We meet at Cardiff Central Station early afternoon and are introduced to the city by way of a guided tour. We also take to the water for a cruise from the vibrant waterfront, up the Taff, to the Castle.
Our circular day starts by rail to Pontypool and New Inn from where is in a short drive to Blaenavon and two “must-do’s”. Firstly, we discover mining heritage at the excellent Big Pit Museum includingthe opportunity of an underground tour. Our morning dose of steam comes courtesy of the adjacent Pontypool & Blaenavon Railway. Later, we traverse the Heads Of The Valleys Road to the Brecon Mountain Railway. A 90-minute ride, behind steam, in the National Park will make for a memorable afternoon. As evening approaches we’ll enjoy dinner in a local inn before returning to Cardiff by rail.
A big day out to the west beckons as we stroll to the station and catch a train via Swansea, to Llanelli. Nearby is the emerging Llanelli and Mynydd Mawr Railway – easy for you to say! These friendly folk will entertain us with a rail ride and lunch before we must move on. Our journey on the Gwili Railway will start from Carmarthen Hospital (nothing to do with lunch) at the end of their recent extension. This is a lovely riverside ride behind standard gauge steam. Then, a scenic drive to Treherbert and a train back to Cardiff.
We stay more local today and kick off by rail again to Barry Island to visit the Tourist Railway there. On then, using the southern rail route to Bridgend that passes the airport. Now, our trusty coach transfers us to Margham Country Park for a ride on their railway and a visit to the Turbine House, castle and gardens. Another branch-line takes us home again, from Maesteg.
We’re not done yet! By rail to Ebbw Vale and then a border crossing into England. Our final tourist rail journey is among the leaves at the Forest of Dean Railway. Homeward bound journeys follows from Lydney and Bristol Parkway, as suits.
This large, comfortable, hotel is ideally situated in the city centre close to Cardiff Queen Street Station. There are many modern hotels in the city but this one is only modern on the inside being a traditional hotel that has been completely, and stylishly, renovated by this reputable hotel group.