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Blaenau Ffestiniog

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Gwynedd : Blaenau Ffestiniog
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Blaenau Ffestiniog is a small town located in the Snowdonia Mountains in Wales.

Understand

Blaenau Ffestiniog is a former slate-mining village and consists of one main road with all the others leading of it.

A narrow-gauge railway, the Festiniog Railway [1], was built from Blaenau Ffestiniog to take the slate down to the sea at Porthmadog. The railway ceased operation after some 110 years of operation due to the run down of the slate industry, road competition, and the Second World War. It was fully reopened to Blaenau Ffestiniog in 1982 and is one of the town's main tourist attractions.

Further information on the town can be found at the Main wikipedia site [2] or on [3]

Get in

Car

The best option to get in is the car - mostly because there aren't that many busses or trains to get around. The town is on the A470 from Llandudno to Dolgellau and the A487 from Porthmadog.

Bus

There aren't that meny busses to Blaenau. X1/84 run from Llandudno and Betws-y-Coed, every 1-2 hours on workdays. There are also busses to Porthmadog and Dolgellau.

Train

The Conwy Valley Line runs from Llandudno to Blaenau, but have only a train every 3 hours (or less). The main railway station is also the terminus from the narrow-gause heritage Ffestiniog Railway from Porthmadog. On some summer days is has more departures than the "real" railway.

Get around

See

Do

  • Ffestiniog Railway, (Ffestiniog Railway station is adjacent to the mainline station in the town centre), 01766 516000 (, fax: 01766 516005), [4]. April - Oct with reduced timetable the rest of the year. Narrow-gauge railway built in the 1800s to convey slate to Porthmadog, opening in 1836. It closed in 1946 due to declining demand but was reopened thanks to public work in sections over the next several decades and finally completely finished by 1982. Part of the original stretch had to be built higher up due to a power station reservoir that was built on a section of the original track in 1954. Stations are as follows, West to East: Porthmadog, Boston Lodge, Minfford, Penrhyn, Plas Halt, Tan-y-Bwlch, Dduallt, Tan-y-Grisiau, & Blaenau Ffestiniog. The journey is 14 miles. Costs £16.50 round trip, 2.5 hours round trip, £6 more for first class observation car.
  • Llechwedd Slate Caverns, (On the northern edge of town on the main A470 road), 01766 830 306 (, fax: 01766 831 260), [5]. Open daily at 1000 except Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year's Day. Last tour: 1715 (mar-sep), 1615 (oct-feb) Victorian Village closed oct-mar. One of North Wales' premier tourist attractions, and with good reason. Two separate underground tours (combined tickets available). The Miners Tramway takes visitors on a tour of part of just one of the 16 levels within the mine. As the name suggests, you travel in a small train, alighting at different points along the route for light/sound displays explaining the workings of the mine and the life of a Victorian-era miner. The Deep Mine tour involves some walking, including steps, and takes you down as far as 450ft below the summit of the mountain. This tour starts with a ride on Britains steepest passenger railway, dropping down several levels within the mine. There follows a 25 minute walking tour through 10 of the huge "chambers" within the mine. There are a number of attractions and displays on the surface, including the Victorian Village which aims to paint a picture of daily life for local people in the mid 19th Century. Adults £14.75 (both rides)/£9.25 (one ride). Children £11.25/£7.00. Group discounts..

Buy

Eat

Drink

Sleep

Get out


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