Klausrl’s Weblog

The World according to Richard Klaus..Trains, Planes, Cars, Wales,Scotland.

Ffestiniog and Welsh Highland this summer?

I’ll let the links speak for themselves.



And, if you decide on a trip to the Ffestiniog/Welsh Highland check out the Oakeley Arms Hotel. Large rooms for the U.K., and great food. In the Pub, on cool nights they have a coal fire going in the fireplace. The coal warms you to the bones.

New this year to Porthmadog  a Travelodge. Provides the equivalent of US turnpike, motel service.  For those on a budget, this could make the difference.

Remember also Port Merion is just nest door, for you Patrick McGoohan fans, Port Merion is the Hotel/Town that served as the setting for “The Prisoner” BBC TV Show.

For those of you that are “Bucks UP” The Village is operated as a Hotel, although the tariffs are breath taking.

The grounds are however open to us commoners for a small fee. It’s worth an afternoon walkaround.


December 28, 2009 Posted by | trains, Uncategorized, Wales | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Save the Wales.

Ok, silliest title I’ve come up with in a long time.
Want to turn your mental clock back 50 years or so?
From London or Manchester, grab a train and head west to Wales. For those of you that follow science fiction, Cardiff is the new center of the Si.Fi. world. Dr. Who and Torchwood are produced in Wales in and around Cardiff.
A few hours north near Porthmadog, on the coast is Port Merion. This first class hotel is “The Village” from “The Prisoner”. Port Merion is worth a day on it’s own, but be advised, that the hotel grounds are on a very steep hillside, on the coast. Lot of up and down walking, and night be a bit much for some people.
Of course Wales has more little railways than you have the time to see, on any one vacation. Rather that repeat my work, I ask you to check out my post “Narrow gauge railways in Wales” under the trains category, on my blog.
One little gem I found is the Oakeley Arms, in Maentwrog, about ten miles east of Porthmadog.
The Oakeley, an old hotel, resturant, and local pup, is mostly stone construction, the rooms are large by U.K. standards, and the food is first rate. A good cook and local produce make for great dinners. The halls in the hotel will make you wonder why you have never seen a mystery movie made here. Lots of turns, and nearly hidden stairs, make this a most interesting building.
From the Oakeley it’s a short drive to Ffestiniog and the slate mines, the other direction and 15 minutes brings you to Porthmadog, and to the south a half hour sits Harlech Castle. A bit beyond Harlech is the town of Tywyn and the Talyllyn Railway. This little known railway, smaller than the Ffestiniog, is a gem. Great museum and a nice ride into the hills. Have tea at the end of the line, while the crew gets ready for the return trip.
Wales is great for unwinding, get away from the job. The only problem, is that if you spend a week with the Welsh people, you might start thinking silly things, like “Is there some way I could make a living out there”.
If somebody offered me a driving job, and it could be done. Too many problems, being a U.S. commercial driver. Well if it could happen, I’d be there as fast as I could get there.

April 30, 2008 Posted by | Wales | , , , , , | Leave a comment