Blaenau Ffestiniog lies just outside a national park and is home to two popular attractions. Llechwedd State Caverns offers a firsthand experience of what it was like to work in a real slate mine. Two tours are offered, but the best one is the 25 minute Deep Mine tour that recreates the harsh working conditions of 19th century miners. The other tour offered is the Miner’s Tramway Tour through the network of tunnels and is less demanding. Blaenau is also the northern terminus of the Rheilffordd Ffestiniog Railway. The railway company here is the oldest independent one in the world, and was established in 1832. The 13.5 mile, one hour journey steams its way through a landscape of grey slate cottages and mist shrouded mountains.