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Extended Touring Programmes

Examples of the tours we operate. Go back to Land Programmes

Wales Tour

Day 1
Arrive in UK and transfer to the glorious country hotel; The Vineyard. Enjoy welcome drinks followed by a fabulous dinner. Your tour leader will meet you this evening and give a short presentation on the tour ahead.

Overnight at The Vineyard or similar

Day 2
Journey today to your first stop: the magnificent Warwick Castle. This excellent example of English Medieval castle was re-built in the 14th Century on the site of the original Norman castle. After the castle passed over to the Greville family in the 17th Century, the castle was transformed into a great country house.

We have a number of options for a private, exclusive tour at Warwick Castle. An extremely experienced guide can give a two hour tour that covers the full history of the castle. Alternatively, costumed guides can tell ‘their own story’ of the castle in their own period. These tours include a Cromwellian soldier, mediaeval archer and garden specialist (the grounds were designed by famous landscape architect and gardener, Capability Brown). This option would certainly give an innovative and memorable slant to the castle tour! A private 3 course lunch with beer or wine can be served in the newly appointed Coach House.

Continue your journey north to the towns of Telford and Ironbridge. Telford was named after the gifted Scottish engineer Thomas Telford (1757 – 1834) who was responsible for many of Britain’s roads, bridges and canals. A short distance away is Ironbridge where you will be met by a local expert. Ironbridge became one of the most important centres for the Industrial Revolution in the 18th Century. Thanks to the pioneering works of Abraham Darby I, Ironbridge was transformed into one of the world’s great iron-making centres. Visit at least one of the several award-winning museums that have been established here to celebrate the industrial history of this town that is most famous (unsurprisingly) for its iron bridge.

Continue your journey on into Wales to the lovely Seiont Manor.

Overnight Seiont Manor or similar

Day 3
Today is a chance to immerse yourselves in the wonderful history of Welsh castles. We will visit 3 castles that will demonstrate a variety of historic periods and building styles, from the lovely fairytale castle of Penrhyn, to the impressive and somewhat austere Caernarfon.

Penrhyn: This fabulous fairy tale style castle is a more recent example of how a lived-in castle would have appeared. Completed in 1837 the present castle was built over existing buildings, and therefore incorporates the castle completed only fifty years earlier along with the medieval manor house. The style is richly gothic with a distinctly Moorish flavour. A large collection of old masters was brought to the house in the nineteenth century, adding to the already extensive collection of family portraits. The collection is the finest in Wales outside the National Museum.

Caernarfon: In contrast, Caernarfon dates back to the 13th Century and was built as the seat of government for North Wales. The castle went into disrepair until the 19th Century when Caernarfon was a thriving port and the architect Anthony Salvin rescued this important historical castle. Caernarfon Castle has been used for the investiture of the Princes of Wales since 1301, right up until the investiture of the current Prince Charles.

Conwy: Notable for the excellent survival of 13th Century castle and town walls, fortified with 21 towers and 3 gateways creating an almost unbroken shield around the old town. Conwy itself is home to a concentration of architectural riches unparalleled in Wales and as a result has been designated a World Heritage Site as ‘a fine example of a Medieval Walled Town’.

Your journey today will carry you alongside (or over – depending on the date) the Telford Bridge, allowing guests to view another infamous example of the engineer’s works, previously encountered on the journey to Wales.

Day 4
The glory of North Wales is its fabulous mountainous scenery. Snowdonia is the mountain range that is home to the highest mountain in Wales – Snowdon at 3,560ft. Your journey today will take you on a glorious drive through this lovely National Park. Travel to Llanberis and beyond, through the mountains and into the Llanberis pass that runs alongside Snowdon itself.

Continue on to the hill walking centre of Betwys-y-Coed. Visit the lovely Swallow Falls, learn about the enchanting history of the bizarre Ty Hyll (Ugly House) and view another of Telford’s creations; the Waterloo Bridge, built to mark this famous victory against Napoleon.

Later today visit the Lechwedd Slate Caverns to the south of Betwys-y-coed. Here you will gain a fascinating insight into the lives of the men that worked in the mines. Travel deep into the mines themselves to appreciate the conditions that they worked in, and witness demonstrations back on the surface of the various processes employed in extracting slate.

Finally return to Seiont.
Overnight Seiont Manor

Day 5
Travel today to the lovely city of Chester. First settled by the Romans in AD79, the town is now lined with delightful examples of timber buildings. Although the original timber framed buildings of the infamous ‘Chester Rows’ are mostly 19th century in their decorative timber work, the Rows were in fact first built in the 13th and 14th centuries. Areas of Chester give the impression of a perfectly preserved medieval City. Visit the heritage centre to gain a broad overview of the long history of this city and we will be sure to take in the lovely Cathedral.

A walk of the city walls is a must: these walls were originally Roman built, but have been repaired and re-built at intervals to maintain the city defences. The Roman history of Chester is extremely important and we shall indulge it further with a visit to the Roman amphitheatre that dates back to AD100.

Finally, after a day packed with history and culture, return to your hotel.

Overnight Seiont Manor.

Day 6
For your final day in North Wales a visit to the bizarre Italianate village of Portmeirion – the location for many films and television programmes, but perhaps most famously the popular 1960s television series The Prisoner. Created by the eccentric Welsh architect Sir Clough Williams-Ellis (1883 – 1978) he fulfilled his childhood dream by building a village “to my own fancy on my own chosen site”. About 50 buildings surround the central piazza, in styles varying from Gothic to Oriental. Lunch will be served today in the luxurious Portmeirion Hotel.

This afternoon visit the medieval fortress of Harlech castle – another of the string of defensive castles built in the 13th Century by Edward I. Built on a precipitous cliff that plunged into the sea it nevertheless fell to Owain Glyndwr in 1404 and served as his court until its recapture four years later.

Later, return to your hotel
Overnight Seiont Manor

Day 7
Begin your journey south once more today, leaving the dramatic scenery of Wales behind you. There is some distance to travel today in order to reach the airport for your return flights. It may be that flights are arranged for the evening, or indeed the following morning. If a further night near the airports is required, we would recommend a return to The Vineyard (or an alternative hotel, preferably with leisure facilities to relax before the return flights) for a farewell dinner. Please let us know your thoughts on this.

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