Wonder of Wales Celtic Roots Tour. 7 Day Small Group Trip
BRECON BEACONS, CONWAY, SNOWDONIA NATIONAL PARK & PEMBROKESHIRE - Wales is a land of mystery and delight. It is perhaps the closest of all of Britain’s regions to its Celtic roots -this distinct Celtic heritage continues to define the Welsh culture giving them a strong sense of national pride. On this week-long journey around this fascinating Principality, we take in the major sites and learn about Welsh history, language, culture, and industry, as well as enjoying some of the most spectacular scenery anywhere in the United Kingdom.
- 6 nights in charming hotel accommodation
- Driver/guide companion
- Mercedes mini-coach transportation throughout
- Full English breakfast daily
- 3 x evening meals and 1 x lunch
- Early supper experience at Cefn Park “Victorian Kitchen”
- Welsh whisky tour
- Visit to a Welsh vineyard
- Welsh language lesson and tea
- Trip on a narrow gauge steam railway
Day 1: Cardiff – Brecon Beacons
Our tour begins this morning in the Welsh capital, Cardiff. After meeting our guide and travel companions, we depart for a panoramic tour of the Cardiff Bay area before visiting the National History Museum of Wales at St. Fagans, which offers a fantastic insight to Welsh heritage. Heading north we will pass the dramatic Caerphilly Castle in the region known as the Welsh Valleys, home to Wales’s former coal mining industry. At the Big Pit, one of Britain’s leading mining museums, we will have the chance to go down a real mine and learn more about the history of the industry in Wales. We then travel into the beautiful Brecon Beacons National Park to Penderyn for a tour of an award winning Welsh whisky distillery before continuing to our accommodation base in Crickhowell. (D)
Day 2: Brecon Beacons – Wye Valley – Brecon Beacons
This morning we journey south from Crickhowell to enjoy some Roman history at Caerleon – the site of one of Britain’s three permanent Roman Legionary Fortresses. We then drive to the beautiful Wye Valley where we stop at Tintern, home to the Abbey that inspired Wordsworth’s famous poem, Lines written a few miles above Tintern Abbey. After lunch we will travel up the steep valleyside, to learn about the United Kingdom’s growing wine industry as we stop at an award winning vineyard. Continuing our journey, we pass the beautiful ruined Augustinian priory at Llanthony before winding our way back to Crickhowell via Hay-on-Wye, commonly known as the ‘Town of Books’. (B)
Day 3: Brecon Beacons – Conwy
We bid farewell to the Brecon Beacons this morning and travel north through the border regions of Mid Wales stopping at Abbey Cwm Hir Hall, a gothic-style stately Victorian home with 12 acres of beautiful gardens and passing the impressive Froncysyllte Aqueduct, the longest and highest in the United Kingdom. Later today we will enjoy a traditional afternoon tea at Cefn Park, where the owners of this country estate will tell us the fascinating story of how they unearthed and restored the original below stairs Victorian kitchen. After check-in at our hotel in Conwy, we head to Llandudno for some evening entertainment in the form of a traditional Male Voice Choir concert. (B,L)
Day 4: Conwy
Today you have a day at leisure in the medieval walled town of Conwy. We particularly recommend a visit to Conwy Castle, originally built by Edward I between 1283 and 1287. You may also wish to take a short trip to the pleasant seaside resort of Llandudno. (B)
Day 5: Conwy – Nant Gwrtheyrn – Conwy
This morning we leave Conwy and head west to Caernarfon Castle. Built by Edward I as a Royal Palace, in the 13th century, it is probably the most famous castle in Wales and its sheer scale and commanding presence easily set it apart from the rest. We then pay a visit to the National Slate Museum in Llanberis. This afternoon we travel along the beautiful Lleyn Peninsula to the Heritage Centre at Nant Gwrtheyrn where we will enjoy a short talk on the ancient Welsh language. You will also have the chance to learn a few words in this notoriously difficult to pronounce language for yourself and enjoy a welsh tea! We then return to Conwy where we enjoy dinner with the rest of the group. (B,D)
Day 6: Conwy – Snowdonia – Ceredigion
We bid farewell to Conwy this morning and drive south through the beautiful Snowdonia National Park. We make a stop at Harlech, home to another impressive castle and an important place in Welsh national culture. Later this morning, we will enjoy a spectacular ride on the Talyllyn narrow-gauge steam railway. Cutting through rural mid-Wales, Talyllyn became the world’s first preserved railway in 1951. We then head to Aberdovey for lunch before making our way south to our accommodation base in the Ceredigion region where we enjoy a final group dinner together. (B,D)
Day 7: Ceredigion – Pembrokeshire – Cardiff
We continue our journey around the west coast of Wales this morning as we head into the beautiful coastal county of Pembrokeshire. Our guide will give us a choice of places to stop on the way to Laugharne, where we visit the boathouse that was home to Dylan Thomas, Wales’s greatest poet. We then return to Cardiff where our tour ends. (B)
Entrance Fees Included:
- St Fagans National History Museum
- Big Pit National Coal Museum
- Caerleon Roman Baths and Museum
- Abbey Cwm Hir Hall Gardens
- Caernarfon Castle
- National Slate Museum, Llanberis
- Harlech Castle
- Dylan Thomas Boathouse
Why Small Groups:
AUTHENTIC LOCAL EXPERIENCES We take you to places away from the standard tourist trails. Go beyond the tourist façade to learn more about local food, crafts, history and culture.
BACK ROADS, NOT FREEWAYS Unlike large coaches, our mini-coaches can go anywhere a car can. Travel to the smallest town squares, along hedge-rimmed country lanes and access tiny, medieval villages full of stories and character.
CULINARY ENCOUNTERS Many of our itineraries have an included lunch or dinner at one of the region's local restaurants. We call these 'Culinary Encounters'. You'll find some of our destinations' restaurants have been selected because they offer regional specialities. Others are chosen because they are popular with the locals or have a historical story.
NO EARLY MORNING STARTS The good news is that our tours never leave our accommodation prior to 8.30am. In fact, many departures are after 9am. After all you are on holiday!
CHARMING LOCAL ACCOMMODATION We use quality local accommodation that reflects the character of your destination (we never stay at large chain hotels).
Departs every Saturday from 14th April 2013 - 6th October 2013