Ffestiniog Railway & Welsh Highland Railways
Porthmadog, North Wales
Average time spent – 2-3 hours.
Ffestiniog Railway review
The Ffestiniog Railway in North Wales is running slightly differently to pre-lockdown. You can now only take the famous steam train from Porthmadog to Tan y Bwlch and back. There are no stops and you have to reserve a compartment. In the past, the trains have run from Blaenau.
On the website, it states that you can now only reserve a compartment for the exclusive use of your party. The confusing thing was this wasn’t so on our train or the later trains and we saw a fair few larger carriages where people were having to share (socially distanced but sharing). Luckily our earlier train at 10 am had more carriages than the other train we saw and we did have a carriage to ourselves but it wasn’t fully enclosed.
Ffestiniog are running 5 trains a day. The first two will have had no one else using them on that day. Porthmadog station is in a really beautiful setting by the harbour. The train journey lasted longer on the way up but only around 25 minutes on the way down as the train could move quicker.
You then have around an hour at Tan y Bwlch station. There are toilets here and a cafe serving takeaway hot and cold food and drinks. There’s plenty of tables if you want to take a picnic and you are also allowed to eat on the train. Next to the cafe, there is a small train-themed playground. You can also go on a 40 minute round trip down to a lake to feed the ducks. There’s also toilets and a cafe at Porthmadog station.
Parking at Porthmadog has also changed. Only blue badge holders can park in their station car park. There is now an overflow car park next to the far end of the main town car park and it is accessed from South Snowdon Street. We actually parked in town at a long stay car park for £2.20 (4 hours) although I think their overflow car park is 20p cheaper. There is plenty of information on how they are keeping the trains clean and safe on their website.
There’s so much to do in Snowdonia. I’ve found a great post that covers the best things to do in 3 days in Snowdonia.
Ffestiniog Railway – Important Information
Eating – There is a cafe at both Porthmadog and Tan y Bwlch. Both are open for takeaway hot and cold food and drinks.
Facilities in brief – Heritage steam railway journey, with cafes, playground and a short walk.
Entry price – *Expensive
*Prices are subject to change and/or discounts online. *Expensive. Currently, you have to pay per carriage. We paid £50 for our carriage. This covers the cost of 2 adults (or 2 passengers). Extra passengers then cost more money. An additional adult is £25 per person, £1.00 for a child and £3.00 for a dog.
Opening: Ffestiniog railway is currently open for the summer and from what I can see closes early October. For up to date opening times and dates please follow this link.
Dog friendly? Dogs are allowed in some sections of the train (for a small fee)
Address: Harbour Station, Porthmadog LL49 9NF, North Wales. Phone: 01766 516024
Category – Railway, suitable for all ages.