West Wales Steam Railway Holiday
Special note: By taking an extra night in Aberystwyth on the 16th this holiday can be combined with the Snowdonian holiday to make a 9 day Welsh spectacular.
We meet at Machynlleth Station early afternoon and travel north into the Dulan Valley for our first, very special, visit. The Corris Railway is not normally operating today so we have arranged for a private steam train just for us. This place is steeped in the local history of the slate industry and the folk here always ensure a friendly welcome. Tea, coffee and Welshcakes abound before we complete our journey to Aberystwyth by rail in plenty of time for sunset number one on a barmy summer evening!
A coastal day to the north is in store on this super Sunday. The Talyllyn Railway claims to be the first preserved railway in the land and it certainly retains that originality. A friendly welcome precedes a super journey up the valley, through the woods, to Abergynolwyn and back. After we head further up the coast to Fairbourne for a ride on the charming miniature railway along to the beach. To the water now as we cross on the Barmouth Ferry to….Barmouth! We’ll rail back to Aberystwyth over the famous Barmouth Bridge and around the coast in time to fully appreciate sunset number 2.
A morning constitutional to Constitution Hill and the thrill of a ride up to the headland with the Victorian Cliff Railway for a birds-eye view of the town. We then head off by steam train, chugging up the Vale of Rheidol amid increasingly dramatic scenery. A mountainous afternoon sees us going “over the top” of the Cambrians, through the magnificent Elan Valley on one of the most scenic routes in all of Wales. We’ll be back at Devil’s Bridge late afternoon to complete our scenic circular back down to Aberystwyth by steam train – sunset number three is now enjoyed at leisure!
Time to head for home but not before a final dose of steam. We take a super scenic route to remote Llanfair Caereinion, the headquarters of the Welshpool & Llanfair Railway. This line is a delight, running alongside the river and then through rolling farmland. The gradient out of Welshpool makes for a thrilling experience best enjoyed, perhaps, from the open balconies of the rolling stock. After lunchtime we transfer to Welshpool Station from where homeward bound journeys commence.