Wales is a fantastic country to visit, with its beautiful landscape and rich history. Although there are many attractions in England that are easily reached using public transport, Wales still has many places you can visit by train. Here’s my guide to some of the best destinations on offer:
Best Places to Visit in Wales by Train
Caernarfon is a great place to start your trip in Wales. It’s beautiful, with lots of things to do and a nice atmosphere in the town. It also has fantastic views of Snowdonia National Park, which you can easily explore by hiking or taking a day tour. If you’d rather stay in town and go exploring on foot, there are plenty of historic buildings to check out.
You’ll find plenty of museums offering insight into life during medieval times at Caernarfon Castle or nearby Plas Mawr Hall. There are also several shops along High Street that sell everything from handmade goods like jewelry and clothing pieces made by local artists to delicious food items made locally with fresh ingredients from local farms (unlike those mass-produced versions sold at every other store across the country).
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Conwy is a beautiful town, with plenty of sights and attractions to explore. Conwy Castle, a World Heritage Site, is one of the most famous sites in Wales and you can’t miss it. The walled town is also home to St Mary’s Church and Conwy Town Hall.
There are many other attractions in the area that make it an ideal destination for any traveler: Plas Mawr (built in 1580) houses an art collection, while Bodnant Gardens boasts formal gardens and woodland walks with views over Snowdonia National Park.
Portmeirion is a tourist village in Gwynedd, Wales. It was designed and built by Sir Clough Williams-Ellis between 1925 and 1975. Portmeirion is best known for its role in the 1960s TV series The Prisoner, where it served as “The Village”. Portmeirion has also appeared in several other TV series and films since then.
Portmeirion is a great place to take a break from the hustle and bustle of city life. You can walk around the gardens for hours or just sit back with a glass of wine and watch people pass by on their way to enjoy their holiday.
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Harlech, a small town in Gwynedd, is home to Harlech Castle. The castle dates back to 1285 and was built by Edward I. It was used as a prison during World War II and is now managed by Cadw (the Welsh Government’s historic environment service). From the castle you can enjoy views of the Irish Sea and Snowdonia.
The nearby town of Barmouth has a beach that stretches for several miles along Cardigan Bay. This beach is popular with locals and visitors alike who come here for its sandy shoreline, rolling waves and clear blue waters. If you’re looking for some solitude while you’re in Barmouth then head to Criccieth Beach which is located about 2 miles north of Barmouth. You’ll find this beach tucked away behind sand dunes on one side with steep cliffs facing Cardigan Bay on another side; making it an idyllic spot for those wishing to escape from crowds during their holiday break!
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Beddgelert is a small village located in the Snowdonia National Park, not far from Caernarfon. The name Beddgelert means “grave of Gelert” (Gelert was the hound of Llywelyn the Great) and is named after the nearby waterfall and lake, which were reputedly created when Gelert fell down dead at that spot. The village itself has plenty of accommodation options, including 3 guesthouses and 2 hotels. There’s also an inn that serves food—the Snowdon Inn—and while you’re there you should try their famous Welsh rarebit (cheese on toast).
Criccieth is a seaside town in Gwynedd, Wales. Criccieth railway station is a stop on the North Wales Coast Line and the Conwy Valley Line, serving the town of Criccieth and its surrounding villages.
The station was opened by the London and North Western Railway (LNWR) in 1864 as part of their route from Chester to Bangor, along with a line from Llandudno Junction to Carnarvon (later extended to Penmaenmawr). In 1896, this became part of London Midland & Scottish Railway (LMS), who took over operation of all trains on this route until nationalisation in 1948 saw services transferred to British Railways. Until 1963 there were three trains per day each way between Holyhead and Birmingham New Street via Shrewsbury; these were supplemented by local services between Llandudno Junction and Bangor that called at most stations between those two destinations.
Llandudno is a seaside resort town in Conwy County Borough, Wales. Llandudno (meaning “Llan” Church and “Tydi” River) is located on the Creuddyn peninsula, which projects into the Irish Sea. It has a population of 19,531 people (2001). The town’s name comes from Saint Tudno who was a 5th century Welsh bishop.
It became popular with Victorian holidaymakers from 1864 onwards when its status as an early Victorian seaside resort was developed by Thomas Henry Wyatt, son of Admiral Sir Samuel Wyatt.
Porthmadog, commonly referred to as Port, is a town in the county of Gwynedd, Wales. It is known for its Victorian architecture and slate heritage. The town is the terminus of the Ffestiniog Railway, an attraction that brings thousands of visitors each year.
The Ffestiniog Railway offers both steam and diesel trains on its single track rail line which runs from Porthmadog to Blaenau Ffestiniog and then south over hills through a number of tunnels to reach Trawsfynydd nuclear power station and Horseshoe Falls hydroelectric scheme (the highest in Britain). The railway was built by Sir George Stephenson between 1832-1836 using much local labour with materials obtained from local quarries, mines and farms.
Blaenau Ffestiniog is a town in north Wales with a population of around 5,000 people. It is the largest town in the Blaenau Ffestiniog district and lies on the A487 between Dolgellau and Llan Ffestiniog.
Blaenau Ffestiniog was built to house workers from the local slate mines. These were driven underground by steam engines that could be heard working until very recently (they closed down in 2000).
Consider visiting Wales by train
Wales is the country in the UK most people think of when you say “Wales,” but be aware that there are actually two distinct regions: Mid and North Wales.
It’s also worth noting that Wales has a national rail service, called Transport for Wales Rail (TfWR). Trains run from London to Cardiff, stopping at many smaller towns along the way like Swansea and Newport. Travelling by train is comfortable, safe, reliable and a great way to meet other travellers—plus it’s often cheaper than flying!
Wales is a beautiful country, and there are many ways to get around. You can drive, take a bus, or even go by plane if you want. But if you’re looking for something more affordable and convenient then taking the train might be the best idea for you. It’s quick, easy and not too expensive either! So why not plan your next vacation in Wales with one of these destinations?
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Michael has been a traveler and blogger since he was 17 years old. Now his passion is hiking, traveling, camping, and revealing his outdoor secrets. Stay connect with us for outdoor events and camping trips together.