Destination Guide to South East Wales

Rugged mountains, lush valleys, untouched coastline and thriving cities, South East Wales showcases every aspect of Wales' diverse appeal.

Encompassing the counties of Glamorgan, Monmouthshire and the South Wales valleys, the South East of Wales stretches from the English border and the Severn Estuary in the East to the city of Swansea in the West. The region's landscapes are diverse from the barren mountain hillsides of the Rhonda and Taff valleys to the gently rolling hills of Monmouthshire's rural landscapes and the border villages of the meandering Wye Valley. The region's coastline is equally beguiling with the secluded bays of the Gower Peninsula one of the country's best kept secrets.

Similarly, the South East of Wales is a cultural pallet made up of the spectacular contrasting colours of Welsh heritage where ancient sites and industrial heritage rub shoulders. There are a number of stunning and unique examples of medieval architecture found in the imposing fortresses of Raglan Castle, Caerphilly Castle and Chepstow Castle not to mention the majestic beauty of the ruins at Tintern Abbey set peacefully on the banks of the tranquil river Wye.

Just a short drive away however and you'll find yourself in the Welsh Valleys which are synonymous with Wales' industrial heritage; once providing coal for export all over the world the region comprises a number of mining communities and an intriguing history which can be explored at Big Pit, a live working mine, and the iron works of Blaenavon which have been designated as UNESCO World Heritage sites for their cultural significance. If you're looking for a more modern culture however look no further than the capital city of Cardiff, one of Britain's hippest cities for shopping and nightlife but retaining a distinct Welsh identity.

As a result of its industry and commercial success, and partly due to its close links with the affluent southeast of England, the South East of Wales is the nation's most populous region. Three of Wales' five cities are found here; besides Cardiff there is also Newport which was home to the 2010 Ryder Cup and the up-and-coming city of Swansea which is hot on the heels of Cardiff. The region is dotted with a host of charming towns and villages from the mining communities of the valleys to quaint medieval market towns such as those at Monmouth, Usk and Abergavenny.

To experience a true taste of what has shaped Welsh culture throughout history, the South East of Wales is an integral part of any Wales tour.

Sparsely populated there are no cities but just a handful of small towns and villages in mid Wales. The region's quaint communities such as market town Crickhowell, Victorian Spa town of Llandrindod Wells and bustling fishing village Aberaeron each hold their own unique charms whilst the focal point is the sweeping coastal resort of Aberystwyth home to the National Library of Wales and, in recent years, a lively cosmopolitan student population.

With traditional Welsh townships, some of the nation's cultural highlights and tranquil natural beauty, mid Wales is more than a stop-over between the north and south on any Wales tour.

Relevant Tours

Tours of North Wales - Caernarfon Castle

Enjoy a journey of discovery on this tour of ancient Wales staying in elegant country house hotels and grandiose castle accommodations. Explore the untouched landscapes of Snowdonia and Pembrokeshire and the awe-inspiring ruins of Wales' glorious World Heritage Castles including Conwy, Harlech and Caernarfon, not to mention the cosmopolitan capital city of Cardiff.

Tours of North Wales - Caernarfon Castle

A land of mystery, delight and a rich Celtic heritage, the Wonders of Wales explores all aspects of this small but fascinating nation. This week-long journey through the Welsh Principality takes us to the nation's major sites and to learn about Welsh history, language, culture, and industry, as well as enjoying some of the most spectacular scenery anywhere in the United Kingdom.

Wales Tours

Experience outstanding natural beauty, historic castles and the heart of Welsh culture on this tour of South Wales.  From the moorlands of the Brecon Beacons to the towering cliffs of the Pembrokeshire coast.  Not forgetting the lively capital city of Cardiff.

Wales Tours - Conwy Valley

Enjoy a journey through the heart of Britain taking in iconic landmarks of central England and lesser-known but equally enchanting gems of Wales. From the city of London, the Roman Baths, Stonehenge and Oxford we'll journey to the opulent Cardiff Castle, through the wilderness Brecon Beacons and to the medieval fortresses and majestic mountains of North Wales and the spectacular Snowdonia National Park.

Tours of England - Liverpool

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.

England Tours of Oxford

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.

Britain Tours - Lake District

Experience the very best of England, Scotland and Wales on this quality tour of all of Britain. Enjoy the fabulous cities of York, Edinburgh, Glasgow and Cardiff and pass through areas of outstanding scenery in the Cotswolds, Yorkshire, the Trossachs, the Lake District and the renowned coastal counties of England's West Country; Devon and Cornwall.

Tours of Wales - Brecon Beacons

Experience the contrasts of two distinct British cultures on this tour of England and Wales.  Enjoy the stunning vistas of the Cotswolds and Snowdonia National Park to the icons of English and Welsh history at York Minster, Shakespeare's Stratford, Cardiff Castle and Stonehenge.

Tours of Wales - Tenby

Spend five days with your driver-guide and two days independently exploring Cardiff, before returning to London by rail. Your tour takes you over the border Marches and through the Mountains of North Wales, along the Welsh coast and Cardigan Bay to the beautiful seascapes and coastlines of the Pembrokeshire National Park. Your tour ends in Cardiff where you then have two free days to explore the Welsh Capital at your own leisure.

Tours of Wales - St Davids

Enjoy some of Britain's most scenic and dramatic rail routes as you explore the unique culture and sights of Wales.  From the capital of Cardiff and the scenic Pembrokeshire coast through the Brecon Beacons to the dramatic mountains of Snowdonia, Wales by Rail is a rail trip you won't forget.

Tours of Wales - Cardiff

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.

Tours of Scotland - Edinburgh Arthurs Seat

Uncover the myths, legends and history of this amazing isle! On this tour you'll discover both cultural highlights and unrivalled scenery; from the towns and cities of Stratford-upon-Avon, York, Edinburgh, St Andrews, Glasgow, Liverpool and Bath to the majestic scenery of the Cotswolds, Yorkshire, the Scottish Highlands, the Lake District and the Wye Valley.

England Tours Salisbury

Enjoy the highlights of Britain on this leisurely 15-day tour which takes you from the most southerly tip of England at Land's End to Scotland's St Andrews. On route discover national icons such as Stonehenge, Edinburgh Castle and Windsor Castle alongside more "off the beaten path" destinations as you explore the coast and countryside of Devon and Cornwall, ancient Wales and the towns and dales of Yorkshire.

A succinct but feature-packed tour, this spirited journey captures the essence of Britain in only a few days. Visiting England, Scotland and Wales it includes a fantastic cross-section of Britain's historical towns, traditional heritage, cultural figures and idyllic scenic landscapes not to mention some real gems of this great nation.

Scotland Tours - Edinburgh at night

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.

Scotland Tours - Edinburgh at night

Experience cityscapes and scenic lakes on this lively tour which will give you a flavour of England, Scotland and Wales. From London to medieval York, historic Edinburgh, vibrant Liverpool and the Welsh capital of Cardiff, you'll enjoy an insight in to British culture and craftsmanship. And by popular demand, Real Britain also offers a number of Winter departures.

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