The Scenic Conwy Explorer I
Via the Scenic Conway line (with Ffestiniog Railway option)
Please Note: This trip is hauled by vintage diesel
Dumfries to Betws-Y-Coed
Departs – Wednesday 20 September 2017
From Dumfries, Annan, Gretna, Carlisle, Penrith & Oxenholme.
We venture south under vintage diesel haulage from Dumfries via Gretna on what promises to be a great day out. Skirting along the North Wales Coastline we will enjoy views of the Wirral Peninsula. At West Kirby and Hilbre Island we then head via Talacre, Prestatyn onto Rhyl. We pass Abergaele and Colwyn Bay before the train reverses at Llandudno Junction where you may be able to see Conway Castle just in the distance across the estuary.
SCENIC JOURNEY TO BETWS-Y-COED & BLAENAU FFESTINIOG: We anticipate most of you will be joining this excursion to enjoy the Conwy Valley line, which cuts along the estuary and runs into the Heart of Snowdonia via valleys, mountains and forests. You may elect to alight at Betws-y-Coed for a break of up to 4 hours, which is a beautiful tiny mountain resort set in the Snowdonia Forest Park, a great place for walkers and climbers and near to Dolwyddelan Castle. By the station is the Conwy Valley Railway Museum with vintage carriages and a miniature steam railway, plus tearooms, restaurants and local craft shops. Alternatively enjoy a bit more of the local scenery as you travel to journey’s end at Blaenau Ffestiniog via Roman Bridge and a deep mountain tunnel for a break of up to 3 hours. This town, set among huge mountains of slate waste and fabulous views of the nearby area, is home of the Ffestiniog narrow gauge steam railway and just on the edge of town the brilliant Llechwedd Slate Caverns. There should be time to relax and perhaps visit a few local gift shops and take a bite to eat before return departure as well as possibly exploring one of these attractions.
OPTIONAL NARROW GAUGE STEAM EXCURSION: On arrival at Ffestiniog we hope to offer a little time to wander around the gift shops and facilities at the station before our departure time for this optional steam train excursion on the Ffestiniog Railway, travelling through mountainous terrains to Tan-y-Blwch where we hope to have 45-60 minutes leg-stretch break and there are short walks plus a café. We swap trains for the return run to Ffestiniog, so for those interested, a different locomotive will feature as well as the railways’ lovingly restored vintage carriages on the way back. PLEASE NOTE this option is strictly limited to just 175 spaces so we strongly advise you book it along with your tour tickets. The supplementary fare is £20. We recommend you bring warm clothing for the day as temperatures in this area of Snowdonia are often below national averages for the time of year
PREMIER DINING CLASS: Includes an at seat silver service of full English Breakfast in the morning, a selection of pastries with coffee mid journey and a four course meal on the return journey all freshly prepared by our skilled chefs on board the train.
FIRST CLASS: Outward Journey: Freshly brewed coffee and fine teas served with warm Danish pastries. Return Journey: Warm vegetable & cheese tartlet together with chunky coleslaw salad, Freshly brewed coffee and fine teas served with Trio of cakes and fancies.
CHILDREN UNDER 5 can be brought on the train free of charge only if not taking up a seat and sharing seats with accompanying adults.
REFRESHMENTS: A buffet counter service of snacks, hot and cold drinks, and alcoholic beverages is available to all our Standard and First Class passengers throughout the day. You are also welcome to bring your own refreshments or indeed a tasty picnic to enjoy as the countryside passes by!
First Class and Premier Dining passengers can book a private table for a supplement of £20.00 per person.
The following Pick-Up and Set-Down stations are available on this excursion