The "New" South Wales

Discover South Wales, a compact but geologically diverse destination with a myriad of landscapes, nature, heritage and culture that has been at the crossroads of multiple invasions for millenia. Embark on a journey into the storied "Land of the Shepherds" to experience its mythical and medieval legacy. 

HIGHLIGHTS

Witness astounding landscapes and medieval heritage of South Wales

Savour exquisite gastronomy 

Stay in refined boutique hotels 

Enjoy an insightful experience with the local characters

ITINERARY

DAY 1: ARRIVE CARDIFF / CAERPHILLY / CHEPSTOW / BRECON BEACONS  

Arrive Cardiff Airport where after immigration clearance and baggage collection, be met by your guide as we welcome you to South Wales. We then begin our journey with an easy drive to the stunning medieval Caerphilly Castle, the largest castle after Windsor in Britain built in the late 13th Century by Gilbert de Clare to consolidate control Glamorgan. With your local guide, enjoy an insightful tour of the incredible castle including its "Leaning Tower" which out-leans the Leaning Tower of Pisa.

 

Next, our journey continues into the breathtaking Wye Valley arriving in the town of Chepstow, flanked by the beautiful River Wye and nestled next to it, the Roman stone castle of Chepstow Castle, another stunning fortress where we make a visit for its incredible setting and photogenic demeanor.

 

Next, a short drive away arrives us at the surreal Cistercian Tintern Abbey, the best-preserved medieval abbey in Wales that takes you immediately back in time with its unique architecture and unmistakable atmosphere. Consider a walk up to the Devil's Pulpit for that spectacular panoramic view of Tintern Abbey before we finally make our way shortly into the jaw-dropping Brecon Beacons National Park to arrive at the refined Gliffaes Country House Hotel where we spend the next 2 nights. 

Overnight: Gliffaes Country House Hotel, Brecon Beacons

Meals: NIL

DAY 2: BRECON BEACONS

No journey to south Wales is complete without a visit of the incredible and dramatic scenes of the Brecon Beacons National Park. A special day ensues as we begin the day with a short drive and stop at the picturesque Georgian town of Crickhowell in the beautiful Usk Valley with its atmospheric remains of its 13th Century castle and the alluring 12-arch Crickhowell Bridge - the longest stone bridge in Wales offering a serene introduction to what life in the Beacons are about. Next, we make a visit to the haunting Augustinian remains of Llanthony Priory, in the picturesque Vale of Ewyas on the edge of the Black Mountains. Our next stop thereafter is the Capel-y-Ffin "Church of St Mary The Virgin", built in 1762 on the site of a medieval place of worship and pilgrimage and now one of the signature image of eastern Brecons. 

Our journey continues driving on the stunning Gospel Pass - the highest road in Wales, with spectacular views and glacial features and to-die-for views over the Wye Valley with surreal mountain scenery en route to Hay on Wye, where we stop to visit the world capital of second hand book shops and antiquarian book centre where we discover its heritage of books and learn about its annual Hay Literary Festival. Our final stop of the day upon returning to Gliffaes Country House Hotel is the village of Tretower with its unmistakable 13th Century circular keep and one of the finest medieval houses in Wales, nestled on the banks of the River Usk. 

Overnight: Gliffaes Country House Hotel, Brecon Beacons

Meals: Breakfast 

DAY 3: BRECON BEACONS / PEMBROKESHIRE

We leave Gliffaes Country House Hotel, perfectly conditioned today to take on a moderate walk in the incredible Brecon Beacons National Park. Starting early, we arrive at the base where after some briefing with your walking guide, we dedicate the day to the Carmarthen Fans, situated in the more remote, western part of the national park adorned with stunning lakes at the foot of the mountains and views across South Wales and to the Eastern part of the Brecon Beacons. We will meet in a nearby village before ascending up onto the first of the Fans, before walking over the summits Picws Du (749m), Fan Foel (781m), and the optional Fan Brycheiniog (802m). After descending back down we have the chance to visit the two lakes Llyn y Fan Fawr, and Llyn y Fan Fach, nestled at the base of the hills before walking back down to village for some refreshments. From here, we continue a scenic drive to arrive at the Grove Narberth, not far away from the stunning Pembrokeshire National Park where we spend the next 2 nights. 

Carmarthen Fans Walk Technical info:

Distance: 14km

Time: 4 - 5 hours

Elevation Gain: 750m

Level: Easy to Moderate

Overnight: The Grove Narberth, Pembrokeshire

Meals: Breakfast & Picnic Lunch

DAY 4: PEMBROKESHIRE (THE MAGNIFICENT SOUTH COAST)

Not many places in the world boasts more incredible coastal seascapes in a relatively compact area than Pembrokeshire and celebrated by the good people at National Geographic for good reasons. An outstanding day kicks off visiting some of the most stunning natural features of the Pembrokeshire coast, still very much a secret and lesser-known that we like to keep this in suspense. Combining nature with heritage, we will discover the colorful town of Tenby with its amazing pastel-colored Victorian houses, one of the prettiest towns in all of the UK. Also worth a visit is the Carew Castle & Tidal Mill, unlike many other castles around the world for its low-lying position around the tidal reaches of the Carew River. 

This evening, tuck into some of the finest epicurean cuisines of Chef Allister Barsby, who had worked under the legendary Michelin star Chef Michael Caines. 

NOTES:

For authentic travel reasons, we will not reveal the places visited in the Pembrokeshire Coast until a booking is formalized to avoid the perils of over-tourism, overexposure and "Over-Instagrammed". The tour of the day will be exciting and filled with spectacular wonders and will be done flexibly to cater to individual interests. 

Overnight: The Grove Narberth, Pembrokeshire

Meals: Breakfast & Dinner

DAY 5: PEMBROKESHIRE / GOWER PENINSULA / GLAMORGAN HERITAGE COAST

We leave Pembrokeshire today for a pleasant drive to the incredible Gower Peninsula, an area of outstanding natural beauty and 19 miles of unspoiled beaches, spectacular cliffs and picturesque villages. After about 1.5hrs drive, we arrive at the Weobley Farm & Castle with astounding views over beautiful natural salt marshes, complete with farm produce shop including the famous award-winning Gower salt marsh lamb, a local favorite where you will also get to learn insights from local farmers explaining the history of the salt marshes and the 14th Century ruins of the Weobley Castle. Thereafter, a short drive away arrives us into the mythical atmosphere of King Arthur's Stone, one of the seven wonders of the Gower Peninsula, also referred to as "Maen Ceti", in fact a Neolithic burial tomb dating back to 2,500 BC. 

Our journey then continues to the stunning Three Cliffs Bay, which takes its name from the 3 sea cliffs that juts out into the bay. Enjoy a mesmerizing walk admiring the spectacular cliff top views and outstanding photo opportunities - one of the most iconic in Britain. Next, continue to the Mumbles, renowned as the gateway to the Gower Peninsula as much as for its fishing heritage where we enjoy lovely views of the Mumbles Lighthouse and thereafter if time permits, a visit to the Norman castle of Oystermouth, overlooking the beautiful Swansea Bay. Finally, we skirt the Bristol Channel before arriving at the lovely Hide at St Donats where we spend the next 2 evenings. 

Overnight: Hide at St Donats, Glamorgan Heritage Coast

Meals: Breakfast 

DAY 6: GLAMORGAN HERITAGE COAST

South Wales will be complete today with an adventure on the incredible Glamorgan Heritage Coast where the agenda of the day is to be completely immersed in the magic of the coast that offers perhaps some of the most alluring, photogenic and surreal captures anywhere in Britain. Low tide presents an opportunity to discover spectacular caves - some of them the stuff of fantasy. The day is completely flexible to your interests and nothing beats time spent in a local pub after the walking to unwind to the day. 

NOTES:

A possible visit may be arranged to the Margam Country Park, filming location of Tom Hanks' "Angels & Demons", sequel to the Da Vinci Code.  

Overnight: Hide at St Donats, Glamorgan Heritage Coast

Meals: Breakfast 

DAY 7: GLAMORGAN HERITAGE COAST / DEPARTURE CARDIFF

Sadly, the journey comes to an end today where you will be transferred shortly to Cardiff Airport for your journey home or continue your exploration here easily to the Cotswolds in England or follow the Cambrian Way to North Wales discovering Snowdonia, Anglesey and beyond on a customized journey with us. 

Meals: Breakfast

HOTELS

Surrounded by the rolling hills of the Black Mountains, Gliffaes has been an iconic part of the Brecon countryside since being built by a Victorian clergyman in 1885. A place to escape and unwind, Gliffaes is the only four-star hotel in the Brecon Beacons and a place of style and comfort founded in the best country house traditions.

Gliffaes Country House Hotel, Brecon Beacons

The Grove of Narberth is a privately owned luxury country house hotel nestled in the heart of the rolling Pembrokeshire countryside with stunning views of the Preseli Hills. At the Grove you can be assured of a warm Welsh welcome and a truly relaxing stay in real luxury combined with great food and friendly professional service.

The Grove Narberth, Pembrokeshire

Unique, peaceful luxury in the heart of wild countryside. Explore a stunning part of the Welsh coast from carefully crafted accommodation with an infectious appreciation of local culture, history and art creating a perfect retreat of relaxation. The Hide has three romantic snug Cabans, a Bugail (Shepherds) Hut and ‘Walden’ Lodge tucked between trees, bushes and wildflowers offering uninterrupted views of the wild seas. 

Hide at St Donats, Glamorgan Heritage Coast

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