Discover the magic of Wales
Arrive into London Heathrow, and pick up your hire car. On your way to Cardiff, you may consider visiting Stonehenge or the city of Bath if time allows. Cross the border into Wales on the striking Severn Bridge, and make your way to your first overnight stop – Wales’ capital city of Cardiff. Check into your hotel in Cardiff, a cosmopolitan city with a fully pedestrianised city centre, some of the best shopping in Britain, as well as buzzing bars and restaurants.
This morning depart Cardiff and drive west to Pembrokeshire. It’s a short drive so you will have plenty of time this afternoon to explore Pembrokeshire National Park, famous for its stunning coastal scenery. Why not take a walk around Tenby to see multi-coloured houses and beautiful beaches – one which was voted the best beach in Europe recently. You may want to take a boat trip out to Caldey Island with its monastery and great walking trails, or continue along the coast to visit St David’s, the smallest city in Britain with a population of only 1800, to see the cathedral named after Wales’ patron saint. Perhaps you will stop in Pembroke, and see the castle where Henry VII, the first Tudor king was born, or at the Lovespoon Workshop to learn more about this Welsh tradition.
Overnight: Pembrokeshire (Tenby, Pembroke, Saundersfoot or similar)
Drive along the scenic west coast of Wales and stop to explore at your leisure on your way to your next overnight location in North Wales. You may want to stop in Aberaeron, a picturesque village with colourful houses clustered around the harbour. Continue through Aberystwyth, the main town on the west coast to Machynlleth to browse the alternative shops, or Barmouth to snap photos of the famous railway bridge. Why not visit Harlech Castle, one of the most dramatically situated castles in Wales, or continue along the coast to stop in the Italianate fairy-tale village of Portmeirion.
Overnight: North Wales (Caernarfon, Conwy or similar)
This morning, you may want to visit one of the many castles in north Wales, such as Conwy or Caernarfon, before driving through the scenic Snowdonia National Park. The area is known for its stunning beauty but also for its mining history, and you can learn more at the National Slate Museum or perhaps you will go underground at the Llechwedd Slate Caverns. Stop in some of the picturesque villages like Betws-y-Coed or Beddgelert before continuing south to Mid-Wales. If time allows, you could visit Powis Castle, a mediaeval castle with extensive art collections, on your way to your next hotel.
Overnight: Mid-Wales (Llandrindod Wells or similar)
Today you will discover the third national park on your journey – Brecon Beacons National Park. A stop in Hay-on-Wye is recommended for book lovers. This pretty market town on the edge of the national park is world-renowned for its many book shops, and was one the world’s first designated “book towns”. Continue through the National Park, stopping for photos and maybe at a welcoming pub for lunch. On arrival in Cardiff, you could visit the castle which is located in the centre of town. Dating back to Roman times, you can explore the Norman keep as well as the extravagant castle which was extensively refurbished in the 19th century. Check into your hotel in Cardiff. This evening, you may want to try the local beer called Brains, or Penderyn Welsh whisky, in one of the many pubs in the city centre.
Depart Cardiff in plenty of time to make the 3 hour drive to London Heathrow airport in time for your flight back home.
You may choose to extend your stay in London.