WOW! Women Only Wales, North Wales Spectacular Scenery & Special Activities tour

June 13th–June 22nd, 2016

Travel with like-minded travelers in the stunning Welsh countryside and enjoy a variety of special activities with the local people!

10 days in North Wales

Hey Ladies!

Here’s your chance to experience the REAL Wales – Explore the language, history, culture and people – up close and personal.  This is so much more than just a tour!

Why Wales? It is arguably the most ‘untouched’ part of the British Isles.   It’s lush well kept countryside, picturesque villages, fine gardens, medieval castles and quaint cottages are storybook perfect.  The Welsh are a proud people who have carefully preserved their culture and are more than happy to share it with you.  Join them in their villages, their gardens and even their homes.  Experience what they do for recreation and how they make their living in the Villages of North Wales. Meet the real people of Wales…

Your bilingual, local Welsh guide, Idwal Jones, will bring the culture, history and legends to life for you.

Why just tour a country when you can EXPERIENCE it?



  • Tour Highlights:
  • • Visit to Llanllechid Primary School
  • • Join the ladies of the village of Llanfairfechan in a game of Crown Green Bowling
  • • Spend a morning at a Cooking School
  • • Visit the Mighty Castle at Conwy
  • • Wine tasting and dinner at family run Pant Du vineyard
  • • Meet the ladies of Abergwyngregin & visit their gardens
  • • Enjoy a male voice choir rehearsal
  • • Visit a mountain farm with lunch
  • • Enjoy lunch at Wales’ most famous tea room
  • • Ride the Great Orme Tramway
  • • Theatre evening
  • • Visit the ruins of Penmon Priory
  • • Visit the home of the Ladies of Llangollen
  • • Canal boat ride over Telford’s famous Aqueduct
  • • Visit Oriel Mon
  • • Enjoy a 12 mile steam train ride
  • • Visit the Village of Portmeirion
  • • Take a Welsh Language lesson
  • • Visit Gwydir Castle
  • • Visit Vicky’s Buxton Pottery
  • • Bodnant Garden



Day 1  – Monday June 13th

The tour starts outside the New Blossoms Hotel, St John’s St, Chester at 09.30. We then travel a few miles to the west crossing the border to Wales. Here we board a narrowboat and enjoy our morning coffee whilst crossing the world famous 200 year old Thomas Telford Aqueduct. We then travel to Llangollen to visit Plas Newydd, the former home of the ‘Ladies of Llangollen’ and learn why these two aristocratic ladies eloped to Wales in 1778. After some free time in the town we continue our journey over the Horseshoe Pass and the Clwydian Hills to Llandudno, which is our base for the duration of the tour. Pre-dinner drinks followed by evening dinner at Can y Bae Hotel.

OVERNIGHT: Can-Y-Bae Hotel, Llandudno


Day 2   – Tuesday June 14th

Walk along the wide promenade of this delightful Victorian seaside resort to board Britain’s only remaining cable operated street tramway taking us up 680 feet to the Great Orme Country Park. The geology, wildlife, archaeology and landscape of the Great Orme is of such importance that much of the headland has been designated a Special Area of Conservation, a Site of Special Scientific Interest and a Heritage Coast. We will enjoy the magnificent views over the Irish Sea and the town below. We will visit the information centre before returning on the tramway to join our coach taking us to Conwy.

Conwy is one of the best examples of a medieval ‘Walled Town’ and has one of the most impressive of all the Welsh castles. We will visit the castle and then have time for lunch and explore other places of interest in the town. In the afternoon our journey will take us to the National Trust’s Gardens at Bodnant. This is one of Wales’ premier gardens, located on an 80-acre site with spectacular views across the Snowdonia Mountains. (B, D)

OVERNIGHT: Can-Y-Bae Hotel, Llandudno


Day 3   –  Wednesday June 15th

This morning we travel to Llanllechid, a small village in Snowdonia, to meet the staff and children of a typical Welsh village primary school, where the language of the school is entirely Welsh. On previous tours this visit has been the highlight for many of our participants. We can look forward to a warm welcome by the staff and the children who will provide us with entertainment as only children can. In the afternoon we meet the lady members of Llanfairfechan Bowling Club for a friendly game of Crown Green Bowling. Lots of fun and laughter is guaranteed, followed by tea and cake. (B, T, D)

OVERNIGHT: Can-Y-Bae Hotel, Llandudno


Day 4  – Thursday June 16th

Discover fresh skills at the Welsh Food Centre’s Cookery School with personal guidance from leading Welsh culinary experts. Whether you’re a complete beginner or an enthusiastic foodie, this state of the art cookery school is sure to excite you. After coffee, executive chef ‘Dai Chef ’ will meet us and demonstrate preparing a classic dish which we will replicate and enjoy for lunch.

After lunch we journey to remote woodland by Porth Llwyd Falls to meet Vicky Buxton at her pottery studio and workshop. Vicky makes a selection of ceramics, decorative stoneware and porcelain and we will see her at work and maybe get the opportunity to see if we can ‘throw a pot’. (B, L, D)

OVERNIGHT: Can-Y-Bae Hotel, Llandudno


Day 5   –  Friday June 17th

Today we travel to the Llyn Peninsula which is the extreme North West of Wales. This is a particularly pretty drive and warrants several stops along the way to admire the views. Our destination is the former fishing a quarrying village of Nant Gwrtheyrn which is now a Heritage and Language Centre that specialises in providing residential Welsh courses to adults. After a light lunch, we will take a tour of the site, visit the Old Chapel which is now the Heritage Centre, and then to the classroom to enjoy taking part in a short basic ‘Welsh for beginner’s course’ with a tutor.

The next part of our journey takes us to the Nantlle Valley and to the home of Richard and Iola Huws at Pant Du. This was a small sheep farm when they bought it in 2003 and set about planting several hundred vines. Pant Du Vineyard produced its first bottle of wine in 2010. They also have an extensive orchard from which they produce award winning cider and apple juice. After a tour of the vineyard and orchard with Richard we will have dinner and some wine tasting to round off the evening. (B, L, D)

OVERNIGHT: Can-Y-Bae Hotel, Llandudno


Day 6   –  Saturday June 18th

The Isle of Anglesey is located off the north-west coast of Wales and access to the island is over one of two picturesque bridges. The oldest is Thomas Telford’s Suspension Bridge constructed in 1826, and this was followed in 1850 with the construction by Robert Stephenson of the Britannia Bridge. Our first visit on the island will be to Penmon, a peaceful and secluded corner on the south east of the island where we view the sombre ruins of a 13thC Augustinian Priory. Nearby is the ancient church of St Seiriol and a Holy Well that dates back to pre-Christian times. After a stop at the historic town of Beaumaris we drive the short distance to Oriel Mon (Anglesey Art Gallery). The Oriel is a show place for local artists and craftspeople, and houses the works of the well-known wildlife artist C. F. Tunnicliffe and Sir Kyffin Williams the Welsh landscape painter. The Oriel is also a fascinating museum illustrating the island’s history, culture and wildlife.

No visit to the Island is complete without the obligatory photo stop at Llanfairpwllgwyngychgogerychwyrndrobwyllllantysuliogogogoch – the smallest village with the longest name in the world. (B, D)

OVERNIGHT: Can-Y-Bae Hotel, Llandudno


Day 7   –  Sunday June 19th

Morning at leisure.

We go for lunch at probably the most photographed tea room in Britain; ‘Ty Hwnt i’r Bont’ has the reputation of having the best Scones and Welsh Cakes in the area. We then walk the short distance to Gwydir Castle, a fine example of a fortified manor house dating back to the 15th C. The property is being restored by the owners Peter and Judy Welford. Gwydir is regarded as one of the finest Tudor houses in Wales and was once the ancestral home of the powerful Wynn family. The historic gardens at Gwydir Castle deserve a mention as they are amongst the very few in Wales accorded Grade 1 listed status. The Old Dutch Garden is famous for its yew avenue of 22 huge trees. The Knot Garden in the Courtyard, was laid out in 1828 by Sir Charles Barry, the famous architect, in the form of a Tudor Rose. The fine wisteria, which adorns the Hall Range, was also planted in 1828, the same year that peacocks are claimed to have been introduced to the gardens. Read about the restoration in Judy’s book ‘Castles in the Air.’

We return to Can y Bae for an early dinner before a visit to the theatre. (B, L, D)

OVERNIGHT: Can-Y-Bae Hotel, Llandudno


Day 8   –  Monday June 20th

Our first visit today will be to Blaen y Nant, a 302 hectare mixed farm high in the mountains. This organic farm is owned by The National Trust and farmed by Gwyn Thomas, whose family has lived in this region for over 350 years. We meet Gwyn who will talk to us about the particular challenges he faces as a farmer in this mountainous area and about the conservation work he has undertaken. He is a traditional farmer and likes to work with nature; he does not use pesticide or any other chemicals. He is no friend of the ‘supermarkets’ and has strong views on animal welfare. Gwyn is a trained butcher and sells much of his products to local shops, restaurants, family and friends. We’ll have an opportunity to taste some of the excellent produce for lunch today.

We then meet the ladies of the village of Abergwyngregin, visit their gardens and afterwards join them for tea and homemade cake at the home of one of the ladies. These ladies are all members of the local gardening club that has raise a phenomenal amount of money for good causes over many years. Recognising this good work, and the warm welcome they extend to visitors to their village, County Lane Tours give a donation on behalf of the group for their chosen charity.

We will also invite the ladies to join us on our visit Côr y Penrhyn at their rehearsal room in Bethesda. This is one of Wales’ oldest and best known male choirs which was formed back in the 1880s by workers in the slate industry, now the 70 strong members aged between 16 and 85 come from all walks of life. (B, L, T)

OVERNIGHT: Can-Y-Bae Hotel, Llandudno


Day 9   –  Tuesday June 21st

We begin the day with a pleasant drive through the Lledr valley passing Dolwyddelan Castle perched high above the valley floor to the old mining town of Ffestiniog. Here board one of the ‘Great Little Trains of Wales’ on its twelve mile scenic journey through the Vale of Ffestiniog. We then travel the short distance to of Portmeirion, the ‘fantasy’ village created by the architect Clough Williams-Ellis between 1925 and 1972. Here we will enjoy a private tour with one of the resident guides followed by time to enjoy the gardens and extensive woodlands surrounding the village.

Then onwards to Beddgelert, a beautiful unspoiled village where a short walk along the bank of the Glaslyn River takes us to the village’s most famous historical feature; ‘Gelert’s Grave’. According to legend, the stone monument in the field marks the resting place of ‘Gelert’, the faithful hound of the medieval Welsh Prince Llewelyn. We will enjoy Cadwalader’s famous homemade ice cream on our way back to the coach for the return drive through the Nant Gwynant pass and the rocky heights of Snowdonia.

One our way back to Can y Bae we will stop at a country inn to enjoy our final dinner together.

OVERNIGHT: Can-Y-Bae Hotel, Llandudno


Day 10 – Wednesday June 22nd

Tour ends after breakfast with transfers to Chester. (B)


About Your Guide, Idwal Jones:

Idwal spent 28 years in the financial services industry before finding out that he was not really suited to a desk job and in 1994 he with his wife Gwyneth, founded Country Lane Tours. Idwal’s great passion is walking and Welsh Male Choral music and is a long standing member and past chairman of the Penrhyn Male Voice Choir. As a true Welshman, a fluent Welsh speaker, who’s always lived in Wales and has a passion for everything Welsh, Idwal is the ideal person to introduce you to the delights of Wales.


This is a Country Lane Tours itinerary sold by Special Group Tours with permission



Toll Free Tel: 1 866-725-5250

$2899 USD per person twin/double $400 USD single supplement

Package Inclusions:

Services of a local Welsh guide, Idwal Jones • 9 nights Can-y-Bae Hotel, Llandudno • 9 breakfasts, 8 dinners, 6 lunches/teas • Travel on comfortable modern Motor coach • All admissions as per itinerary

Your Accommodation Our stay throughout will be at the ‘award winning’ Can y Bae Hotel which is centrally located on the promenade of the seaside resort town of Llandudno. The hotel was built as a seaside holiday home by a wealthy Victorian merchant family and it continues to provide an elegant retreat from everyday life. We are certain to enjoy the warm hospitality of our hosts, Michael and David . Llandudno is a town that retained its Victorian and Edwardian elegance and splendour despite its modern attractions. It is uniquely situated between the Great and Little Orme headlands with two wonderful beaches and is the main shopping centre for this region of North Wales.