The Coast of Wales
This itinerary includes some of the things to see and do along the spectacular coastline of Wales. The itinerary is designed for you to include and exclude some trips and days to make it work for your clients.
The Victorian seaside resort of Llandudno is Wales' largest resort. It is situated between the Great and Little Ormes with two beaches, the award winning North Shore and the quiet sand duned West Shore. Take a ride on The 'San Francisco style' Great Orme Tramway (one of only three still in existence in the world today). Views from the 207 metre (679 feet) summit are fantastic, stretching even as far as the Isle of Man!
Continue to Conwy a medieval town with a 13th Century castle and town walls by the picturesque quay with a stunning mountainous backdrop. Conwy is a classic walled town. Its circuit of walls, over three quarters of a mile long and guarded by no less than 22 towers, is one of the finest in the World.
Visit Conwy Castle built in the 13th century and is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Its gritty dark stoned fortress has the ability to evoke an authentic medieval atmosphere. Plas Mawr is one of the finest Elizabethan Manor Houses in Britain and well known for the colourful plasterwork. It was built by Robert Wynn, an influential merchant of great repute. Take a walk around Conwy, with a visit to the quayside and the smallest house in Britain, built as a one up and one down fisherman’s cottage measuring only 1.8m wide. Also Conwy Mussel Museum, because Conwy was once the most important pearl fisheries in the country and today musseling is still carried out in the same traditional way and is today a local delicacy.
Overnight – Conwy or Llandudno
Take the A55 west wards and cross over the Menai Straits the tiny stretch of water that separates the island of Anglesey from the mainland of Wales. Take a photo at the look out point with great views of the Menai Suspension Bridge and Snowdonia.
Visit Halen Môn / Anglesey Sea Salt and take a behind the scenes tour to discover how their world famous salt is made.
Continue north wards and visit South Stack Lighthouse near the port of Holyhead (the main ferry port to Ireland) Visitors can take a tour of this 28m tall lighthouse – but beware they have to take 400 steps just to reach it from the main land – the views are stunning!
There is also the RSPB nature reserve, to see guillemots, razorbills and puffins all raising their young and live television pictures gives an even closer view of the nests. Rare choughs can also be seen on the reserve and enjoy a coffee and cake in their café afterwards.
Finish the day at Beaumaris, a small pastel coloured town with great views towards the mainland. The 13th century castle is the most technically perfect castle in Britain and was built by King Edward I and today has World Heritage Status. Nearby is the The Bull Beaumaris, where Charles Dickens stayed when he came to report on the famous sinking of the Royal Charter in Moelfre – even today, almost every room is named after a Dickens character!
Overnight: Beaumaris, Menai Bridge or Caernarfon
Travel through the spectacular Snowdonia National Park famous for the rugged mountain scenery and on a clear day you may see Mt Snowdon the highest mountain in England and Wales.
Portmeirion: the Italianate village built by Welsh architect Sir Clough Williams-Ellis from 1925 – 1976. Surrounding the village are 70 acres of sub-tropical gardens and woodlands with lakes and miles of pathways. Portmeirion is North Wales’ most popular visitor attraction with over 250,000 visitors every year.
Harlech Castle has a spectacular location perched on a rock overlooking the coast and is one of the castles in Wales with UNESCO world heritage status. It has a new visitor centre with a welcoming entrance and space to tell the castle’s story which includes a weaponry exhibition, timeline and audio visual display, the centre also includes a shop, luxury holiday apartments and a 21st century bridge, making the castle accessible to many more visitors.
Aberdovey (Aberdyfi) is a pretty small fishing town with nice boutiques and restaurants to explore and take a walk along the beach with views along Cardigan Bay.
The A487 road along the west Wales coast enjoys stunning views. Direct the journey from Aberystwyth to Gwbert is 1 hour 15 minutes and there is plenty to do enroute:
The National Library of Wales has a wealth of literature and manuscripts, images, collections and can help tracing Welsh ancestors. It also enjoys stunning views of the town and bay.
The Vale of Rheidol Railway one of the ‘Great Little Trains of Wales’ travelling through the countryside to Devils Bridge.
Aberaeron is a charming regency town and with its multi coloured houses, attractive harbour it is one of the few purpose built towns in Wales – it is famous for it’s honey ice cream! A good location for a lunch stop.
Llanerchaeron is a National Trust Property near Aberaeron and is an elegant Georgian villa, set in the wooded Aeron valley. Remarkably unaltered for over 200 years, this self-sufficient estate includes a farm, walled gardens and lake, designed by John Nash whose works later included London’s Regent Street and even Buckingham Palace!
New Quay There are links to Dylan Thomas in this pretty coastal town. Trips to see the pod of dolphins are also popular – scientists have proved that they even have their own Welsh accent!
Overnight Newquay / Gwbert
Take the A487 road through Pembrokeshire, The Pembrokeshire Coast National Park is the only coastal national park in Britain and if you walk the entire Pembrokeshire Coast Path – you will have climbed the equivalent of Everest but with out the altitude sickness!
Visit St Davids, the smallest city in Britain with a stunning cathedral. In medieval times it was an important centre for pilgrimages, in fact 3 pilgrimages to St Davids was the equivalent of one to The Holy Land. Today it is a favourite location of artists, travellers, pilgrims and surfers.
Oriel y Parc Gallery & National Park Visitor Centre houses a Class A Gallery displaying works of art from the National Museum Wales collection including works by Graham Sutherland.
Take a wildlife spotting trip to Ramsey Island, look out for puffins, seals and of course the stunning coastal scenery. For the more adventurous, have a go at coasteering a sport invented in Wales, that involves walking and scrambling along the coastline until you have to jump into the sea! Or take a walk along the Wales Coast Path - it is particularly stunning around here.
Take a short stroll around nearby Solva a picture-perfect fishing village with its charming High Street with cafes, craft shops and Galleries.
Overnight – St Davids or Tenby
Tenby is a small seaside town, the Tudor Merchant's House is a testament to the town’s historic past as well as the sight of the iconic pastel coloured Victorian Houses that surround the quayside and it even has four glorious beaches too!
Check to see that the road is open and if so, visit the tiny St Govan’s Chapel near Bosherton. This tiny hermit’s cell is nestled between the steep cliffs. Count the steps down and up again - legend has it that the number is never the same!
Or continue to The Gower Peninsular, and enjoy a 3 mile walk along Rhossili Bay (and back via the cliffs behind) it has been voted as one of the best beaches in Europe. At low tide, visitors can see the Helvetia shipwreck from 1887.
Continue eastwards to Swansea and visit the National Waterfront Museum - it celebrates Welsh history, culture and achievement tells the story of Wales' industrial and maritime heritage and its role in shaping today's economy and society.
Continue to the Cardiff, the capital city of Wales, it’s waterfront has been enjoying a revival over recent years. Originally a port for the major 19th century coal industry, today Cardiff Bay has a wide choice of restaurants and shops too. The Wales Millennium Centre - the international performing arts centre for Wales and is home to Welsh National Opera and often stages many ‘West End’ shows.