Rides & Routes


Cycle Life


1887 Sketchbook

New pages



Site Map


Welsh Highland Railway - A Ticket to Cycle

(Also see description and photos of Lon Eifion cycle path)

Thousands of cyclists have passed along the Lon Eifion cycleway between Caernarfon and Bryncir which is part of Route 8 of the National Cycle Network. And more still will seek out this delightful route as Lon Eifion becomes even more widely known. The brainchild of local man, Mike Chown, its conversion to a cycle path was one of the early examples of making good use of a dismantled rail line for cyclists and walkers.

But the dream of those who love railways did not die. And what we see now is a wonderful example of what can be achieved by the determination of a group of visionaries with the backing of many who give of their time freely to see a phoenix rise from the ashes.

For an account of the railway's history and plans, visit websites http://whr.bangor.ac.uk/

and http://www.whr.co.uk/s/index.en.php   The railway boasts of attracting children and kids up to the age of ninety - but why stop there....!

I recently decided to sample the train for the first time, and I joined a group of chums with a quite few years under their belts between them.

Here's a few photographic samples of a thoroughly enjoyable trip from Caernarfon to Rhyd Ddu, followed by a wonderful cycling descent and return to Lon Eifion at Pen-y-Groes.

And two gems worth knowing about: a traditional Welsh cottage tea room and and B&B at Rhyd Ddu - Ty Mawr tel. 01766 890837; and a great cyclist's pit stop at Salem Chapel, Talysarn, Pen-y-Groes. http://www.cyclewales.net/

Let us not forget the hard working team of volunteers, without which the WHR could not exist. Here we have, left to right, Kim Winter, John Ellis-Williams, and Elwyn Jones, seen at Dinas Station on fence renewal.

Kim is on the staff of Imperial College, London'. Like many WHR volunteers, he travels long distances to help out. He has a surprising link to the history of cycling – membership of the exclusive Pickwick Bicycle Club, the oldest surviving cycle club in the world. All members are identified by the name of a character in the Pickwick Papers. Kim goes under the sobriquet of ‘Ben Allen’

Roy Spilsbury

Loading a tandem on to open bike wagon of Welsh Highland  Railway

Loading at Caernarfon


Fastening bikes in a wagon on the Welsh Highland Railway

Loading as neat as a gnat's knapsack


Some cyclists on platform with Welsh Highland Railway locomotive behind letting off steam

A hissing steam engine always promises something special.


open bike wagon full of bikes immediately behind the Welsh Highland  Railway steam engine stopped at a water tower

Filling the engine's kettle with the bikes tucked behind.


Welsh Highland  Railway heading into Snowdonai

Heading for the mountains


Looking from the Welsh Highland  railway towards Llyn Cwellyn

Looking back to Llyn Cwellyn


Refreshment service on the Welsh Highland  Railway

The Orient Express couldn't do better for service with a smile


At Rhyd Ddu the cyclist unload their own bikes from the Welsh Highland  Railway's bike wagon

Self service - unloading at Rhyd Ddu


Group of cyclists and staff on platform of Welsh Highland Railway

Cyclists' appreciation for a train company operated largely by volunteers


Cyclists have refreshments at the Ty Mawr cafe and Bed and Breakfast at Rhy Ddu

Rhyd Ddu - Ty Mawr tea room & BB. Good food and hospitality


Dewi Jones in his cycle workshop at Salem

Dewi Jones, Salem Workshop.... a welcome in the hills