Enjoy this leisurely 9-day tour of the very best Wales has to offer. Starting in Chester (or Manchester Airport) in the North-West of England, travel through the castle strewn landscapes and mountains of the Snowdonia National Park and along the spectacular golden coast of Pembrokeshire on route to the nation’s capital city of Cardiff. After exploring Wales, we head to Windsor for our final night, but not before a stop-off at the world wonder of Stonehenge.View this tour
Our guide to visiting Cardiff Castle
One of Wales’ most popular visitor attractions, Cardiff Castle is the centre-piece of the Welsh capital city, home to Roman and Norman heritage not to mention a gloriously opulent mock Tudor mansion.
The settlement at Cardiff Castle dates back to the Romans who were first to inhabit the site and the outer walls of today’s castle still mark roughly the boundaries of the original Roman fort. In parts on the outer walls you can still see the original stonework whilst within the castle and the newly developed visitor centre there have been extensive excavation back to the Roman foundations.
At the heart of the castle grounds and overlooking the extensive lawns rises the original moat and tower which date back to the 12th century. These were constructed by the Normans when the castle was used as a military stronghold against the local population.
As needs changed, in the Tudor era a number of residential apartments were also added to the castle but the Castle’s history really comes alive as late as the 19th the century when the castle was acquired by the Marquis of Bute of Scotland. A successful coal baron in the thriving coal industry at the start of the industrial revolution, the marquis entirely revived the Tudor structures to create a lavish mansion. With the help of his wild imagination, extreme wealth for the times and the assistance of fashionable architect William Burges he transformed the castle adding an ornate clock tower and various spires and turrets. It was inside however that they excelled in their medieval gothic revival creating room after room of eccentrically themed and intricately decorated quarters; these include the summer smoking room elaborately decorated with jewels, the fairytale themed children’s nursery and the grandiose banqueting hall decorated with murals depicting the castle’s history. Today these quarters can only be visited on a guided tour which carries an extra fee but this is well worth it to see the unique interiors and hear the eccentric tales of the family and castle.
For a unique Welsh experience, don’t miss a visit to Cardiff Castle during your stay in the Welsh capital.
Enjoy two countries for the price of one as you use the British rail network to explore England and Wales. Travelling in comfort enjoy the city highlights including Cardiff, London and York as well as scenic train rides through the enigmatic countryside of North Wales, the Cotwsolds and the Yorkshire dales.View this tour
Immerse yourself in the breathtaking natural scenery of Wales as you explore her towering mountains and untouched coastlines. Magical medieval hilltop fortresses, ancient abbeys and a host of traditional towns and villages await discovery as you experience the age-old and unique Welsh whilst the vibrant capital in Cardiff offers a contemporary twist.View this tour
Enjoy the sights and sounds of the contrasting cityscapes of the British capitals in Cardiff, Edinburgh and London. Travelling by rail you can maximize your vacation time by gliding between these cultural centres in super-quick time.View this tour
Experience all that is great about Britain on the ultimate tour of England, Scotland and Wales. See it all, from the thriving capital cities of London, Edinburgh and Cardiff to the remote Scottish Highlands, tranquil Lake District and spectacular Snowdonia National Park. Along the way you’ll experience diverse cultures and histories and see world-famous landmarks including Stonehenge, the Roman Baths, Cardiff Castle, the Cotswolds, Hadrian’s Wall, Loch Ness and Edinburgh Castle.View this tour
Make use of Britain's extensive rail network on this comprehensive rail tour of England, Scotland and Wales. Enjoy train rides through the glorious scenery of the Cotswolds, North Wales, the Lake District and the Scottish Highlands on route to cultural and historic cities including Bath, Cardiff, Chester, Glasgow, Inverness, Edinburgh, York and London.View this tour
Experience the contrasts of two distinct British cultures on this in-depth tour of England and Wales. Enjoy the contrasting vistas of the patchwork fields of the Cotswolds, the rustic Yorkshire Dales, the mountains of Snowdonia and the coastlines of the Pembrokeshire National Park. Not to mention icons of English and Welsh history at Conwy Castle, York Minster, Shakespeare’s Stratford, Cardiff Castle and Stonehenge.View this tour