Travel to Wales – Episode 225

categories: europe travel


The Amateur Traveler talks to John Clayton about a recent trip to Wales.

John was the host of a radio travel show called “Travel with a Difference” for 16 years in the Los Angeles area and was invited to Wales by the Wales Tourism board.

John is a train buff and was invited to ride on the restored narrow gauge railroads of Wales which were built originally to carry slate from the Wales slate mines. He road the Mount Snowdon, West Highlands, and Ffestiniog railways.

John also recommends touring the slate mine at Llanberis.

We also visit Port Meirion which will look familiar to fans of the TV show The Prisoner. Also, find out what Bed and Breakfast you can stay at where some of the Royals used to live.

right click here to download (mp3)
right click here to download (iTunes enhanced)


Lindsay Lohan banned from India?
TSA to swab airline passengers’ hands in search for explosives
“Love those gigantic tits” remark lands airport scanner operator in hot water

Show Notes

Tourist Information from the Wales Tourism Board
Timeline of railway history
Ffestiniog Rlwy
The Great Little Trains of Wales
BritishRail – BritRail has discount train passes for travel on the British railways
Port Meirion
“Royal Residence” B&B near Carnarvon
Mt. Snowdon
National Slate Museum
Carnarvon Castle
Snowdon National Park – Home Dinners in Wales – John says “urge your audience to check THIS out – totally fascinating and unique!”, but this link is not working for me
John suggests checking out the route Llandudno to Blaenau Ffestiniog on Rheilffordd Dyffryn Conwy – Conwy Valley Railway
Michelin Travel Publications Web Site – Michelin maps and guides, Maps, Green Guides, Restaurant & Hotel Guides

Internet Resources – rent for charity


Countries of Borneo
More on Hiroshima and Chugoku
March Photo Contest – Amateur Traveler fan page
Egypt Photography Tour
Travel Cast Network

Share this:
Chris Christensen

by Chris Christensen

Chris Christensen is the creator of the Amateur Traveler blog and podcast. He has been a travel creator since 2005 and has won awards including being named the "Best Independent Travel Journalist" by Travel+Leisure Magazine.

12 Responses to “Travel to Wales – Episode 225”

Kathy aka mytimetotravel


Enjoyed the episode! Agree with the guest that the narrow-gauge railways shouldn’t be missed (any or all – I also liked the Vale of Rheidol route) and definitely visit castles (plenty to chose from). Some points:

– The view from Snowdon is great if you can see it, but it’s just as likely to be lost in the clouds.
– I’ve been to Wales, and I’ve been to Switzerland, and I like both, but in no way would I say that Wales reminds me of Switzerland.
– Conway has a good castle, and if you base there you can also visit Llandudno, which is (or at least was) a good example of a British seaside resort.

This was pretty much all about north Wales – I’d like to put in a good word for the south as well. Especially the rugged Pembrokeshire coast (Dylan Thomas territory) and the gentler Wye Valley (Tintern Abbey, Ross-on-Wye’s second-hand bookshops, Offa’s Dyke). Then there’s also St. Fagan’s open-air museum near Cardiff.

I’d skip the motorway drive and take the train. Spend a night recovering from jet-lag – you really don’t want to start out driving in the UK after a trans-Atlantic flight – and then rent the car the next day in Wales, but nothing too big! And forget Rail Europe – it tends to be pricey. For general train info see; for schedules for the whole of the UK and Europe see, and if you want to buy UK train tickets ahead of time (not necessary but may be cheaper), see .



Regarding air travel to Wales, you can get a flight to Cardiff International airport. Then from Cardiff you can catch a flight to North Wales. Hope this helps!

Peter in Chicago


The actor’s name was Patrick McGoohan.

The Prisoner

AMC, the cable channel, which showed the new The Prisoner, has made all 17 episodes of the original The Prisoner available online.

(I don’t know if you can watch these videos outside of the United States.)

Kim in Philly


I was very disappointed in this episode. The guest talked way too much about the railroad and did not tell me what to see if I want to go to Wales, all of Wales, not just North Wales. My husband and I are Dr. Who and Torchwood fans and were looking forward to hearing about Cardiff. We thought he didn’t answer Chris’s question about guidebooks. What should you see if you go/do to Wales- castles, food, etc. He may have eventually gotten to this, but we wouldn’t know, we turned if off with 10 minutes left. He was just going on and on about nothing (like he said the guidebooks do.) Sorry, just my opinion.



Sorry this one didn’t work for you.



HI Chris

I am regular listener to this podcast and enjoy listening to it. SinceI live in south wales and I thought I could see what else that I am missing. It seems to me that this episode has missed every thing except may be north wales. I was expecting to hear something about the Capital of Wales (Cardiff) and Swansea the Second city in Wales and the gower which is one of outstanding beauty places. Also other places like Mid wales Brecon Beacon.
I liked the part about the welsh being proud about them selves which is true.

I am really disappointed with this episode and I hope that other episodes that I am enjoying for placed that I have not been to are not missing the main things as in this.



I will point out that I am completely whiling to visit Wales and provide more information if the Convention and Visitors Bureau wants to bring me over 🙂



Haven’t finished the episode, but must point out that Mt Snowdon is only the highest peak in Great Britan *south* of the Scottish Highlands



Bravo on finally pronouncing my handle on-air, after a previous proclamation that you couldn’t pronounce it (and yes, you’re meant to laugh :P)

Also, I would ask: why would someone who wins a photo contest need a book on travel photography?!

What struck me the most about Wales was probably all the double consonants – the double Ls stand out, especially.



Hmmm…I had not thought of that, so you think maybe the book should go to the person who submits the worst photo 🙂

Vicki Edmunds


You should have tried when you were in Wales. The site originated in Wales. It connects travellers with local people willing to cook for them in their homes. It is free to use and free to join. I have sampled home cooked meals in India and Boston through contacting members of this site. It added a new dimension to my holiday and I made life long friends.
Best wishes, Vicki

Leave a Reply

Tags: , , ,