As a result of the global pandemic, staycations and holidaying closer to home have seen a massive rise in popularity.

This reflects what was once a huge industry and way of life across the country, and here we look back on one aspect of that.

Among the most popular features of the North Wales holiday scene in the 1950s were the Land Cruise trains operated by British Railways.

The best known were the London Midland Region trains that began from the coastal resorts of Llandudno and Rhyl and passed through Denbigh, Ruthin and Corwen on their way to Barmouth before returning northwards.

They originated in 1951 as Festival Land Cruise trains, taking their name from the Festival of Britain of that year.

In 1953, the Coronation year, they were renamed Coronation Land Cruises.

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A radio commentary was later provided in each carriage and, as a consequence, the trips became known as 'Radio Land Cruise' trains.

Speed on the tour was kept leisurely so the passing scene could be enjoyed to the full.

Passengers had a pleasant break of almost two hours in Barmouth for lunch and a bar was provided on the train.

To generate publicity for the service, BR produced a filmstrip that was issued on loan to appropriate organisations.

Some of the slides showed local scenes; others showed passengers relaxing on board.

Apart from a few enthusiasts' specials, the Land Cruise trains were the last to carry passengers on the old line south from Rhyl that joined the Llangollen line at Corwen.

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They often used wonderful old carriages on the trains.

It was possible, for example, to travel in a Royal Saloon built for Queen Mary by the Midland Railway in 1912.

The price went up slightly over the years, but in 1958 the round trip cost 15 shillings or 75 pence.

No doubt a grand day out was had by all.

BR Western Region also ran Land Cruise trains.

They ran from Pwllheli to Barmouth and then to Corwen before travelling northwards to Rhyl, then returning via the coast - in effect the opposite journey to the LMR train.