Join us on a six-day tour of Wales from London where we’ll explore Welsh history and absorb beautiful scenery. During this small-group tour to Wales you’ll see stunning landscapes in Snowdonia & Pembrokeshire, visit magnificent castles, discover Wales industrial past and spend time in the cities of Cardiff & St Davids…
This tour includes:
Where to meet us:
Our Best of Wales tour from London starts and ends at the Mercure London Kensington Hotel, which is a ten minute walk from Earls Court station. The tour departs at 9.00am, but please arrive at at least 15 minutes before.
(Departs on Sunday from March-October)
Avebury, Tintern Abbey & Chepstow Castle
Our Wales tour adventure begins by departing London to the west, and on our way to Wales, we’ll stop in at the charming village of Avebury
Our Wales tour adventure begins by departing London to the west, and on our way to Wales, we’ll stop in at the charming village of Avebury; home to the largest stone circle in the world. The village is set amongst the stone circle itself, making for a charming scene where you can get close to the stones, and even touch them. After a short stop it won’t be long before we’re crossing over the Severn Bridge and entering Wales. Our first stop in the ‘land of song’ is Chepstow Castle, the oldest castle in Wales. Set on the cliffs above the River Wye, the castle dates back to the year 1067 and was constructed by the Normans shortly after they had invaded Britain. With a location only a short distance from England, Chepstow Castle was one of the most important fortresses in Wales. After time to look around the castle and have lunch we’ll make our Tintern Abbey, one of the most iconic ruins in Britain. Founded by Cistercian monks in the early 12th century, Tintern was once the most powerful Abbey in Wales. The remaining ruins are both historic & romantic, and whilst here there will be ample time to explore. Then we’ll travel to Cardiff, where we’ll spend the first night of our tour.
Big Pit Coal Museum, Brecon Beacons & Elan Valley
This morning we depart Cardiff and travel to our first stop, the Big Pit National Coal Museum. One of the leading mining museums in Britain
This morning we depart Cardiff and travel to our first stop, the Big Pit National Coal Museum. One of the leading mining museums in Britain, Big Pit is a celebration of the Coal Industry in South Wales. There’s much to do and see here, including exhibitions where you can learn about the history of Wales’ industrial past, and the option to take an underground tour. Next, absorb the beautiful scenery as we journey across Brecon Beacons National Park on our way to the traditional market town of Brecon, where we’ll stop for lunch. This afternoon we continue north through the heart of Wales towards the Elan Valley, an area of stunning landscapes and Victorian engineering. This terrain is defined by magnificent dams and beautiful wilderness which shows off Wales at its best. Traversing through the Cambrian hills, we’ll arrive at our next stop, Devil’s Bridge, where, if legend is to be believed, on his first visit to Wales the devil was outwitted by an old Welsh lady. Now it’s time to descend into the picturesque seaside town of Aberystwyth; the ‘capital’ of Welsh-speaking Wales, where we will spend the next two nights.
Snowdonia National Park
Today is all about absorbing the history and beauty of Snowdonia National Park; home to some of the most stunning scenery in Britain.
Today is all about absorbing the history and beauty of Snowdonia National Park; home to some of the most stunning scenery in Britain. This morning we travel north through the Welsh countryside and it won’t be long before we cross into Snowdonia itself. Covering 823 square miles, this is Wales’ largest National Park, home to mountains, valleys and charming villages. It is area that provides the sights and sounds of ‘real’ Wales; more than half of the local population in this region speak Welsh. We’ll spend the day travelling through the heart of the National Park, with a number of stops along the way. In the foothills of Mount Snowdon, Wales’ highest peak, we’ll visit the picturesque village of Beddgelert, with its riverside craft, tea shops, and the ‘grave’ of the legendary hound ‘Gelert’ after which the village is named. We’ll also make the short journey to the coast, where we’ll stop in at Harlech Castle, one of Edward I’s ring of magnificent 13th Century medieval fortresses around North Wales. At the end of the afternoon following a full day exploring Snowdonia we’ll return to Aberystwyth for our second night in the town.
Pembrokeshire Coast, St Davids City & Pembroke Castle
Our adventure continues and today we’ll explore the south-westernmost corner of Wales.
Our adventure continues and today we’ll explore the south-westernmost corner of Wales. Departing Aberystwyth we’ll begin by travelling along the coast towards the tiny harbour town of New Quay. With it multi-coloured cottages and sandy beaches, the town has connections with Dylan Thomas, probably Wales’ most famous 20th century poet, and from the quay here you can often spot pods of Dolphins. Next, we continue south, passing the Presili Hills into Pembrokeshire Coast National Park, before arriving in Britain’s smallest city; St David’s. Despite its size the city is home to a magnificent cathedral, sited next to the Bishop’s Palace which was founded by Wales’ patron saint, St David. Inside the cathedral are the tombs of many influential medieval knights, as well as a shrine to St David himself. Our last stop today is Pembroke; a town dominated by one of the largest and most important castles in Anglo-Welsh history. Take a wander around the picturesque Castle Pond, but as you do beware of the infamous ‘Mr Nasty’ swan who lives here. Now it’s time to make the short journey to the charming seaside town of Tenby, where we’ll spend the night.
St Fagans, Cardiff Bay & Cardiff
This morning we depart Tenby and make our way to St Fagans National Museum of History, a fantastic, free open-air museum which captures a huge range of Welsh history in one place.
This morning we depart Tenby and make our way to St Fagans National Museum of History, a fantastic, free open-air museum which captures a huge range of Welsh history in one place. We’ll have plenty of time here as there is much to do and see. Set in 100-acres of parkland in the grounds of St Fagans Castle, there are more than fifty original re-constructed buildings from across Wales, showing different periods of Welsh architecture. There are also beautiful gardens, native breeds of livestock in the fields, workshops where craftsmen demonstrate traditional skills and much more. After ample time at St Fagans, we’ll make the short journey to the modern area of Cardiff Bay, where we’ll have some lunch. Cardiff Bay was formerly the city docklands and once the largest coal-trading port in the world. Now regenerated, it is home to the Welsh parliament, the Millenium Centre, an international sports village and the BBC’s home of Doctor Who. After lunch we’ll travel into the centre of historic Cardiff, and the rest of the afternoon will be free to explore Wales’ capital city. Wander through the streets of old Cardiff and perhaps visit the National Museum, Cardiff Castle or the Principality Stadium, sporting home of Wales’ national game, Rugby. Tonight we spend the final night of our tour in Cardiff.
Oxford & the Cotswolds
The final day of our Welsh voyage begins by departing Cardiff and making the short journey to Caerleon.
The final day of our Welsh voyage begins by departing Cardiff and making the short journey to Caerleon. Here we’ll take a short stop where you can visit the only Roman fortress in Wales; featuring an amphitheatre, museum, barracks and Roman Bath complex. Next, its time to cross the border back into England, where our journey takes us into the Cotswolds, an area of outstanding natural beauty. The Cotswolds is the quintessentially English countryside; famed for its rolling hills and sheep farming scenes. We’ll meander along country lanes, passing farmlands and quaint cottages as we make our way to Cirencester, a town affectionately known as the ‘Capital of the Cotswolds’. This town was the second most important Roman settlement and is located in the geographic centre of the Cotswolds. Here, explore the quaint streets, majestic church and grab some lunch. This afternoon we continue east to the ‘city of dreaming spires’, Oxford. Home to one of the world’s great universities, Oxford is a centre of education with Alumni that includes: JRR Tolkien, Stephen Hawking & Bill Clinton. Whilst here you can see the iconic Radcliffe Camera, Bodlean library and visit Christchurch College, where you’ll find the hall that inspired the Great Hall of Hogwarts in Harry Potter. Now it’s time to return to London where our Best of Wales Tour concludes.
This tour ends at the Mercure Kensington Hotel at approximately 6.30pm. If traffic conditions allow it may be possible to do an additional stop on Bath Road, Heathrow, for those staying in the Heathrow Airport area.
Includes: Full minibus transportation, services of professional Tour Leader, five-nights accommodation
Extras: Meals (except breakfast), entry to attractions