A wonderfully comprehensive tour of Wales from north, west and south. This is not a fleeting glimpse of the popular tourist destination but a real, in-depth look at Wales. Offering comfortable transportation, expert guides at each location and a clearly set out daily program, share in the delights and charms of "Land of My Fathers", a 12-day tour of Wales.
Fixed Departure Date 2010
Autumn: 17th September
For groups of 6 or more, other dates available. Please contact us.
Day 1 Saturday – Chester – Betws y Coed
From Manchester, England - Mid morning, meet with your Tour Guide and board a luxury small coach for a two-hour drive to northern Wales. On route, and just a few miles short of the border you will visit The Historic Town of Chester which was founded as a Roman fort with the name Deva Victrix in the year 79 AD. Today’s Chester is one of the most beautiful historic cities in England, famous for its galleried rows, black & white timbered buildings, Roman remains, magnificent cathedral, shops & boutiques, town crier, ghost walks and complete city walls. Your guide will take you on a short walking tour of the City centre, after which there will be some free time before you continue your journey to Betws y Coed. After dinner, as a wonderful introduction to Wales, you will be joined by Dr. Elwyn Hughes an expert on ‘Wales and Welsh, ’ who will give you a light hearted presentation on the Welsh language, culture, traditions and heritage with anecdotes and some unusual facts. (B,D) Overnight in Betws y Coed
Day 2 Sunday – Betws y Coed, Great Orme, Bodnant Garden
After a leisurely breakfast there will be some free time to enjoy the village before you visit Conwy, a medieval Walled Town, with its walls extending to over three quarters of a mile, incorporating eighteen towers. This is where you can step back in time, wander through the narrow streets, and enjoy the shops and the quaint houses of this ancient town, ending your visit with a tour of its mighty castle. Later in the day you visit to the magnificent Bodnant Garden - one of Britain’s premier gardens. (B,D) Overnight in Betws y Coed
Day 3 Monday - Pottery, Art Gallery, Male Voice Choir Rehearsal
Your first visit today is to meet Vicky Buxton at her pottery studio and workshop in very remote woodland by Porth Llwyd Falls where she makes a selection of ceramics, decorative stoneware and porcelain. Then drive to the Isle of Anglesey to visit Oriel Mon, a premier, purpose built art gallery and showplace for local artists and craftspeople. A visit to “Llanfairpwllgwyngychgogerychwyrndrobwyllllandusulioggogogoch” the smallest village with the longest name in the world is a must after which you will travel to Y Bont, a delightful restaurant overlooking the Menai Strait, for dinner. Evening visit to the Penrhyn Male Choir at their rehearsal room in Bethesda, formed in the late 19th C,
it’s one of Wales’ oldest and best known male choirs. (B,D) Overnight in Betws y Coed
Day 4 Tuesday – Great Little Trains, Portmeirion, Aberaeron
Departing Betws y Coed, you'll journey through the Lledr valley to the mountain town of Blaenau Ffestiniog to board one of the ‘Great Little trains of Wales’ on a twelve mile scenic journey through the vale of Ffestiniog to the sea at Porthmadog. After boarding the coach your journey continues to Portmeirion. This unique ‘fantasy village’ was built between 1925 and 1975 by the late architect Clough Williams-Ellis, primarily to show how ‘the development’ of a
naturally beautiful site need not lead to its defilement’. Portmeirion welcomes visitors both for the day and to stay the night, either in the Hotel Portmeirion, situated on the shore of a very beautiful estuary, or the many cottages that make up the village. After lunch, travel south along the coast to the seaside town of Aberaeron, where you'll stay for the next three nights. (B,D) Overnight in Aberaeron
Day 5 Wednesday - Aberaeron, Llanerchaeron
Aberaeron’s most striking feature is its architecture. One house in every four is listed either as being of special architectural or historical interest. This small town was constructed in the 19th century by a ‘mad’ clergyman, the Reverend Alban Jones-Gwynne and his wife Susannah. They had inherited a vast fortune which they spent building the town and harbor from which grew a thriving trading port and a shipbuilding centre. Today it is a quiet seaside resort known countrywide for its exquisite ice cream and most amazing ‘fish and chips’. Morning is at leisure and the afternoon
will see you travel up the beautiful Aeron valley to Llanerchaeron. This is an 18th century Welsh gentry’s estate designed and built by John Nash with house, walled gardens and home farm, with many unaltered features including two walled gardens. (B,D) Overnight in Aberaeron
Day 6 Thursday – Ancient Times
St David’s cathedral is considered the holiest site in Wales due to its relics of St. David; the cathedral was a major pilgrimage destination throughout the Middle Ages and remains a thriving church today.
Here is where Dewi Sant (St David) the patron saint of Wales established the first monastic community in the 6th century and has been a site of pilgrimage and worship ever since. No bigger than a village, with only one square and a few side roads, the cathedral’s presence earns it the right to be called a city. You will take a private tour with a cathedral guide. In contrast to the massive cathedral, on your way back you will turn off the road to a secluded valley to discover the tiny sixth century Church of St Brynach. An avenue of 700 year old yew trees leads you through the church yard and,
near the church entrance, is a stunning thirteen-foot high 11th century Celtic cross. Not to be missed, a visit to nearby Pentre
Ifan, a Bronze-Age megalithic site is a must. Dating from at least 4000 B.C., it’s probably Wales’ finest example of a hilltop megalith (B,D)Overnight in Aberaeron
Day 7 Friday - Derwen Welsh Cob Centre, Woollen Mill Museum
Ifor and Myfanwy Lloyd, proprietors of the Derwen Stud and International Welsh Cob Centre, claim the Welsh Cob is the most beautiful and versatile horse in the world. Their stud farm extends to some two hundred and thirty acres overlooking the glorious Cardigan Bay. Welsh Cobs from Derwen have secured the supreme accolade of the breed twelve times, namely “The George, Prince of Wales Cup”, awarded at the Royal Welsh Show of Wales and also the “Queen’s Cup” presented by H.M. The Queen. Your tour continues to the picturesque village of Dre-fach Felindre in the beautiful Teififi valley which was once at the centre of a thriving woolen industry. Shirts and shawls, blankets and bedcovers, woolen stockings and socks were all made here, and sold in the surrounding countryside - and to the rest of the world. (B, D) Overnight in Caerfyrddin
Day 8 Saturday - Botanical Garden, Talley Abbey, Towi Valley
Start the day with a memorable visit to the 568 acre National Botanic Garden which is the most visited Garden in Wales and one of the most fascinating gardens in the UK. It occupies a truly beautiful location on the edge of the Tywi Valley, surrounded by gentle, rolling hills, and boasts the largest single span Glasshouse in the world. You will be helped along to enjoy its unique collection of over 10,000 different plants accompanied by your own specialist guide. After your visit, you will take a relaxing drive along the Towi valley to visit one of the lesser known Monastic ruins in Wales at Talley Abbey. For atmosphere and scenic quality, Talley Abbey fairly represents a case of ‘less is more’. Founded by Lord Rhys c1185, the Abbey is situated in the remote lowlands of Carmarthenshire. (B, D) Overnight in Caerfyrddin
Day 9 Sunday - A Day of Relaxation
A very relaxing day, after a late start you journey to the Gower Peninsula. The peninsula, measuring less than twenty-five miles has nearly 400 miles of ‘rights of way’ and walking routes, a wonderful and varied landscape with dramatic coastline, castles, medieval churches and stunning beaches. This was Britain’s first designated ‘Area of Natural Beauty’ by the Countryside Agency more than fifty years ago. But it is a land of bewitching natural beauty, myth and history. Gower is also a scattering of small, deep-rooted communities, where over the centuries, women and men have lived off the land and the sea as cockles have been harvested here from Roman times to the present day. It will be your final opportunity to experience the peace and tranquility of the countryside before you depart for Cardiff in the morning. (B, D) Overnight in Caerfyrddin
Day 10 Monday- Museum of Welsh Life, Big Pit Aberavon
One of the city’s main attractions is “St Fagan’s Museum of Welsh Life” which is part of the National Museum of Wales. Here you will see a collection of interesting buildings that have been moved stone by stone from all around Wales and reconstructed in this 100 acre parkland, with complete period content. The buildings include chapels, churches, houses and shops; there is also a working pottery, tannery, bake house, a Bronze Age village and farm with
‘rare breed’ animals. Big Pit is a real coal mine and one of Britain’s leading mining museums, you’ll visit the pithead bath exhibition, the medical centre, and other exhibitions focus on children in the mines, health, home life and the mining communities, you see how the life and work of the miner has changed between 1850 and the present day. You'll end the visit by taking a captivating journey around a section of the original underground workings with a former
miner as your guide. (B) Overnight in Cardiff
Day11 Tuesday - Cardiff
Cardiff is Wales’ largest city with a population of around 350,000 and, during Victorian times, was the biggest coal-exporting town in the world. Since granted Capital City status in 1955, the old coal town has been thoroughly transformed with a series of massive developments, not least the shiny National Assembly Building, the Millennium Centre for the arts and the huge city centre sports stadium - not to mention the rejuvenated waterfront with its giant
freshwater marina, shops, restaurants, museums and other attractions. Today will be largely unplanned as some will want do some last minute shopping whilst others might like to see some of the sights, everyone will have a ticket to board the city’s ‘hop-on hop-off’ open top sightseeing bus. Your day and indeed your tour will end with a conducted tour of Cardiff Castle followed by a farewell dinner for all at one of the city’ many eateries. (B,D)
Day 12 - Tour ends after breakfast.
• Three nights DB&B in a 3 star hotel in Betws y Coed.
• Three nights DB&B in a 3 star hotel in Aberaeron.
• Three nights DB&B in a 3 star hotel in Caerfyrddin.
• Two nights B&B in Cardiff.
• Farewell dinner.
• Admission and entry fees, docent guides.
• Comprehensive program of sightseeing as detailed in itinerary.
• All rooms with private bathroom, TV, hairdryer, tea and coffee facilities.
• Transport throughout by modern mini coach with experienced driver/guide.
• Porte rage, local taxes, gratuities to hotels /restaurants /docents.
• Visits, food, laundry, personal items and any other item not specifically mentioned in the itinerary.
• A gratuity to driver/guide is at participant’s discretion.
Tour Prices (in Great British Pounds):
£1395.00 GBP per person for sharing twin/double
Single traveler supplement £175.00 GBP
Contact Anne Marie Clarke at Across the Pond Vacations for more information on this in-depth small group tour of Wales.
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