Words such as ‘amazing’ and ‘unique’ are often used too frequently these days to describe something that in reality, probably isn’t.
However, we promise you, words like this can definitely be applied to the experience you’ll have on this day out. In fact, you could add a few more…“Breathtaking” and “Wonderous” come to mind and “Awe” – a real sense of awe that you are standing in an almost mystical place that hasn’t changed in millions of years while you try to absorb the infinite 360° vista all around you.
This is a trip to the top (usually!!) of Mount Snowdon – the highest Mountain in Wales.
Don’t worry, we’re not suggesting you climb or even walk. You don’t need to!
114 years ago, two enterprising men installed a railway system which still runs today and which is still as unique in the UK as it was when it was opened in 1896
The railway remains the only rack and pinion railway in the UK.
Here’s the full details of the day trip with an ‘experience’ you’ll always remember…“the day we went to the top of the World! ”
The day starts in the morning when you board our coach and we head for the town of Llanberis in Snowdonia.
The town is basically at the foot of the Mountain, so it’s logical that we board the ‘Snowdon Mountain Railway’ here. The train journey is a Mecca for tourists from all over the World so we have to pre-book the train (usually for about 11:30am)
The diesel train leaves Llanberis and begins a steep incline up the first of the two amazing viaducts crossing Afon Hwch. Then you pass a beautiful waterfall and enter an ancient forest. Beyond the waterfall the train emerges into open, treeless countryside and can give you a first glimpse of the sharp craggy peak of Snowdon.
Your journey then takes you to Hebron which is ¼ distance up Snowdon. There’s a small ruined Chapel here which held its last service in the 1950’s. Its name still lives on, however, in the passing loop at this point in your journey.
Halfway Point – Colgwyn Station
The views looking down Llanberis Pass here are spectacular!
At half way point on the mountain the train will move into the second loop in the track and this is where steam locomotives will take on water. After this brief stop the train will work its way up to Rocky Valley.
From here, the landscape takes on a surreal appearance due to the endless massive boulders scattered across barren plains seemingly at random, like some Giant’s playground!
A lunar-like surface. Perhaps the closet we’ll get to being on the moon (for now!)
On to the Summit! And the views from the train as you are carried along a ridge to the Summit are truly breathtaking.
The Summit - an amazing experience!
You have simply one of the world’s most spectacular panoramas at your feet. On very clear days at the Summit you can see as far as the Wicklow Mountains in Ireland and the Isle of Man.
You can compare it (sort of) to looking out of a plane’s window as it begins a descent and landscapes come into view. The great difference is that your view is not blinkered by the constraints of tiny windows.
3,560ft up and free! You have a full 360% vista before you. It’s as if you can see from one side of Britain to the other – from the east to the west coast. Truly impressive!
Not just the view but an amazing feat of Engineering is here…
In 2009 the new Summit Visitor Centre (Hafod Eryri) opened. This fantastic new destination is sympathetically designed to complement the landscape. This landmark building ‘grows’ out of the mountain and features spectacular panoramic windows giving travellers unimpaired views across the mighty Snowdonia range. Welsh oak interiors provide a warm welcome protected beneath the granite roof.
It acts as a terminus for the Snowdon Mountain Railway providing refreshment facilities, toilets and a history of the Mountain. After about half an hour here, we re-board the train and begin our descent which is equally as spectacular!
The journey takes about 2½ hours in total. An hour to go up, half an hour at the top and back down again.
Note: Even in summer, the top of Snowdon is at the mercy of the often unpredictable elements! If the weather should turn nasty on the day, the train may have to terminate half-way at Colgwyn – it wouldn’t go to the summit. This can happen sometimes even in the summer months. It’s only fair to point this out.
The Mountain air is good for the appetite – now for a nice lunch!
When we return to Llanberis, our coach will be waiting for you and when we’re all back on board we take you to ever-charming Betws-y-Coed where we’ve booked us all in for a lovely 2-course late lunch at the Royal Oak Hotel at about 2:30pm. Delicious fish and chips followed by a crumble.
After lunch, you have free time to explore at your own pace for a while before it’s time to leave for home…with memories of a fantastic experience that will stay with you forever
Price includes; Coach, Diesel railway and lunch