Welsh Highland Railway
The Welsh Highland is Snowdonia’s newest railway. Trains start a spectacular 25 mile scenic journey from beneath the castle walls at Caernarfon. The trains - hauled by the world's most powerful narrow gauge steam locomotives - climb from sea level to over 650ft on the foothills of Snowdon, before zig-zagging dramatically down the steep hillside to reach Beddgelert, nestling in the heart of the National Park, then through the magnificent Aberglaslyn Pass and on to Porthmadog. This is a beautiful journey and the best way to see Snowdonia - well worth doing. You’ll obviously need a return ticket, unless you can persuade one of your group to drive to Caernarfon and collect you from Porthmadoc. 20 mls to Caernarfon from Gorwel.
The Ffestiniog Railway takes you on a 13½-mile journey from the harbour in Porthmadog to the slate-quarrying town of Blaenau Ffestiniog. Historic trains climb over 700 feet from sea level into the mountains through tranquil pastures and magnificent forests, past lakes and waterfalls, round tight bends (even a complete spiral) clinging to the side of the mountain or tunnelling through it. Another interesting trip. 12 miles from Gorwel.
Llanberis Lake Railway
Starting at Gilfach Ddu, the journey takes you past the 13th century Dolbadarn Castle, crossing possibly Britain's shortest river and passing Llanberis' twin lakes as the train negotiates the extension (opened in 2003) to Llanberis village. From here the train runs non-stop through the Padarn Country Park, joining the 1845 slate railway route to run along the shores of Lake Padarn to Penllyn, and giving stunning views of Snowdon, the highest peak in England and Wales. 25 miles from Gorwel.
Bala Lake Railway
The 2ft narrow gauge steam trains give excellent views of the lake amid its surrounding pastoral and woodland scenery, and of the nearby mountains, Arenig Fawr, Aran Benllyn and Aran Fawddwy.
A round trip of about 1 hour can be broken at any of the stations to enjoy other activities - a pleasant 10 minutes walk into Bala town for shopping or merely browsing. 42 ml from Gorwel.
Snowdon Mountain Railway
Let Snowdon Mountain Railway take you on a journey of a lifetime, from Llanberis to the rooftop of Wales. Snowdon, at 3,560ft dominates the landscape of Snowdonia National Park . Claim this mountain peak, the highest in Wales, as a lifetime’s achievement. With stunning scenery and awe-inspiring views it's all part of a great day out for you and your family in North Wales - ands it’s much easier than walking, though you can get a 1 way ticket up and walk back down. Excellent new cafeteria at the top - no mean feat building that. 25ml from Gorwel.
The 12.5” guage line is situated on the Mid-Wales coast on the south side of the Mawddach Estuary at Barmouth. Fairbourne village is located halfway between Tywyn and Dolgellau, just off the A493. It is served by the Cambrian Coast railway, operated by Arriva, which is an excellent way to get there from Abererch station. If you get off at Barmouth you can then catch the pedestrian ferry at the quayside, and connect with the train at Barmouth Ferry Station. There is also a model railway exhibition at Fairbourne station. 31 ml from Gorwel.
The Talyllyn railway has been operating continuously since 1865. It was built to haul slate from the Bryn Eglwys quarry near Abergynolwyn to the coast at Tywyn. For nearly 100 years trains ran up and down the valley using the original two locomotives and four carriages. The line runs for seven and a quarter miles (11.8 km) through the beautiful Fathew valley. There is an excellent museum, gift shop & cafeteria.
It is served by the Cambrian Coast railway, operated by Arriva, which is an excellent way to get there from Abererch station. 54 ml from Gorwel.