Enjoy epic views from the train all year round
We may be slightly biased, but we think the Conwy Valley Railway has some of the most awe-inspiring views you could ever wish to see.
Where else can you see beautiful coastline, rolling hills, jagged mountains, fairytale forests, turbulent rivers, majestic monuments and historic landmarks all on a single journey?
From the moment the train pulls out of Llandudno the views are all around you, there really isn’t a dull moment on this trip! With so many amazing vistas to choose from, we’ve shortlisted four of our favourites.
Whether it’s your first trip or one of many, you really shouldn’t miss these epic views.
In the early days of the Conwy Valley Railway the train pulled glass-covered viewing carriages which allowed near 360° views from the comfort of your seat. They have long since been replaced by standard commuter carriages but the views are just as good if you know where to look.
To get the most out of your journey, we recommend you sit on the right hand side of the carriage facing front, travelling from Llandudno to Blaenau. Reverse for the return trip!
1. Conwy Castle, as you leave Deganwy station
If you ask a child to draw a picture of a castle, there’s a good chance they will draw something that looks a lot like Conwy Castle.
The thirteenth century castle sits like a guardian at the mouth of the Conwy river, a spot chosen for its strategic importance. Adjacent to it, one of the most complete medieval walled towns in Europe, now a thriving tourist attraction in its own right.
As the train leaves Deganwy station look out for the castle and town across the river and drink in the view framed dramatically by the foothills of the Snowdonia National Park.
To visit the castle and historic Conwy itself, you have a choice: you can either alight at Llandudno Junction and stroll across the road bridge or get off in the centre of Conwy (please double check in case you need to change trains at Llandudno Junction).
2. The Conwy River, from Glan Conwy to Betws-y-Coed
This view just goes on and on, all the way to Betws-y-Coed in fact, so there’s plenty of time to sit back and take it all in!
A view for all seasons, the journey up the Conwy Valley reflects the seasons with colours straight from artist’s palette.
In Spring, expect the kaleidoscope hues of early spring flowers, like daffodils and rhododendrons. In Summer, lush greens and blues dominate as brooding pine forests and long river grasses reach for clear summer skies.
In Autumn, visitors flock here to be dazzled by the changing leaves that clothe the valley in fiery reds, golds and oranges. And, finally Winter, when the mountain peaks are shrouded in snowy blue splendour and the darkest corners of the valley stay frozen all day long.
3. Dolwyddelan with Moel Siabod behind
When you hit this point of the journey along the Conwy Valley Railway, you’re in the beautiful Lledr Valley. It’s a quiet and unspoilt part of North Wales and, despite it’s beauty, is often overlooked by visitors.
The village of Dolwyddelan is in the centre of the valley and is a real hidden gem. Dolwyddelan Castle is about a mile out of the village and is one of the very few castles in Wales that was actually built by the Welsh. It sits high on a ridge, casting its shadow over the valley and, with the sprawling mass of Moel Siabod in the background, the view has changed very little over the centuries.
Why not explore the Lledr Valley? Try the Hidden Valley route – a 5 mile circular trail along woodland paths and past waterfalls and ancient ruins. Best of all, the walk starts from the train station car park.
4. Ffestiniog Railway at Blaenau Ffestiniog
Did you know the world-famous Ffestiniog Railway departs for Porthmadog from the same station as the Conwy Valley Railway arrives at?
This makes for a great train themed day-out, experiencing the best local steam and diesel railways in North Wales!
Arriving at Blaenau Ffestiniog is like stepping back in time to the heyday of the slate mining industry. The charming station has changed little since the late nineteenth century but it’s your surroundings that are most impressive.
All around cliffs of slate reach for the sky; it’s grey as far as the eye can see but it’s not drab at all. It’s an enduring reminder of the days when Blaenau ‘roofed the world’ with this unique natural material. Welsh slate is widely regarded as the finest slate in world; it’s waterproof, impervious to temperature fluctuations and very long-lasting.
What are your favourite views from the Conwy Valley Railway?