Visiting Snowdonia

Llyn Padarn Railway

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Narrow Gauge Railways

When the weather isn't that brilliant, there are many indoor facilities on offer at the leisure centres in Snowdonia. Among the variety of facilities available are swimming pools, squash courts, badminton courts, fitness rooms, climbing walls and sports hall. At the Pavilion Leisure Centre in Barmouth there's a soft play area for children under 5.

Ffestiniog Railway

Ffestiniog Railway (© Ffestiniog Railway)

Snowdon Mnt. Railway

The Snowdon Mountain Railway opened to the public for the first time in Easter 1896. It is a narrow gauge rack and pinion mountain railway based on a patent used in the Swiss Alps and is the only public rack and pinion railway in the UK. It runs for 4.5 miles from Llanberis to the summit of Snowdon, the highest mountain in Wales, and is a very popular tourist attraction.

Operating Times
Weather and ground conditions permitting, trains run daily between March and October. Some weather conditions may mean that trains cannot go all the way to the summit. Visit the Snowdon Mountain Railway website for more information.

Address: Snowdon Mountain Railway, Llanberis, Gwynedd. LL55 4TY

Telephone: 0844 493 8120
Email: info@snowdonrailway.co.uk
Website: www.snowdonrailway.co.uk

Llyn Padarn Railway

This railway was used to carry slate from Dinorwig slate quarry in Llanberis to the port near Felinheli. It wasn’t just slate that was transported along the rails - the quarry had rail vehicles known as ‘ceir gwyllt’ (‘wild cars’) to transport some of the quarrymen to and from work. Today, the Llanberis Lake Railway runs for 2½ miles along the north east shore of Llyn Padarn before returning to Llanberis. The journey affords fantastic views of Llyn Padarn and Snowdon.

Address: Llyn Padarn Railway, Gilfach Ddu, Llanberis, Caernarfon, Gwynedd. LL55 4TY

Telephone: 01286 870549
Email: info@lake-railway.co.uk
Website: www.lake-railway.co.uk

Talyllyn Railway

The railway was built in 1865 to transport slate from Bryn Eglwys quarry in Abergynolwyn to Tywyn. From Tywyn, the slate was then taken along the coast railway to link with the national railway network. On the 7 mile journey between Tywyn and Nant Gwernol you can enjoy beautiful scenery of the more gentle landscape of the south west of the National Park.

Address: Talyllyn Railway, Wharf Station, Tywyn, Gwynedd. LL36 9EY

Telephone: 01654 710472
Email: enquiries@talyllyn.co.uk
Website: www.talyllyn.co.uk

Bala Lake Railway

Unlike many of Snowdonia’s other narrow gauge railways, this railway wasn’t built to serve slate quarries – it formed part of a branch of the Great Western standard gauge railway from Ruabon to Barmouth. Despite this, the railway was used to carry slate and copper from mines and quarries in the Dolgellau area for a brief period. The Bala Lake Railway was built over part of the old track bed between Bala and Llanuwchllyn and opened in 1972. The railway, which is now narrow gauge, runs for 4½ miles along the shore of Llyn Tegid with striking views of the lake and surrounding mountains.

Address: Bala Lake (Llyn Tegid) Railway, The Station, Llanuwchllyn, Gwynedd. LL23 7DD

Telephone: 01678 540666
Email: balalake@btconnect.com
Website: www.bala-lake-railway.co.uk

Fairbourne Railway

The Fairbourne Railway is a narrow gauge miniature railway running for 2 miles from the village of Fairbourne alongside the beach to the end of a peninsula at Barmouth Ferry, where there is a connection with a pedestrian ferry across the Mawddach estuary to the seaside town of Barmouth. The Railway has run from Fairbourne village to Penrhyn Point since 1895. Originally built to carry building materials, the railway has carried tourists for over a hundred years.

Address: Fairbourne Railway, Beach Road, Fairbourne, Gwynedd. LL38 2EX

Telephone: 01341 250362
Email: fairbourne.rail@btconnect.com
Website: www.fairbournerailway.com

Ffestiniog Railway

The railway was established in 1832 to transport slate from the quarries in Blaenau Ffestiniog to the port in Porthmadog. The railway is 13½ miles long and climbs 700 feet above sea level. The train’s journey leads through diverse landscapes – from green pastures to native woodlands, lakes and waterfalls, plummeting through black tunnels and clinging to the mountainside.

Address: Ffestiniog Railway, Harbour Station, Porthmadog, Gwynedd. LL49 9NF

Telephone: 01766 516 000
Email: enquiries@ffwhr.com
Website: www.ffestiniograilway.co.uk

Welsh Highland Railway

This is Snowdonia’s newest railway, which runs for 25 miles between Caernarfon and Porthmadog. It climbs over 650ft and leads along the foothills of Snowdon before zigzagging down to Beddgelert village. The railway then runs through the dramatic Aberglaslyn pass and onwards to the harbour town of Porthmadog.

Address: Ffestiniog Railway, Harbour Station, Porthmadog, Gwynedd. LL49 9NF

Telephone: 01766 516 000
Email: enquiries@ffwhr.com
Website: www.festrail.co.uk

Header image - Morfa Harlech (© Crown copyright (2014) Visit Wales)