Steam Railways with a Camera in Southern Snowdonia
Code: DGESRPrint page
Capture the romance of Steam Heritage Railways with a camera in Dolgellau and re-live a nostalgic past courtesy of the ‘Beeching Axe’. Up and down the land railway enthusiasts were quick to restore a unique and vanishing era that captures the hearts and minds of both young and old. Photograph historic steam locomotives that are lovingly restored back to their former glory and stations so perfectly preserved they are used as authentic sets for TV and film dramas, such as Downton Abbey and Foyle’s War.
Suitable for all levels of photographic experience.
- Talyllyn railway
- Ffestiniog railway
- Small sociable groups of up to 12 guests
- High quality Full Board en-suite accommodation and excellent food in our Country House
- Guidance and tuition from a knowledgeable HF Holidays’ leader, to ensure you get the most from your holiday
- All transport to photography locations, via mini-coach or other mode of transport e.g. train
Located just a couple of miles away from the attractive market of Dolgellau, this town is a pleasure to explore with fascinating history surrounded in and out of the local area. Enjoy highly scenic journeys on old traditional trains through Snowdonia, or explore the area on foot.
Our bedrooms are either located in the main building or the tastefully converted coach house.
These rooms are all ensuite and furnished to a good standard. They include:
These rooms are slightly larger and/or have a better view. They include:
Only an extra £15 per person per night
Choose Your Room: Our new “Choose Your Room” service is available at our UK country houses, providing the option to choose and confirm a specific room for an extra £30 per room. Supplement to upgrade to 'Better' rooms still apply. The choice of room number must be of the same room type as originally booked and is subject to availability.
At the house
|All holidays at our Country Houses are full board accommodation including evening meal on arrival to breakfast on the day of your departure. All of our Country Houses have a well-stocked bar serving local beers, wine and spirits.
√ Start your day with our extensive breakfast.
Just relax and take it easy, or if you'd like to continue to chat with our guides and fellow guests then why not grab a drink or take part in one of our optional evening activities.
All of our bars are stocked with locally sourced drinks so you can really soak up your surroundings.
You can check in to your room from 2.30pm onwards (better rooms from 1pm). Please join us for afternoon tea.
On our photography holidays we spend most of the day outdoors, exploring by mini-coach or on foot, walking short distances. Each evening your leader will hold image review sessions, providing constructive feedback on your images.
The Talyllyn Railway was the first narrow gauge railway in Britain authorised to carry passengers using steam haulage, which runs from the coast, inland to Abergwynolwyn and Nant Gwernol. We take a return trip, stopping at Dolgoch for a stroll to the waterfalls.
Vale of Rheidol Railway
See the countryside change as you travel 11¾ miles from Aberystwyth to Devil’s Bridge through wide open fields and meadows, woodland and rugged mountain scenery, the line twisting and turning as it clings to the hillside. Upon returning time is allowed to explore Aberystwyth with the option of taking a ride on the cliff railway.
Welsh Highland & Ffestiniog Railway
Starting within sight of Caernarfon Castle, the Welsh Highland Railway travels through Snowdonia to Porthmadog via Beddgelert and Aberglaslyn Pass. From sea level at Porthmadog the Ffestiniog Railway climbs through mountainous terrain to a height of 710 feet at Blaenau Ffestiniog station. Unique and famous are the Fairlee double-ended locomotives that often pull the trains. This tour has an early start at 08.30.
Depart after a leisurely breakfast.
Sometimes things happen beyond our control – the weather, traffic jams or changes at the places we visit. If we need to adjust your holiday programme, for whatever reason, your leader will help smooth the way.
What to bring
- Your camera and other essential accessories
- Memory card
- Battery and charger
- Your camera’s instruction manual
- Waterproof clothing and outdoor footwear, ideally walking boots
- Bag for your camera equipment, spare clothing, lunch, water, etc
- Notebook and pencil (pencils work better in the rain!)
- A laptop plus accessories for viewing, editing and sharing images (whilst it’s not absolutely essential, bringing your own laptop will mean you get more from your photography holiday if you shoot digital)
Optional (remember you will have to carry some of these)
- Spare memory cards
- A spare camera battery
- A spare camera (you never know)
- A small selection of lenses: wide angle, telephoto, macro, for example filters: neutral density and graduated, polarising
- Memory stick or CD for storing images
- A tripod or monopod if you feel more comfortable with one
- Camera rain-protector—a shower cap or plastic bag, or something more expensive if you prefer
During your stay at Dolserau Hall you may enjoy visiting the following places of interest, either in your free time, or on your journey to and from Snowdonia:
This narrow guage railway was the first in the world to be taken over and run by volunteers. The line runs from the coast at Tywyn to the former slate quarries at Nant Gwernol. Historic locomotives and carriages, some dating back to the line's opening in 1864 add to the unique atmosphere. The nearest station is at Abergynolwyn, about 25 minutes' drive from Dolserau Hall. www.talyllyn.co.uk
Great Little Trains of Wales
Snowdonia is noted for its concentration of narrow guage steam railways, all of which offer highly scenic journeys. The Ffestiniog Railway, Vale of Rheidol and the Welshpool & Llanfair railways are all within reach. You may also want to experience the newly rebuilt Welsh Highland Railway which runs from Porthmadog to Caernarfon. www.greatlittletrainsofwales.co.uk
Built by King Edward I after his conquest of Wales, Harlech Castle is one of the most historically important and well preserved fortifications in the principality. Along with neighbouring castles at Caernarfon, Beaumaris and Conwy it now has World Heritage status. Around 45 minutes' drive from Dolserau Hall. www.cadw.wales.gov.uk
Centre for Alternative Technology
Situated near Machynlleth, around 20 minutes' from Dolserau Hall, the Centre for Alternative Technology is at the forefront of researching and teaching sustainable living. Displays focus on green technology, energy efficiency and organic farming. www.cat.org.uk
The nearby RSPB reserves at Arthog Bog, Coed Garth Gell and Ynis-hir offer a wide variety of habitats including oak woodland, heathland and salt-marsh that attracts an equally diverse range of birds.
This quaint Italianate village was the brainchild of the architect Clough Williams-Ellis. It is also well-known as the setting for the cult 1960’s TV series The Prisoner. Portmeirion is around 35 minutes' drive from Dolserau Hall. www.portmeirion-village.com
Harlech Castle image © Crown copyright (2016) Welsh Government
Travel to Dolgellau
Our address is: Dolserau Hall, Dolgellau, Gwynedd LL40 2AG
The most convenient railway station is at Machynlleth. For train times and route planning by train visit www.nationalrail.co.uk or phone 03457 48 49 50.
The 16 mile journey from Machynlleth railway station takes approximately 30 minutes. Pre-booked taxis cost approx £30 per taxi. Details of our current recommended taxi company and rates will be sent to you with your booking. The return taxi journey can be arranged on your behalf by the Dolserau Hall Manager.
From Machynlleth take the X27 bus to Dolgellau. The 2 mile journey to Dolserau Hall from Dolgellau can be completed in a taxi. Alternatively alight at Dolgellau Little Chef, from where it is a 1 mile walk along a quiet country lane to the hotel. For bus times see www.traveline.info
From the north head to Chester then take the M53 and A55 around the south of Chester. Join the A550 then the A5104 for about 20 miles, then finally the A494 to Bala. Stay on the A494 heading towards Dolgellau. A mile after the junction for the B4416 to Brithdir, take the next turning on the left, after the campsite. Follow the country lane for ½ mile to Dolserau Hall.
From the south take the M54 and A5 to Shrewsbury. Follow the A5 around the south of Shrewsbury and join the A458 towards Welshpool. Continue on the A458 through Welshpool and after a further 27 miles turn right at a roundabout onto the A470 towards Dolgellau. As you come down a steep hill beofre Dolgellau, look out for a petrol station on the right hand side. Take the turning on the right immediately before the petrol station. Dolserau Hall is about 1 mile along this country lane on your right. Look for the HF Holidays sign.
Travelling from overseas
Birmingham Airport has the quickest onward connections to Machynlleth. Direct trains from Birmingham International station take 2 hours 35 minutes. See www.nationalrail.co.uk for train times.
Manchester Airport has a better range of long-haul flights. Trains from here take around 3½ hours with changes at Crewe and Shrewsbury. See www.nationalrail.co.uk for train times.
Flying to London Heathrow airport is another option, but has a longer onward train journey - allow at least 5½ hours to reach Machynlleth by train. You'll need to head to Euston station in the centre of London. Take a train from here to Birmingham, then change for the onward connection to Machynlleth. See www.nationalrail.co.uk for train times.
In each case complete your journey from Machynlleth to Dolgellau by taxi or bus (see above).
Derek has been leading Photographic Holidays for HF Holidays since 1995. In addition to providing clear and straightforward explanations (for beginners and the more experienced) of photo-techniques that are devoid of gobbledegook, he also has an in-depth understanding of the British countryside; essential for teaching wide-ranging aspects of landscape and architecture photography.
Derek created a nice relaxed, happy atmosphere in which we could learn how to improve our photographic skills. The programme of short local walks & excursions by coach to more distant locations gave us the opportunity to photograph a variety of different scenes under varying lighting conditions. We came away having learnt a lot.
Dates & Prices
|Date||Description||Nights||Brochure price||Buy today for||Book|
|27 Aug 2019||DGESR - Steam Railways with a Camera - Dolgellau||4||£599.00||£569.00||Book Now|