbour in Porthmadog to the slate-quarrying town of Blaenau Ffestiniog. We are recognised by the Guinness Book of World Records as the oldest railway company in the world, being founded in 1832. We still build steam locomotives and carriages in our own workshops and the world's oldest steam engine, Prince, is still in regular use today - more than 150 years after it was built. Our historic trains climb over 700 feet from sea level into the mountains through tranquil pastures and magnificent forests, past lakes and waterfalls, round horseshoe bends (even a complete spiral) clinging to the side of the mountain or tunnelling through it. The Welsh Highland is Snowdonia's newest railway. Trains start their spectacular 25 mile scenic journey from beneath the historic castle walls at Caernarfon. The trains - hauled by the world's most powerful narrow gauge steam locomotives - climb from sea level to over 650 feet on the foothills of Snowdon, before zig-zagging dramatically down the steep hillside to reach Beddgelert, nestling in the heart of the National Park, then through the magnificent Aberglaslyn Pass - voted the most beautiful spot in the UK by the National Trust - and on to Porthmadog.
Useful Information: Wheelchair access, Activities for young children, Food available for purchase
1 review
“THE Welsh Narrow Gauge Railway Experience”
Reviewed 24 May 2014 via mobile

We visited the railway on a glorious day in May.

Some visitors have commented on the ticket prices, but it is well worth researching the discounted ticket deals available. We used an 'Explore North & Mid Wales' Rail Rover and thus, our adult tickets for a journey between Blaenau Ffestiniog through to Caernarfon cost £17.50 each.

We got the 1045 ex Blaenau Ffestiniog and it proceeded through fantastic Welsh mountain countryside. Look out for waterfalls, valleys and the occasional nuclear power station.

The timetable allowed for just over an hour in Porthmadoc ... Ample time, if you plan it rightly, for a few photos of the rail stock before nipping off for a sandwich from a local shop.

We took the 1405 train to Caernarfon and again, was treated to more great countryside. Consider also the gradients that the little locomotives pulling a heavy train can manage.

Look out for views of Snowdon on the right hand side and the lake of Llyn Cwellyn and as you approach the terminus, a view of Caernarfon Castle.

Sadly many people on Trip Advisor confuse the Welsh Highland Railway with the smaller Welsh Highland Heritage Railway (which is still worth a visit if you have a spare extra hour in Porthmadoc)

Visited May 2014
Thank admiralhanson
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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2,042 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
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English first
Battle, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
316 reviews
90 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 103 helpful votes
“Loved the Welsh Highland Railway”
Reviewed 24 May 2014 via mobile

Beautiful round trip on the Welsh Highland Railway. Takes two hours each way but time passes quickly because there is so much to see. Staff are friendly and helpful and there is good onboard catering at reasonable prices. Parking is easy and priced at £2. Allow a day to do this trip and enjoy the towns. Great outing for families no matter the weather.

Visited May 2014
Thank Andrew A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Chester, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
93 reviews
27 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 50 helpful votes
“How to make a 3 year old happy!”
Reviewed 24 May 2014

We had a 4 night stay in Porthmadog last week and had a ride on both the WH and FR. Our 3 year old grandson loved every minute of it. On the Welsh Highland we did a return just to Beddgelert as we felt this was a long enough journey, especially as grandson and grandfather wanted to travel in the open carriage! On the Ffestiniog we did a return to Blaenau right behind the engine in a viewing coach (at no extra cost). Both journeys offer beautiful scenery and even if you aren't a train enthusiast it is a great experience. This isn't a cheap thing to do, but the quality offered and the level of up-keep means it is good value, and you are contributing to the preservation of these magnificent railways. On the days we weren't riding, our grandson was just happy to be at the station watching all the comings and goings, points changing etc and we found the staff friendly and helpful, and with time to spare for the next generation of rail enthusiasts. Highly recommended.

Visited May 2014
Thank ChesterKesi
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
59 reviews
26 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 37 helpful votes
“Beautiful scenery.”
Reviewed 23 May 2014

We travelled Caenarfon to Portmadog. It's quite a long trip so we chose to upgrade to first class which was well worth it, very comfortable and not so many people in the carriage. We had time to walk around Portmadog and grab a bite to eat before our return trip. Station facilities were excellent and the staff very helpful and pleasant. Well worth the money for a day out.

Visited May 2014
Thank LadyLillycock
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Bath, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
89 reviews
24 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 208 helpful votes
Reviewed 22 May 2014

Excellent ride, great engines, great views, a brilliant experience. If you fancy doing both railways, there is a £30 ticket for one-way on each. Bus service to/ from Porthmadog is pretty good, so with a bit of planning, a good way to do both hjourneys in a day at a good price.

Visited May 2014
Thank JohnC0106
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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