- Tour Date: 10 – 18 September
- Tour Rate: $2699 USD per person in twin/double room; $450 single supplement
-Early Booking Special, save $100 per person if confirmed before 31 Dec
- This tour begins in London and ends in Manchester. You will be picked up from your London hotel at approximately 09:00.
- Duration: 9 days/9 nights.
Wales - The hills are alive, both with singing and the second oldest language spoken in Europe. On this tour you'll sample the fantastic scenery of three National Parks and the most impressive range of 12th Century castles of anywhere in the British Isles.
You'll enjoy a heritage coastline, a steam train ride through the mountains, Capitol city Cardiff and the fantastic National Folk Museum of Wales. You'll see fabulous industrial heritage of the Rhondda, prehistoric tombs, Roman remains, walled cities, the Valley of Kings, beautiful gardens and hear a Welsh Male Voice Choir. In Wales, you’ll find the preservation of an ancient Celtic culture and discover the tell tale signs of invaders such as the Romans and Normans in spectacular castles, settlements and reminders of the industrial age. All in all, this tour is a sampler of the best of what this wonderful country has to offer visitors, something to please all tastes. Croeso i Gymru! Welcome to Wales!
Day One Saturday, 10 September, Today, arrive into London. The day is free so you have the chance to relax, recover from your international journey and go sightseeing in the Capitol as you wish.
Perhaps you will choose to go around on the “Big Bus”, the best introduction to the iconic sites of the Capitol. Hop off when you want then hop back on - a fun way to start your holiday!
The Capitol has dozens of museums, galleries and some Welsh churches to discover, if you have the interest. London has a wide array of public parks and gardens of all shapes and sizes. The Royal Gardens at Kew is a popular choice. The choice is yours!
NIGHTSTOP: London (accommodation included in package)
Day Two Sunday, 11 September, We will depart London this morning and make our way to Wales, the Land of Song.
Our first stop is at Chepstow, on the River Wye. The town's castle was the first Norman stone castle in Wales and it stands on the cliff top overlooking the Wye. We'll take time to explore the castle and the town and perhaps take a spot of lunch before travelling up the Wye Valley to Tintern Abbey, one of the most beautifully situated ruins in the country. Our next port of call is at Caerleon, known to the Romans as Isca. This was the home of the 2nd Augustinian Legion, one of the three permanent legionary bases in Britain. We'll see the remains of some of the troops' barracks as well as the amphitheatre, the only one completely excavated in Britain.
NIGHTSTOP: Newport area or Bridgend, South Wales
Day Three Monday, 12 September, The civic centre of the Welsh capital - Cardiff - is magnificent by world standards. It will be the showpiece of a panoramic city tour. We then continue on our lovely day to the open-air Museum of Welsh Life in the nearby village of St Fagans. This fascinating mirror of hundreds of years of Welsh life embraces dozens of authentic buildings, removed from all corners of the country and painstakingly and faithfully rebuilt and refurbished here. Houses, churches and chapels, a mill, bakery, pubs and even a school, have been wonderfully preserved.
This afternoon we explore the verdant Vale of Glamorgan, choosing from the market town where Sir Anthony Hopkins went to school, the Valley of Kings where the wizard Merlin was schooled, rugged coastline where smugglers lured ships to the rocks, and we'll cross a river by 13th century stepping stones.
NIGHTSTOP: South Wales, as above
Day Four Tuesday, 13 September, We begin our journey west, with a brief stop at Swansea along the scenic Gower Coast for lunch before continuing to Merlin’s town of Carmarthen, today a thriving market town and the centre for Welsh-speaking West Wales. After exploring this interesting town, we move on to Laugharne, where Swansea-born Dylan Thomas lived for 16 years. He described Laugharne as "this timeless, mild, beguiling island of a town..." Many characters from his poem Under Milk Wood were based on local people. We'll follow a cliff walk to visit his house and hear of his life and works. From here, it’s not far to Pembrokeshire and our base tonight.
NIGHTSTOP: Pembroke area, West Wales
Day Five Wednesday, 14 September, Crossing the Preseli Mountains from whence, it is thought, some of Stonehenge’s boulders came, we'll find one of the finest megalithic monuments in Britain, Pentre Ifan. This striking burial chamber dates from around 3000-4000BC.
Our next stop is at St. David's. It was here that the patron saint of Wales was born and lived. There'll be time for you to explore this fascinating little town with its cathedral and bishop's palace. The rest of today will be a lovely and scenic drive around the wonders of Pembrokeshire Coast National Park.
NIGHTSTOP: West Wales, as above
Day Six Thursday, 15 September, We'll be exploring the mystical West Wales coastline, alternative rugged and pretty with its small harbours. Was this the real land of Arthur, for all that the Cornwall legend claims? It is certainly possible that this great warrior who united a people against Saxon invaders was indeed a Welsh prince. We'll learn about another, one who definitely lived, Owain Glyn Dwr and visit the site of his 15th century parliament at Machynlleth. Then there's the Victorian resort and university harbour town of Aberystwyth.
Finally, if we’ve time, the impressive Harlech Castle before making our way to our North Wales accommodation. Our accommodation stop will be either the lovely Victoria seaside town of Llandudno or the walled city of Conwy.
NIGHTSTOP: Llandudno/Conwy area, North Wales
Day Seven Friday, 16 September, (ND) Today, you will have the whole day to relax and explore your surroundings at your leisure. Your guide will be on hand for an optional walking tour and advice for the day’s options but what you do today is totally up to you!
Llandudno is an elegant Victorian seaside resort. What’s to see and do? Plenty! The pier is a lovely place for a walk, dotted with cafes and a nice place to watch the boats go by. Then there’s a pier-side theatre, the wide, flower-filled promenade, the imposing Victorian buildings that face the sea and the covered shopping streets are all reminiscent of a bygone age. The town also boasts a funicular railway that you may choose to ride to the top of the Great Orme, where you'll get splendid views of the Snowdonia countryside.
If you prefer to go a bit further afield, it’s just a short distance to the charming town of Conwy. Conwy’s wall was erected in the 12th century by Norman conquerors and with the massive castle dominating one corner, it makes this harbour town one of the most interesting in the UK. Alternatively, you can hop on a train and spend the day in the English town of Chester, another walled city, founded by the Romans along the River Dee. There’s plenty to enjoy here such as a fine cathedral, Roman remains including part of an amphitheatre and shopping opportunities in the unique mediaeval ‘rows.’ Dinner is not included tonight for flexibility’s sake.
NIGHTSTOP: North Wales, as above
Day Eight Saturday, 17 September, Today we explore the heart of Snowdonia, Snowdonia National Park. This is one of dominating peaks, the highest in England and Wales, featuring narrow mountain passes, flowing streams, cascading waterfalls, sheep-covered uplands and verdant, hidden valleys. It has been claimed that these secluded valleys were home to the ‘real’ King Arthur. Certainly, an ancient Welsh culture and language still thrives here today. We'll explore it in true off the beaten track fashion, taking you beyond the regular tourist haunts downs tracks and paths that will have you gasping!
Our day will include a steam train journey through the mountains on a half-gage railway. Later, the group can choose a visit to the great slate mine at Blaenau Ffestiniog, or copper mine at Sygun or a woollen mill. Small group touring allows for flexibility and input from the guests so you can create your own adventure!
NIGHTSTOP: North Wales, as above
Day Nine Sunday, 18 September, Garden lovers are in for a treat this morning with a visit to Bodnant Gardens. Quoting from their own website, it's "one of the most beautiful gardens in the UK", spanning some 80 acres and is situated above the River Conwy on ground sloping towards the west and 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.
This afternoon we drive via Lake Bala to Llangollen. From the canal wharf you can embark on either a horse drawn boat trip along the feeder for the main canal, or a motorised aqueduct cruise which takes you across the famous Pontcysyllte Aqueduct built by Thomas Telford.
Alas, our adventures in the Land of Song must come to an end and we will make our way into Manchester this afternoon. Dinner is not included this evening for flexibility’s sake.
NIGHTSTOP: Manchester (accommodation is included in your package.)
Please Note: All attraction opening times are correct at time of printing this website. While we do our utmost to include all properties, we reserve the right to change an attraction should it become impossible to visit due to change in opening times, days.
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Europe Wales Local Culture Sightseeing Cultural Journey
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