One of the top tourist attractions in this part of Wales, the Ffestiniog & Welsh Highlands Railway is world-famous. It draws visitors from all over the globe, and it’s easy to see why.
This narrow gauge railway runs from the lovely harbour at Porthmadog to the grim slate quarries at Ffestiniog. It was a working railway, built to transport slate from the mine to boats for export around the world. It just happens to run through some of the most beautiful scenery in the British Isles.
Pulled by absurdly picturesque steam locomotives — three of them over 150 years old! — the line now ferries delighted visitors on a magical ride through history. The Welsh slate industry collapsed through foreign competition and the greed of the owners (visit Penrhyn Castle to see how one of them spent it).
There are two lines, with Porthmadog as the hub. The Ffestiniog Railway climbs 700 feet and runs 13.5 miles up to Ffestiniog, while the new Welsh Highlands Railway snakes through 25 miles of Snowdonia to Caernarfon, the first rail link ever built between Mid- and North Wales. At last we are a connected country!