Come with us to discover another country, one of rugged beauty, myths and legends, a land of Celts and castles, of mountains and moors, a place with it's own ancient language and a proud history. A weekend exploring Wales and it's beautiful landscape.
Chester, North Wales Coast, Conwy Castle Walls, Snowdonia Mountains, Steam Train Ride into Snowdonia National Park.
Please note: The Steam Train is closed in February , March and November , we will visit instead Caernarfon Castle.
DAY ONE (Saturday):
We depart London and head north west to the Welsh Borders. Here we make our first stop in historic Chester. A very important Roman city, Deva Victrix, we first view the remains of one of the Roman Empire's largest amphitheatres before we take a guided walk around the medieval walls and view the famous Eastgate Clock (said to be the most photographed clock in Britain after Big Ben!). After some free time and a chance for lunch we cross the 14th century Old Dee Bridge and enter Wales itself. Following the Welsh coastline through the holiday resorts of Rhyl and Colwyn Bay we arrive at Conwy with it's magnificent 13th century castle and complete town walls. All built in the 1290's by Master James of St George on the orders of King Edward I to safely protect the invading English soldiers inside from the Welsh outside. Today, in much quieter times it became an important fishing village and it's beauty and charm can be appreciated as we are taken around the walls and along the quayside by our guide, finishing off at the quirky 'smallest house in Britain' on the harbour side.
A short drive later and we are at our overnight accommodation in the elegant Victorian resort of Llandudno. Using a centrally located family run hotel, a fun evening awaits us, whether it's a walk along the 19th century pier, a stroll on the beach or a meal in one of the friendly local pubs, it'll be a great way to end the first day.
DAY TWO (Sunday):
After a full cooked Welsh breakfast to start our next morning, we drive up the steep road out of Llandudno to the Great Orme headland for spectacular views over Liverpool Bay and the Snowdon mountain ranges. Look out for the Kashmir goats roaming the hillside!
We then drive over to the Island of Anglesey, over the treacherous Menai straits to visit Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch the village with the longest name in the UK.
For the remainder of the day we visit Snowdonia National Park. We drive into the mountain landscape to the highest peak outside of Scotland, Mount Snowdon. Onwards past the beautiful lake of Llyn Cwellyn to Beddgelert where we take a nature ramble to a nearby waterfall and learn of the story of Gelert's grave. High above the Afon Glaslyn valley is Capel Curig where several scenes from the new movie King Arthur: Legend of the Sword were filmed.
We then follow the breathtaking Aberglaslyn Pass down to the old harbour town of Porthmadog before our lunch stop at the historic railway station. There we will board a steam hauled narrow gauge train for a ride up the mountainside to Blaenau Ffestiniog. Built in the 1860's to carry the world famous Welsh state from the mines down to the coast, it now carries visitors in restored carriages along a line that is renowned for it's stunning views and scenery.
We rejoin the tour bus at Blaenau Ffestiniog and travel through a dramatic landscape of massive redundant slate heaps, giving way to clear views of Mount Snowdon itself (weather permitting) before exploring the delightful Lledr, Conwy and Dee valleys before our return to England and back to London.
- Guided tour through magnificent mountain and coastal scenery of North Wales, including the Snowdonia National Park
- Visit to historic town of Chester
- Visit to Conwy Castle's outer walls
- See where King Arthur: Legend of the Sword was filmed
- Steam train ride into the mountains
- Travel by luxury minicoach
- 3* Hotel/guest house bed & breakfast accommodation in ensuite twin/double bedded rooms
- Services of a tour guide for the duration of the tour
Small Group promise - no more than 18 people in the group
All accommodation on this tour is based on staying in good quality family run hotels. Rooms are twin or double bedded and all have private bathroom/toilet and television. Hotels used are in the beautiful Victorian seaside resort of Llandudno on the North Wales coast.
Please note, due to the very nature of this tour the route and itinerary are subject to weather and road conditions and therefore may be changed while the tour is in progress.
- 06.00 AM From outside Ramsgate railway station
- 06.30 AM From outside Canterbury East railway station
- 06.30 AM From, outside Cambridge Police Station, Parkside - Click here for map
- 08.30 AM From International Students' House, 229 Great Portland Street, London W1W 5PN - Click here for map
- 09.30 AM From outside WHSmith newsagent, Welcome Break Service Station Oxford, Junction 8A M40 Motorway, Thame Road, Waterstock, Oxfordshire, OX33 1LJ - see below for more details
If you are joining this tour in London, the meeting point is in the car park (just outside reception). ISH is directly opposite Great Portland Street tube station but also a very easy walk from Warren Street, Regent's Park and Baker Street tube stations.
If you are joining this tour near Oxford, you will need to make your own way to and from and from Oxford Motorway Service Station at Junction 8a of the M40 Motorway. We recommend using a local taxi company. We normally arrive back at the same location by 8pm on Sundays.
This tour normally ends by 9pm in London. If you are travelling onwards to Cambridge, Ramsgate or Canterbury, the final arrival time will vary, as the feeder service that we provide links in with our other tours. If we are unable to transfer you by our own transportation, we will provide free rail or coach transfers to Cambridge, Canterbury or Ramsgate. In the event that public transport (rail or coach) does not offer a practical and convenient service, International Friends will provide travel by taxi, minibus or coach.
If you intend to travel to our central London meeting point by public transport, you can plan your journey in advance on the Transport for London website - click here