North Wales

Old Jun 5th, 2008, 04:34 PM
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North Wales

With everyone's help I have the Scotland half of our vacation planned out. Now I need to work on the North Wales half. We will be arriving at Conwy on Sunday, August 31st, and are staying at the Bryn Guest House the entire time. We will have 4 complete days to see North Wales. I know we want to go to Snowdonia, but besides that I would like some ideas for day trips from Conwy. What does everyone recommend as the places we should not miss?
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Old Jun 5th, 2008, 04:47 PM
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N. Wales is so amazing...and Conwy is a lovely town. Always wanted to stay there but just couldnt tear ourselves away from Betws-Y-coed. that said, day trips to Beaumaris and Caernarfon castles are an absolute must, and I would definately recommend B-Y-C and some of the other Snowdonia towns like Bedgellert. Really really lovely.
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Old Jun 5th, 2008, 04:49 PM
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Portmadog for the Blaenau-ffestiniog mountain railway -- http://www.festrail.co.uk/ .

Caernarfon Castle; Beaumaris Castle; Menai Bridge.

Portmeirion -- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Portmeirion

Chester.

Betws-y-coed -- http://www.betws-y-coed.com/

Plas Newydd -- http://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/main.../w-plasnewydd/
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Old Jun 5th, 2008, 05:28 PM
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Padraig, how does the Portmadog for the Blaenau-ffestiniog mountain railway compare to the Snowdon Railway. Which one is better?
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Old Jun 5th, 2008, 05:44 PM
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I can't compare, because I never travelled on the Snowdon one. You might try both, and become the authority.
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Old Jun 5th, 2008, 05:48 PM
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For the Portmadog for the Blaenau-ffestiniog mountain railway how much time should we plan on going from end to end with some site seeing and the return trip?
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Old Jun 5th, 2008, 09:26 PM
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The Bryn Guesthouse is wonderful. Alison will be happy to help you plan your days -- she is wonderful as well. Have a great time!
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Old Jun 6th, 2008, 10:46 AM
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If you like gardens, I highly recommend Bodnant Garden very near Conwy - gorgeous.

For North Wales Castles:
Conwy Castle
Harlech ( a little far from Conwy - it would be a day trip in itself)
Nearer to Conwy - Caernarvon, Beaumaris

I also highly recommend Portmeirion.
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Old Jun 6th, 2008, 10:50 AM
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Web page for Bodnant garden:

http://www.bodnantgarden.co.uk/
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Old Jun 6th, 2008, 11:37 AM
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all of the above and the Great Orme, hovering over the bustling seaside town of Llandudno - you can take an antique tram up to the summit or a good walking path

see the wild mountain goats up there and practically all of North Wales
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Old Jun 6th, 2008, 11:42 AM
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The timetable for the Blaenau-ffestioniog railway is here: http://www.ffestiniograilway.co.uk/timetable.htm

It's really an out-and-back excursion unless you want to investigate the slate mines (I didn't).
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Old Jun 6th, 2008, 12:02 PM
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I lovewd the tiny Blaenau-ffestioniog railway and seeing the really grim town of Ffestioniog, surrounded by slag heaps of closed slate mines

a grim town - reminded me of Appalachian towns a few decades ago

but the train ride is great

I liked the Snowdon Railway even more however - this, mainly using ancient steam trains, chug up England and Wales highest peak where you can see practically all of Wales
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Old Jun 6th, 2008, 01:05 PM
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You've gotten some great suggestions. With two days, we went to Conwy Castle and Portmeirion, with a stop in Beddgelert for a cream tea.

Lee Ann
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Old Jun 6th, 2008, 01:10 PM
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Conwy is just a few miles from Llandudno and the Great Orme, at the tip of the peninsula or whatever that juts out from Conwy's coast.
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Old Jun 6th, 2008, 01:37 PM
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Llandudno, despite being in Wales, is essentially an English seaside resort town of the Edwardian era. Worth a (quick) visit.
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Old Jun 6th, 2008, 04:46 PM
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Thanks for all your suggestions. I can't wait to get there. What is the weather like in North Wales the first of September?
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Old Jun 6th, 2008, 05:27 PM
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Temperatures are unlikely to go much over 70F or much below 35F. Other than that, all bets are off. It's Wales. They have weather there, not climate. Mountains and winds coming in from the sea increase the likelihood of rain.
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Old Jun 6th, 2008, 05:28 PM
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My last post was not worded as well as it might have been: the mountains coming in from the sea are particularly scary.
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Old Jun 6th, 2008, 07:01 PM
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Padraig.

Lee Ann
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Old Jun 7th, 2008, 10:35 PM
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Hi
We are just back from a week in North Wales.
We did the Snowdon train trip (we had a cog train and not steam). Due to work at the summit of the mountain the train currently DOES NOT go all the way up to the summit stop. It stops three quarters of the way, there are no facilities at this stop, and there isn't time to walk to the summit and back before the train goes back again (you get 30 minutes to have a wander around). I am not sure when it will recommence it's trip all the way up.
It is still a magnificent trip and a highlight of our holiday, but it's a good 2 hour trip and some of the passengers (with children especially) did do a dash to the toilets once they arrived back!
If you go up on the 9am ascent and book in advance you get half price tickets.
I gather it gets extremely busy at certain times of the year so booking in advance is recommended, although of course you are taking a risk with the weather.
We also went to Portmerion - amazing! we were blessed with great weather, blue skies and sun all day which did help, but this place is most definitely worth a trip, and don't miss the 'coastal walk' and the Japanese gardens (all marked on the leaflet they give you when you buy your tickets).
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