South and West Wales 5 day tour with Archaeotours
This tour can be taken on any 5 consecutive days at any time of the year subject to prior bookings. Cost includes 4 nights accommodation, transport and archaeologist guide throughout the tour.
We meet you at Cardiff either at the railway station, bus station or airport.
5 Days - from £620 per person.
5 Day Tour Itinerary
Day 1 - Meet at approx 10am (time to suit you) in Cardiff
To Caerleon Roman Remains
We will visit the large Amphitheatre where you can test the acoustics and walk where gladiators did battle. To the barracks next where we can get an idea of what the living quarters were like for soldiers in Roman Britain. The Roman baths have been excavated and the remains are preserved in a building with interpretive displays. The museum is our last stop in Caerleon and this is a great collection of all the exciting finds from the area.
We travel through the famous South Wales valleys until we reach Big Pit a Coal mining museum where you get the exciting opportunity to go underground and find out about the lives of miners and their families. At nearby Blaenafon we visit the ancient furnaces and miners cottages made famous in the BBC Coal House series
Optional drive through Cardiff bay area to see Millennium Centre and Senned depending on time, traffic and how tired you are!
Your first night will be spent in a splendid guest house in the Vale of Glamorgan.
Day 2 - Leave hotel at 9.45 am and travel westwards
Carreg Cennan Castle
Set high on a limestone crag on the edge of the Brecon Beacons the castle offers spectacular views. You can explore the cave that lies underground and stretches right under the castle.
Llandeilo lunch and browse
This market town has a fine selection of shops pubs and cafes and has the reputation of a good food centre visit the award winning ice cream shop for example. St Teilos well near to the church is worth a visit.
The castle is set on a hill beside the meandering river Twyi. We will climb up to the castle and explore ruins of a medieval town that serviced the castle as well as the castle itself. It dates from the 13th century and was held by Welsh Princes as well as the English crown at various times throughout its' troubled past.
We head off again and there is an optional visit to Laugharne if you would like to visit the small sea side town that inspired Dylan Thomas to write Under Milkwood, then we can call in and see the Boathouse where he lived and peer into the shed where he wrote and is preserved as he left it. We can have a swift drink in Browns Hotel where he drank and where there are many souvenirs and pictures relating to Thomas and his time in Laugharne.
If the delights of Dylan do not inspire you then an alternative stop off is Llawhaden where there is another splendid castle. This one was built by the Bishops of St Davids between the 12th and 16th centuries; there is also a medieval hospital that was an important stop over for medieval pilgrims on their way to St Davids.
Accomodation will be in St Davids.
Day 3 - Pick up from hotel at 9.45am
Strumble Head and St Davids
Small village overlooking Strumble Head here we will view Garn Wnda burial chamber Neolithic chamber set into side of rocky outcrop that has stunning views over the Irish Sea. Medieval well hidden amongst trees on the old village green this well would have been an important feature to pilgrims who passed this way as they neared St Davids. The Celtic style church is set on an ancient early Christian site and set in the wall are many fine inscribed stones. Inside the church we see evidence of the Last invasion of Britain in 1797.
A Prehistoric Hillfort with original dry stone walls. On a clear day the view stretches from Snowdon to the Llyn Peninsula and across the Irish Sea to the Wicklow Mountains.
Tregwynt Woollen Mill
This mill is still working a chance to see the looms in action and visit the shop.
Lunch at Mathry
An hour in the hill top village of Mathry where there is a pub that serves delicious food. There is a wood turner, an old fashioned village shop and a church to explore if you wish and the splendid view makes it an ideal lunch stop.
Carreg Samson Abercastle
A fantastic Neolithic Cromlech overlooking the cliffs of Abercastle Harbour.
Coastal route to St Davids
In Britain's smallest city we will visit the magnificent Cathedral and Bishops Palace. Set in a valley below the tiny city the Cathedral has an inspiring atmosphere. Pilgrims have been welcomed here for centuries. We will also visit another atmospheric site near by at St Nons. It was here on the rocky cliff top that St David was reputedly born to St Non. Legend states that a spring sprang up and that the water in the well there can cure many infirmities. There is an ancient ruined chapel and an inscribed cross.
Accomodation will be in St Davids.
Day 4 - We head up to the Preseli and visit Pentre Ifan burial chamber
This is Pembrokeshire's flagship ancient site and is deservedly famous. The chamber is set on the side of Carn Ingli and overlooks sweeping Newport bay.
Nevern is the next stop where we visit the church with its famous bleeding Yew tree and Celtic cross. We will also see some very important inscribed Ogham stones. The Pilgrims cross at Nevern is carved into a rock face and nearby we can see footprints left by the pilgrims as they climbed a soft rocky path hundreds of years ago. Nevern Castle is a Norman Motte and Bailey structure with a colourful past. Now overgrown with trees, it is perched romantically on the side of a steep ravine.
Lunch can be taken in a local pub or if preferred, a snack lunch may be found in the small medieval town of Newport where we will visit another burial chamber Carreg Coetan Arthur
We travel eastwards then to the stone circle at Gors Fawr set in a natural amphitheatre in the Preseli hills, overlooked by the jagged outcrops of Carn Meini source of the Stone Henge Bluestones. We tour the Preselis and finally get to Carn Alw where we walk up to a multi phase hill fort. Possibly Iron Age maybe even Bronze Age continuing into early medieval wonderful rare Cheveaux de fries traces of settlement and enclosures to explore.
Accomodation will be in St Davids.
Day 5 - Into Carmarthenshire where we visit Carmarthenshire museum
We will then drive back into Cardiff where there will be a chance to visit The National Museum of Wales, a fantastic collection of artefacts covering most of the important finds from Prehistoric and Historic Wales or; Cardiff Castle if you enjoyed Castell Coch then this is more of the same fantastically furnished and designed interiors by William Burgess and older Roman remains in the outer walls.
St Fagins Welsh folklore museum is our next port of call. Every building in this amazing collection has been saved from demolition. Each stone or brick has been taken apart numbered stored and re built exactly as it was in situ. There are examples of early farmhouses, chapels, a school, a tannery, bakery, cottages, gardens and craft demonstrations. The collection is set in the grounds of the wonderful St Fagins Castle which may also be visited. The museum on site has a large collection of cultural items including costumes and shows life in Wales through out the centuries.
We bid you farewell then and drop you at your desired dropping off point at approx 5pm