Wales is a land of mystery and delight. It is perhaps the closest of all of Britain’s regions to its Celtic roots. On your multi day small group tour of Wales around this fascinating Principality, take in the major sites and learn about Welsh history, language, culture, and industry, as well as enjoying some of the most spectacular scenery anywhere in the United Kingdom.
Small group tours depart typically every 2nd Sunday from April 6 - October 5, 2014, and are guaranteed with a minimum of 4 participants. In general, the maximum group size is 16.
Consider adding additional days to your trip with the services of a private guide and/or driver to see more of the country - your time on either side of your small group tour can be customized to suit your needs (and private guided tours can be added throughout your small group experience as desired.
Meet your driver for a private airport transfer.
A welcome package with a city map, train tickets (if relevant), and any other touristic information that we deem you may find useful will be waiting for you upon your arrival at your first hotel on your trip.
The Radisson Blu Hotel (4*) is located in the city centre of Cardiff and affords guests access to exciting attractions, thriving commercial districts and lively nightlife. Sporting a stunning glass and metal exterior and streamlined décor, this premier accommodation boasts modern design inside and out. 215 rooms and suites at this Cardiff hotel feature bold design, city views and high-quality amenities. The Filini Restaurant offers innovative Italian cuisine served in a contemporary atmosphere.
Enjoy a private walking tour today with your local guide. Your guide will pick you up at your centrally located hotel and show you the sites. Walk through the green heart of Cardiff and enjoy the history, geography and architecture of this vibrant and dynamic Capital City. Cardiff Bay offers the visitor to the Welsh Capital a glimpse into Cardiff's historical past, present and future. See the shipping headquarters, once used by the founding family of Cardiff - The Butes, now alongside the modern iconic Wales Millennium Centre, which has captured the imagination of the Welsh people and is recognised on an international stage.
The state of the art Welsh Assembly Government building, Y Senydd, is situated in a prime position on the waterfront. Y Senedd is completely transparent at the public level, a testament to the Welsh Government's philosophy of openness and transparency. This half day walking tour allows you to become familiar with features such as: The Norwegian Church, Cardiff Bay Barrage, Mermaid Quay, Y Senydd, Wales Millennium Centre and Cardiff Bay's Public Art.
Transfer to the small group meeting point using a local taxi. Please note that this is not included in trip price and is payable locally.
Meet your small group and local guide at 8:30am this morning in Cardiff (Maldron Hotel, St. Mary's Street, Cardiff, CF10 1GD, UK) and depart for your multi day small group tour. Please ensure you are at the meeting point at least 15 minutes prior to departure.
Your tour begins this morning in the Welsh capital, Cardiff. Depart for a panoramic tour of the Cardiff Bay area before visiting the National History Museum of Wales at St. Fagans, which offers a fantastic insight to Welsh heritage. Heading north you will pass the dramatic Caerphilly Castle in the region known as the Welsh Valleys, home to Wales’s former coal mining industry. At the Big Pit, one of Britain’s leading mining museums, you will have the chance to go down a real mine and learn more about the history of the industry in Wales.
Then travel into the beautiful Brecon Beacons National Park to Penderyn for a tour of an award winning Welsh whisky distillery before continuing to your accommodation base in Crickhowell.
Welcome to The Bear, a hotel 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 Britains most beautiful wilderness areas, you'll find some of the finest walks in Britain with the Beacons themselves and The Black Mountains right on your doorstep.
Please note that your hotel may be the above or a hotel of similar standard and will be confirmed prior to departure.
This morning you journey south from Crickhowell to enjoy some Roman history at Caerleon – the site of one of Britain’s three permanent Roman Legionary Fortresses. Then drive to the beautiful Wye Valley where you will stop at Tintern, home to the Abbey that inspired Wordsworth’s famous poem, "Lines written a few miles above Tintern Abbey".
This afternoon you'll get to travel up the steep valley side, to learn about the United Kingdom’s growing wine industry as you stop at an award winning vineyard. Continuing your journey, you will pass the beautiful ruined Augustinian priory at Llanthony before winding your way back to Crickhowell via Hay-on-Wye, commonly known as the ‘Town of Books’.
Bid farewell to the Brecon Beacons this morning and travel north through the border regions of Mid Wales stopping at Abbey Cwm Hir Hall, a gothic-style stately Victorian home with 12 acres of beautiful gardens and passing the impressive Froncysyllte Aqueduct, the longest and highest in the United Kingdom.
Later today you will enjoy a traditional afternoon tea at Cefn Park, where the owners of this country estate will tell you the fascinating story of how they unearthed and restored the original below stairs Victorian kitchen.
After check-in at your hotel in Conwy, you will head to Llandudno for some evening entertainment in the form of a traditional Male Voice Choir concert.
The 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. The hotels 28 bedrooms to AA and Visit Wales exacting 4 Star Town House standards with a 'boutiquey' feel. Free WiFi is available throughout the hotel, including the newly improved Dawsons Bar and new Courtyard.
Today you have a day at leisure in the medieval walled town of Conwy. Particularly recommend is a visit to Conwy Castle, originally built by Edward I between 1283 and 1287. You may also wish to take a short trip to the pleasant seaside resort of Llandudno.
This morning you will 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 and its sheer scale and commanding presence easily set it apart from the rest. Then pay a visit to the National Slate Museum in Llanberis.
This afternoon travel along the beautiful Lleyn Peninsula to the Heritage Centre at Nant Gwrtheyrn where you will get to enjoy a short talk on the ancient Welsh language. You will also have the chance to learn a few words in this notoriously difficult to pronounce language for yourself and enjoy a welsh tea!
Return to Conwy where you can enjoy dinner with the rest of the group.
Bid farewell to Conwy this morning and drive south through the beautiful Snowdonia National Park. You will make a stop at Harlech, home to another impressive castle and an important place in Welsh national culture.
Later this morning, you will enjoy a spectacular ride on the Talyllyn narrow-gauge steam railway. Cutting through rural mid-Wales, Talyllyn became the world’s first preserved railway in 1951.
Then travel along back roads and coastal roads, making your way south to your accommodation base in the Ceredigion region where you will enjoy a final group dinner together.
The Falcondale hotel and 2AA rosette restaurant (awarded for 5 consecutive years) located near the University town of Lampeter, now known as University of Wales Trinity Saint David. Only 30 minutes from the coastal villages of Cardigan Bay and hilly, marshy regions of the Cambrian Mountains. The Falcondale was built and designed as a private house in 1859, which means that all of their elegant and luxurious rooms do vary in size, shape and outlook. Dining at the Falcondale in a relaxed award-winning restaurant offering the best of seasonal local produce with a well stocked wine list to compliment. Falcondale - quite simply a warm west wales welcome, fantastic food, great atmosphere, and peaceful surroundings.
Continue your journey around the west coast of Wales this morning as you head into the beautiful coastal county of Pembrokeshire. Your guide will give you a choice of places to stop on the way to Laugharne, where you visit the boathouse that was home to Dylan Thomas, Wales’s greatest poet. After the tour concludes, return to Cardiff where your tour ends.
Your Small Group Tour ends this afternoon upon arrival in Cardiff at Maldron Hotel, St. Mary's Street, Cardiff, CF10 1GD,at approximately 5.30pm. Bid farewell to your Guide and fellow travellers as you close the chapter on this part of your travels.
Ann Saxon ,
November 06, 2013
"Our trip was fantastic!!! I cannot say enough good things. Lianne worked with our exact dates and time frame beautifully.Our drivers were prompt and friendly. The private guides were so knowledgeable. We left with an appreciation of the history, the culture, and the beauty of Andulasia. We were very pleased and will certainly recommend your company to friends and family."
Edwards Family ,
November 28, 2013
"People do not know what they are missing by not going to Romania. The landscape: beautiful, clean, untouched. The people: People exceeded friendly! Super safe. Wherever we went, we received the reception of "Welcome, welcome! You are our guest", by everyone. Food & Drink: Everything had such incredible flavor! They use only the freshest ingredients and everything is organic. Every meal was a new, exciting experience to our palettes. Architecture: The beauty, intricacy, history. One cannot help but appreciate the abundance of castles, churches and buildings boasting such incredible architecture. Experience Romania sooner than later! You’ll be so glad you did! Once again, Kensington Tours, and special thank you to Claudia.
Coby Scherr ,
November 05, 2013
"Everyone involved in our Portugal trip made it terrific. Exactly as advertised. Every event on time and most pleasant. Guides were well-informed, courteous and friendly. Really made for a great journey every time. Each hotel was clean, upgraded and staffed with knowledgeable and friendly folks. Breakfasts were complete -- almost too much to eat. It will always be a wonderful memory thanks to Kensington Tours."
Mike Mikkelsen ,
November 15, 2013
"Lianne Kim did a great job for us (on our tour of Spain). Most enjoyable - thanks for all you did."
November 09, 2013
"My trip to Holland and Belgium was a lifelong dream and Kensington Tours made it greater than my dream. I was treated like royalty, even when I missed some of my connections. They quickly solved any problems that U had. All the drivers were courteous and helpful. My accommodations were top notch. I would highly recommend them to anyone looking for a better tour experience. Thanks to Richard Racicot for booking the best fo me."
Couples Dellinger & Hubbell ,
November 06, 2013
"We've been raving to everyone about the food, the friendliness of the people and the amazing history and sites in Turkey. Yes, we want to go back."
John Edstrom ,
October 22, 2013
"Overall, our tour in Spain was very enjoyable, and well planned and executed. Our private tour of the Alhambra was excellent. Virginia, tour guide for royal palace ruins outside of Cordoba, was also excellent. In Seville, we went to the Flamenco Show/dinner, and the Flamenco was outstanding!"
Kevin Wilshere ,
October 19, 2013
"Great trip to Spain! Thanks again for all your help, Lianne. The destinations, hotels, guides and everything were all top notch."
Chery lWestlund ,
November 07, 2013
"My husband and I took a 3 week vacation to southern Europe and North Africa and had a great time. All the guides were very knowledgeable and bend over backwards to accommodate us. The arrangement made by Kensington went off without a hitch. This is our second trip with Kensington (we went to Peru in 2009) and we will certainly book with them again."
Randy Gramlich ,
October 07, 2013
"Thank you for your follow up, we both loved our time in Croatia. It’s really a beautiful place, especially the coast. Our time in Dubrovnik and Split were awesome, in hind sight we both wished we would have went back to Split from Plitvice Lakes rather than carry on to Zagreb. We both found Split much more appealing and would have definitely preferred to spend another night there rather than Zagreb. We’ll know for next time! Your choice of hotels was great. It was an incredible view from the Bellevue hotel in Dubrovnik and the Vestibule in Split was in the best possible location. We were able to relax in our room listening to the wonderful singers in the courtyard and its central location made it so easy to walk anywhere we wanted to see with ease. "
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