Tuesday, 21 May 2024

Epic British train journey with breathtaking views named one of world’s best

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Train travel is proving to be one of the most enjoyable and best ways to discover the natural beauties of Britain.

Inspired by Michael Portillo’s BBC travel show “Great British Railway Journeys”, Brits are taking to the railways like never before to explore their own backyard.

And one of the most breathtaking trips that tourists can take in the UK is a journey along The Coastal Way on the Cambrian Railway Line in Wales.

Described in The Guardian as one of the world’s 10 epic train journeys, travellers are afforded stunning views of sandy beaches, quaint seaside villages as well as fantastic views of Snowdonia.

For the eagle eyed, there are also opportunities to spot an array of wildlife – ranging from sea birds (including cormorants), to dolphins and porpoises.

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The Cambrian line runs between Aberystwyth and Pwllheli, following the curve of Cardigan Bay.

It spans 120 miles in total, was completed in the 1860s and has been lauded as an “incredible feat of Victorian engineering” by Visit Wales.

In places like at Y Friog, the line clings to high cliffs, affording panoramic views across Cardigan Bay.

In others it makes its way through tunnels hewn from the rock, momentarily plunging everything into darkness.

The train passes the vibrant harbour towns of Aberystwyth, Aberdyfi, Barmouth, Porthmadog and Pwllheli, which make great places to explore.

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Each has its fair share of independent shops, markets and cafés full of homemade delights, local produce and crafts.

Passengers can also take in views of the long, sandy beaches of Borth, Tywyn, Fairbourne, Barmouth and Dyffryn Ardudwy, as the train winds its way along the coast.

As the train heads north past Barmouth, the line veers inland slightly and the flatter landscape reveals some fantastic views of Snowdonia on both sides.

One of the most unusual sights on the trip is the yarn bombing at Llwyngwril station.

This is colourful street art made up of knitted or crocheted displays.

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Travellers can disembark at the station and follow the Yarn Bombing Trail if they like.

The train trip has been overwhelmingly positively reviewed by travellers on Tripadvisor.

Marcus L wrote: “You couldn’t ask for a more beautiful and charming trip along this gorgeous coast, getting to bits you wouldn’t see otherwise.

“The bridge at Barmouth is a real treat. Popular: pretty much all seats were taken.”

Darrin H recommend people take the trip from Aberdovey to Pwllheli with a ranger ticket, costing £13.50.

“The scenery is fantastic and you can stop off where you like,” he added.

As regards beaches to visit, he noted: “Barmouth good and ideal for families with young children as there are amusements and small fair.

“Pwllheli little bit quieter than Barmouth but still has things for young family with lovely beach 10 min walk from station and Wetherspoons for a good cheap family meal.”

Mintyburble said: “I didn’t even know this was considered an attraction. I just saw it as a means of getting from A to B.

“The scenery north or Dovey is stunning. Got the coast and salt marsh on one side and the mountains on the other side.”

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