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“Not a special ride” 2 of 5 stars
Review of Llanberis Lake Railway

Llanberis Lake Railway
Gilfach Ddu, Llanberis, Snowdonia National Park LL55 4TY, Wales
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Ranked #6 of 16 things to do in Llanberis
Certificate of Excellence 2014
Attraction details
London, United Kingdom
16 reviews 16 reviews
16 attraction reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
19 helpful votes 19 helpful votes
“Not a special ride”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed January 10, 2013 via mobile

I took the llanberis railway in April hoping to see some nice views from the other side of the lake. The ride took about an hour and there was nothing special about it. Three are many much beautiful places in Snowdonia, so spend some time hiking or even sitting in the hotel bar is more meaningful.

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253 reviews from our community

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English first
Senior Contributor
44 reviews 44 reviews
5 attraction reviews
Reviews in 25 cities Reviews in 25 cities
46 helpful votes 46 helpful votes
“Santa train special....nothing special about it!,”
1 of 5 stars Reviewed December 9, 2012 via mobile

Went on sat 8 dec and took 3 children.we had been the previous year to welsh highland railway Santa special which was great but had been told this was better. Started off ok,complimentary mince pies and mulled wine. We got on the train which was very small carriages like a cattle train...7 of us squashed together. Only on train for ten minutes ( if that) and it stopped at a platform where there were 2 huts and a sleigh. We were last off the train and ended up last in the queue to see father Christmas... Which took half an hour...kids obviously got restless! Nothing else to do but wait. A man dressed as a snowman,who looked thoroughly miserable had a tin of chocolates,handing them out. He sat there oblivious to the children. There was no atmosphere on or off the train,from start to finish.we were not able to take photos of father Christmas with our children because he was selling them for 3 pound each! Even though we had paid 9 pound each for the pleasure of meeting him!
To top it off, the presents were rubbish. My daughter got a box of celebrations! ( how much effort had gone into that ) and the 2 year old got a cheap crappy jigsaw ( pound shop quality ). Oh and then,because we were last in the queue,th snowman starts taking off his costume in front of the kids and dumped it on a chair! When we got back to the station, the kids needed the toilet but they were locked and the surrounding area was in complete darkness and struggled to find our cars....which we paid 4 pound to park! I must sound like a complete moaner but this seems a case of take your money and put no effort in the event,especially when children are involved. Just seems like a money making racket, they only cared bout selling the photos. Would never go again.

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Gwen A, Manager at Llanberis Lake Railway, responded to this review, December 13, 2012
Hello Moaningmadge. Thank you for your feedback about our Santa trains, and I’m sorry you felt the experience wasn’t particularly special. There are some points that you raise that will be receiving my attention. However I wouldn’t wish other readers to get the wrong impression, as our Santa trains are very popular and we receive very many positive comments about them to the extent that the majority of our customers have either come back year after year or have been recommended by word of mouth.

The train is made up of traditional carriages with individual compartments, perhaps different to your experience elsewhere. We allocate only one family per compartment, not usually as many as seven people though. There would have been plenty of space on the train, as we limit the numbers to keep the waiting times reasonable. If you had raised your concerns with the guard we would have been happy to find additional accommodation for you.

It’s true that the ride only takes around ten minutes, but this is exactly what we advertise. In fact most people think this is an advantage, particularly with younger children. I’m at a loss to understand your comment about the lack of atmosphere. The departure station is decorated and features Christmas music in English and Welsh, the steam engine and train are both decorated, with Christmas lights on the engine. When you arrive at Santa’s halt, does he not come down from the woods to greet the train, were there no Christmas lights and music, was there no snow, or a sleigh on the platform? As for the sheds on the platform, the first is Santa’s workshop featuring a lot of little detail, the second is decked with trimmings and lights, and finally there’s Santa’s grotto with its twinkly lights.

After you’ve seen Santa and received your presents, we take a photo of you which is available to purchase when you return to the starting station should you wish. It has never been the case that you are not allowed to take your own photos, and most people do this, with some also taking video. Nowhere does it say that you’re not allowed, so can only assume you assumed this. These days not many people bother printing photos when they get home, and the service is appreciated by an increasing number of our customers who might want to take a memory home for family or friends.

We pride ourselves on the range, variety and quality of the presents that are given out by Santa, and are sorry to hear you were disappointed with yours. Unlike many other places where “one size fits all” we source a number of different presents for each age (not age group), and we are reliably told by our suppliers that we spend substantially more than average on the gifts that we offer. We often have children who visit with parents and also come with their school, and I can guarantee that they won’t receive the same present twice. When it comes to older children (you don’t say it but your daughter must have been over 11) we struggle to find appropriate presents in this day of advanced technology, and we have found generally that the chocolates meet with approval. If you have any suggestions for alternatives we would be pleased to hear from you. The jigsaw that your 2 year old received was one of four alternatives for a two year old, and was a traditional wooden type, not a cheap pound shop item. If you can find this on sale for a £1, I will be more than happy to refund the whole fare for your party. We certainly couldn’t buy it for a £1, and we spend considerably more than this on every present. Your review doesn’t mention that all of the adults also receive a little something from Santa.

The car park and toilets at the station are owned and operated by Gwynedd Council. Sadly we have been unable to influence their policies with regard to parking charges and opening times for the facilities. Incidentally, there were toilets at Santa’s halt.

We care passionately about this event, and put in a huge effort to make it special, particularly for the kids. I think the fact that we have been fully booked every year for the last six years bears witness to this. I’m really sorry that we didn’t succeed in your case.
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wales united kingdom
Senior Contributor
32 reviews 32 reviews
12 attraction reviews
Reviews in 18 cities Reviews in 18 cities
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
“great for kids”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 18, 2012

a lovely little train that takes you around the lake at Llanberis. Popular with families and elderly coach travellers

Visited July 2012
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Leeds, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
114 reviews 114 reviews
57 attraction reviews
Reviews in 40 cities Reviews in 40 cities
40 helpful votes 40 helpful votes
“Lovely unexpected trip”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 12, 2012

We arrived just too late in the day to go on the Snowdon railway so instead had a trip on the lake railway and glad we did.
Small guage railway takes you past the Slate museum and on a picturesque trip along one side of a pretty lake with views of Snowdon, as well as the after effects of the mines. A couple of 10 minute stops allowed photos and leg stretching.

Visited October 2012
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Birmingham, United Kingdom
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
3 attraction reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
“enjoyable day”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 11, 2012

if you are in llandudno try this out special events all year round llanberis lake railway lovely to go back in time with this brilliant railway trip along the lakeside even in the rain it was most enjoyable

Visited November 2012
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