Wed. Day 1 – After meeting up at Heathrow we will drive through England, stopping en-route for some refreshments, and into the beautiful Welsh countryside to stunning Powis Castle, a medieval castle rising dramatically above its superb gardens. It was built by Welsh princes and contains a world famous garden with Italianate terraces. It houses one of the most famous collections of paintings and furniture in Wales as well as a beautiful collection of treasures from India, which are housed in the Clive museum. We will then travel to our accommodation for the next two nights.
Thurs. Day 2 - This morning, after a leisurely breakfast we will visit the world famous Pontcysyllte Aqueduct, which was built by the great English engineer Thomas Telford and finished in 1801.
It’s then a short drive over the Horseshoe Pass to Llangollen which sits under the brooding Castell Dinas Bran. Here you will be able to stroll over the medieval town bridge and take a horse-drawn boat trip on the canal. The town is host each year to the Llangollen World Music Festival and while you are here you may find a colourful array of street events taking place.
Fri. Day 3 - Today we travel to spectacular Snowdonia. First we travel over the spectacular Llanberis Pass passing Mount Snowdon, Wales’ highest mountain before visiting Beddgelert, Snowdonia’s prettiest village. Here you will enjoy a stroll along the river and visit the grave of ‘Gelert’ the faithful hound of Prince Llewellyn. Throughout the history of Wales, Llewellyn is known as “Llewellyn the Great” because he was the first to unite all of the Welsh princes against the invading English
In the afternoon it’s on to the medieval walled town of Conwy. It has a magnificent brooding castle, picturesque quay and is overlooked by spectacular Snowdonia. Take a walk around the town walls and visit Britain’s smallest house. Also take time for Plas Mawr, a wondrous Elizabethan town house.
Sat. Day 4 - You will start today by visiting the Welsh town which is famous for having the longest place name in the U.K. Here you will be able to take photos and pay a visit to the station gift shop. Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantisiliogogogoch. Here you will be able to take photos and pay a visit to the station gift shop.
Next, we will visit Bodnant Gardens, one of the most beautiful gardens in the UK. Spanning some 80 acres, the gardens are situated above the River Conwy on ground sloping towards the west, looking across the valley towards the Snowdonia range. The garden has two parts. The upper garden around Bodnant Hall consists of the terraced gardens and informal lawns shaded by trees. The lower portion, known as the "Dell" is formed by the valley of the River Hiraethlyn and contains the Wild garden.
We then drive down to Blaenau Ffestiniog in the heart of Wales’ slate quarrying area. Hear you will take the train through areas of outstanding beauty inaccessible by road whilst being looked after by the oldest independent train Company in the world.
You then get to spend some time in Porthmadog which is the gateway to Snowdonia and is famous for its “Cob” which was built to form the deepwater port from where large sailing ships carried slate all around the world.
Sun. Day 5 – To-day we head south to continue your tour travelling down Wales’ beautiful west coast. First stop to-day is King Arthurs Labyrinth which brings to life Welsh myths and legends.
In the afternoon you stop at Nevern. St. Brynach founded a church here in the 6th century. In the churchyard don’t miss the famous ‘Bleeding Yew’ and the stunning Great Cross an inscribed 10th century masterpiece standing about 13 feet high. We will also take a trip up to the pilgrims’ cross. See if you can find it.
From there it’s a short drive to Pentre Ifan one of the U.K.’s best burial mounds set in a stunning location underneath Carn Inglis.
It’s then on to your hotel for two nights
Mon Day 6 - Today you are free to explore the smallest city in Britain, St. Davids, birthplace of our Patron Saint and home to the magnificent 13th century Cathedral and Bishops’ Palace. Enjoy a guided tour of the Cathedral, which has been a popular place of pilgrimage since the middle- ages, and explore the city at your leisure.
Tues Day 7 - It’s time to head east this morning and visit Laugharne, once, home to Wales’ literary genius Dylan Thomas. Thomas is one of Wales’ finest poets with an extraordinary way with words.
"It is Spring, moonless night in the small town, starless and bible-black, the cobblestreets silent and the hunched, courter's-and-rabbits' wood limping invisible down to the sloeblack, slow, black, crowblack, fishing boat-bobbing sea. The houses are blind as moles (though moles see fine tonight in the snouting, velvet dingles) or blind as Captain Cat there in the muffled middle by
the pump and the town clock, the shops in mourning, the Welfare Hall in widows' weeds. And all the people of the lulled and dumbfound town are sleeping now."
So started Dylan Thomas in "Under Milk Wood", based on his experiences in Wales, but especially in the township of Laugharne where he spent much time, reflecting his experiences in the sleepy township that he loved so much.
This afternoon you will be treated to a journey back in time to the year 1645, a turbulent period in Britain’s history, as we go to Llancaiach Fawr built in 1530 for Dafydd ap Richard. The Manor was designed to be easily defended during the turbulent reigns of Tudor kings and queens and is one of the finest examples of a semi-fortified manor in Wales today.
Visitors today step into the Manor House restored and furnished as it would have been in 1645. You might the Master and Mistress of the house and will certainly encounter some of their servants.
It’s then on to your hotel in Cardiff where you will stay for the next 3 nights.
Wed Day 8 -. This morning you will get the opportunity of experiencing the life of a coal miner as you visit Big Pit. You will be issued with a miner’s helmet and lantern and taken underground for a tour led by one of the miners who used to work in the mine.
From there it’s a short drive to The Skirrid Wales’ oldest inn. The building has stood for over 900 years and has a rich and varied history. It has witnessed many events since the Norman Conquest and was used by Judge Jeffries the notorious “Hanging Judge” in the 1600’s. It stands opposite Ysgyryd Fawr (Holy Mountain) which split in two during a violent storm at the time of the crucifixion.
The afternoon takes you on a wonderful drive down the spectacular Wye valley before you arrive at the world famous Tintern Abbey, situated in one of the most picturesque settings you can imagine. The 12th century abbey has inspired writers and painters for over two hundred years.
The final visit of the day will be to the old Roman town of Isca, where you will have a chance to see the remains of a Roman barracks and a splendid amphitheatre.
Thurs. Day 9 - You will spend this morning at the Museum of Welsh Life at St. Fagans just outside Cardiff. A collection of period buildings from all parts of Wales has been carefully dismantled and rebuilt. You will see how life in Wales has changed over time in the superlative Rhyd-y-car ironworkers’ cottages, which were built in about 1800.
This afternoon you will have free time in Cardiff, Wales’ capital city, to do some last minute sightseeing and shopping. There are fascinating museums to see and you might like to take a tour of the Millenium Stadium, home of Welsh rugby. There is also a river taxi that runs down to Cardiff Bay home of the Millennium Centre and the Senedd, seat of the Welsh Assembly Government
Fri. Day 10 – Unfortunately it’s time to return to Heathrow for your flight home.
Why not bring 9 friends or family members with you and get your holiday completely free.
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