Chepstow, Tintern Abbey, Raglan Castle, Brecon Beacons National Park, Big Pit Coal Mine, Cardiff, St Fagans Museum of Welsh Life
1st Weekend Monthly, Friday evening-Saturday-Sunday. 2016 Dates: 01 April; 06 May; 03 June; 01 July; 05 Aug; 02 Sept
This superb, short tour of Wales will introduce you to the very best of South Wales. Focusing on one area of this wonderful country, you’re sure to have a personal, in-depth experience. It’s the ideal tour for those who really want to get off the beaten track on the discovery trail.
“I never realized that Wales was such a beautiful country…tour of Wales was a revelation. Traveling with the small group of us in our trusty mini-van was definitely the way to see it! Thanks… ” Jessie Strom (2004)
“I’m so pleased that I’ve finally discovered Wales. It’s my 51st country and few of the 50 preceding ones can beat it for such variety. My only regret is that I didn’t take the longer tour!” Martha Coffey (2006)
We have regional Wales tours and custom designed itineraries available throughout the year.
Day 1, Friday evening
Depart our Hammersmith, London meeting point this evening at 17:00 and head directly to Chepstow. Here guests have independent time to enjoy a meal under the shadow of the town castle and meander as they choose. Chepstow Castle was the first Norman stone castle in Wales and this is the area where Harry Potter author JK Rowling grew up, so a fun place to begin our Welsh weekend adventure!
Overnight: South Wales, farmhouse B&B or 17th Century town inn
Day 2, Saturday
After a hearty Welsh breakfast, the romantic Tintern Abbey, inspiration for one of William Wordsworth’s loveliest poems, is our first port of call. Later explore Raglan Castle ruins, stroll this place of inspiration for Robert Plant and others, as seen in the Led Zeppelin film Song Remains the Same.
The rest of our day will be spent around Brecon Beacon National Park, exploring the highlights. Visit Big Pit Coal Mine Museum – plunge down into the earth in the company of a former miner – and if we’ve whisky fans aboard, perhaps a detour via Wales’ famous Penderyn Whisky shop on our way into the Welsh capital city of Cardiff, our overnight location tonight.
Evening free to enjoy the Cardiff nightlife independently. Cardiff has a growing reputation for fine dining. As well as local Welsh flavours, Cardiff has some of Wales’ and the UK’s best international restaurants. Going out in Cardiff has never been better, with a huge choice of pubs and bars – cosy traditional pubs, funky bars and great nightclubs give Cardiff a social scene that is world renowned!
Day 3, Sunday
See the highlights of Cardiff, this city of Roald Dahl and Dr Who fame on a walking tour of the Docklands area with your guide followed by free time to visit as you choose. Dr Who fans may choose the interactive museum Dr Who Experience. Those with more traditional tastes may choose to see Cardiff Castle. The foundations of the castle date back to 50AD, and the imposing building walled with elaborate gargoyles is a 19th century gothic fantasy. We recommend lunch in one of Cardiff’s markets, two great farmers’ markets offers a range of organic, local and fair-trade products as well as favorite local treats. Another day spoilt for choice!
This afternoon see the open-air Museum of Welsh Life in the 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.
Alas, we must take our leave of the “Land of the Red Dragon,” crossing the river Severn back across the border. En-route back to London, time permitting a photo op at the prehistoric stones at Avebury, Stonehenge’s lesser known but perhaps more impressive ‘cousin.’ We will return to Hammersmith, London by early evening.
Oft imitated, never duplicated! This is an original SGT itinerary, property of Special Group Tours and to be used only with express permission/in conjunction with SGT.