One of the many reasons people visit Wales is for the views – they really are some of the most beautiful in the world. But visitors to the region don’t just want to drink it all in, they want to immortalise the moment, too.
Enter Instagram. Instagram is now the world’s second most popular social media platform, and its user-friendly interface is a great way to edit and share your adventures with the world.
A trip on the Cambrian Railway will reward with endless content for your Instagram feed, from historic buildings and culinary creations, to gorgeous coastlines and pretty villages. The whole region is a feast for the eyes and keen photographers will relish the opportunity to capture special moments and broaden the portfolio.
We had a tough time narrowing the top ten opportunities for unique, Insta-perfect shots, but here they are…
Built by Sir Clough Williams-Ellis in the early 20th century, Portmeirion is an enchanting Italian-style village on the Welsh coast that wouldn’t look out of place in the Med. It’s beautifully preserved, with its design integrity prevailing throughout the whole village – beauty in every corner.
The village is resplendent with pastel-tinted buildings and blooming ornamental gardens. It’s a snapper’s paradise and if you’re lacking in lifestyle shots for to make your website pop, this is the place for inspiration.
2. Barmouth Bridge
The Cambrian Railway runs close to the Mawddach Estuary, where there is a long timber viaduct known as Barmouth Bridge. The ‘bridge’ itself makes for a great photo, but in both directions, the views are spectacular!
Walkers can enjoy a sweeping view of the estuary against a mountainous backdrop. Cyclists should note that this path is also a highlight of Lôn Las Cymru, the National Cycle Network route from Cardiff to Holyhead.
3. Dyfi Estuary
Located in mid-Wales, the Dyfi estuary is a recognised UNESCO Biosphere Reserve because of the diversity of its heritage and wildlife.
The estuary includes vast mudflats, sandbanks and saltmarsh that provide important feeding and roosting areas for wetland birds including the only regular wintering population of Greenland white-fronted geese in Wales and England. It feels so peaceful for such a vast area, so we’d definitely recommend taking some time to experiment.
Miles and miles of gorgeous coastline are a real pull for visitors to the area and there are many to choose from! On the southern lip of the Mawddach estuary, the two-mile sandy beach at Fairbourne is backed a steep bank of pebbles and framed with soft white sand.
Fairbourne is a great spot to bring the kids to when the tide is out; there are loads of rock pools and a small river to paddle in. Head south to the flooded slate quarry known as the Blue Lake, which is a popular swimming spot and also makes for a great photo.
5. Barmouth beach front
Pretty Barmouth is a real tourist trap, but don’t let that put you off – it’s not without reason! There’s so much space on its vast sandy beach it never feels crowded because it’s almost five miles long. It’s perfect if you’re going for a walk, and the quaint harbour offers great photo opportunities and views of the expansive Mawddach Estuary.
6. Beach huts Llanbedrog
Best known for its colourful beach huts, this glorious stretch of sand has been enjoyed for generations. It has sheltered waters and fantastic views over Cardigan Bay with adjacent wooded and craggy landscape just out of sight.
The beach huts add a really tropical touch to the area and if you’re posting lots on Instagram whilst you’re visiting, a photo of these cute huts will break up some more imposing images of somewhat austere masonry, and let’s face it, the occasional grey sky!
An arduous climb of Snowdon is met with the unmatched reward of an outstanding vista from its glorious summit that you absolutely must take a photo of, but if you’re not quite up for the task, any view of this treasured mountain range is Instagram-worthy.
If you’re brave enough, try posing like this photo at Tryfan mountain!
Adrenaline sports and outdoor pursuits are enjoying a revolution in Wales right now and there are loads of opportunities to try something new on your visit to the Cambrian Coast. Of course, you’ll want to mark the occasion with an Instagram post! With some of the best conditions for watersports in North Wales, the coastline is a Mecca for newbies and pros alike.
Abersoch Beach is undoubtedly one of the most famous in Wales and watersports fans are well-catered for here. The beach is wide, level and sandy, so it’s enjoyable even if you prefer to stay on land.
9. Talyllyn Railway
The Talyllyn Railway in Tywyn is the world’s first preserved railway and is widely referred to as ‘The Railway with a Heart of Gold’.
Much of the information about the railway is concerned with the engineering and history, but often overlooked is the spectacular scenery. Within sight of Cadair Idris, one of the highest mountains in the UK, the hour-long journey meanders through ancient woodlands and meadows. Wildlife photographers will enjoy looking out for red kites, redstarts, peregrine falcons and linnets, among other feathered residents.
If you want to stretch your legs, explore the surrounding area. Tywyn is a great starting point for exploring the southern reaches of the region. The ruins of 13th century castle Castell y Bere is haunting and atmospheric if you want more drama in your shots versus the chocolate box scenery of the village itself.
If you are interested in history, North Wales has more castles than you can shake a lens at! Among our favourites are Powis Castle and Gardens, near Welshpool, and medieval Criccieth Castle, which perches precariously above the sea.
Castles make for magnificent Instagram shots, not least because they communicate how terribly cultured we are, but because of their impressive architecture! However many times they’re snapped, it’s always possible to find a new and interesting angle among the centuries-old stones.
Have you been inspired to book an adventure along the Cambrian Railway Line? Book your tickets here today!