Train Journey from Tywyn to Criccieth

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I have written a few helpful, I hope, articles on visiting us by train but haven’t done a lot of travelling around by train myself. I have trained-it to Tywyn when the other half couldn’t make it but have never used the train for a day trip other than the odd journey back from Aberdovey. Well, on a recent visit, we took the chance to give the train ago.

When you’re travelling by train it helps to do a bit of forward planning. You will at least need to know the departure and arrival times of your train so that you can plan out your day.

 

Criccieth Castle

We have never visited Criccieth before and so this was our plan:

  • catch the 9:29 from Tywyn to Criccieth which arrives at 10:59;
  • visit the castle; while away an hour aimlessly wandering the streets of Criccieth; catch a bite to eat;
  • catch the 15:51 from Criccieth to Aberdovey which arrives at 17:33;
  • while away an hour aimlessly wandering the streets of Aberdovey; spend some time sitting on the beach; retire to pub for a drink and bite to eat;
  • catch the 22:06 from Averdovey to Tywyn which arrives at 22:15.

Not a bad plan. In order to keep the cost down a bit we plumped for a Cambrian Coaster Ranger ticket which allows unlimited travel after 9:15 am. The Ranger can be purchased at manned stations or on the train itself. As Tywyn is unmanned, on the train would have to do. A quick bit of googling got me to The Cambrian Line, the number one hit on Google, which advertised the price as £9.80.  Wrong!

It turns-out that the correct price is actually £12 for an adult ticket. The correct prices can be found by visiting Arriva Trains, the number two hit on Google.

Adult

Child

Family

Cambrian Coaster Day Ranger

£12.00

£6.25

£21.00

After this minor kerfuffle we settled back to enjoy the journey. I take the train to work each day, and unfortunately, my journey isn’t nearly as peaceful and picturesque as our trip to Criccieth which took us passed mountains, meadows, woodlands, mudflats, saltmarshes, sea & sand dunes, with a good old bog thrown in for good measure. If you have kids in tow, then the train also has WiFi and, if you bag yourself a seat with a table, there are also handy charging points.

We arrived in Criccieth on schedule and made slow steady progress down to the beach where we took a right for a short climb to the castle’s visitor centre.

Well how does a train trip compare to getting to Criccieth by car? According, to Google Maps it’s nearly 50-miles from Tywyn to Criccieth with the journey taking 1 hour 12 minutes. I think Google’s estimate is a big fat lie, however, let’s take it at face value for now. By train the same journey is 1 hour 35 minutes (allowing for the 5 minute walk to the train station). Therefore, a win for the car. On paper! If you take into account a bit of travel disruption and the inevitable driving around a bit looking for a parking spot, then the train probably shades it.

What about cost? Assuming a return trip is 100 miles and using a conservative 10 pence per mile fuel charge, this works out at £10 there and back. A win for the car. However, you also need to factor in parking charges . For us this would have meant a parking charge in Criccieth and in Aberdovey. Suddenly, things are a bit tighter on the cost front especially if you happen to be travelling escorting children as a family ticket actually works out cheaper than 2 adult tickets! Go figure!

However, where the train wins hands-down is the overall travelling experience. There’s no point driving through bits of spectacular country-side if all you get to see is tarmac. As the advert says, it really is easier getting there by train.

Criccieth Station

If you fancy a day-out by train during your stay, then please visit our guide to the Cambrian Coastal Railway Line which has information on all the stops as well as a bit of advice on halt stops. If a ‘halt’ stop means nothing to you, then you definitely need to read the guide!  Please also visit our things to do guide which don’t need a car.  Cambrian Coaster Rangers are valid for travel after 9:15 Monday-Friday and all day Saturday, Sunday and Bank Holidays between Aberystwyth and Pwllheli.

TywynHoliday Guides on Things to Do which don’t need the car

Harlech Castle
Talllyn Railway
Portmeirion
Centre for Alternative Technology
Beach Walk
The Animalarium
Snowdonia’s Cambrian Line

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