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The Wonders of Wales - Back Roads Experience

Duration
7 Days
Prices From:
US$ 2,370

Enjoy a week exploring Wales with its ancient castles, beautiful natural countryside, coastal scenery, old houses and traditions of afternoon teas and male voice choirs. You will be surprised at the many contrasts in this comparatively small land.


Join one of our unique small group Back-Roads touring experiences (maximum 18 participants) that includes specially selected accommodations, transportation in purpose built Mercedes Benz Sprinters, sightseeing, special culinary experiences and a knowledgeable Tour Leader. Click here for all the EXCLUSIVE DIFFERENCES.

Commence your tour of Wales in Cardiff, first exploring Cardiff Bay and then visiting the interesting National History Museum of Wales. Next travel to Caerphilly Castle dating back to the 13th Century with its medieval fortifications. Then comes a unique visit to the Welsh coalmining valleys where you will go down a working mine and also learn about the history of coalmining in Wales. Finally arrive at the Brecon Beacons National Park and stay for 2 nights in Crickhowell with its 17th Century stone bridge.

The next day, travel to Caerleon with its Roman legionary fortress, one of only 3 in Britain. Continue through the Wye Valley with its outstanding natural beauty. Visit here Tintern Abbey dating back to the 12th Century. Later learn about Wales’ wine industry.

Leave Crickhowell and visit Cwm Hir Hall with its 12 acres of beautiful gardens and its eccentric collection of artifacts. Next travel to the Pontcysyllte Aqueduct, the longest and highest in the UK. Later enjoy a traditional afternoon tea at Cefn Park where the owners and their ancestors have lived for 200 years. The present owners will regale you with stories about their ancestors. Eventually arrive at the city of Conwy for a 2 night stay. Head immediately to the nearby resort of Llandudno to hear a concert given by a traditional male voice choir.

The next day is at leisure in Conwy.

The following morning travel to Canaerfon Castle, the most famous castle in Wales. Then head to the Lleyn Peninsula which juts out into the Irish Sea with its steep cliffs and rugged rocks. Visit a Heritage Centre and endeavour to learn a few words of the Welsh language while having tea here. Arrive eventually at the Snowdonia National Park, the largest in Wales for overnight.
The following day, travel to St. David’s on the coast. En route, stop at Aberaeron, a charming Regency town and also at the Pembroke Coastal National Park. Overnight in St. David’s.
The next morning, visit the attractive walled seaside resort of Tenby after which continue to Cardiff where your tour of Wales ends.

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Duration
7 Days
Prices From:
US$ 2,370

Itinerary View Trip Map

Day 1

Cardiff to Brecon Beacons

This tour commences from the Clayton Hotel (St. Mary's Street) at 9:30am. Please ensure you are at the meeting point at least 15 minutes prior to departure.

We will then enjoy a panoramic tour of the Cardiff Bay area before visiting the National History Museum of Wales at St Fagans, which offers a fascinating insight to Welsh heritage. Heading north we pass the dramatic Caerphilly Castle in the region known as the 'Welsh Valleys', home to the former Welsh coal mining industry. At the Big Pit, one of Britain's leading mining museums, we go down a former working coal mine and learn more about the history of the industry in Wales. Later, we travel into the beautiful Brecon Beacons National Park to our hotel in Crickhowell.

Meal Plan Dinner
Duration2 Nights
Accommodation

The Bear Hotel

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Location View map
  • starstarstarstar

    The Bear Hotel



    The Bear is famous far and wide for its welcoming atmosphere, historic character, convivial surroundings and good food. A cobbled forecourt, archway into the inner courtyard and 19th-century stagecoach timetable in the bar are all reminders of the Bear's former role. Set in the heart ...

    The Bear is famous far and wide for its welcoming atmosphere, historic character, convivial surroundings and good food. A cobbled forecourt, archway into the inner courtyard and 19th-century stagecoach timetable in the bar are all reminders of the Bear's former role. Set in the heart of The Brecon Beacons National Park, one of Britain's most beautiful wilderness areas, you'll find some of the finest walks in Britain with the Beacons themselves and The Black Mountains right on the doorstep. The Bear's low-beamed bar, filled with antiques and warmed by a roaring log fire in winter, has twice won the 'Best Pub in Britain' award. Although a building of great antiquity, dating back to1432, the Bear tastefully incorporates all modern comforts into its historic surroundings.

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Day 2

Wye Valley

We journey south from Crickhowell to enjoy some Roman history at Caerleon - the site of one of Britain's three permanent Roman legionary fortresses. Then it's on to the beautiful Wye Valley and Tintern, home to the famous abbey. Later we travel up the steep valley, to learn about Wales' wine industry as we stop at an award-winning vineyard. Enjoy an evening at leisure tonight in Crickhowell.

Meal Plan Breakfast
Day 3

Brecon Beacons to Conwy

We travel north through the border regions of mid Wales, to the impressive Pontcysyllte Aqueduct, the longest and highest in the United Kingdom and a UNESCO World Heritage site. Later today we enjoy a traditional afternoon tea at Cefn Park, where the owners of this country estate will tell us how they unearthed and restored the original, below stairs, Victorian Kitchen and regale us with some incredible stories of their ancestors. After arriving in Conwy and checking in to The Castle Hotel for three nights, we head to Llandudno for some evening entertainment in the form of a traditional Male Voice Choir concert.

Meal Plan Breakfast
Duration3 Nights
Accommodation

Castle Hotel

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Location View map
  • starstarstarstar

    Castle Hotel



    Castle Hotel, an old coaching inn, stands on the site of a Cistercian abbey and used to consist of two famous hostelries, The Castle and the 15th Century King's Head. The Castle was by far the larger and in Victorian times has had an attractive ...

    Castle Hotel, an old coaching inn, stands on the site of a Cistercian abbey and used to consist of two famous hostelries, The Castle and the 15th Century King's Head. The Castle was by far the larger and in Victorian times has had an attractive face lift of local granite and Ruabon brick and is now one of Conwy's most photographed buildings. In the 20th Century, the ownership of the Hotel was almost exclusively by London based companies and it's fitting that this wonderful old hotel reverted back to private ownership in the summer of 2000. Since then, the famous old hostelry has had a major upgrade and improvement programme and now sits proudly once again in the middle of the town and the hub of the local community.

    Facilities

    • Bar
    • Internet Access - Wireless
    • Restaurant
    • Spa Services

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Day 4

Conwy

Enjoy a day at leisure in the medieval walled town of Conwy. We particularly recommend a visit to Conwy Castle, originally built by Edward I, and Plas Mawr, a fascinating Elizabethan town house with amazing plasterwork, built between 1576 and 1585 for the influential Welsh merchant, Robert Wynn. You may also wish to take a short trip to the pleasant seaside resort of Llandudno or a local taxi to Bodnant Garden, one of the most beautiful gardens in Wales, spanning some 30 acres, with views across the valley towards the Snowdonia mountain range. The more energetic may choose to hike up Conwy Mountain, which has a good network of paths, including the North Wales Path and the Wales Coast Path.

Meal Plan Breakfast
Day 5

Caernarfon Castle and Nant Gwrtheyrn

This morning we leave Conwy and head west to Caernarfon Castle. Built by Edward I as a royal palace, in the 13th century, it is probably the most famous castle in Wales - its sheer scale and commanding presence easily sets it apart from the rest. We travel along the beautiful Lleyn Peninsula to the Heritage Centre tucked away in the once abandoned village of Nant Gwrtheyrn where we have the chance to learn a few words of this notoriously difficult to pronounce language! Travelling back to Conwy we explore some of the picturesque villages of Snowdonia National Park such as Beddgelert or Betws-y-Coed. Tonight we enjoy dinner as a group in Conwy.

Meal Plan Breakfast and Dinner
Day 6

Snowdonia National Park to Pembrokeshire

Today we make our way south to enjoy a spectacular ride on either the Ffestiniog or the Talyllyn steam railway, two of the world's first narrow gauge railways. From the comfort of our carriage we step back in time to a more civilised age as we embark on a journey through beautiful Snowdonia, which is home to glorious coastlines, ancient oak woodlands, mountains, rivers and castles. Back in our mini-coach we continue along the back roads and coastal roads of the Ceredigion region before stopping at Hammet House, our country house hotel in beautiful Pembrokeshire. Here we enjoy a final group dinner together.

Meal Plan Breakfast and Dinner
Duration1 Night
Accommodation

Hammet House

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Location View map
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    Hammet House



    Hammet House is a luxury country house in beautiful Pembrokeshire. In glorious landscaped grounds the house sits on the famous river Teifi right on the Pembrokeshire Ceredigion border. A luxury bolthole set in secluded grounds, Hammet House is a hidden escape that nestles discreetly amongst ...

    Hammet House is a luxury country house in beautiful Pembrokeshire. In glorious landscaped grounds the house sits on the famous river Teifi right on the Pembrokeshire Ceredigion border. A luxury bolthole set in secluded grounds, Hammet House is a hidden escape that nestles discreetly amongst Pembrokeshire's glorious coastline and countryside, and Ceredigion's spectacular beaches and heritage. Built in 1795 by Sir Benjamin Hammet, the grade II listed Georgian house has been brought bang up to date with a clear focus on modern luxuries, great service and ultimate relaxation. The 15 Bedrooms are packed with contemporary style and luxuries, with Egyptian cotton on the beds, flat screens on the walls and indulgent Ren products in the bathrooms. In the bar and dining room you'll find cool contemporary spaces to unwind, relax, eat and drink in, all brought to you with our easy-going yet impeccable service.

    Facilities

    • Bar
    • Meeting Rooms Available
    • Restaurant

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Day 7

Pembrokeshire to Tenby and Cardiff

We continue our journey around the west coast of Wales exploring the beautiful coastal county of Pembrokeshire. After visiting St David's, Britain's smallest city, which was granted city status by Queen Elizabeth II because of the presence of the cathedral, our tour leader will give us a choice of places to stop along the way, including Tenby, an attractive walled seaside town with picturesque harbour. Until recently it was known as "Little England beyond Wales" and has been a fashionable holiday destination for both the Welsh and the English since the early 19th century. Back in Cardiff our Welsh experience ends.

Drop off is at the Clayton Hotel at approximately 5:30pm. Please bear in mind that drop-off time is an estimate only as traffic can be unpredictable.

Meal Plan Breakfast

Other Information

DEPARTURES:

2017: Aug 6, 13, 20, 27; Sep 3, 10, 17, 24
2018: Apr 21; May 5, 12, 19, 26; Jun 2, 9, 16, 22; Jul 7, 16; Aug 4, 11, 18, 25; Sep 1, 8, 15, 22, 19

PRICE INCLUDES:

  • 6 nights' accommodation
  • Driver/tour leader
  • Mini-coach transportation
  • Welsh breakfast daily
  • 3 evening meals
  • 1 afternoon tea at Cefn Parks Victorian Kitchen
  • Welsh wine tasting
  • Welsh language lesson
  • Entrance fees to Cadw Explorer Pass, St Fagans Museum of Welsh Life, Big Pit National Coal Museum, Caerleon Castle, Abbey Cwm Hir Hall and Caernarfon Castle

PRICE EXCLUDES:

  • Travel insurance
  • International and domestic airfare & airfare taxes
  • Visa fees if applibable
  • Meals and beverages not specifically indicated
  • Driver/tour leader gratuity (at own discretion)
  • Items of a personal nature
  • Entrance fees not listed in the inclusions
  • Incidental expenses
  • Pre and post tour accommodation
  • Transfer (not stated in the itinerary).

OTHER INFORMATION:

Back-Roads Touring have hand-picked an extensive portfolio of quality properties across Europe and to ensure the very best experience on each of our tours, hotels may vary to those listed in this itinerary.

Mobility: All of our tours involve walking and require our guests to board and disembark our vehicles several times a day making this tour unsuitable for those with reduced mobility.

TERMS & CONDITIONS:

Prices are "from" per person based on twin/double share accommodation and for travel in low season. Seasonal surcharges and blackout dates may apply. Limited seat/spaces and all pricing is subject to change and availability. Rates for single or triple travellers are available on request - please enquire.

TB BACKROACAR16SG: BRSRDW
24 Sep 2017
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