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Wales 14 Day Spring Castles, Pubs and Tearooms Tour

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Key Information:
Tour Duration: 14 day(s)
Group Size: 6 - 12 people
Destination(s): Wales   England  
Specialty Categories: Archeology/History   Cultural Journey  
Season: April - May
Airfare Included: No
Tour Customizable: No
Minimum Per Person Price: 4695 US Dollar (USD)
Maximum Per Person Price: 4695 US Dollar (USD)

This tour is offered April 24th - May 7th!

This is a small intimate tour of Wales limited to 10 - 12 people in order to make for a more enjoyable experience. Keeping the tour size to a minimum does not limit us as to where we can go and what we can do. We will stay in small homey guest houses, country house hotels and coaching inns. Our meals will be taken in old world inns, medieval pubs, unique tearooms and intimate seaside cafés and restaurants.

Wales has more castles per square mile than any other place in the British Isles and I have chosen but a few of the many that are on my must see list. The history is truly astounding and to be able to take meals in 12th, 13th & 14th century establishments is bordering on the unbelievable. From a Medieval Banquet in Cardiff to the Gower Peninsula, which was the first part of Britain to be named an Area of Outstanding Beauty. And from Pembrokeshire to the Brecon Beacons we will see all the glory of South Wales. From from Powis to the Snowdonia National Park and Anglesey Island to Colwyn Bay and Offa's Dyke Path we will see the wild beauty of North Wales. 12 Days of Spectacular castles, important historical sites, ancient pubs, medieval coaching inns and intimate tearooms.

Features include:
-The Bridge Tea Rooms in Bradford-On-Avon
-Chepstow Castle
-Tintern Abbey
-Raglan Castle
-Open Top Bus Tour of Cardiff
-Castle Coch
-Museum of Welsh Life
-Gwalia Tea Rooms
-Welsh Medieval Banquet at Cardiff Castle
-Gower Peninsula and The Mumbles
-Tudor Merchant's House in Tenby
-Medieval Coaching Inn Downtown Tenby
-Pembroke Castle
-Brecon Beacons
-Carreg Cennen Castle
-12th Century Red Lion Pub in Llanafan Fawr
-Hay-on-Wye and Llanthony Priory
-Powis Castle
-Old Station Tearoom
-Harlech Castle
-Snowdonia North Wales
-Ty Gwyn Historic Coaching Inn
-Caernarfon Castle
-Conwy Castle
-St. Tudno Hotel Tearoom
-14th Century White Lion Inn in Llanelian

Tour Itinerary

Day 1 - April 24th - You will be met at London Heathrow Airport but our adventure starts in South Wales. Along the way we stop at The Bridge Tea Rooms in Bradford-On-Avon for Afternoon Tea. We then continue to Wales and the capitol city of Cardiff. After getting settled into our accommodation we will gather for a Welcoming Dinner in Cardiff to kick off this tour. Dinner and Overnight PontyPridd near Cardiff. (L,D)

Day 2 - After a good Welsh breakfast we will visit Castle Coch. The name means Red Castle in Welsh, this late 19th century fairytale castle, built on medieval remains was designed for the 3rd Marquess of Bute by William Burges. Lavishly decorated and furnished in the Victorian Gothic style, this castle is a romantic vision of the Middle Ages. This afternoon we will return to Cardiff where you will board an Open Top Bus complete with guide for a Tour of Cardiff City with hop on and off service with stops for Cardiff Castle, National Museum and Gallery, Millennium Stadium and Cardiff Bay. Cardiff was made a city in 1905, and proclaimed capital of Wales in 1955, making it the youngest capitol city in the UK. The rest of the afternoon is free before we meet up this evening to visit Cardiff Castle for a Medieval Banquet. Overnight PontyPridd near Cardiff. (B,D)

Day 3 - This morning we visit Caerphilly and Caerphilly Castle before heading west. Caerphilly is one of the great medieval castles of Western Europe. Its immense size, making it the largest in Britain after Windsor, its large-scale use of water for defense and the fact that it is the first truly concentric castle in Britain all contribute to this. We are next off to Carreg Cennen Castle, one of the most spectacularly sited Welsh castles. Spell-binding views are waiting to be experienced from the sharp hilltop upon which the castle sits and dominates its surroundings. We stop for lunch at the Gelli Aur Tearooms before a visit to Laugharne, home of Dylan Thomas. While here we will visit his Boathouse, Grave
and Writing Shed. From the Parlor of the boathouse, you look out on the landscape from which Dylan drew so much of his inspiration. You can literally see the sources of his poetry and the structure of the Boathouse is largely as it was when the family lived here. Dinner and Overnight Pembrokeshire. (B,L,D)

Day 4 - Following a hearty breakfast we travel to St. David's where St. David's Cathedral has been the dominant presence since the 12th century and was a popular pilgrimage destination throughout the middle ages. Since the 6th century there has been a church on this site and for the past 1500 years prayer and worship has been offered on a daily basis which continues to this day. We then make our way to Tenby in Pembrokeshire. Tenby is a coastal town steeped in ancient history surrounded by an imposing stone wall, built in the 13th century. We will stop for a Traditional Fish & Chips Lunch on the Wharf before we visit the Tudor Merchant's House, a 15th century relic of Tenby's prosperous
seafaring days. Step back 500 years and discover how the Tudor merchant and his family would have lived in this fascinating
three stored house. Dinner on your own and Overnight Pembrokeshire. (B,L)

Day 5 - Our first stop of the day is the Pemberton Chocolate Farm. Smell, taste, drink, see, listen to, touch and absorb the full flavors of fine chocolate at this award winning chocolate farm in the heart of the Welsh countryside! The most popular megalithic site in Wales is Pentre Ifan. It is a splendid burial chamber with a huge capstone delicately poised on three uprights. Once known as Arthurs' Quoit, Pentre Ifan means Ivan's Village. The monument dates back to about 3500 BC. Our coastal drive then takes us through Cardigan, New Quay and Aberaeron and on to the lovely seaside village of Aberystwyth with a stop along the way for lunch. You will have some time to investigate this seaside university city before we get checked into out accommodation. Dinner and Overnight near Aberystwyth. (B,L,D)

Day 6 - Today our coastal drive will take us further north to Harlech and Harlech Castle. As if its spectacular situation,
foreboding might, and great power were not sufficient to ensure the fame of this magnificent castle, Harlech is also inseparably linked in Welsh myth with the tragic heroine of Branwen, the daughter of Llyr, of the Mabinogion. We then travel through the beautiful Snowdonia Region of Wales on our way to Betws-y-Coed. We will take a short detour to Portmeirion, designed and built by Sir Clough Williams-Ellis between 1925 and 1975 in the style of an Italian village. Once in Betws-y-Coed you will have free time to enjoy this lovely Snowdonian village. Dinner at the Ty Gwyn
Hotel in Betws-y-Coed tonight. Overnight near Betws-y-Coed. (B,L,D)

Day 7 - Following breakfast our first visit of the day is Caernarfon Castle. Caernarfon is architecturally one of the most
impressive of all of the castles in Wales. Most impressive of all is the Eagle Tower crowned by its triple cluster of turrets. We
will stop in Llandudno for Afternoon Tea before a visit to Conwy Castle. Words cannot do justice to Conwy Castle as it is by any standards, one of the great fortresses of medieval Europe. Conwy's well-preserved castle wall helps the town maintain a medieval character lost by other Welsh castle-towns over the years. Conwy is also home to Britain's smallest house, measuring 10 feet by 6 feet. The structure was used as a residence from the 16th century until 1900 when the owner was a 6 ft 3 inch (1.9 meters) fisherman named Robert Jones. Dinner at the White Lion Inn in Llanelian. Ale has been served on the site of the White Lion Inn since the year 722! Overnight near Betws-y-Coed. (B,L,D)

Day 8 - Our first stop today is the Glassblobbery near Corwen. The studio offers all sorts of glass animals, glass flowers,
glass dragons and other glass sea creatures all hand made at the studio. There is also work on show by other artists and craftsmen using other materials. Then we are off to board The Steam Hauled Heritage LLangollen Railway, starting at Llangollen Station located beside the Dee River Bridge in Llangollen Town, and continuing for 7 ½ miles upstream, following the River Dee to the village of Carrog. Once we are back in Llangollen we will stop for lunch before a wander around the town. This afternoon we visit the evocative ruins of Valle Crucis Abbey, which stands in green fields beneath Llangollen's steep sided mountains. The Abbey, founded in the 13th century has fared well against the ravages of time,history and neglect. Dinner and Overnight near Llangollen. (B,L,D)

Day 9 - After breakfast this morning we visit Chirk Castle, completed in 1310, Chirk is the last Welsh castle from the reign
of Edward I still lived in today. Features from its 700 years, include the medieval tower and dungeon, 17th-century Long Gallery, grand 18th-century state apartments, servants' hall and historic laundry. Afternoon Tea in Llangollen before we depart from picturesque Llangollen Wharf on the canal boat "Thomas Telford" and enjoy two hours of peaceful cruising along the stunning Dee valley. A live commentary from the skipper gives history, local knowledge and up to date gossip along the way. Dinner on your own in Llangollen. Overnight near Llangollen. (B,L)

Day 10 - This morning we make our way through picturesque villages and the lovely Welsh countryside on our way to Abbey Cwm Hir, mid Wales most unique and beautiful stately home and historic house. This 52 Room Victorian Revival Gothic Mansion sits in 12 acres of gardens overlooking the ruins of the 12th century cistercian abbey. Before our tour of the house we will have a lovely lunch in the house. Next visit is Hay-on-Wye and Llanthony Priory. Llanthony
was one of the earliest houses of Augustinian Canons to founded in Britain and is famous for its wild and beautiful setting. Hay-in-Wye lies on the east bank of the River Wye and is within the Brecon Beacons National Park, just north of the Black Mountains. The town is situated just within the Welsh side of the border with Herefordshire, England. Hay-on-Wye is a destination for bibliophiles in the United Kingdom, with over thirty bookshops, many selling specialist and second-hand books. Dinner and Overnight near Brecon. (B,L,D)

Day 11 - Our first visit today is White Castle, standing on a low hill about a mile from the village of Llantilio Crossenny. The Welsh form of the name, Castell Gwyn was first recorded in the 13th century and refers to the white rendering which is still visible on parts of the exterior walls. Next we visit Usk Castle, an enchanting and romantic ruin overlook the small town of Usk, and the wide river valley beyond. “It is like the secret castle that no one’s ever found” in it's natural and peaceful setting with the ancient walls covered with creeper, and old stone towers inviting the visitor to explore. Afternoon Tea at the Angel hotel in Abergavenny before a visit to Raglan Castle. This 15th century castle is characterized by pale, almost yellowish sandstone from Redbrook on the Wye river, three miles away. Raglan with its great
multi-angular towers and Tudor-styling, is unlike any other castle in Wales. Dinner on your own in Tintern. Overnight Tintern. (B,L)

Day 12 - After breakfast our journey starts in Tintern with Tintern Abbey. The Cistercian abbey of Tintern is one of the greatest monastic ruins of Wales. It was only the second Cistercian foundation in Britain, and the first in Wales, and was
founded on 9 May 1131. This is one of my favorite stops in Wales! Our next stop is Chepstow Castle, superbly set high upon its river cliff above the Wye, Chepstow still guards one of the main river crossings from southern England into Wales. Few castles in Britain tell the story of medieval fortification, from beginning to end, as does this mighty stronghold. We next visit Caerwent Roman Town, a small quiet village that was once the site of a busy and bustling Roman town with numerous shops, houses, baths, temples and a civic hall and marketplace. It was then known as Venta Silurum 'the market of the Silures'. Dinner and Overnight Tintern. (B,D)

Day 13 - This morning we make our way to the Gloucester to visit Gloucester Cathedral, a place of worship for over 1300 years. The present cathedral was begun in 1089 and in 1216, Henry III was crowned here and King Edward II is buried here. We then make our way to Oxford with a stop for lunch along the way. Once in Oxford we visit the Bodleian Library on a behind the scenes tour, where you will certainly recognize areas used in filming the Harry Potter movies. The Bodleian, chief among the University’s libraries, has a special place. It first opened its doors to scholars in 1602 and these buildings are still used by students and scholars from all over the world. We then drove to a lovely location just outside of London Heathrow. Farewell Dinner and Overnight near Heathrow. B,L,D)

Day 14 - After a hearty breakfast, we return to Heathrow Airport in London to prepare for our journey home. (B)

Airfare is not included in the tour price.

Price Includes:
- full breakfast each morning
- all lunches
- teas and dinners as listed in the itinerary
- escorted minibus with guide
- luggage handling
- all sightseeing including entrance fees
- all accommodation
- all taxes and service fees
- no hidden costs