Destination Travel Guide to Wales

Wales is a small country with a big personality. Invaded and inhabited by England throughout history, Wales has kept a firm hold of its national identity.Traditionally Wales is renowned for stunning natural landscapes, medieval fortresses and an ancient celtic language, however, with the emergence of Cardiff as "Europe's youngest capital" this small and traditional country nowoffers a contemporary twist. One thing is for sure, with the vast majority of its visitors coming from within the UK, as a destination Wales remains an undiscovered treasure for the overseas visitor.

An ancient language of celtic origin, Welsh is, in parts, still widely spoken today. When speaking English, it is usually with a distinct melodic lilt instantly recognisable to other Brits. Known as the "Land of Song" it is little wonder that Wales is passionate about music; indeed Wales' world-famous male-voice choirs and hypnotising harpists (the harp being the national instrument), can be heard at the cultural "Eisteddfod" festivals where music is celebrated nationally.

Certainly Wales provides a disproportionate number of singers to the world stage including icons such as Tom Jones and Shirley Bassey. Loud and Proud is how the welsh sing their national anthem at rugby matches; rugby is considered the national sport and is supported fiercely across the nation. In fact, the Welsh are unashamedly nationalistic and proud of their heritage and thus are enduringly welcoming to visitors to their small country; you will experience no greater hospitality, than in Wales.

Natural beauty pervades all areas of this tiny country with vast areas protected as National Parks. Two thirds of Wales' modest population (of 3 million) live in the South, whilst the north remains largely untouched and there is no finer example of this than on the Llyn Peninsula, with its far-reaching sandy bays and lush green fields, more than 80% of the land here is considered to be of outstanding natural beauty. Also in the north is the tallest mountain in England and Wales, Snowdonia offers a glorious combination of barren peaks, deep river valleys and thick forests. Mid-Wales offers less dramatic but equally enigmatic landscapes in the sweeping moorlands of the Brecon Beacons National Park, whilst in the south the deepValleys of Glamorgan offer lush grazing lands for the sheep which reputedly outnumber humans 10 to 1 in Wales. Providing some of Britain's most spectacular coastline, the south West of Wales is home to the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park. Renowned for its hundreds of miles of dramatic cliffs and coves, Pembrokeshire is a tranquil haven for those who appreciate the great outdoors.

As a small nation, Wales has relatively few centres of population. Europe's youngest capital city (since just 1955) Cardiff is undoubtedly the hub of contemporary Welsh culture, commerce and politics. However its modern reputation belies a long history and a cityscape dappled with historic architecture making it an absolute "must" for any visitor to Wales. Wales' other 4 cities include, Newport (home of 2010's Ryder Cup) and Swansea both in the south whilst in the north you'll find just one city; historic Bangor where roughly half the population are still welsh speaking. Not to mention St Davids, namesake of the Welsh Patron Saint, this tiny village in Pembrokeshire was granted city status by Queen Elizabeth II due to its glorious cathedral. Beyond Wales' cities lies a host of lesser known gems; medieval market towns, remote rural communities, tiny fishing villages, glorious seaside resorts, monastic ruins and Britain's most exquisite surviving historic castles.

To hear the sing-song of the Welsh language, to uncover an ancient celtic culture, to travel from the peaks of Snowdonia to the Cliffs of Pembroke to the galleries of Cardiff, touring Wales is the ultimate journey of discovery.

Relevant Tours

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 - Bath

Discover some of Britain’s finest cities and all that’s in between on this leisurely tour of the East of Scotland and England. Travelling from Edinburgh to London via York, you’ll enjoy overnight stays in our most renowned historic and cultural centres whilst your daily excursions will take you to a host of smaller towns and areas of natural beauty including St Andrews, the Scottish Borders, the North Yorkshire Moors and the Cotswolds.

England Tours - Stonehenge

Get off the beaten tourist track as you journey from Windsor to Edinburgh through the beautiful West of Britain. Explore England's picturesque coastal counties of Devon and Cornwall, see unrivalled vistas in Wales' Snowdonia National Park, pass through the majestic Lake District and tour Scotland's most elegant city in, Edinburgh.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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 London - Tower Bridge

This journey takes you from London to Edinburgh providing the full British history and culture experience. See Oxford and the Cotswolds, shop at Chester's Rows, wind through Wales' stunning Snowdonia National Park, sample local Welsh cuisine, enjoy medieval York and explore Wordsworth's Lake District before finally visiting mysterious chapels and stately homes in the Scottish Lowlands.

Wales Tours Conwy Castle

North Wales not only harbours the dramatic landscapes of the Snowdonia National Park and a host of stunning UNESCO World Heritage fortresses but is also home to a Welsh speaking population and Welsh heritage at its most traditional.

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 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 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.

Castle Tours - Blenheim Palace

Indulge in the history and heritage of England, Scotland and Wales by day and see its character reflected in your unique and distinguished accommodation each night on this deluxe tour of Britain. Enjoy elegant cities in York, Bath, Oxford and Edinburgh as well as the natural beauty of the Cotswolds, the Yorkshire Moors, the Scottish Lowlands and the mountains of Snowdonia.

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 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.

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.

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.

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.

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