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Heritage Tour: Caernarfon and Llanberis Lake Railway

10th May 2015


Northwich Memorial Court

Tickets £22.00 (entry fees excluded)

Caernarfon and Llanberis Lake Railway
8.30am from Northwich Memorial Hall
Other pick-up points available - details and booking conditions here.

A brute of a fortress. Caernarfon Castle’s pumped-up appearance is unashamedly muscle-bound and intimidating. Picking a fight with this massive structure would have been a daunting prospect. By throwing his weight around in stone, King Edward I created what is surely one of the most impressive of Wales’s castles. Worthy of World Heritage status no less!

The site of this great castle wasn’t chosen by accident. It had previously been the location of a Norman motte and bailey castle and before that a Roman fort stood nearby. The lure of water and easy access to the sea made the banks of the River Seiont an ideal spot for Edward’s monster in masonry. Edward wasn’t one to miss on an opportunity to tighten his grip even further on the native population. The birth of his son, the first English Prince of Wales, in the castle in 1284, was a perfect device to stamp his supremacy. In 1969 the current Prince of Wales, HRH Prince Charles’s investiture took place here.

On the outskirts of the town is Segontium, the remains of the Roman fort that was built to defend the Roman Empire against rebellious tribes. Segontium was later plundered to provide stone for Edward I's castle at Caernarfon.

We then take a trip on the Llanberis Lake Railway, a 1 ft 11 ¹⁄₂ in narrow gauge heritage railway. The little steam engines take us on a five-mile return journey alongside Lake Padarn, right in the heart of Snowdonia. The journey takes us past the 13th century Dolbadarn Castle, across possibly Britain's shortest river and past Llanberis' twin lakes. From Llanberis 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 Wales.


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