Our Grand Tour takes you to the north, south and west coasts of Wales. We tour the Isle of Anglesey in the north and the dramatic coastline of the Gower Peninsula and Pembrokeshire in the south. We join the two with a day of amazing scenery as we travel down the coastline of Cardigan Bay. During our adventure we visit Aberglasney Gardens, travel on the wonderful Welsh Highland Railway through the wild mountains of Snowdonia and go in search of puffins from Beaumaris.
Day 1 After a morning pick up from your home, we travel west via Llangollen, reaching our hotel in Caernarfon late afternoon.
Day 2 Our day in the Snowdonia National Park begins with a drive to Porthmadog where we board the Welsh Highland Railway for an amazing 25-mile journey. The trains - hauled by the world's most powerful narrow-gauge steam locomotives – travel through the magnificent Aberglaslyn Pass and up to Beddgelert. From here we zigzag up into the foothills of the mountains and travel down over 650ft to sea level at Caernarfon. Your driver will be waiting for you to transfer you to our hotel.
Day 3 This morning we visit Beaumaris on the Isle of Anglesey, to board our boat for a 70- minute cruise which includes panoramic views of the Snowdonia Mountain Range, Penmon Lighthouse and Puffin Island. If we are lucky we might see puffins, seals, cormorants, guillemots, oystercatchers and kittiwakes.** We have some free time in Beaumaris, an historic town with medieval castle, gaol and courthouse, before crossing the Strait to our hotel.
Day 4 Leaving our hotel after breakfast we travel to the coast, and begin our journey south past Tremadog Bay to Barmouth. The old town is built into the mountain with steep steps and slate-roofed cottages, and the harbour has wonderful views. In the afternoon we continue down the coast beside Cardigan Bay, past Tywyn and Aberdovey to Aberystwyth. We follow the coast as far as Aberaeron before turning inland to our hotel in Carmarthen where we have a four-night stay.
Day 5 Heading west into the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park, we visit Tenby, with its maze of narrow streets, picturesque harbour and magnificent bay. We continue to Pembroke, with its magnificent Norman castle, one of the finest and best-preserved strongholds in the country.
Day 6 A morning visit to the glorious Aberglasney Gardens, followed by an afternoon at leisure in Carmarthen, known as the oldest town in Wales. You will find a thriving indoor market which dates back to Roman times, or you might like to stroll through the narrow streets of the old town or along the river. You could visit the ruins of Carmarthen Castle, founded by Henry I in 1109 and witness to several fierce battles (free entry).
Day 7 Today’s excursion takes us through the beautiful unspoilt scenery of the Gower Peninsulaow. We visit the Gor Heritage Centre to meet our local guide for a coach tour along to Rhossili with views of the nature reserve and the dramatic 250ft cliffs. Back at the Heritage Centre, we enjoy a Gower Cream Tea. We have a stop at Mumbles Head on our return to admire the views.
Day 8 Leaving our hotel after breakfast, we travel to Cardiff, where we have time for lunch in this historic city. Crossing the Severn Bridge we make our way back to the local area where our taxis will be waiting to transfer us home.
This welcoming three-star hotel is within walking distance of the centre of Carmarthen. Sympathetically modernised, the hotel retains its old-world charm and has restaurant, bar, spacious lounge, terrace, WiFi and a lift to some rooms. Bedrooms have TV, telephone, hairdryer, ironing facilities and hospitality tray.
The three-star Celtic Royal Hotel stands in the centre of Caernarfon, just a short walk from Caernarfon Castle. Leisure facilities include swimming pool, gym, sauna, bubble pool and steam room. Bedrooms have TV, telephone, hairdryer and hospitality tray. The hotel has a bar, lounges, split level restaurant, WiFi and a lift, although there are a few isolated steps.