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Glyndwr's Castles Rail Tour - Day 1

Delve into Welsh history by following in the footsteps of the last true "Prince of Wales", Owain Glyndwr. Journey through Mid-Wales up the scenic Cardigan Bay coastline, exploring some of the most awe-inspiring castles this country has to offer.

Please Note! It is best to start this itinerary on either a Monday or a Tuesday. Train times are for Mondays to Fridays based on National Rail timetables from 15 December 2019 to 16 May 2020. Subsequent train times until December will probably be similar but will not be confirmed until nearer the time. Bus times are for Mondays to Fridays (excluding Bank Holidays) and are as at February 2020.

Day 2 includes a trip on the Ffestiniog Railway; the train in the itinerary is the 11.25 (Peak season at 11.55) from Porthmadog which for 2020 runs Tuesdays to Thursdays from 7 April to 29 October. A ride on the spectacular Welsh Highland Railway is in the itinerary for Day 3. For 2020, the 13.00 train from Caernarfon operates on Wednesdays and Thursdays on 27 & 28 May and from 24 June - 3 September; we have included an alternative itinerary for other dates. Arrival back in Aberystwyth will be at 18.27.



Begin with a visit to Aberystwyth castle which is located on the seafront of the town and promises commanding views of the town and Cardigan Bay. This castle was one of many which were overthrown by Owain Glyndwr during his rebellion, and marks the beginning of your journey.

A short walk from the castle to Aberystwyth railway station and you can board the 11.29 train heading to Borth and along the Dyfi estuary to arrive at Machynlleth at 12.02.

The first true castle built at Aberystwyth was erected about a mile south of the current site by Gilbert de Clare circa 1110, and was variously called Castell Tan-y-castell, Aberrheidol Castle and Old Aberystwyth, among others.

Aberystwyth, Ceredigion, SY23 2AG


The railway station is the terminus of the Cambrian Line from Shrewsbury. Located less than 5 minutes from the town centre, there is a taxi rank and bus station adjacent.

Alexandra Rd, Aberystwyth, Ceredigion, SY23 1LH



A visit to Machynlleth is a must on this journey (at the end of the station road, turn left for the short walk into the town) which is the crossing point for the Owain Glyndwr national trail, his ancient seat of power. The historic Welsh government was established by Owain Glyndwr here in 1404, and is now a popular museum in the town.

After the visit a quick bite to eat can be had at one of many of Machynlleth's cafes and restaurants. If you visit on a Wednesday, you will be spoilt for choice at the weekly street market. One of the best in Mid Wales offering a great selection of local produce!

The attractive market town of Machynlleth lies in the heart of the UNESCO Dyfi Bioshere. You'll find shops, galleries, cosy cafés and a local market held on Wednesday. Local attractions include the Centre for Alternative Technology

Powys, SY20 8BL


Head Chef Gareth Johns follows the Slow Food Principles of “Good, Clean and Fair” and the menu represents a personal distillation of nearly 30 years experience based very firmly on fantastic Welsh produce.

Speciality: Welsh Traditional & Modern

  • Chef: Mr Gareth John
  • Covers: 90

Maengwyn Street, Machynlleth, Powys, SY20 8AE

Food Standards Hygiene (Good)



Next head back to the train station in Machynlleth and head north up the Cambrian Coast on the 14.56 through Aberdyfi, Tywyn, Fairbourne, Barmouth and on to Harlech, arriving at 16.25.

Above you will be Harlech Castle - a World Heritage site - one of the finest examples of castles in Wales. This castle was built on a prominent outcrop and like Aberystwyth was overthrown during Owain Glyndwrs' uprising. The castle dominates the skyline around Harlech and presents spectacular views of the Cardigan Coast and beyond. For a full appreciation of the castle, a visit in the morning might be more worthwhile.

Machynlleth railway station is on the Cambrian Line from Shrewsbury to Aberystwyth and is the junction for the Cambrian Coast Line to Pwllheli.

Heol y Doll, Machynlleth, Powys, SY20 8BL


Harlech railway station is on the Cambrian Coast Line from Machynlleth to Pwllheli.

Ffordd Morfa, Harlech, LL46 2UL


Harlech Castle crowns a sheer rocky crag overlooking the dunes far below – waiting in vain for the tide to turn and the distant sea to lap at its feet once again.

Castle Square, Harlech, Gwynedd, LL46 2YH

VISIT WALES QUALITY CAFEVisit Wales VAQASCadw Welsh Government



Harlech has a small number of restaurants and cafes in the town which can suit your requirements.


Harlech has a number of places for you to stay the night.

This historic town located on the Cardigan Bay Coast, is best known for Harlech Castle, which today is recognised as a World Heritage site. Harlech also boasts fantastic beaches and one of Wales' finest golf courses.

Gwynedd, LL46 2YA

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