An Autumn Spectacular Coast to Coast Welsh House Party Tour With Castles, Manor House, Stately Homes, Cathedrals and Tearooms.
October 13th - 28th, 2023
The first week of this tour will be spent at Llanlliana Coastal Retreat in an amazing Luxury Country House set in 168 acres of private estate in a designated 'Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty' which includes a private beach, coastal cliff top walks, St Patrick's Island and the most northern point of Wales. The second week will be spent at Elm Grove, an Elegant Georgian Country House near Tenby in Pembrokeshire. From coast to coast a lovely stay in two entirely different style of properties with all the comforts of home! While on our first week the Scottish Dream Tours team will serve you breakfast each morning and in the evening will cook dinners in the house. One night we will be out to a pub, one night out to a restaurant and two nights on your own. The Scottish Dream Tours Team will prepare a proper Welsh Afternoon Tea on one day as well. This beautiful tour covers two spectacular regions of Wales where you will relax in comfortable accommodations and take in all the breathtaking beauty of the Pembrokeshire Region and the North Wales countryside and the small towns and villages that make up these areas.
Pembrokeshire is the perfect destination with golden sands backed by towering cliffs teeming with wildlife and covered in a riot of flowers, especially in spring. The Pembrokeshire coast path runs the length of the county and affords views to take your breath away. Crystal clear waters make it perfect for spotting dolphins, or seeing seals hauled up in secret coves. Pembrokeshire is home to some of the loveliest coastal drives in Wales and we will travel the coastal route through St. Anne's Head, Marloes, St. Brides, Little Haven and Broad Haven. We will also visit the lovely towns and villages of Saundersfoot, St. Lawrence, Gumfreston, Penally and New Hedges. No matter where you go, there is amazing beauty and breathtaking scenery at every turn and around every corner!
The North Wales area is home to two of the three UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Wales. Also the castles of Caernarfon, Beaumaris, Conwy and Harlech. North Wales is also full of beautiful coastal villages and lovely towns and cities that are begging to be discovered and explored.
Price includes 16 nights accommodation, 11 dinners, 13 lunches and breakfast each morning, all activities, sightseeing and entrance fees as listed in itinerary, all taxes, fees and service charges. Guided minibus travel with airport drop off and luggage handling. Due to the nature of these tours, we cannot cater for special diets without prior agreement.
$7995 per person.
Single supplement $995.
$500 deposit to book your spot.
Pre-Tour - October 12th - Arrive into Manchester International Airport and and make your way to our accommodation near the airport. You will have the day to relax and get adjusted to the time change before the tour starts the following morning. Overnight near Manchester International.
Day 1 - October 13th - We will meet this morning at our accommodation near Manchester and then make our way into North Wales. Our first stop will be in the lovely wee town of Llangollen. Llangollen with its Victoria Promenade and Riverside Park is spectacularly sited on the River Dee and at the edge of the Berwyn Range and the Dee Valley Way Area Of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Llangollen is a small town of only around 3000 people, but is steeped in myth and legend. As with so many ancient Welsh towns, it takes its name from its founding Saint; Collen, a seventh-century saint. Llangollen, was established in the 7th Century when The monk St. Collen was instructed to find a valley by riding a horse for one day and then stop and mark out a “parish” a place to build his hermitage or cell in the custom of the times, with tiny church, hospice and outhouses all enclosed within a wall. We will have afternoon tea here and then make our way to Betws-y-Coed situated where the River Conwy meets its three tributaries flowing from the West, the Afon Llugwy, the Afon Lledr and the Afon Machno. Much of it was built in Victorian times, then reknowned as an artist colony and it is the principal village of the Snowdonia National Park. It is a lovely wee spot and you will instantly fall in love with it. Then we make it across the Menai Straight to the Isle of Anglesey and to Cemaes Bay where we find our accommodation. Welcoming Dinner and Overnight Cemaes Bay. (B,L,D)
Day 2 - October 14th - This morning we keep fairly close to home as we head to Caernarfon where we board the Snowdonia Star of the Welsh Highland Railway for a Train Excursion along the Snowdonia National Park to Porthmadog. Our train, pulled by a huge Beyer-Garratt NG/G16 from South Africa, steams through farmland and forest, crossing the foothills of Yr Wyddfa (Snowdon) before descending a steep hillside to pass the village of Beddgelert, through the magnificent Aberglaslyn Pass and across the Traeth Mawr to reach Porthmadog where we stop for time enough to wander this lovely north Wales village. We will have a luxury packed hamper to enjoy along the way as our lunch. Once back in Caernarfon we visit Caernarfon Castle. Caernarfon is architecturally one of the most impressive of all of the castles in Wales. Most impressive of all is the Eagle Tower crowned by its triple cluster of turrets. Edward I and his architect Master James of St. George built Caernarfon as an intended seat of power - and as a symbol of English dominance over the subdued Welsh and they did not fail! We then make our way home with a stop for a Pub Dinner. Dinner and Overnight Cemaes Bay. (B,L.D)
Day 3 - October 15th - We will be spending most of our day on the Isle of Anglesey. Our first stop this morning is to Penrhyn Castle at Bangor. This 19th-century fantasy castle with spectacular surroundings sits between Snowdonia and the Menai Strait. It's crammed with fascinating items, such as a one-ton slate bed made for Queen Victoria, elaborate carvings, plasterwork and mock-Norman furniture. It also has an outstanding collection of paintings. The restored kitchens are a delight and the stable block houses a fascinating Industrial Railway Museum and a Model Railway Museum. We then make our way to Beaumaris and the Liverpool Arms Hotel for their wonderful Sunday Roast. Dating back to 14th Century, The Liverpool Arms Hotel is Grade Listed II with a traditional bar and open plan restaurant. Before returning home, we visit Beaumaris Castle, Edward I's great unfinished masterpiece. It was never finished as money and supplies ran out before the fortifications reached their full height. Nonetheless, it is an awesome sight and regarded by many as the finest of all the great Edwardian castles in Wales and also, the last! Dinner and Overnight Cemaes Bay. (B,L,D)
Day 4 - October 16th - This morning will be spent taking in this amazing Luxury Country House set in 168 acres of private estate in a designated 'Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty' which includes a private beach, coastal cliff top walks, St Patrick's Island and the most northern point of Wales. You can take the fabulous coastal walks over the Iron Age Hillfort with Choughs and Peregrines nesting on the cliffs. Quiet and peaceful, perfect for walkers, photographers & wildlife enthusiasts yet only ten minutes drive from the pretty seaside village of Cemaes Bay, with shops, pubs and local fishing boats. After a morning of rest and relaxation, we will gather in the house this afternoon for a Traditional Prosecco Afternoon Tea and then the day is yours again. You may want to take a book into the Snug, a cosy period sitting room through double glass doors off the kitchen. The bay window provides stunning views of the surrounding countryside and floods the room with natural light. The Games Room is on the first floor with a balcony enjoying stunning views over the countryside. Kick back and play a game of pool on our slate bed pool table or quicken the pace with some table football. We will take the short journey into Cemaes Bay for anyone who might want to find some dinner this evening. Overnight Cemaes Bay. (B,L)
Day 5 - October 17th - This morning we make our way to Conwy for a visit to Conwy Castle and Walled Town. Words cannot do justice to Conwy Castle as it is by any standards, one of the great fortresses of medieval Europe. Conwy's well-preserved castle wall helps the town maintain a medieval character lost by other Welsh castle-towns over the years. Conwy is also home to Britain's smallest house, measuring 10 feet by 6 feet. The structure was used as a residence from the 16th century until 1900 when the owner was a 6ft 3 inch (1.9 meters) fisherman named Robert Jones. After some time to explore Conwy we make our way just a little further north to Llandudno, a seaside resort, town and community located on the Creuddyn Peninsula, which protrudes into the Irish Sea. While in Llandudno we will settle in for Afternoon Tea before exploring this lovely seaside resort town where Lewis Carroll met 8 year old Alice Liddell, his inspiration for Alice in Wonderland. You can wander through town and along the promenade and take in all of the Alice in Wonderland theme. We are then home before dinner. Dinner and Overnight Cemaes Bay. (B,L,D)
Day 6 - October 18th - This morning we visit Bodnant Gardens at Glan Conwy. Bodnant Garden is one of the most beautiful gardens in the UK, spanning some 80 acres and is situated above the River Conwy on ground sloping towards the west and looking across the valley towards the Snowdonia range. The Garden has two parts. The upper garden around Bodnant Hall consists of the terraced gardens and informal lawns shaded by trees. The lower portion, known as the "Dell" is formed by the valley of the River Hiraethlyn and contains the Wild garden. We will Lunch in the Tearoom before a visit to Gwydir Castle is an ancient Welsh house situated in the beautiful Conwy Valley, in the foothills of Snowdonia. Regarded as one of the finest Tudor houses in Wales, the castle was formerly the ancestral home of the powerful Wynn family. By 1994, the house and garden and fallen into dereliction. Its restoration has taken over twenty years to complete and is still a work-in-progress by its current owners. Deeply evocative and atmospheric, it is a unique experience in country house visiting. We will tour this with itsfirst recorded owners of Gwydir were the Coetmores, who were responsible for building the Hall Range, the earliest surviving part of the house. Members of this family are recorded as having fought at the battles of Poitiers (1356), Shrewsbury (1402) and Agincourt (1415) as commanders of longbowmen. Following the Wars of the Roses, the castle was rebuilt around 1490 by Meredith ap Ieuan ap Robert, founder of the Wynn dynasty and a leading regional supporter of King Henry VII. Pub Dinner Outing this evening. Overnight Cemaes Bay. (B,L,D)
Day 7 - October 19th - This morning we visit we visit Plas Nywedd House and Gardens, an enchanting mansion and gardens, with spectacular views of Snowdonia. The house was one of Anglesey's principal residences and owned successively by Griffiths, Baylys and Pagets, it became the country seat of the Marquesses of Anglesey, and the core of a large agricultural estate. Set on the shores of the Menai Strait amidst breathtakingly beautiful scenery, this elegant house was redesigned by James Wyatt in the 18th century. The 1930s restyled interior is famous for its Rex Whistler association and contains his exquisite romantic mural and the largest exhibition of his works. We then have for Afternoon Tea at Ty'n Rhos Country House Hotel set in the tranquil foothills of Snowdonia. Ty’n Rhos, means ‘House on the Heath’. If this brings to mind images of Emily Jane Brontë characters… those were the other moors. Farther north. Worse weather. North Wales are much nicer. We will stop in the town of Menai Bridge on the way home for a bit of exploration and for you to find some dinner on your own before our last night together in North Wales! Overnight Cemaes Bay. (B,L)
Day 8 - October 20th - We have a very early start this morning as we leave the Isle of Anglesey and make our long journey to South Wales and Pembrokeshire. We we make our way through Caernarfon and then through Porthmadog on our way to Harlech and Harlech Castle. This spectacularly sited castle seems to grow naturally from the rock on which it is perched. Like an all seeing sentinel, it gazes out across land and sea, keeping a watchful eye over Snowdonia. The English Monarch Edward I built Harlech in the late 13th century to fulfil this very role. It was one of the most formidable of his 'Iron Ring' of fortresses designed to contain the Welsh in their mountain fastness. We will make our way to the lovely seaside resort town of Barmouth for Lunch before making our way further south to Aberystwyth for a walk on the promenade before continuing to Carmarthen and then south to Pembrokeshire and Tenby. We will get settled into our home for the next week and then meet up for dinner. Dinner and Overnight near Tenby. (B,L,D)
Day 9 - October 21st - As we had a very long drive yesterday and we are almost half way through the tour, this morning is a free day to enjoy our lovely Georgian Country House and its surrounds located at the top of a tree lined drive just a few minutes walk from the village of St Florence. The house is surrounded by nearly 15 acres of private lawns, orchards, gardens and fields. In the morning you may want to walk up to the lovely village of St Florence. St Florence is a village of immense charm and a past winner of the coveted Wales in Bloom trophy. There are many pretty cottages, one with a well known architectural feature known as a Flemish chimney – the last surviving example of its kind in the area. It also has an interesting 13th century church. You can find lunch at the Parsonage Farm Inn, the Sun Inn or Bramley's Tearoom. After visiting St Florence and having lunch you may want to explore the grounds of the house where you will find a croquet lawn, a games room with table tennis and pool - or you can simply choose to relax on one of the many benches and recliners found around the gardens and orchard. Take the day at your leisure and get rested up before we gather for dinner. Dinner and Overnight near Tenby. (B,D)
Day 10 - October 22nd - This morning we make our way through Penally and Manorbier on our way to Pembroke. The Medieval Castle of Pembroke that is at the heart of Pembroke town. This birthplace of Henry VII is idyllically set on the banks of the river estuary and this mighty fortress is steeped in history. The late 12th century keep is both an outstanding feature and architectural novelty, for it has a massive cylindrical tower with an unusual stone dome. Then our drive takes us through Milford Haven, Sandy Haven, St. Anne's Head, Marloes, St. Brides, Little Haven and Broad Haven with a stop for you to find some lunch along the way. Protected by their National Park Status, Pembrokeshire’s beaches have some of the cleanest waters and sands with many awards to show for it with eleven blue flags, twelve green coast, eleven seaside, and twenty one rural seaside awards! That makes Pembrokeshire beaches the best in Wales. We then return to Tenby Harbour to take a Seal Safari Cruise to explore the hidden bays on the Atlantic side of Caldey Island. Our local guides will share an in depth knowledge of the island’s wildlife and surrounding waters. As we make our way to the ocean side of the island, we drift amongst the Grey Seal population. Dinner and Overnight near Tenby. (B,D)
Day 11 - October 23rd - This morning we make our way north toward Cardigan to visit Cilgerran Castle, one of the most spectacularly sited castles in Wales. Its two great round towers loom high above the deep gorge of the River Teifi and the fast-flowing stream of the Plysog. It was first built as a ‘ringwork’ castle in 1108 by the Norman adventurer Gerald of Windsor, but Cilgerran changed hands many times over the next century or more. It was only in 1223 when the dashing earl of Pembroke, William Marshal, built ‘an ornate castle of mortar and stones’ on top of the original site that Norman control stood firm. Despite the best efforts of Llywelyn ap Gruffudd and Owain Glyndŵr, Cilgerran never again fell to the Welsh. As we make our way back home we stop for Afternoon Tea before stopping in Carmarthen, the oldest town in Wales. Carmarthen sits on the banks of the River Tywi which flows into Carmarthen Bay about 8 miles away. Wales’ longest river has over the centuries shaped the story of the town, providing defence, leisure opportunities and livelihoods. One of Carmarthen’s most famous early residents was Merlin the Magician. The Welsh name for the town, 'Caerfyrddin', means Merlin’s Fort and many believe the town was named after King Arthur's wizard. Dinner on your own this evening. Overnight near Tenby. (B,L)
Day 12 - October 24th - Today will be spent in and around Tenby, a delightful little harbour town and seaside resort, and it would be difficult to find a setting more picturesque. Tenby is a walled city surrounded by beautiful beaches stretching to the north, the west, and the south of the town while the walls surround many restaurants, shops, cafés and pubs all linked by cobbled streets. You can shop, explore, walk on the beach and take the Pembrokeshire Coastal Path for fantastic views of Caldey Island. Caldey Island lies cradled in the magnificent South Pembrokeshire coastline on the western fringes of Wales. It is one of Britain's holy islands. The Cistercian monks of Caldey continue a tradition which began there in Celtic times. More than a thousand years of prayer and quiet living have made this remote and beautiful island a haven of tranquility and peace. After exploring Tenby thoroughly, we will gather for lunch before visiting the Tudor Merchant's House, a 15th century relic of Tenby's prosperous seafaring days. Step back 500 years and discover how the Tudor merchant and his family would have lived in this fascinating three storey house. On our way back home we will take the coastal route through Penally, Lydestep and Manorbier. Dinner on your own in Tenby. Overnight near Tenby. (B,L)
Day 13 - October 25th - Today we make our way to one of our very favourite places anywhere in Wales, St. David's. St. David's Cathedral has been the dominant presence since the 12th century and was a popular pilgrimage destination throughout the middle ages. In the 6th century a monastic community was founded by Saint David, Abbot of Menevia. There has been a church on this site since that time and for the past 1500 years prayer and worship has been offered on a daily basis which continues to this day. St. David's is also the most Westerly Point of Wales and has a lovely town square with quaint shops including a wonderful chocolate shop! St. David's is a perfect place for you to find some lunch on your own and have a wee wander around before we make our way to the most popular megalithic site in Wales, Pentre Ifan. It is a splendid burial chamber with a huge capstone delicately poised on three uprights. Once known as Arthur's' Quoit, Pentre Ifan means Ivan's Village. The monument dates back to about 3500 BC and is a great example of a burial tomb or dolmen. We will drive through the lovely Pembrokeshire Coast National Park on our way back home for dinner. Overnight near Tenby. (B,D)
Day 14 - October 26th - This morning we visit Picton Castle and Gardens, Pembrokeshire's finest stately home. Picton is a most unusual ancient building being in design half fortified manor house and half fully developed medieval castle. With its four half round towers and gatehouse entrance flanked by two narrower towers it looks like a miniature version of a great Edwardian Castle such as Conwy in North Wales. However as soon as you enter the gatehouse you find a series of finely planned rooms typical of the grand country house that it is. There is no other building quite like it in Britain! While at Picton we will take the opportunity to indulge in Maria's Special Lunch. Maria, who is from a small town in Spain, is a passionate lover of food . “I have lived in this country for so many years but I am happy to say I have never lost my appetite for good Spanish food… I make authentic, rustic dishes, not fancy or decorative; only glorious food, cooked with love and drunk with great Spanish wine.” After lunch we make our way to Carew Castle. When the Normans extended their conquest of England into Wales, Gerald de Windsor was constable of Pembroke Castle on behalf of Henry I when he decided to build his own fortification on the Carew River, some ten miles up the tidal waterway from Pembroke. Over the years the castle went from a Medieval Fortress to Elizabethan Manor. Then back home for dinner in Tenby. Dinner and Overnight near Tenby. (B,L,D)
Day 15 - October 27th - We are up early this morning as we make our way back to Manchester Airport. We will travel north right through the heart of Wales and make a few stops along the way. Our first stop will be the lovely town of Llandrindod Wells, affectionately known as ‘Llandod’ to the locals, is a great place to visit with a good range of independent shops, cafes and things to do surrounded by outstanding natural beauty. It has been rated the happiest place to live in Wales for three years running and is surely going to put a smile on your face! Our next stop is Montgomery, a small historic town with established character, charm and a feeling of tranquillity. It was granted its town charter in 1227. Situated in the heart of the Welsh Marches, Montgomery is only one mile away from the English Border. We will have lunch here and then take the short walk up to the ruins of Montgomery Castle to take in the history and stunning panoramic views. Our final stop of the day will be Chester, first settled by the Romans in AD 79. The main street is lined with timber buildings called the Chester Rows first built in the 13th & 14th centuries. The Rows are unique in the world and some are the original 13th century buildings, including the Three Old Arches in Bridge Street which have survived the ravages of time and are still magnificent and greatly contribute to the beauty and character of Chester. Farewell Dinner and Overnight near Manchester Airport. (B,L,D)
Day 16 - October 28th - This morning we all depart to Manchester International for the journey home.