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Port Meirion?: Holyhead, Wales

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Our ship stops in Holyhead for 12 hours and there are lots and lots of excursions (included) listed. One of the longest tours, and one of the few that has a sur-charge is the one that includes Port Meirion. I did search on this board and didn't see anything.

I'm having an unusually tough time trying to decide on which excursion to do from this port. We like great scenery, especially natural scenery, and we enjoy interesting towns (but have no interest in shopping). I don't know much about castles. Are some of the many castles more interesting than others? in a more handsome setting?

In-put greatly appreciated!

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Thanks, Ray. I've looked at various websites to try to get some sense of what they're about, but it's always more helpful to hear from folks who've been to these places (I mean other than the "official" information).

 

I've read that of the castles, Caernarfon is maybe the most interesting? Would you agree? What abt the settings of each of the castles? Is the scenery more lovely at some than others? the drive from Holyhead?

 

There's a 4 hr trip that drives through Snowdonia and stops in Betws y Coed; there's another tour (longer) that does Snowdonia and Portmeirion. Which do you think is the more interesting/handsome? (But if we do either of those, I think we see no castles? How strange would it be to be in Wales and not visit a castle?!)

 

Where is the weather likely to be warmer/less windy? (I don't mind rain, but we really dislike cold,windy conditions.)

 

Thanks!

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We spent a lovely long weekend in Portmerion for a wedding a few years ago. It is a nice place to visit, loved the boats all resting on their sides at low tide, the smallest cottage in Wales, gosh, we were there and I can't remember all that we saw.

 

I hope you have a lovely time!

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I will be on a cruise that stops in Holyhead in July. I want to see all of the usual things offered for this port, but my sister and brother-in-law have been to many areas of Wales already. She is most interested in visiting Portmeirion since that's one place she hasn't been, but she can't find any info on transportation round-trip from Holyhead. It seems there aren't any sightseeing companies or vehicles for hire in Holyhead. Any ideas?

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gr'aunt: would you mind asking your sister and brother-in-law which of the OTHER things they liked best? That'd be a help to me.

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Several years ago they spent time in England on a business trip. They specifically made a side trip to Wales as my brother-in-law is of Welsh descent. They went to visit the ruins of the castle that his last name comes from. I believe they took a train from London. They did this all on their own...no tour guides...and just enjoyed going at their own pace with no time constraints. They said the thing they like best about touring in the UK is that English is spoken everywhere, so they weren't worried about getting lost. I do remember they said that when they visited the afore-mentioned castle, the little town nearby had folded up the sidewalks since it was a Sunday. They found someone who was willing to open the pub and make ham sandwiches so they wouldn't starve to death. Now that's hospitality!

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Portmeirion (one word) is a village on the mainland and is about 50 miles away from Holyhead which is on the island of Angelsey.

 

poss: There's a 4 hr trip that drives through Snowdonia and stops in Betws y Coed;

 

Agree much with the earlier posts. Portmeirion is very nice' date=' unique and interesting. BUT, it's a long, long ways from your docking port. Probably not worth that long of trip getting there and back. Conwy Castle is very interesting and given your nature interest, I would strongly consider your options for Snowdonia and Betws y Coed. [b']The great news is that you've got a number of very good options in this area.[/b]

 

We had three days during a land tour in this part of northern Wales, allowing us to see a number of key attractions, including the narrow-guage rail trip up into the slate mining areas.

 

THANKS! Enjoy! Terry in Ohio

 

For lots of interesting details, great visuals, etc., from our July 1-16 Norway Coast/Fjords/Arctic Circle cruise experience from Copenhagen on the Silver Cloud, check out this posting. Don’t be shy and feel free to ask any questions of interest. This posting is now over 29,300 views. Appreciate those who have “tuned in”.

http://www.boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=1227923

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I would agree that Portmeirion is a most unusual place; very pretty indeed and worth a visit. However, if I only had time to see one thing in Wales, it would be Snowdon and possibly Beddgelert. Betws-y-Coed is a very pretty place but apart from some small-ish waterfalls and some pretty gift shops there's not really anything else there.

 

In terms of castles, Caernarvon and Beaumaris are well worth a look. Beaumaris is on the Isle of Anglesey (with the famous, and incredibly long-named railway station). Beaumaris Gaol is also worth a visit.

 

Caernarvon is a spectacular castle (much better preserved than Beaumaris), particularly if you take a guided tour. The surrounding streets certainly aren't as pretty as Beaumaris but the castle is outstanding.

 

If you like trains and dislike walking, you can - if time - take the rack and pinion mountain railway from Llanberis to the Snowdon summit (weather depending). Alternatively, there's a wonderful railway called the Ffestiniog and Welsh Highland Railway which has two routes (Caernarvon to Beddgelert and the Aberglaslyn pass) and Porthmadoc to Blaenau Ffestiniog (where you will find a fascinating slatemine, Llechwedd).

 

Any questions, just ask! You could spend a lifetime in Snowdonia and not see all the wonders but I hope that helps a little.

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If you like trains and dislike walking, you can - if time - take the rack and pinion mountain railway from Llanberis to the Snowdon summit (weather depending). Alternatively, there's a wonderful railway called the Ffestiniog and Welsh Highland Railway which has two routes (Caernarvon to Beddgelert and the Aberglaslyn pass) and Porthmadoc to Blaenau Ffestiniog (where you will find a fascinating slatemine, Llechwedd).

 

YES, that railway ride is very interesting and scenic. Below are some of my visual samples. Also, liked the Snowdons very much.

 

THANKS! Enjoy! Terry in Ohio

 

For lots of interesting details, great visuals, etc., from our July 1-16 Norway Coast/Fjords/Arctic Circle cruise experience from Copenhagen on the Silver Cloud, check out this posting. Don’t be shy and feel free to ask any questions of interest. This posting is now over 29,400 views. Appreciate those who have “tuned in”.

http://www.boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=1227923

 

 

Here are three visuals related to the Porthmadog to Blaenau Ffestiniog narrow-guage railroad. The fictional story of Thomas the Tank Train is based on this railroad.:

 

NWalesThomasEngRailYard.jpg

 

 

NWalesThomasEngine.jpg

 

 

NWalesRailEngine.jpg

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YES, that railway ride is very interesting and scenic. Below are some of my visual samples. Also, liked the Snowdons very much.

 

THANKS! Enjoy! Terry in Ohio

 

For lots of interesting details, great visuals, etc., from our July 1-16 Norway Coast/Fjords/Arctic Circle cruise experience from Copenhagen on the Silver Cloud, check out this posting. Don’t be shy and feel free to ask any questions of interest. This posting is now over 29,400 views. Appreciate those who have “tuned in”.

www.boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=1227923

 

 

Here are three visuals related to the Porthmadog to Blaenau Ffestiniog narrow-guage railroad. The fictional story of Thomas the Tank Train is based on this railroad.:

 

NWalesThomasEngRailYard.jpg

 

 

NWalesThomasEngine.jpg

 

 

NWalesRailEngine.jpg

 

Great photos! :)

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Great photos!

 

THANKS for the kind comments! It's a beautiful part of Wales with many great options. Below is a sampling for some of the added potentials in this region. Enjoy! Terry in Ohio

 

For lots of interesting details, great visuals, etc., from our July 1-16 Norway Coast/Fjords/Arctic Circle cruise experience from Copenhagen on the Silver Cloud, check out this posting. Don’t be shy and feel free to ask any questions of interest. This posting is now over 29,400 views. Appreciate those who have “tuned in”.

http://www.boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=1227923

 

 

In the area of northern Wales, here are some more of my visual samples for what all is there to see and enjoy. Lots of options! Below are sheep in a coastal grazing area, Harlech Castle (built 1283-89) interiors, Snowdonia National Park bridge and mountains, a Park lake scene, a Wales village street-building scene of the Pont-y-Pair Hotel in the center of Betws-y-Coed and a part of the cute Portmeirion village with its Italianate-design architecture.:

 

WalesSheepCoastalPix.jpg

 

 

WalesHarlechCastle.jpg

 

 

WalesSnowdenBridgeRiver.jpg

 

 

WalesSnowdenLakeMtns.jpg

 

 

WalesVillageBuildings.jpg

 

 

WalesPortmuron.jpg

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Wonderful!! Thanks so much, Terry!

 

gr'aunt: LOVED' date='LOVED,LOVED your pictures Terry! [/quote']

 

THANKS for the kind comments on the pictures! Give credit to Wales for the beautiful settings and pretty places.

 

The picture postings have been great fun in sharing. As others have mentioned, the visuals are very powerful and sometimes what people remember most. That's why this thing called television has done fairly well in our society. I like the Eyewitness and Insight travel books because of their great variety of good visuals. The old saying "A picture is worth a thousand words" incorporates the idea that a complex messages can be conveyed with just a single or a few still images. That saying summarizes that through visualization, it is possible to communicate large amounts of "data" or words quickly. Supposedly, this comes from a Chinese proverb attributed to Confucius. A Russian writer wrote "A picture shows me at a glance what it takes dozens of pages of a book to expound." French Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte reportedly said: "A good sketch is better than a long speech".

 

Enjoy! Terry in Ohio

 

For lots of interesting details, great visuals, etc., from our July 1-16 Norway Coast/Fjords/Arctic Circle cruise experience from Copenhagen on the Silver Cloud, check out this posting. Don’t be shy and feel free to ask any questions of interest. This posting is now over 29,470 views. Appreciate those who have “tuned in”.

http://www.boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=1227923

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They are wonderful pictures Terry, some familiar scenes there to me!

 

My Dad is Welsh and we spent the school holidays every year in Snowdonia. My DH and I even got engaged at the top of Snowdon!

 

If anyone has time, and a private driver or car, one of the best and most spectacular drives is from Beddgelert, through Nant Gwynant, turn left at the Pen-y-Gwryd Hotel, and drive along the Llanberis pass down to Llanberis. You pass Snowdon from two different sides.

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Love that area too, so much so that I named my dog after Gelert. (She's 1/8th wolf). :D

 

Awww, what a lovely name!

 

My old Border Collie in the photo *loves* Beddgelert - here's a photo of him paddling in Aber Glaslyn (the river which runs through the village).

 

Hope the attachment thingy works.....

DSC00004.jpg.138eb414ab3c6665be238b4dce335b10.jpg

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Our ship's tour on the railroad was waitlisted the first day and we missed it. Is there a way to get from the port at Holyhead to the RR on our own? Thanks

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Our ship's tour on the railroad was waitlisted the first day and we missed it. Is there a way to get from the port at Holyhead to the RR on our own? Thanks

 

You could arrange a rental car to go there and see other sights by this method. It would be good to do that trip with another couple. Four people in the car makes the costing factor and travel more fun and affordable. Second, it would be good to either have a GPS in the car and/or have gotten the detailed directions in advance from

http://www.mapquest.com

 

It's not a bad drive, but it does take some time and patience. It is good that you've got a good period of time in that port to see and explore this scenic and interesting area.

 

THANKS! Enjoy! Terry in Ohio

 

For lots of interesting details, great visuals, etc., from our July 1-16 Norway Coast/Fjords/Arctic Circle cruise experience from Copenhagen on the Silver Cloud, check out this posting. Don’t be shy and feel free to ask any questions of interest. This posting is now over 29,900 views. Appreciate those who have “tuned in”.

http://www.boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=1227923

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Thanks Terry. We don't want to rent a car, one reason we take cruises is to let DH totally relax! I think I'll just sign up for another excursion and maybe check the wait list first thing when we board.

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Thanks Terry. We don't want to rent a car, one reason we take cruises is to let DH totally relax! I think I'll just sign up for another excursion and maybe check the wait list first thing when we board.

 

Driving on the "wrong" side has been fine for me, but I . . . fully and totally understand your DH's situation. If your budget is highly flexible, you might be able to hire a driver. Or, maybe you find via a ship roll call another couple who would do the driving. Good luck in getting on the wait list. The train ride was great fun. We rode on the back car that had more of an "observation car" set-up, making things nicer and more comfortable.

 

THANKS! Enjoy! Terry in Ohio

 

For lots of interesting details, great visuals, etc., from our July 1-16 Norway Coast/Fjords/Arctic Circle cruise experience from Copenhagen on the Silver Cloud, check out this posting. Don’t be shy and feel free to ask any questions of interest. This posting is now over 29,950 views. Appreciate those who have “tuned in”.

http://www.boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=1227923

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Driving on the "wrong" side has been fine for me, but I . . . fully and totally understand your DH's situation. If your budget is highly flexible, you might be able to hire a driver. Or, maybe you find via a ship roll call another couple who would do the driving. Good luck in getting on the wait list. The train ride was great fun. We rode on the back car that had more of an "observation car" set-up, making things nicer and more comfortable.

 

THANKS! Enjoy! Terry in Ohio

 

For lots of interesting details, great visuals, etc., from our July 1-16 Norway Coast/Fjords/Arctic Circle cruise experience from Copenhagen on the Silver Cloud, check out this posting. Don’t be shy and feel free to ask any questions of interest. This posting is now over 29,950 views. Appreciate those who have “tuned in”.

www.boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=1227923

 

I *love* the observation car! You can sit there and drink a hot chocolate whilst watching the beautiful scenery. Very relaxing! :)

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I *love* the observation car! You can sit there and drink a hot chocolate whilst watching the beautiful scenery. Very relaxing! :)

 

Yes, the Observation Car is fun. It does take a little higher priced ticket for that car and it might not be available, depending when you get your tickets. Go for it. It was worth it and more interesting to go this way for us.

 

THANKS! Enjoy! Terry in Ohio

 

For lots of interesting details, great visuals, etc., from our July 1-16 Norway Coast/Fjords/Arctic Circle cruise experience from Copenhagen on the Silver Cloud, check out this posting. Don’t be shy and feel free to ask any questions of interest. This posting is now over 30,250 views. Appreciate those who have “tuned in”.

http://www.boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=1227923

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My group of 8 will be arriving in Holyhead on Friday, August 14. We are looking for a private tour for the day. I have tried VIP tours and they are booked. We would appreciate any suggestions.

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