- Get to know Cardiff on a food, culture, and history tour of the capital
- Discover the quaint and quirky booklover's town of Hay-on-Wye
- Visit the stunning Caernarfon Castle, one of the greatest Middle Age structures
- End with a craft beer tasting in Chester and the "Eat the City" tour in Manchester
|Day 1||Arrive in Cardiff, Cosmopolitan Cardiff Food Tour||Cardiff|
|Day 2||Tour Tintern Abbey, Self-Guided Tour of Hay-on-Wye Bookshops||Hay-on-Wye|
|Day 3||Brecon Beacons Tour, Gower Coast Boat Trip & Tenby Ghost Walk||Tenby|
|Day 4||Tour Caldey Island, Free Time in Portmeirion & Caernarfon Castle||Caernarfon|
|Day 5||Llangollen Railway & Craft Beer Tasting & Eat the City Tour in England, Depart|
Day 1: Arrive in Cardiff, Cosmopolitan Cardiff Food Tour
Welcome to Wales! Upon arrival, a delicious tour of Cardiff awaits. Among its rich history, Cardiff has a thriving food scene featuring signature Welsh foods, ethnic and continental eats, markets, and festivals. The variety of cuisine includes French, Italian, Chinese, Indian, and Thai—the list goes on. The "Cosmopolitan Cardiff Food Tour" invites you to enjoy samples from all over the world and visit local cafés, delis, and restaurants dotted around Cardiff's city center.
At a leisurely pace, walk from one venue to the next, with plenty of time to stop and enjoy along the way. Learn about Cardiff's varied and lively history and relish the chance to admire the city's architecture and many landmarks. These include Cardiff Castle, City Hall, and Principality Stadium, the home of Welsh rugby. Your enthusiastic Welsh food guide shares stories and provides a unique and personal tour of Cardiff. You may even learn some new words in Welsh! Following the tasty tour, the evening is at your leisure to relax and unwind.
Day 2: Tour Tintern Abbey & Self-Guided Tour of Hay On Wye Bookshops
Today begins with exploring the extraordinary Tintern Abbey. Cistercian monks founded Tintern Abbey in 1131; all that remains now of this once-thriving monastery is a romantic ruin lost in time. Discover the abbey's Gothic arches, a testament to pre-Reformation monastic wealth and power. The finest features are the ornate tracery, which once contained windows. The remains of cloisters, the infirmary, the chapter house, the refectory, latrines, and a complex system of drains and sewers are all visible and easy to explore and understand. It is the early writings of William Wordsworth that made put this Abbey on the map.
Then, it's off to Hay-on-Wye for a self-guided tour—with recommendations provided—of the famous bookshop town. However, this is more than just a booklovers' paradise; it's filled with quirky independent shops, stunning scenery, ruins, and more. It's nestled on the banks of the River Wye and surrounded by the undulating hills of Brecon Beacons National Park. The shops in Hay-on-Wye lend to a town with a sense of self that is seldom found in the UK: a mixture of confidence and relaxation.Following your self-guided tour, find an inviting place in town and enjoy a nice dinner.
Day 3: Brecon Beacons Tour, Gower Coast Boat Trip & Tenby Ghost Walk
Today's tour is about the Brecon Beacons. Begin the journey traveling toward the Epynt and then onto Pen y Crug Hillfort above Brecon. From there, take in a breathtaking 360-degree view of the Usk Valley. Then, travel to the largest hillfort in South Wales, Hillfort of Garn Goch, with a staggering internal area of 28 acres (11 ha) surrounded by massive stone walls. Though most have collapsed, they're still imposing—the substantial burial cairn is one of the main features.
Then, drive and explore Pen y Crug, a thriving community that once lived in round mud huts with thatched roofs. Only a few miles away are the ruins of Carreg Cennen Castle, standing on a limestone knoll. The castle boasts a spectacular location overlooking Black Mountain in the western corner of the Brecon Beacons National Park. The castle is believed to have been built by the Welsh Prince Rhys Ap Gruffydd in the 12th and 13th centuries. If you're feeling adventurous, explore a tunnel that takes you under the castle. Remember to take a flashlight!
Next, it's on to the stunning Gower Coast to take a two-hour wildlife boat tour. Start in Oxwich Bay and head to Worms Head to delight in the sights and sounds of hundreds of seabirds during nesting season. Watch seals basking on the rocks or dozing in the water, and the chance to experience the spectacular blowhole at high tide. Keep an eye out for the regularly seen harbor porpoise and playful common dolphins among diving gannets.
Finally, return to Oxwich Bay and depart for the small harborside town of Tenby. Upon arrival, take "The Ghost Walk and Story of Tenby" private two-hour tour. Learn about ghosts, fairies, witches, and strange Pembrokeshire customs, along with omens, mysteries, and murder. Enjoy a mix of lighthearted stories and haunting tales on a leisurely walk with magnificent views, starting at Lifeboat Tavern in Tudor Square. The evening is then yours to enjoy in Tenby.
Chat with a local specialist who can help organize your trip.
Day 4: Tour Caldey Island, Free Time in Portmeirion & Caernarfon Castle
Begin today with a private, guided three-hour tour of Caldey Island. Take a relaxed walk that includes the island's development from the sixth century to the present. Visit the old priory and churches of St Illtud's and St Davids, and view the outside of Caldey Abbey. Next, spend time in Portmeirion, a popular Italian-inspired village in North Wales designed and built by Sir Clough Williams-Ellis between 1925 and 1975. A walk along the cobbles will familiarize you with the charming town, which is also outfitted with a gorgeous coastal path.
Central Plaza, the Japanese Gardens, and Battery Square are great places to stroll. Or, take an architectural walk past Gothic Pavilion, Hercules Hall, and Bristol Collenade. Plus, do not miss the Art Deco-clad Hotel Portmeirion, which is also a fabulous place for a nice meal.
Next is a tour of Caernarfon Castle, a great example of a Middle Ages building. This fortress-palace on the River Seiont has been grouped with Edward I's other castles at Conwy—Beaumaris and Harlech—as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. In terms of the sheer scale and architectural splendor, Caernarfon reigns supreme. Its immense curtain walls and daunting King's Gate were designed to withstand conflict. The polygonal towers, eagle statues, and multi-colored masonry echo imperial Roman architecture, especially the walls of Constantinople.
Spend the evening in Caernarfon following the long day.
Day 5: Llangollen Railway & Craft Beer Tasting & Eat the City Tour in England, Depart
This morning, take the Llangollen Heritage Railway—the only standard gauge heritage railway in North Wales—an enchanting journey following the course of the River Dee through the idyllic Denbighshire countryside. The journey is a relaxing 10 miles (16 km) traveling through some of the Country's most beautiful scenery.
Then, cross over to Chester in England for a 2.5-hour craft beer tasting experience at Chester Brewhouse & Kitchen. Your group expert will welcome you to the brewery and provide background information on each of the eight samples. Find out how to distinguish between your hops and your malt and discover distinct flavors like citrus, apple, and mango. Throughout the masterclass, there are nibbles to pair. However, don't fill up...
Next, head to Manchester for the "Eat The City" tour! Sample some of the best bites and sips the city offers and learn the history and impact of Manchester's now-booming food and drink scene. The tour lasts between 3.5-4 hours and includes eight tastings across the city, taking you to several local haunt favorites. Learn fascinating facts about Manchester, touch on food science, and sample local food. Discuss the city's influential food and drink stories, from the ice cream vendors of Ancoats Little Italy to the diet of the Victorian mill worker to the birth of vegetarianism.
Prepare to feed your brain and your belly, and then it's time to catch your return flight home—though extending your trip one final night in Manchester might not be a bad idea.