The name 'Wales' is derived from the Saxon word for 'foreigner,' the land where the Celtic tribes preserved their culture from attacking Romans, Saxons and Normans. These hills are alive, both with singing and the second oldest language spoken in Europe. Wales was the land of words long before it became the 'Land of Song,' Welsh poetry dates back to the 6th century!
We invite you to delve into the diverse beauty of this small gem of a country. Explore some remnants of the past, ancient stone monuments, fortifications abandoned by invaders and reminders of the gritty industrial age. Experience the stunning scenery of 3 national parks, ride a steam train through the mountains, sample the most impressive range of 12th century castles of anywhere in the British Isles and a gorgeous coastal area once home to a certain young Royal couple.
This green and pleasant land is quite a source of inspiration for many art forms, from the writing of Dylan Thomas, to the talented singers in the male voice choirs to the local crafts people of woodwork and textiles. Come and meet some locals, the friendliness of the Welsh people is this destination's greatest asset.
Croeso, a warm welcome awaits you in Wales!
Gardens of North Wales & Cheshire featuring RHS Chatsworth Estate Flower Show
Welsh Gardens are lush and green, thanks to the high volume of rainfall, higher altitudes, the climate is certainly wetter and usually windier than in neighboring England, these conditions create uniquely Welsh spaces. North Wales is home to the fantastic scenery of Snowdonia National Park, Isle of Angelsey and the most impressive range of 12th Century castles of anywhere in the British Isles! It is not often appreciated that this northern end of the Principality boasts some of the finest gardens in the UK. Enjoy the wonderful tranquility of a Victorian coastal resort, uncover a fabulous industrial heritage, prehistoric tombs and evidence of the rich Celtic culture of our forefathers.
Also explore a sampling of the best Cheshire Gardens. From stately homes and secret gardens, botanic blooms, the quintessentially English at Arley Hall & Gardens to exotic, oriental planting at Tatton Park, it’s the ever-changing landscape of the region that continues to inspire and attract. We also have time to explore the best of the classic stately homes of the Peak District.
Our grand highlight of this garden adventure is sure to be a full day at the RHS’s newest flower show, the first annual RHS Chatsworth Estate Flower Show!
Highlights of Wales: The Classic Route
Wales – The hills are alive! With singing and the second oldest language spoken in Europe. On this Welsh adventure, sample the fantastic scenery of three National Parks. Enjoy a heritage coastline, a steam train ride through the mountains, cosmopolitan Cardiff and glimpse the past in a fantastic folk park and down a coal mine, remainders of the industrial heritage. Marvel at prehistoric tombs, meander the seaside, castle walled cities, and beautiful gardens. All in all, this tour is a sampler of the best of what this wonderful country has to offer visitors, something to please all tastes.
Welsh Quilts & Malvern Quilts UK Quilting Show
The ‘green and pleasant land’ of Wales is quite a source of inspiration for many art forms, from the poetry of Dylan Thomas, to the talented singers in the male voice choirs to the local crafts people of woodwork and textiles. Quilting has been a part of the Welsh culture since at least the 18thCentury. In recent years, interest has been rekindled by local women and we will have the opportunity to meet some of these remarkable ladies. No Welsh Quilts tour would be complete without time in the Jen Jones Centre or visiting with members of the Welsh Quilts Guild.
While visiting a variety of attractions on our quilting theme, we’ll enjoy some of the highlights of this magical country, the scenic countryside of Pembroke National Park and the Gower Coast, Dylan Thomas’ Laugharne, ancient Pentre Ifan and the charming towns of St David’s and Hay-on-Wye. Our grand finale is a full day at the Autumn Quilts UK Show in Malvern, certain to be a treat for quilt lovers!
North Wales Sampler – Celts, Castles & Gardens
North Wales is home to the fantastic scenery of Snowdonia National Park, Isle of Angelsey and the most impressive range of 12th century castles of anywhere in the British Isles. Enjoy the wonderful tranquility of a Victorian coastal resort and a steam train ride into the mountains. Uncover a fabulous industrial heritage, prehistoric tombs and evidence of the rich Celtic culture of our forefathers. All in all, this is a lovely short break in the stunning Welsh countryside!
This tour can link with the South Wales Sampler tour via easy rail connections between London and Manchester. Please ask us for details
South Wales Sampler – Land of Song, Literature and Dr Who
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.
Sacred Places, South Wales and Pembroke
This short tour, our very own Pilgrimage to St David’s, visiting the spiritual sites on the Christian heritage trail. We’ll visit places of the Saints, areas of quiet reflection and stones of ancient Celtic significance.
On our journey, an opportunity to attend services and Evensong at St David’s Cathedral, Brecon Cathedral and hear a Male Voice Choir. We’ll enjoy the inspirational landscapes of Pembroke National Park, Brecon Beacons National Park and the Gower Coast, meet some locals in small towns and villages, imagine the past in the Museum of Welsh Life and discover the magical heritage of Wales!
Wales-Ireland: Coasts and Rivers
Sometimes called ‘The Celtic Fringe,’ the southeast coast of Ireland and the west coast of Wales have much to offer visitors. The areas share a beautiful, rugged coastline and amazing natural sites where we can explore the remains of the ancient peoples that settled here. There is a rich religious legacy to discover, both Celtic and Christian. Separated by the Irish Sea, each maintains its own unique culture and heritage. We can compare, contrast and enjoy the hospitality of the gracious local people. We’ll see waterfalls, rivers, national parks, glorious gardens, a fairy tale castle, and several lovely towns.
Roman Britain South, Hampshire & South Wales
At the time of the Roman invasions of 45 & 55BC, Britain was still in the late Iron Age, inhabited by Celtic tribes whose ancestors had emigrated centuries before from the Danube basin. In July 54BC with 50,000 men General Julius Caesar landed in Southern England unopposed and crossed the River Thames. It was to be the start of 450 years of occupation and settlement.
Our tour will visit major sites of Roman occupation in the south of England , to see how they lived, relaxed and what major benefits, including 8,000 miles of road, they brought to the inhabitants to this Roman outpost. You’ll see examples of villas, fortresses, amphitheatres (including the best preserved in the UK) and towns. You’ll visit superb modern interpretative centres and see reconstruction of life under the Romans.
To add to your enjoyment, the sites are all set in some of the UK’s prettiest landscape and amidst its oldest cities. There’s plenty more to see and do on this tour for those who are not quite perhaps as enthusiastic about learning of Roman Britain as others may be!
Wales Wild Life
There are lots of reasons why Wales is so brilliant for wildlife watching: 216 Wildlife Trust nature reserves, 11 RSPB sanctuaries, 4,122 sq km of National Park, an 870-mile Wales Coast Path, ancient woodland, lakes and river, and wide open spaces for wildlife to … well, go wild in.
Hundreds of red kites arrive each day at special feeding stations Mid Wales. Then there are seasonal treats, like the arrival in spring of countless puffins and other seabirds to our islands. Summer brings dolphins and porpoises, while autumn welcomes seal pups to the beaches, leaping salmon to the rivers, and a blaze of colour to the forests, before huge flocks of wildfowl arrive for winter.
Wales has wildlife to rival anywhere in Europe. Within a few hours of London, the Midlands or the North East you can find yourself watching ospreys or dolphins one day, and sitting in a field of orchids the next. Welsh seas host leatherback turtles and seahorses, while its mountains provide a refuge for red kites (with a wingspan of almost two metres) and peregrine falcons, the fastest bird on the planet!
Literary Heritage in Southern England and Wales
This is a feast for the bookworm, the literary-minded and simply those who enjoy seeing and learning about a country, not just ‘photographing the sites’ from a bus window. Here’s the plot: our knowledgeable and entertaining guide takes you through some of the UK’s prettiest landscapes, visiting author’s homes, literary museums, towns and villages where stories are set, and places that obviously inspired the artist’s muse. These are lovely areas that many visitors to the UK choose - this tour option gives the 'extra layer' of using the classic literary heritage as a guide, getting more in depth, with the opportunity of meeting like minded locals!
In Search of That Boy Wizard: Harry Potter tour
What a fantastic opportunity to visit England with the ‘kids’ or ‘grandkids’, introduce them to British culture, history and literature, while at the same time discovering the world of J K Rowling and Harry Potter through visits to film locations and sites and attractions associated with the boy-wizard and friends. Quite unashamedly we’ve designed this tour to capitalize on the appeal of Harry Potter to include many other magical works of children’s literature.
Our memorable, fun-filled and magical tour has it all! Yes, there’s 'Hogwarts School' and a taste of riding a ‘Hogwarts Express’. There are Harry’s feathered friends, witches and fairies. There are giants (you!), ghosts, and a flight across London’s rooftops… All this and visits to the historic cities of Gloucester and Oxford. You’ll see fabulous castles, timeless villages and prehistoric temples. You’ll explore beneath the depths of the earth in deep caves and caverns and discover, too, the works of other marvelous, magical writers and their creations. We bring alive, through a selection of visits, Lewis Carroll’s ‘Alice in Wonderland’, J R R Tolkien’ ‘Lord of the Rings’, C S Lewis ‘The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe’, Kenneth Graham’s ‘Wind in the Willows’ and the magic of the Merlin and King Arthur legends.
This is a fun tour where adult and child can share the experience.
Roman Britain, England and Wales: A Classic Route
The Romans ruled Britain for nearly 400 years. It wasn't an easy task - Queen Boudicea inflicted the heaviest defeat on Imperial Rome but, ultimately, the local Celtic tribes were no match for their organized military precision. Romans settled in, built highly decorated villas resplendent with mosaics, ornate gardens with fine statuary, extensive towns, bathhouses, amphitheaters and temples. They even left us with their language! Despite the intervening 1600 years with Saxon, Viking, Norman and Mediaeval settlements often built on top of Roman buildings, there's still plenty of physical evidence of their occupation to discover.
This tour, while focused on historical and ancient Roman remains, visits some of the prettiest parts of the UK. Tour companions who might not be quite as keen on the main theme will find plenty of distractions!
UK Rock Weekend Tour: Led Zeppelin Trail
A fantastic journey of discovery for all Led Zep fans, through Wales and the English Midlands. This is a wonderful opportunity of seeing some pretty and historic areas while indulging your passion for one of the world’s greatest rock bands!
Choices include a 2 or 3 day weekend OR extend your stay out in the inspirational countryside of North Wales for a week long adventure.
Beatles 50, Liverpool & North Wales, can include Led Zeppelin’s Bron-Yr-Aur
Follow loosely in the Beatles footsteps in their hometown of Liverpool and in the magical land of North Wales.
The Beatles ruled the music industry 50 years ago, and were in the intense swirl at the height of Beatlemania. The Beatles played early on in their career in North Wales and it was in North Wales that they spent time with Maharishi Mahesh Yogi in 1967. This was where they learned of the death of their manager Brian Epstein, an event that was a major turning point in Beatles history. The following year, the lads made an escape from the madness of their daily lives with a trip to India to stay with Maharishi Yogi.
Liverpool is home to the Fab Four. What a huge amount to discover here! North Wales is home to the fantastic scenery of Snowdonia National Park, Isle of Angelsey and the most impressive range of 12th century castles of anywhere in the British Isles. Enjoy the wonderful tranquility of a Victorian coastal resort and a steam train ride into the mountains. Uncover a fabulous industrial heritage, prehistoric tombs and evidence of the rich Celtic culture of our forefathers.
This is our celebration of The Beatles in India, over 50 years ago now, without leaving the UK!