By Rail Llandudno and Snowdonia Thrill Seeker 4 day itinerary
Llandudno and Conwy – Betws-y-Coed and Snowdonia National Park | 4 Days
One of Britain’s National Parks, Snowdonia, is home to epic landscapes ranging from deep valleys and craggy peaks to dramatic coastlines.
There are endless possibilities for the adventurous traveller, from climbing Wales’ highest mountain to zip-lining through the caverns of abandoned mines. But it doesn’t all have to be high-octane action, the relaxed seaside setting of Llandudno is just the spot to relax and unwind.
Start your journey
Snowdonia and Llandudno are easily reached by train from most major cities. Direct services run to Llandudno Junction from London Euston (3 hrs), Cardiff (4 hrs), Manchester (2 hrs) and Liverpool (2 hrs). Take the shuttle train (10 mins) from Llandudno Junction to Llandudno town centre.
DAY 1 Llandudno and Conwy
Visitors have been flocking to beautiful Llandudno, Wales’ biggest beach resort, since Victorian times. With two sandy beaches, a pier, a promenade and even Punch and Judy shows, it’s the quintessential British seaside experience. Along with its many vintage attractions, the town’s other big draw is Great Orme, a striking limestone headland offering spectacular views of Snowdonia and the coasts of Rhyl and Conwy. Check times for the X5 bus service or the 19 bus servicefrom Mostyn Street.
A World Heritage site, this beautifully preserved 13th-century castle is a magnificent piece of medieval history. Made up of eight splendid towers and mighty town walls, the ringed fortress is one of the Wales’ most spectacular sights. Get there on the 5 bus from Llandudno (20 mins).
Great Orme Tramline
A funicular railway running since 1902, this original Victorian tram car is one of the best ways to take in the fantastic views of Llandudno and Great Orme as it slowly bumps and creaks its way up to the summit from Victoria station.
The lush green Conwy Valley isn’t the first place you’d expect to find record-breaking waves, but at Surf Snowdonia there are 6ft swells in a huge man-made surf lagoon, not to mention canoeing, kayaking or paddle boarding. Surf Snowdonia can be reached by taking the number 19 bus from Llandudno Junction station (30min).
DAY 3 and 4 Betws-y-Coed and Snowdonia National Park
Known as the gateway to Snowdonia, Betws-y-Coed (pronounced bet-us-ee-koyd) is a natural base for exploring the splendour of the National Park. Overlooked by Gwydyr Forest Park, the picturesque stone village is packed with accommodation options and outdoor gear shops, with easy transport links to the area’s many attractions. There are regular trains running from Llandudno Junction to Betws-y-Coed (25 mins). Check timetables for the X1 bus service and the 19 bus service.
Snowdon Mountain Railway
Majestic Snowdon dominates the glorious ancient landscape of North Wales and, at 1085m, it is the highest mountain in Wales and England. Since 1896 visitors have been travelling to the summit of Snowdon by train, on what is Britain’s highest rack railway. On a clear day, you can see Ireland, England, Scotland and the Isle of Man from Hafod Eryri, the unique Snowdon Summit Visitor Centre. Subject to weather conditions and passenger demand, trains run every day from mid-March until the end of October. Booking ahead is recommended.
Llechwedd Slate Caverns
A visit to Llechwedd Slate Caverns involves travelling 650ft underground to marvel at the enormous caverns, wonder at the underground lake and hear the fascinating real-life stories of the miners who worked in this former slate mine. Easily combined with a visit to Zip World, the train or X1 bus to Blaenau Ffestiniog from Betws-y-Coed station take around 25 minutes.
Zip World & Bounce Below
Wales is home to Europe’s biggest zip zone: Zip World. Located in Blaenau Ffestiniog, speed junkies will love Titan, or for little adventurers, there’s Bounce Below, a remarkable subterranean playground. Trains to Blaenau Ffestiniog or the X1 bus from Betws-y-Coed station (25 min) go here. It’s recommended to book in advance.
A lovingly restored 16th-century manor, Gwydir Castle has a reputation for being one of Wales’ most haunted homes. Visitors can uncover the castle’s many historical connections or stay overnight to experience its more ghostly associations. After taking the X1 bus to Llanrwst Bridge (10 min) it is just a 0.5 mile walk to the castle. The castle is closed on Mondays and Saturdays.
Located in a converted old mine, Go Below’s thrilling adventure space offers zip-lining through caverns, boating across lakes and traversing over an abyss. Go Below can easily be reached by catching the 19 bus from Betws-y-Coed station. Booking ahead is recommended.