I’ve been watching Michael Portillo’s train journeys around Britain on the BBC over the last few weeks and was especially pleased to see two programmes devoted to train journeys in North Wales. One along the North Wales Coast from Chester to Llandudno and the other from Llandudno to Porthmadog and then Bangor to Holyhead. He’s using George Bradshaw’s Victorian Railway Guide to take him around the UK and it looks a great book. Probably not in print so will have to make an excursion up to Hay on Wye to find a copy.
In November 2010 the Welsh Highland Railway rolled into Porthmadog for the first time, which was great news and we now look forward to the official opening of the final section on April 20th 2011. It actually means that you could almost circumnavigate Snowdonia by train. The section between Bangor and Caernarfon will unfortunately never re-open ( but at least there’s a decent bus service between the two locations.)
It also makes rail holidays around Wales a serious option because the midwales main line also completed an upgrade in October 2010. From Chester you could weave through Wales stopping at (BIG BREATH) Conwy, Caernarfon, Porthmadog, Machynlleth, Welshpool, Shrewsbury (not strictly Wales but used to play in the Welsh Cup!), Llandrindod Wells, Builth Wells, Llandovery, Llandeilo, Llanelli and then either east or west along the South Wales coast, and onwards to London or Ireland.