WELSH DEPARTURES

Eight narrow-gauge railway networks have gathered together under the banner of "The Great Little Trains of Wales". A Wanderer ticket, valid for unlimited travel on any eight days out of 15, costs pounds 32.

Regional Railways, still part of British Rail, operates most of the standard-gauge trains in Wales. It has a number of rail pass deals, such as the Mid Wales Day Ranger (pounds 15.50), covering the lines from Wolverhampton to Pwllheli and Chester to Shrewsbury.

For many, the phrase Mountain and Water Outdoor Pursuits sums up Welsh national parks such as the Brecon Beacons. It is also the name of a field studies centre based beside the Monmouthshire and Brecon Canal in Crickhowell. The centre operates a range of courses covering everything from canoeing to climbing, with durations from half a day upwards. Call 01873 811887 for details and bookings.

Plas Menai is the name of the National Watersports Centre between Caenarfon and Bangor. The centre (01248 67094) is run by the Sports Council for Wales. Courses range from a day of diesel engine maintenance for boat owners to a five-day Around Anglesey kayak expedition.

All manner of mines are open to visitors to Wales. In Rhondda Valley, the Big Pit Mining Museum in Blaenavon (01495 790311) describes the story of the coal industry in Wales in the days when the country actually had one. It opens daily at 10am, with the last complete tour at 3.30pm, and costs pounds 5.50 for adults (pounds 3.50 for children, who need to be at least five years old to take the tour).

As well as the Great Orme copper mine described in the article on Llandudno (see below), the Sygun Copper Mine in Beddgelert (01766 890595) describes the history and geology of mining the metal. It is located beside the A498 in Snowdonia, and opens daily from 10am.

The Gloddfa Ganol, located beside the Crimea Pass in Blaenau Ffestiniog calls itself "the world's largest slate mine". It opens 10am-5.30pm from Monday to Friday until October, and on Saturdays during the school summer holidays. Call 01766 830664.

Close to Dolgellau, the Gwynfynydd Gold Mine (01341 423332) is the main source of Welsh gold at present. The attraction promises the opportunity to pan for the precious metal and keep what you find. It is open throughout the year, but call in advance to book.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Travel
ebookHow to enjoy the perfect short break in 20 great cities
Independent Travel Videos
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in Amsterdam
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in Giverny
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in St John's
Independent Travel Videos
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Travel

    Guru Careers: Front of House Receptionist / Receptionist

    £21K: Guru Careers: We are seeking a Front of House Receptionist to provide th...

    Recruitment Genius: Bid / Tender Writing Executive

    £24000 - £27000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: With offices in Manchester, Lon...

    Guru Careers: Marketing Executives / Marketing Communications Consultants

    Competitive (DOE) + Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking a number of Marketi...

    Recruitment Genius: Marketing Executive

    £20000 - £27000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This well established business ...

    Day In a Page

    Revealed: Why Mohammed Emwazi chose the 'safe option' of fighting for Isis, rather than following his friends to al-Shabaab in Somalia

    Why Mohammed Emwazi chose Isis

    His friends were betrayed and killed by al-Shabaab
    'The solution can never be to impassively watch on while desperate people drown'
An open letter to David Cameron: Building fortress Europe has had deadly results

    Open letter to David Cameron

    Building the walls of fortress Europe has had deadly results
    Tory candidates' tweets not as 'spontaneous' as they seem - you don't say!

    You don't say!

    Tory candidates' election tweets not as 'spontaneous' as they appear
    Mubi: Netflix for people who want to stop just watching trash

    So what is Mubi?

    Netflix for people who want to stop just watching trash all the time
    The impossible job: how to follow Kevin Spacey?

    The hardest job in theatre?

    How to follow Kevin Spacey
    Armenian genocide: To continue to deny the truth of this mass human cruelty is close to a criminal lie

    Armenian genocide and the 'good Turks'

    To continue to deny the truth of this mass human cruelty is close to a criminal lie
    Lou Reed: The truth about the singer's upbringing beyond the biographers' and memoirists' myths

    'Lou needed care, but what he got was ECT'

    The truth about the singer's upbringing beyond
    Migrant boat disaster: This human tragedy has been brewing for four years and EU states can't say they were not warned

    This human tragedy has been brewing for years

    EU states can't say they were not warned
    Women's sportswear: From tackling a marathon to a jog in the park, the right kit can help

    Women's sportswear

    From tackling a marathon to a jog in the park, the right kit can help
    Hillary Clinton's outfits will be as important as her policies in her presidential bid

    Clinton's clothes

    Like it or not, her outfits will be as important as her policies
    NHS struggling to monitor the safety and efficacy of its services outsourced to private providers

    Who's monitoring the outsourced NHS services?

    A report finds that private firms are not being properly assessed for their quality of care
    Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

    Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

    The Tory MP said he did not want to stand again unless his party's manifesto ruled out a third runway. But he's doing so. Watch this space
    How do Greek voters feel about Syriza's backtracking on its anti-austerity pledge?

    How do Greeks feel about Syriza?

    Five voters from different backgrounds tell us what they expect from Syriza's charismatic leader Alexis Tsipras
    From Iraq to Libya and Syria: The wars that come back to haunt us

    The wars that come back to haunt us

    David Cameron should not escape blame for his role in conflicts that are still raging, argues Patrick Cockburn
    Sam Baker and Lauren Laverne: Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

    Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

    A new website is trying to declutter the internet to help busy women. Holly Williams meets the founders