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Celtic Cross

Snowdonia attractions. North Wales



Ffestiniog Railway

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The quality of our fishing in Snowdonia has spread far and wide and since 2004 we have watched ospreys (fish eagles) plunging 50 mph into the water for trout and mullet to feed their chicks. Apart from the webcams and high powered telescopes there are enthusiastic guides from the RSPB to point you in the right direction – the only breeding pair of ospreys in Wales makes them very special and they fly in from West Africa every spring. Hopefully they will form the nucleus of a colony and man-made nests have been erected to encourage new settlers.

The Welsh Highland Railway travels from Caernarfon via Beddgelert and terminates close to the osprey nest with drivers foregoing their enthusiasm to blow whistles and disturb the nesting birds. In 2011 the final stretch of the line to Porthmadog should be operational.

With a similar name is the Welsh Highland Heritage Railway, close to the mainline station in Porthmadog – what it lacks in length of track it makes up for as a heritage attraction (the world’s first narrow gauge buffet car) and with lots of good value entertainment for young families.

Either side of the beaches are Harlech Castle built by the English and Criccieth by the Welsh. For those liking their history more mature there is the Norman motte and bailey built on top of the Roman fort, Tomen y Mur, just outside the village of Trawsfynydd and nearby Bryn Cader Faner, a mini Stonehenge but with better views.

The Llys Ednowain heritage centre in the middle of Trawsfynydd has an engaging multimedia exhibition of the martyr St John Roberts and the poet Hedd Wynn – local heroes.

Written by Huw Jenkins