Travelling around Blaenau Ffestiniog
The national park of Snowdonia is one of the most naturally beautiful places in Wales. Right at the heart of Snowdonia, you’ll find the unspoilt gem that is Blaenau Ffestiniog.
Blaenau Ffestiniog grew from a small gathering of cottages into a vibrant town on the back of the slate mining industry.
It’s well worth visiting the town for the chance to explore Llechwedd quarry and experience the life of a Victorian slate miner. You can also take a trip on the Ffestiniog and Welsh Highland Railway to Porthmadog and experience Victorian style travel. Arriva buses run from the transport hub in the centre of town to places like Pwllheli and Portmeirion.
Blaenau Ffestiniog only emerged as a town in its own right in the 18th century, with the discovery of valuable slate mines. Prior to this, the parish of Ffestiniog had been around for several centuries. Its ancient remains date back as far as the Bronze and Iron Age and there is also evidence of the Roman era in the neighbourhood.
By 1901, Blaenau Ffestiniog was the second most populated town in North Wales. This was because of the local slate mines, which employed more than 4,000 men at their peak. One interesting quirk of history concerns the Manod Quarry and the fact that, in 1941, priceless art treasures from places like the National Gallery and Buckingham Palace were stored there to avoid the wartime bombing of London.