Discover Wales 5 day tour # 401

 

Highlights

~ Stratford upon Avon
~ Welsh Borderlands and the Cambrian Mountains
~ Snowdonia National Park
~ Harlech Castle
~ New Quay and Cardigan Bay
~ Dolaucothi Gold Mine
~ Laugharne and its Dylan Thomas connections
~ Pembrokeshire Coast National Park & the Preseli Mountains
~ St Davids – Britain’s smallest city
~ Castle Coombe

Five days to explore the best of Wales, a land of historic castles, dramatic mountains, beautiful coastal scenery and fascinating Celtic Culture. This tour takes you to three National Parks, a huge variety of scenic countryside spots and some of the finest historical attractions in the country. If you want to get a real feel for Wales and its intriguing mix of landscapes, history, culture and friendly people then this is the tour for you.

Stay 2 nights in the coastal University town of Aberystwyth and 2 nights in the seaside resort of Tenby

 

 

Day 1 Departing London the road north west takes you first to William Shakespeare’s birthplace and home town, Stratford on Avon. Unchanged in many ways since Tudor times, black & white timber frame buildings fill the town centre. Following lunch in Stratford you will travel west through the Welsh Marches – the borderlands between England and Wales marked out by the ancient Offa’s Dyke. The route then leads into the heart of the Cambrian Mountains and the beautiful Elan Valley from where pure Welsh water is supplied to the distant City of Birmingham. Leaving here in the late afternoon it is just an hour or so to the beautiful seaside town and cultural centre of Aberystwyth where you will spend the next 2 nights.

Day 2 Travelling north into the mountainous region of the Snowdonia National Park, we head for the beautiful mountain village of Beddgelert, the resting place of a legendary hound, ‘Gelert’, and the nearby copper mine – no longer working but open to visitors. The coast at the small town of Criccieth is a short ride away where there is a fine example of one of the castles of the Welsh Princes; with great views from the ramparts along the coast and out into Cardigan Bay. You will travel on to Porthmadog, home of the Ffestingog light railway and over the Cob causeway before reaching the castle at Harlech – one of Edward I’s masterpieces of medieval military architecture and part of a set of similar castles which that ring the north Wales coastline. You will return to Aberystwyth in late afternoon.

Day 3 Leaving Aberystwyth we travel around the coast of Cardigan Bay through the pretty little planned town of Aberaeron to New Quay with its a charming sandy harbour containing fishing boats and its connections with Dylan Thomas. From the breakwater wall you may be lucky enough to spot dolphins or whales out in the bay. Turning inland again, we strike out for gold at the Dolaucothi mine which dates back to Roman times before heading into the foreboding Black Mountains. Having perhaps explored the mysterious bedrock cave under a castle with ancient origins we head for the coast again at Laugharne where Dylan Thomas wrote the famous play “Under Milk Wood”. From here it’s a short distance to Tenby, the small, picturesque seaside town that will be your base for 2 nights.

Day 4 Our last full day in Wales is spent exploring the extreme south-west of the country, in the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park. This region was the birthplace of both the patron saint of Wales, St David, and the Twdyr (anglicised to Tudor) royal dynasty. After stopping in the county tpwn of Pembroke itself with yet another fabulous castle you will travel on to the tiny cathedral city of St Davids for lunch and time to explore this magical place. In the afternoon the tour follows the coast to Strumble Head, the site of the last invasion of Britain in 1797 (by an American leading coerced Frenchmen!), and on to the Presili Hills, a place of entombment in Neolithic times and the source of the blue stones of Stonehenge, to where they were transported nearly 4000 years ago. From here we return once more to Tenby.

Day 5 Leaving Tenby in the morning, you begin your return journey to London. We pick up the motorway taking us past the big industrial cities of South Wales to the outskirts of Cardiff for a visit to the outdoor National History Museum (an optional drop-off for anyone wanting end the tour in Cardiff is available). After a quick tour through the impressively modern Cardiff Bay area we head back in time 2000 years with a stop at the remarkably well preserved Roman Fortress at Caerleon. From here sadly it is time to leave Wales behind and head back across the Severn Estuary bridge into England. We will take one final break at Castle Combe, a quintessentially Cotswold village where you can stroll amongst ironstone cottages dating back to the 16th Century. Your driver/guide will aim to have you back in Central London by around 7.30pm

 

 

Wales, Shakespeare’s England & Cambridge 4 Day Tour # 402

 

Highlights
~ Shakespeare country
~ Stratford-upon-Avon
~ Ironbridge World Heritage Site
~ Chester
~ The mountains of Snowdonia
~ Conwy Castle
~ Peak District National Park
~ Chatsworth House (April – December)
~ Lincoln and its Cathedral
~ Cambridge

4 Days exploring deep into the Heart of Wales and England from Snowdonia National Park to the historic cities of Chester, Lincoln and Cambridge. Discover the scenic beauty of the Peak District National Park and visit the impressive Conwy Castle in North Wales and elegant Chatsworth House. Stay 2 nights in the historic medieval city of Chester and 1 night in Lincoln.

Day 1 Depart from London and travel to William Shakespeare’s birthplace Stratford on Avon, home to the Tudor thatched cottage and gardens of his wife, Anne Hathaway. You will have time to explore the magnificent village of Stratford and enjoy lunch, before continuing to the World Heritage site of Ironbridge. Set in a stunning forested gorge on the river Severn this historic valley boasts the world’s first ever iron bridge and a host of attractions to choose from. It was once described as the most extraordinary district in the world! From here you travel up to the historic medieval town of Chester for the next 2 nights.

Day 2 This morning your tour will take you into the heart of North Wales. You will visit to the picture book medieval castle of Conwy, built by Edward I in the late 13th Century. You will also explore the impressive mountain scenery of the Snowdonia National Park including the huge Dinorwic slate quarries and the dramatic Pass of Llanberis in the shadows of Snowdon – Wales’ highest peak. You will return to Chester mid-afternoon when you will have some spare time to explore the ancient walls of Chester or perhaps the stunning cathedral with a history spanning almost 1000 years and a masterpiece of medieval architecture.

Day 3 Immediately east of Chester lie the hills of the Peak District National Park with a mixture of stunning scenery and beautiful little villages. You will take a scenic route through the Park to the village of Castleton, then in the afternoon you can visit the famous mansion house and gardens of Chatsworth (open April to December), home to the Cavendish family and the Duke of Devonshire. Chatsworth is often named the UK’s favourite country house and a visit will reveal some of the finest collections of furniture, priceless paintings, Old Master drawings and neo-classical sculptures. From here you will travel east out of the hills to the wonderful historic city of Lincoln where you will spend the night.

Day 4 Today starts with a leisurely morning giving you some free time to explore Lincoln city centre and its rich history that goes back to the time of the Romans. Visit the castle or cathedral – once the tallest building in the world! Shop at the Central Market or Steep Hill or just explore the historic city centre streets. After an early lunch it will be time to start the return journey south. On the way back to London you will make a stop in the famous University City of Cambridge with its ancient colleges, stunning architecture and medieval streets. See the world famous Kings College Chapel and take a stroll along the River Cam before arriving back in London around 19.00.

 

Devon and Cornwall – A Magical Land of Legends 5 Day Tour tour # 403

 

Highlights:
~ Winchester
~ Dartmoor
~ Exeter
~ Boscastle
~ Tintagel Castle
~ Lands End & St. Ives
~ Cornish beaches
~ Glastonbury
~ Stonehenge

5 days to explore the extreme south west of England. Home to Arthurian legends, Celtic kingdoms, Roman towns, beautiful beaches, wild moorlands with legendary beasts, Norman cathedrals and extraordinary coastlines.

Stay 2 nights in the historic Roman city of Exeter and 2 nights in the Cornish coastal town of Falmouth.

Please note – on some dates this tour may stay in Torquay for the first 2 nights.

Day 1

Depart London and travel out through the old kingdom of Wessex to its ancient capital – the historic city of Winchester. Having explored this fascinating old town with its magnificent cathedral and historic Great Hall, your tour will continue to the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Stonehenge, thought to be an ancient burial ground = before arriving at the historic city of Exeter, an important fortified settlement in Roman times, your base for 2 nights.

Day 2

Your morning is spent exploring the magnificent wilderness of Dartmoor, the ancient “Clapper Bridge” at Postbridge and the historic market town of Tavistock, home to Sir Francis Drake. Return to Exeter in the early afternoon to explore this Roman town, with its underground passages, ancient walls, Royal Albert Memorial museum and its famous 12th century Norman Cathedral. Your second night is spent here.

Day 3

Travel west into the heart of Arthurian legend country and the Celtic Kingdom of Cornwall. The day’s highlights include the ancient capital of Cornwall, Launceston with its 12th century Norman keep perched overlooking Bodmin Moor. This is an area where legends abound – tales of piskies and spriggins, the Beast of Bodmin and the resting place of King Arthur’s sword Excalibur in Dozmary Pool combine to make this a very special place. Continue to the north Cornish coast and the mediaeval fishing village of Boscastle with its distinctive harbour. Nearby are the romantic cliff top ruins of Tintagel Castle, birthplace of King Arthur which you will have the chance to explore before travelling south to the seaside University town of Falmouth for the next 2 nights.

Day 4

Explore the most westerly tip of England on this magnificent day taking in the stunning cliff top village of Mousehole, the incredible Minack theatre built into the cliffs overlooking the Atlantic Ocean and the beautiful National Trust beach at Porthcurno. You may even see some pirates at Penzance! England’s most westerly point beckons at Lands End before following the dramatic coast, with windswept moors and old stone Celtic communities up to the artistic haven of St. Ives. Returning to Falmouth for the night.

Day 5

This morning you say farewell to Cornwall and travel across Bodmin Moor, a wild moorland now designated as an area of outstanding natural beauty. On our journey north we take a break in the market town of Launceston, with its castle that dates from just after the Norman Conquest in 1066. We continue through the Devon countryside before arriving in the town of Glastonbury. Here you can take time to visit the 7th century Abbey, relax in the local bars or restaurants or climb Glastonbury Tor, the hill that rises high above the town and has mythical connections with King Arthur and Avalon. From here you will travel back to London, a city completely removed from the experiences you have enjoyed in the magical counties of Devon and Cornwall

 

 

 

Heart of England, Wales and Yorkshire 5 Day Tour # 404

Highlights:
~ Shakespeare Country and Stratford upon Avon
~ Ironbridge World Heritage Site
~ The mountains of Snowdonia
~ Conwy Castle
~ Peak District National Park
~ Chatsworth House
~ York and the Dales
~ Cambridge

5 Days exploring Shakespeare country, the World Heritage Site of Ironbridge, the mountains and castles of North Wales, the refined elegance of Chatsworth House, the scenic beauty of the Peak District and Yorkshire Dales with time to discover the historic cities of York and Cambridge.

Stay 2 nights in the historic town of Shrewsbury and 2 nights in the mediaeval city of York. (**Please note – on some dates this tour may stay in Chester for the first 2 nights)

Day 1
Depart from London and make your way to William Shakespeare’s birthplace Stratford on Avon, home to the Tudor thatched cottage and gardens of his wife, Anne Hathaway. You will have time to explore the magnificent village of Stratford and enjoy lunch, before continuing to the World Heritage site of Ironbridge. Set in a stunning forested gorge on the river Severn this historic valley boast the world’s first ever iron bridge and a host of attractions to choose from. It was once described as the most extraordinary district in the world! From here you travel to the beautiful riverside town of Shrewsbury for the next 2 nights.

Day 2
This morning your tour will take you into the heart of North Wales You will travel through beautiful green valleys and lovely little towns and villages then visit the picture book medieval castle of Conwy, built by Edward I in the late 13th century. You will also explore the impressive mountain scenery of the Snowdonia National Park including the huge Dinorwic slate quarries and the dramatic Pass of Llanberis in the shadows of Snowdon – Wales’ highest peak. You will hear tales of Owain Glyndwr and the Welsh struggles for independence before travelling back through the borderlands into England.

Day 3
To the northeast of Shrewsbury lie the hills of the Peak District National Park with a mixture of stunning scenery and beautiful little villages. You will take a scenic route through the Park to the village of Castleton then in the afternoon you can visit the famous mansion house and gardens of Chatsworth, home to the Cavendish family, Duke of Devonshire. Chatsworth is often named the UK’s favourite country house and a visit will reveal some of the finest collections of furniture, priceless paintings, Old Master drawings and neo-classical sculptures. From here you will travel east out of the hills to the wonderful historic city of York where you will spend the next 2 nights.

Day 4
Today you have a choice of things to do. You can spend the whole day at leisure exploring the medieval heart of York, a city whose rich history goes back to the time of the Romans, Vikings and Normans. Visit some of the fascinating museums, the amazing York Minster or just lose yourself in the maze of narrow streets and ancient city walls. Alternatively you could join your guide on a half day excursion into the Yorkshire dales visiting the pretty market towns of Knaresborough or Ripon and some of the remote valleys and rugged scenery of the Eastern Dales, followed by a free afternoon in York.

Day 5
Leaving York in the morning you begin your return journey south to London stopping off in the town of Stamford, with its fine collection of historic stone buildings, and the famous University City of Cambridge with its ancient colleges, stunning architecture and medieval streets. See the world famous Kings College Chapel and take a stroll along the river Cam before arriving back in London around 19.30.