After much uncertainty over the years, the Ffestiniog Railway has been given the job of resurrecting the 40 kms. long Welsh Highland Railway, which was a short-lived railway of the 1920/30's, but which actually involved the linking-together of two earlier railways - the Croesor Tramway (from Porthmadog) and the North Wales Narrow Gauge Railways (from Dinas Junction to Rhyd Ddu).
Once upon a time, a standard gauge railway linked the port of Pwllheli to the beautiful medieval town of Caernarfon. It ran through the Snowdon range via Rhyd-ddu, the narrow Aberglaslyn pass and the wild Beddgelert forest to Porthmadog. The engineers had done wonders to limit the number of tunnels and bridges in order to reduce building costs. Then came the days of cars and trucks and the track was removed. The Caernarfon station which was located at the foot of the castle was turned into a car park. Then members of the Festiniog Railway said that the whole line could be converted to narrow gauge like in Bala. Dreams sometimes come true in Wales! The car park was turned back into a railway station while a track was built to Dinas. The line is now slowly being rebuilt, mostly by volunteers towards Rhyd-ddu, where trains can now be taken (correct as of Nov 2002) and will ultimately be linked to Festiniog railway in Porthmadog.
Soon the splendours of Snowondia can once again be seen by narrow gauge railway and provide transport to lesser known routes of Snowdon. There has been opposition as it will cut through the Aberglasslyn pass - a popular hike trail - but there is no doubt it will benefit the tourist economy for Snowdonia. Check the website for a progress report on the railway route.
Caernarfon has a very small walled old-town located next to the castle which is worth a wander. The streets are lined with lovely Georgian buildings.
Make sure you take a stroll down the pretty, cobbled Hole in the Wall Street, which is a colourful street that runs along the old-town wall. There are several places to eat along here.
Also you can visit St Mary's Church, in the north western corner of the old-town, which was built back in 1307.
Fondest memory: http://www.caernarfon.com/
Palace street is the main road within the town walls. Here you can browse the antique shops and the indoor markets, art galleries and enjoy a drink at one of the many cafes.
Watch out for the conbbles though - not suitable for high heels!
Favorite thing: Exploring the old town (Yr Hen Dref) will take you unknowingly within the castle walls - this was where people who worked in the castle lived in the 1300's. Today this narrow lane between the walls with its colourfuk buildings makes a good spot for a photo and there are plenty of interesting eateries too - including a great looking vegetarian one.
A busy Saturday market takes place on Y Maes on the castle's front doorstep. this is a great ime to enjoy the bustling market town and see the locals in their welsh dress.
On this same square tradition has it that Edward presented his son as the Prince of Wales to the people (a title carried by 22 heirs to the British throne ever since)
Favorite thing: The old walls surround the old town and you will probably enter by its gates as the main car parks are situated just outside the walls opposite the Victoria Dock.