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Towns to visit along the Cambrian Lines

On the Cambrian lines, you're travelling through some of the most significant historical parts of the UK - an area of myths and magic, castles and kings, and princes and parliaments.

Visiting by train is a great way to see the area, you'll see more from the train than you wil by car, and you'll pass through areas unspoilt by development and see the true beauty and majesty of our incredible countryside. This is by no means a full list of where to go and what to see, but we hope we can give you a quick flavour of what a journey it is on the Cambrian lines.

You're not just travelling through Wales - you're travelling through history.

Those looking for Welsh ancestry can take the train to the National Library of Wales at Aberystwyth - a reference library and repository for ancestral information, and then visit the areas of forefathers by train and local bus. The Castle at the town, still looks a bit worse for wear - the result of heavy and sustained cannon fire followed by centuries of weathering.

Machynlleth is the home of Owain Glyndwr's Parliament - the first Welsh Parliament predating our current Welsh Government by some 500 years, and nearby are some significant sites in Owain's illustrious life - Pennal, where he wrote his letter appealing for French support to the Welsh cause, the Hyddgen battle site where he - outnumbered by 3 to 1,  defeated the army of Henry IV. At Harlech an impressive fortress still stands - the site of a major seige which Owain won and then lost years later.

Newtown is a vibrant market town which itself has historical significance relating to a more modern age. Robert Owen (1771), was known for being one of the fathers of 'co-operatives' and workers' rights, and indeed, other important figures also have close connections. Davied Davies of Llandinam - a key figure of the Inustrial Revolution, and of course there's Pryce Pryce-Jones (1834), who's department store still stands, but made a name for himself as a pioneer of 'mail order' shopping. Queen Victoria  and Florence Nightingale were customers of his.

Porthmadog is something of a gateway - from the train, look out to where the see should be and you'll see the famous 'cob' - the sea-defence wall which reclaimed many hundreds of acres from the widening estuary. A bustling rural harbour town, the little trains used to bring slate from the quarries to the harbour for export worldwide. Some of those trains still run - but carry people, not pallets these days. You can take the Ffestiniog steam railway from Porthmadog to Blaenau Ffestiniog - a famous slate quarrying and mining region, and join up on the Conwy Valley Main line which links up with the Main-line rail network along the North Wales coast.

Pass Criccieth and its castle, and you'll end up at Pwllheli - the end of the Cambrian Coast line on the Lleyn Peninsular, with staggering views of Cardigan Bay.