Heritage Railway Tour Day 4: Cambrian Coast

Our itinerary for the day includes the Welsh Highland Heritage Railway (operating dates on Thursdays in 2020 are 7 May to 24 September) or a trip on the Cambrian Coast Line to its terminus at Pwllheli as an alternative. Then we travel back down the Cambrian to visit the Fairbourne Railway which operates from 9 April to 24 October. For 8, 15 & 22 October the Railway runs a “Diesel on Demand” service at 14.00 so probably a good idea to check with them in advance - and Demand a Train!!



As this is our final day in Porthmadog, we need to take our luggage with us and walk to the Welsh Highland Heritage Railway opposite the Cambrian Coast Line station or to the Cambrian Coast Line station for the trip to Pwllheli.

We will catch the 10.30 train on the Welsh Highland Heritage Railway; on most dates this will be hauled by a diesel locomotive but with steam on some school holiday dates. After a short ride the train will stop at the Engine Sheds where “passengers get to climb into the cabs of the locomotives and see how things work”! The free guide will talk about the narrow gauge railways of Porthmadog and how they became famous around the world; there is a miniature railway, a shop and a tea room. The visit takes about an hour; we then need to cross over the road to the Cambrian station and take the 12.01 Machynlleth bound train as far as Fairbourne where we will arrive after an hour.

As an alternative to the Welsh Highland Heritage Railway, we can instead travel the final 13 miles on the Cambrian Coast Line to Pwllheli. We leave Porthmadog at 10.52, call at Criccieth (Penychain and Abererch are request stops) and arrive at Pwllheli at 11.14. (We only stay here for twenty minutes - if you want to spend longer here, there is an earlier train leaving Porthmadog at 08.50 which arrives at Pwllheli at 09.12). The train back leaves Pwllheli at 11.37; stay on the train until we reach Fairbourne - journey time about an hour and a half. From Porthmadog, we call at Minffordd, Penrhyndeudraeth, Harlech and Barmouth (there are also ten request stops); arrival at Fairbourne is at 13.02.

From Porthmadog, we call at Minffordd, Penrhyndeudraeth, Harlech and Barmouth (there are also ten request stops); arrival at Fairbourne is at 13.02.

See Points of Interest Porthmadog-Fairbourne for info on the journey; at the end of these notes, there are also details of the Porthmadog to Pwllheli option.

The Welsh Highland Heritage Railway is a small, friendly railway where the train ride is just part of the experience. Free guided tours at the heritage centre. Vintage train.

The Station Building, Porthmadog, Gwynedd, LL49 9DY

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Porthmadog railway station is on the Cambrian Coast Line from Machynlleth to Pwllheli. The station is located less than a 5 minute walk from the town centre and connections to the heritage railways is via a 15 minute walk.

High St, Porthmadog, LL49 9HT


Heritage Railways Tour Journey Notes 5 - Porthmadog to Fairbourne.

Porthmadog Railway Station, High St, Porthmadog, LL49 9HT


A stunning train journey alongside the most beautiful shoreline with a view of the countryside in the background. Fairbourne Railway extends two miles between Fairbourne Village and Barmouth Ferry railway, Mid Wales.

Beach Road, Fairbourne, Gwynedd, LL38 2EX

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We arrive at Fairbourne at 13.03 and leave the train. Turn right out of the station (towards the beach) and the little Fairbourne Railway station will be on your left. Ask the booking office to look after your luggage for you. Time for a quick lunch before the Fairbourne Railway train leaves.

Between Dolgellau and Tywyn off the A493, the village of Fairbourne has a sandy beach two miles long on the Cambrian Coast with the superb countryside of the Snowdonia National Park to the east.



The Fairbourne Railway is a 2 mile long miniature railway which has provided a service between the village and Penrhyn Point since its opening in 1895. Originally built to carry building materials, the Railway has carried holidaymakers for over a hundred years. It runs alongside the beach to the end of the peninsula to Barmouth Ferry station where there is a connection with a pedestrian ferry across the Mawddach estuary to Barmouth. In the past, this was used by such people at the Archbishop of Canterbury but that was a few years ago - in 1188!!!

We catch the 14.00 Fairbourne Railway train to Barmouth Ferry; this leaves for the return trip at 14.30 and there will be nearly an hour to look around the Railway when we get back (on some dates the return trip leaves at 14.50).

We need to be at the Cambrian Coast Line station at 15.45 to catch the train for a short trip back to Barmouth. We arrive at Barmouth at 15.56. Time to drop off the luggage and take a walk across Barmouth Bridge?

Firstly a location tour of Barmouth. For the promenade, turn right out of the station and right over the railway; straight on for the sea, right for Marine Parade for B&Bs, Guest Houses and the Min y Mor Hotel.

For places to eat and the shops, turn right from the station then left into Beach Road; at the end of this road, shops and cafes left in King Edward Street or High Street right for the main part of the town and Richmond House.

Continue on this road for Barmouth Bridge towards the harbour and follow the A496 Dolgellau road past the Last Inn; access to the Barmouth Bridge will be on your right. There is a footpath alongside the railway track and you can walk over the Mawddach estuary to Morfa Mawddach station. You can continue your walk from here along the Mawddach Trail which follows the route of an old railway line to Dolgellau. If you want a photo of a train on the bridge, there is a southbound one that leaves Barmouth at 16.56. Return over the Bridge to Barmouth for the evening.

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

Station Rd, Fairbourne, LL38 2AQ


Abermaw / Barmouth in Southern Snowdonia is a great location for Mountain, Sand and Sea. Extensive sandy beach with attractions, water sports and boat trips. Situated on the Coast Path with walking and cycling available for all abilities.

Southern Snowdonia, LL42 1LS



Dinner at the Min y Mor Hotel on the Promenade or at one of the cafes and restaurants that Barmouth has to offer.


Suggestions for places to stay tonight include the Min y Mor Hotel on the Promenade which has a licensed restaurant, a choice of Guest Houses on Marine Parade (including the Endeavour, Ocean Drive, Sandpiper and the Môr Wyn) and Richmond House on High Street.

Other Itineraries

> Explore Mid Wales Days Out

> Heritage Railways

> Scenic Railway Day Trips

> Short Breaks by Train

> Short Breaks in Mid Wales

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