Chepstow Castle, Tintern Abbey, Brecon Beacons National Park, Big Pit Coal Mine, Raglan Castle, Cardiff, St Fagans Museum of Welsh Life
4 days from London
“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!”
This tour begins and ends in London.
We will depart from our South Kensington London meeting point at approximately 9:00 and make our way across the border into Wales, speeding our way with a rare bit of motorway driving. Our first destination is Chepstow, a scenic town on the River Wye. The town's castle was the first Norman stone castle in the country, set on a cliff top overlooking the valley. This is the area where Harry Potter author JK Rowling grew up.
Nearby is Tintern Abbey, one of the most beautifully situated ruins in the country and inspiration for one of William Wordsworth's loveliest poems.
Also today visit Caerleon, former base of the Roman legion. Here are the remains of some of the barracks and amphitheatre, the only one completely excavated in Britain.
Overnight: Usk area, South Wales
PROPERTY: Cwrt Bleddyn or similar https://www.wyndhamhotels.com/ramada/usk-united-kingdom/ramada-resort-cwrt-bleddyn-hotel-and-spa/overview?CID=LC:RA::GGL:RIO:National:48871
Today will be spent exploring the highlights of Brecon Beacons National Park. There'll be a welcome in these hillsides as the traditional song goes. This is an area of amazing scenery dotted with lovely market towns, a heritage cathedral and a whisky distillery. There's the option of a book lovers paradise too, all as time and interest permits. We will surely visit Big Pit Coal Mine Museum – plunge down into the earth in the company of a former miner. The industrial heritage of the region is memorably captured in the great novel How Green Was My Valley and in Alexander Cordell's historical novels.
Overnight: Usk area, same property as above
See the highlights of Cardiff, the cosmopolitan capital city. Discover this city of Roald Dahl and Dr Who fame on a walking tour of the Docklands area with your guide. Also enjoy some 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.
Also 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.
If we manage spare time this afternoon, we could meander via the Vale of Glamorgan. Here are a variety of religious sites, rugged coastline where smugglers lured ships to the rocks, a vineyard for a wine sample or perhaps cross 13th century stepping stones. Spoilt for choice!
Overnight: Usk area, same property as above
Explore Raglan Castle ruins, stroll this place of inspiration for poets and musicians and seen in the Led Zeppelin film Song Remains the Same. Built in the 1430s and featuring great multi-angular towers and Tudor-styling, Raglan is unlike any other castle in Wales.
This afternoon, even more lovely scenery in this ‘undiscovered’ region of Wales, the Black Mountains, where we may find time for some hidden Border castles and the oldest pub in the country. We will make our way back to London via Gloucester and the lower Cotswolds villages.
We return to London this evening.
Please note: All attraction opening times are correct at time of printing this website. While we will do our utmost to include all of the properties mentioned as central visits, we reserve the right to change an attraction should it become impossible to deliver a planned visit due to changes in opening days or times beyond our control.
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.
4 touring days with driver/guide companion, accommodation for 3 nights while on the tour including breakfast and dinner daily, entrance fees to listed attractions, transportation and all taxes and tips other than those you may wish to give your guide.
Airport transfers, accommodation pre and post tour, London city tours, London attraction passes and London transport passes are not included but can be added to your package as you wish. Ask us for details.
SGT is at your service!
The Special Group Tours Advantage is our unique and intimate understanding of what you expect traveling in the UK and Europe. We have not only visited but have spent many years living in and loving the cultures you will experience down the ‘B’ Roads and off the beaten track. We have worked with local suppliers and our guide/companion team for over a decade, creating unique special interest itineraries. Special Group Tours offers our “insider” knowledge to you.
The SGT Small Group Touring Concept is traveling with just 4 - 14 guests per departure. It is our aim to introduce you to the 'real' country and its people, not just ticking the boxes of a standardized route and treating you as an individual and not a number. Our concept allows for a leisurely touring pace and flexibility to get off the beaten track to discover hidden gems. Of course you'll see the major sites but so much more too!
At Special Group Tours, it is our priority that you have the most enjoyable holiday possible. You deserve it!