Bala Lake Railway

The station at Llanuwchllyn
The station at Llanuwchllyn

The Bala Lake Railway is one of the "Great Little Trains of Wales", but in its case the emphasis is on the "little" and not so much on the "great"!

The narrow guage line runs along the southern shore of Bala Lake and is laid on the bed of the old mainline railway from Ruabon to Barmouth. I think I am right in saying that the Llangollen Railway is on another part of the same disused line.

The train must be one of the slowest in Wales, taking 50 minutes to cover the 4.5 miles from Llanuwchllyn to Bala and, of course, another 50 minutes back again, so if sitting on hard seats in tiny, cramped carriages, is your idea of fun you will certainly get your money's worth! On the other hand, the views over the lake are well worth a bit of discomfort and the quite reasonable price for the tickets goes towards keeping a delightful little steam train alive - and that has to be a good thing.

There are only three trains a day, but provided you time things right, you can ride from Llanuwchllyn to Bala, spend a couple of hours walking around that charming town and then catch the last train back again. A lovely way of spending a day in Wales.