Wales - Steam, Castles & Slate

Aqueduct Cruise, Llangollen
Caernafon Castle - © Panglossian/Shutterstock
Criccieth - © Travelight
Elidir on the Llanberis Lake Railway looking over to Snowdon
Great Orme Mine Entrance
Halfway station on the Great Orme Tramway - © Great Orme
Pant Du Vineyard and Orchard - © Pant Du
Pant Du Vineyard and Orchard - © Pant Du
Roofing slates - © National Slate Museum
Snowdon Mountain Railway
Welsh Highland Railway

Holiday Highlights

  • Walking tour of Chester
  • Criccieth, Penrhyn, Caernarfon & Conwy Castles
  • Time to explore Betws-y-Coed, Bala, Criccieth, Beddgelert, Llandudno
  • Great Orme Bronze Age & Llechwedd Slate Mines
  • Pant Du Vineyard & Purple Moose brewery tours
  • Six Heritage Steam Railways
  • Story of slate from mining to shipping finished products around the world
  • Relaxing cruises on River Dee and Llangollen Canal
  • 10 Days from £1,740pp
Tailor this tour for independent travel

Tour Dates:
Wednesday 9 September to Friday 18 September 2020

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.


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.

Tour Route

Tour route map

Selected Hotels

The Queen Hotel, Chester

St George’s Hotel, Llandudno

Celtic Royal Hotel, Caernarfon

Royal Sportsman Hotel, Porthmadog

White Lion Royal Hotel, Bala

The Wild Pheasant Hotel & Spa, Llangollen

Please note - hotels can be subject to change

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

Price per person

Escorted holiday: £1,740
Single room supplement: £260
Deposit for this holiday: £100

Booking form

Download your tour booking form here.


Why Choose Ffestiniog Travel?

  • UK's first rail tour operator to run an overseas escorted rail holiday in 1974
  • Created for people who love rail holidays and exploring the world’s heritage railways
  • Dedicated rail holiday specialist - great destinations, sightseeing and unparalled railway content
  • Train ticket supplier for worldwide rail operators - we can plan and arrange your rail journey to anywhere
  • Knowledge of the world’s rail routes makes us leading specialists in escorted and Tailor Made rail holidays
  • Over 60% of our existing rail tour travellers return to holiday with us year after year
  • Committed to supporting rail travel and heritage railways around the world
  • Our profits support the continued preservation of the famous Ffestiniog and Welsh Highland Railways
  • Small, dedicated rail holiday travel team offering an award winning personal service


Pharos Response AITO Quality Charter