micbinks - UK holiday, leisure & tourist attraction images

Snowdonia Heritage Railways

Belinda and Mike - follow our tourist travels in the UK

Welsh Highland Railway & Great Orme Tramway: Holiday June 2018 - page 3

Snowdonia enjoys an abundance of restored heritage railways thanks to its rich industrial past.  We take a ride on the scenic Welsh Highland Railway, the UK's longest narrow-gauge line – and North Wales' newest – through the beautiful Snowdonia National Park from Porthmadog to Beddgelert.  Then in Llandudno we hop on board a vintage tramcar for a ride on the quaint Great Orme Tramway to the summit of the Great Orme Country Park and Nature Reserve.  Oh, let's also take a quick peek at our lovely self-catering holiday cottage near Llanrwst.
This is page three of three.
Snowdonia | Snowdonia mines | Snowdonia Railways
 

Porthmadog Harbour Station in North Wales
The Welsh Highland Railway runs from Porthmadog to Caernarfon; we commenced our journey at Porthmadog Harbour Station at the line's...

Porthmadog Harbour Station ticket office
...southern end.  Here's the wonderfully restored ticket office at Porthmadog, the attention to detail was amazing!  The Welsh Highland Railway...

Welsh Highland Railway locomotive at Porthmadog
...also operates the Ffestiniog Railway which also leaves from Porthmadog.  This is the steam engine that hauled the train carriages, the world's most powerful narrow gauge steam locomotive.  We...

Welsh Highland Railway platform
...made our way along the platform to find the open carriage at the end of the train in order to get a good view of the length of the train on the journey.  Notice the traditional semaphore signals.  Now,...

On the Welsh Highland Railway
...Mike was an excited chappie to be riding on a steam train once again, flashing the Welsh Highland Railway tickets as the steam train chuffed out of...

Welsh Highland Railway train crosses the road at Porthmadog
...Porthmadog across the main road!  In fact it steamed along the highway for a short while before bearing right into the Snowdonia scenery...

Welsh Highland Railway: inside the open carriage
...bound ultimately for Caernarfon, a journey of some 25 miles.  The open carriage we choose had its drawbacks, the rain came in and it filled with sooty steam when in tunnels but it all added...

Welsh Highland train goes round the Snowdonia curves
...to the fun and was very handy for grabbing an appealing photo quickly when the train rounded the Snowdonia curves.  Along the route the Welsh Highland Railway steam train passed through...

Snowdonia: Aberglaslyn Pass from the train
...the beautiful Aberglaslyn Pass and along the River Glaslyn.  We only did the journey to Beddgelert (cost 21.90 round trip) rather than all the way to Caernarfon (39.80) as we intended to visit...

Welsh Highland train waits at Beddgelert Station
...Sygun Copper Mine there, so it was at Beddgelert we alighted.  The Welsh Highland line originally closed in 1936 and fully reopened as a heritage railway in 2009.  We thoroughly enjoyed our trip!

North Wales: the beach at Llandudno
Just outside the Snowdonia National Park on the north east coast of North Wales is the popular seaside town of Llandudno.  Our pic above looks along the beach towards the 19th-century Llandudno Pier and the Great Orme headland beyond which...

Great Orme Tramway, Victoria Station in Llandudno
...was where we were headed, courtesy of the Great Orme Tramway.  A funicular railway, it's been operating since 1902 and is Britain's only cable-hauled road tram system!  The lower terminus is here at Victoria Station...

Great Orme tramcar about to leave Victoria Station
...from which the restored Great Orme tramcars run regularly.  All aboard!  So we...

Great Orme tramcar ascends the Llandudno narrow street
...bought our tickets (8.10 adult) and sat back for the first half of the exciting one-mile journey which...

View of Llandudno from the tramcar
...initially ascended through some narrow and winding Llandudno streets up towards the Halfway Station.  As the Great Orme tramcar (or streetcar?) got higher a great view of the town and beach below was...

Halfway Station of the Great Orme Tramway
...had.  The Great Orme Tramway journey is of two parts - up to the Halfway Station where the powerful Victorian funicular tram system is controlled and a fascinating tramway history exhibition can be viewed...

Passing place on the Great Orme Tramway
...then a change of tramcar for the second half to the summit.  Both sections have a passing place for ascending and descending tramcars to pass; within sight of some Bronze Age copper mines and an Iron Age fort.  Presently we arrived at...

Llandudno from the Great Orme summit
...the 207m (679 ft) summit.  Here we took a look around the summit complex before exploring a bit of the Great Orme Country Park and its many walking trails.  Some spectacular views of North Wales can be had from the top, but it was extremely windy...

Decending the Great Orme Tramway
...so we soon got back on the Great Orme Tramway for the decent back down to Llandudno.  There's also a cable car to the summit, the longest in Britain.

 

North Wales has an abundance of preserved railways.  Many were built to support Snowdonia's slate mining and quarrying industry but now fulfil a very different purpose - supporting Snowdonia's tourist industry!

We can wholeheartedly recommend a visit to this area of North Wales, no doubt we'll be back again soon.

If you'd like to discover more about Snowdonia please see our collection of UK tourism resources.

Well, that about wraps our Snowdonia pages - now we hope you didn't miss our other ascent in this beautiful part of Britain: climbing up Snowdon >>>

 

Snowdonia holiday cottage, Llanrwst
For our 2018 Snowdonia holiday we hired this gorgeous self-catering holiday cottage near Llanrwst (between Betwsy-y-Coed and Llandudno).  We enjoyed the company of this clan of chickens while supping an evening pre-dinner wine...

Inside the Snowdonia holiday cottage
...cooked in the cottage's modern kitchen.  Being an extremely popular tourist area, there's an abundance of fine accommodation in Snowdonia to suit everyone from outdoor walking types to families - and even just couples like us.

Other scenic heritage railways visited in Wales include the Welshpool & Llanfair Caereinion.