May 17, 2025 – May 24, 2025
8 nights – $4,200.00
$800.00 deposit due upon booking
Final payment due by November 1, 2024
Wales is known for being the land of castles and we have six of the very best for you on this tour, which also includes visits to several World Heritage sites, a variety of museums, canal and railroad trips, stately homes, a wealth of history and an entire day browsing the bookshops of the world-famous town of Hay-on-Wye.
Make your way to Cardiff and check-in to our 4-star accommodation in the heart of the City, where you’ll meet your fellow travelers before going on to a welcome dinner.
Our tour begins with a visit to Cardiff Castle, where we’ll walk through 2,000 years of history. The Castle has been a Roman fort, a Norman stronghold, a Victorian palace and a WWII shelter. In 1766, the Castle passed into the Bute family – the 2nd Marquess turned Cardiff into the a major coal exporting port, while by the 1860s, the 3rd Marquess was said to be the richest man in the world. Afterwards, we’ll explore St. Fagan’s National Folk Museum, a working museum that includes over forty original buildings, including houses, cottages, shops, workrooms where craftsmen demonstrate their skills and a farm featuring traditional Welsh livestock breeds. The remainder of the day and evening has been left free for you to explore the sights of Cardiff on your own.
This morning we’ll check-out of our Cardiff hotel and board our coach, heading for Hay-on-Wye, the Used Bookshop Capital of Wales. The entire day will be yours to browse through more than twenty second-hand and antiquarian bookshops before traveling on to dinner and an overnight stay at the historic Royal Oak Hotel in Welshpool.
Our day begins at medieval Powis Castle, with its fabulous staterooms, the Clive collection of art from Mughal India and its elegant 17th century terraces that lead visitors down to the glorious Grade I listed gardens. This afternoon, we arrive at the charming town of Llangollen, located on the banks of the River Dee. From Llangollen Wharf, we’ll embark on a 45-minute horse drawn canal boat trip before visiting Plas Newydd, once home to the Ladies of Llangollen, who lived life on their own terms and were visited by many personalities of the day, including the Duke of Wellington. This evening, we’ll check into our 4-star Royal Victoria Hotel. Nestled in a stunning location between two lakes at the foot of the Snowdonia mountain range, the Royal Victoria will be our picturesque base for the next four nights. Dinner this evening at our hotel.
Our first stop this morning will be Conwy Castle. Built 700 years ago, the Castle features eight towers, the most intact set of medieval royal apartments in Wales and stunning views of Snowdonia. Afterwards, there will be plenty of photo ops during a river cruise that will offer up stunning views of the Castle, Llandudno and the Puffin Islands. Later, we’ll visit the picture-perfect walled town of Conwy, where you’ll be free to explore on your own. Don’t miss such sites as the smallest house in Wales and Plas Mawr, the finest example of an Elizabethan townhouse in Britain. Built by a wealthy merchant, today you can visit over fifteen impressive, period rooms. Dinner this evening at our hotel.
We begin today at our second Plas Newydd, this one being the family seat of the Marquess of Anglesey. Whether your interests rest with Henry Paget, the first Marquess who fought so valiantly at Waterloo, or with Henry Paget, the flamboyant 5th Marquess, you’ll find much to explore at Plas Newydd, including artist Rex Whistler’s renowned mural and the Military Museum. Over the centuries, Plas Newydd has evolved from its original Tudor roots through changes by architect James Wyatt in 1793-9 and later alterations made the 6th Marquess. Situated along the Menai Straight, the house also offers 40 acres of gardens and spectacular views of Snowdonia. This afternoon, we’ll visit the ancient town of Menai Bridge and cross Thomas Telford’s iconic suspension bridge, an engineering marvel of its day, before exploring the streets of this charming town. Our final stop of the day is at Beaumaris Castle, the unfinished fortress known as ‘the greatest castle never built.’ Dinner this evening at our hotel.
This morning we start the day at Caernarfon Castle, perhaps the most legendary of all Welsh castles, as well as being the birthplace of the first Prince of Wales in 1284 and the setting of the investiture of Prince Charles as Prince of Wales in 1969. With imposing gatehouses, miles of ramparts, twelve soaring towers and the Museum of the Royal Welsh Fusiliers, there will be plenty to see and do. In the afternoon, we’ll visit the summit of Mount Snowdon on the Snowdon Mountain Railway, where we’ll take in some of the most stunning views imaginable during the trip and from the viewing platform at the peak of this legendary mountain. Dinner this evening at our hotel.
Our last tour day begins at Harlech Castle, dramatically situated on a rocky crag. Approached via a floating foot-bridge and set against the backdrop of Snowdonia, the view of castle, sea and mountain panorama is truly breathtaking. Harlech was completed in just seven years; its ‘walls within walls’ design affording the castle daunting natural defenses in conjunction with the ‘way from the sea,’ a path comprised of over one hundred steps rising steeply up the rock face. Afterwards, it’s on to Portmeirion Village, designed and built by Sir Clough Williams-Ellis between 1925 and 1975 in the style of an Italian village. Noël Coward wrote Blithe Spirit while staying there, and George Bernard Shaw and H. G. Wells were also early visitors. In 1956 the architect Frank Lloyd Wright came and other famous guests included Gregory Peck and Ingrid Bergman. Today, visitors can stroll the streets and admire the architecture which brings a bit of the Mediterranean to Wales. Later in the afternoon, we’ll travel to our final hotel, Lake Country House, where we’ll gather this evening for a farewell dinner.
Return to Cardiff via coach, with stops at both the train station and airport.
8 nights in a 4 star hotel
Admission to all scheduled venues/museums
Transportation to all scheduled venues/museums
Services of a professional guide throughout