(Cardiff, Carmarthen, Conwy)
Discover the beautiful country of Wales as you are escorted from one spectacular location to another in the company of a knowledgeable driver-guide. On your way from London, stop off at the medieval, quintessential English town of Bath before visiting such key Welsh sites as Tintern Abbey, some of the country’s most epic castles such as Powis, Cardiff and Pembroke and colorful villages and towns such as Conwy - a walled market town, and Portmeirion - a unique fantasy village built in the early 20th century.
Absorb the exceptional landscapes such as the Wye valley with its dramatic limestone gorge and some of the most outstanding native woodlands to be found in Britain, marvel at the wonderfully dramatic coastline of Pembrokeshire (a National Park), and take in the sweeping views from the summit of Mount Snowdon in Snowdonia National Park. Wales has a wealth of riches - from its stunning, pristine land and seascapes to its historical relics, bustling capital city of Cardiff and quaint villages.
You will be provided with a welcome pack upon arrival which will include your vouchers, and itinerary as well as additional information such as city maps and train tickets (as relevant).
After you are picked up in London by your private driver-guide who will accompany you throughout Wales, you'll head towards the border of England and Wales. En route, stop off at the quintessestially English town of Bath - a true gem to be sure! Explore the beautiful Georgian City with some of the finest architectural sights in Europe, including Bath Abbey, the Royal Crescent, the Circus, Assembly Rooms and the famous Pulteney Bridge. Explore the Roman Baths, built around thermal springs, which have been supplying water for over 2,000 years. In Roman times a great Temple was built next to the sacred spring - the waters were believed to have healing properties and attracted visitors from across the Roman Empire.
Enjoy time at leisure in Bath for lunch (not included) before continuing on your journey towards Cardiff. Thereafter cross the Severn Estuary, arrive South Wales and the heart of the Wye Valley. Enjoy a visit of Tintern Abbey, one of the greatest monastic ruins of Wales. It was only the second Cistercian foundation in Britain, and the first in Wales, and was founded in 1131 by Walter de Clare, lord of Chepstow. It soon prospered, thanks to endowments of land in Gwent and Gloucestershire, and buildings were added and updated in every century until its dissolution in 1536. The Wye valley, an internationally important protected landscape containing some of the most beautiful lowland scenery in Britain. This area has exceptional landscapes with a dramatic limestone gorge and some of the most outstanding native woodlands to be found in Britain. It also has impressive geology - from Silurian limestones to plateaux of Old Red Sandstone. Vestiges from the iron age are to be found in this areea, including hillforts; as well as Norman castles. Wildlife abounds. Indeed, a quarter of Britain's population of lesser horseshoe bats, a growing population of peregrine falcons, goshawks, ravens, rare whitebeam, nightjar and lesser known fish like the shad and twaite are to be found in this area.
At days end, you'll be delivered to your accommodation. Settle in and consider your dining options... (includes entrance to Roman Baths and Tintern Abbey).
The quite delightful Llanwenarth Hotel (3.5*) dates back to the 16th century. Located in the heart of the Brecon Beacons National Park, it is perched high on the banks of the River Usk, offering unrivalled views across the river towards the peaks.
Spend the day in the company of your private guide-driver as you explore the city of Cardiff and some of the highlights of the area including Cardiff castle, St Fagans Folk museum and the home of the well know Welsh poet, Dylan Thomas.
Head into the capital this morning and take in a panoramic city tour before arriving at Cardiff Castle for a premium guided tour. This spectacular monument which has been beautifully and lavishly restored, was gifted to the people of Cardiff in 1947 by the 5th Marquess of Bute – to this day, if you live or work in the city you can enjoy free admission of this mighty stronghold.
From here, make your way to St. Fagans Museum of Welsh Life. In this open-air museum which recounts historical stories telling the lifestyle, culture, architecture and the people of Wales. Set against the quite splendid Castle and Gardens of the same name, it makes for a quite wonderful and fascinating visit.
Onwards to Swansea, which is perhaps best known as the home of Dylan Thomas, Wales’s most famous literary figure. Here enjoy a guided visit of his birthplace and home with local literary expert who will bring the place to life and perhaps see the Centre named after him before lunch.
At days end you'll be brought to your accommodation. (includes entrance to Cardiff castle and Dylan Thomas' home).
There are lots of restaurant options to choose from both in Cardiff city centre as well as Cardiff bay. If you like Italian cuisine, you may like to try Positano's (9-10 Church Street tel: 029 2023 5810) or Giovanni's (38 The Hayes, tel: 029 2022 0077) which has a great family atmosphere and an impressive array of barolo's and Chianti's. Alternatively, consider Bullys - (5 Romilly Crescent, tel: 029 2022 1905). Bully’s uses seasonal produce from Welsh providers, complemented by a unique French wine list sourced from small, passionate growers. If you feel like venturing outside of the city and to Cardiff Bay, consider Woods Brasserie - a contemporary restaurant situated within the iconic pilotage building of Cardiff Bay. The restaurant has a modern conservatory style dining room, a comfortable bar area and a balcony offering views of Cardiff Bay. (Pilotage Building, Stuart Street tel: 02920 492 400). Another option in Cardigan Bay is the Pearl of the Orient, situated in the opulent surroundings of Cardiff Bay's mermaid quay development. The restaurant offers the first Cantonese, Peking, Malaysian and swechwan cuisine in Cardiff in a contemporary, relaxed surrounding. (Mermaid Quay, tel: 029 2049 8080). Of course, you may simply like to take a stroll through the city centre and decide what catches your fancy this evening.
A 15th century farmhouse, Ty Mawr Hotel has been sympathetically restored with many original features having been retained. It is set in extensive gardens with the peaceful River Malais running through them at the bottom.
In the company of your private chauffeur and vehicle, explore the second National Park of Wales, the Pembrokeshire Coast today. See Pembroke itself and walk around the medieval town walls and visit the Castle - once it was the seat of a succession of major barons who played leading roles in shaping Britain's history, this historic showpiece is the birthplace of Henry Tudor, father to the infamous Henry VIII and grandfather of Elizabeth I.Head to St David’s, the UK’s smallest city, which was granted city status by HM, The Queen because of the presence of the cathedral. Today it is in reality a small attractive village, surrounded by spectacular coastal scenery renowned for its beauty and abundance of wildlife. Take a walking tour around the city and visit the Cathedral, founded by St David in the 6th century as a monastic settlement. To this day, it is without a doubt, the most important religious monument in Wales. Stroll through the beautiful grounds and the ruins of the Bishop's Palace before being brought to your accommodation at days end.(includes entrance to Pembroke castle).
Leave southern Wales behind and begin your journey north today. To start, head to the town of Welshpool and here, visit Powis Castle and its world renowned gardens - a delight at any time of the year. The gardens are laid out under the influence of Italian and French styles and still retain original lead statues and an orangery on the terraces. High on a rock above the terraces, the castle, originally built circa 1200, began life as a medieval fortress. Remodelled and embellished over more than 400 years, it reflects the changing needs and ambitions of the Herbert family – each generation adding to the magnificent collection of paintings, sculpture, furniture and tapestries. A superb collection of treasures from India is displayed.From here to your final location, hugging the north coast is the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Conwy, arriving mid-afternoon and take a guided visit of the Castle - constructed between 1283 and 1289, by the English King, Edward I, as one of the fortresses in his Iron Ring to contain the Welsh. (includes entrances to Powis castle and garden and Conwy castle).
The award-winning Castle Hotel is an old coaching inn which stands on the site of a Cistercian abbey and used to consist of two famous hostelries. Today, the property, with less than 30 bedrooms is particularly noted for its service and dining, having been awarded 2 AA rosettes.
It’s fair to say that no visit to Wales would be complete without some time to explore the Snowdonia National Park. In the company of your private driver-guide, take a trip on the mountain steam railway to the summit of Mount Snowdon, which at 3,560 feet (1,085m) is the highest mountain in Wales. The railway, built over 100 years ago is the only public rack-and-pinion railway in the United Kingdom.The views over the Welsh coastline and the mountains are quite literally breath-taking.Thereafter, its on to one of Wales’ finest areas of outstanding natural beauty –the Lleyn Peninsula - the rolling and often dramatic landscape runs down into sweeping sandy beaches, hidden coves and rocky cliffs along a coastline of nearly 100 miles.Visit Portmeirion, a unique fantasy village built between 1925 and 1975 by Clough Williams-Ellis, and situated on the shore of a very beautiful estuary and can be place to enjoy walks in surrounding woodland and gardens. It was the famous setting for the classic 60s TV series ‘The Prisoner’. (includes steam train in Snowdonia).
Today you leave Wales and make your way to London. First however, pause in Llangollen, a town with many natural wonders – mountains, fast-flowing rivers, the Horseshoe Pass – as well as the highest and longest aqueduct on the canal system - the Pontcysyllte Aqueduct. Built by Thomas Telford 200 years ago, is over 1000’ long and stands 126’ above the river Dee. It is now a World Heritage Site and if feeling brave perhaps walk across.And of course another “must do” for Wales if not already managed to include during your trip - listen to the rehearsals of a Welsh Male Chorus - an inspiring and wonderful sound.Cross into England, stopping at the Cotswolds and visit Stratford upon Avon - a picturesque town situated on the river and with a wealth of black and white timber framed buildings and is of course, most famous for being the birthplace of the world's greatest playwright, William Shakespeare. You may like to consider taking lunch overlooking the River Avon (not included) before continuing to London where your driver guide will bid you farewell.
For over 400 years, Mayfair has been one of the most sought-after residential districts in London and there is no address in Mayfair more elegant than Grosvenor Square. Situated in the heart of the fashionable Mayfair neighborhood, with its Georgian façade has all the discreet charm of an exclusive private residence, a magnificent 18th Century mansion first built as a stately town house, overlooking Grosvenor Square, is the ideal choice. Within easy walking distance of London’s main attractions including the shops of Oxford Street the boutiques of Bond Street and Theatre Land. The Hotel is just a stone’s throw away from Green Park and Bond Street tube station with both Heathrow and Gatwick airports 30 minutes away.
Meet your driver at your hotel and be taken to Heathrow Airport by a private transfer.
Citizens of other countries may require a visa. Please ask your Sales Advisor. These requirements change often and therefore it is best that you check with the Embassy of England for the most up to date visa information.
Wales is one of the four countries that make up the United Kingdom.It has the same immigration and visa requirements as the rest of the UK. U.S. and Canadian citizens may enter for up to 6 months for tourist purposes without a visa. The passport should be valid for at least three months beyond the period of stay.
Citizens of other countries may require a visa that can be obtained from the British Embassy, High Commission or Consulate where the applicant legally resides. Please ask your Sales Advisor. These requirements change often and therefore its best that you check with the British Embassy for the most up to date visa information.
Health insurance is recommended. Medical facilities are good quality. We recommend that you see a health-care provider who specializes in Travel Medicine. The doctor or health-care provider will determine what vaccinations and medication you will need, depending on factors such as your health and immunization history, areas of the country you will be visiting, and planned activities. For more information on travel requirements, visit the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) website: http://wwwn.cdc.gov/travel/destinations/united-kingdom.aspx
COUNTRY INFOCapital: CardiffGovernment: Constitutional monarchy. Language: Thre official languages are Welsh and EnglishReligion: Predominantly Christian and Roman Catholic. Islam is the largest non-Christian religion. There are sizable Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists and Jewish minorities. Time: GMT (UTC0)Electricity: 240 volts AC, 50Hz. Square three-pin plugs are standard. Telephone: Country code +44. Mobile Telephone: Roaming agreements exist with most international mobile phone operators. Coverage is mostly good, but can be patchy in rural areas. Internet: There are Internet cafes and centers in most urban areas.
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