Rail Tour of Britain – Travel by train on this rail adventure through Britain touching the highlights of England, Scotland and Wales. Visit the elegant historic cities of York, Bath and Chester and enjoy scenic rail journeys through the rolling hills of the English Lake District, the Scottish Lowlands and the Welsh border Marches. Your trip is rounded off with stays in no fewer than three capital cities in London, Edinburgh and Cardiff and includes selected day-tours to reach more rural sites such as the Cotswolds and Stonehenge.View this tour
Our city guide to Cardiff
Widely touted as Europe’s youngest capital, Cardiff is undoubtedly the heart and soul of contemporary Welsh culture and innovation. However its modern reputation belies a long history and a cityscape dappled with historic architecture and sites. Effortlessly combining old and new and with a fiercely patriotic people, Cardiff makes a proud and fitting capital city for the ancient land of Wales.
The centerpiece of Cardiff has always been, and remains today, the magnificent Cardiff Castle. The original roman built fort was largely ruined, however in recent years there has been extensive excavation to uncover sections of the original Roman foundations, some of which date back to the first century AD. The castle has been rebuilt and reinvented throughout the ages most notably with the addition of a Norman motte and medieval castle walls in the middle-ages and more recently in Victorian times with the construction of a gloriously lavish gothic mansion within its grounds.
Surrounding Cardiff Castle, the city merges historic architecture with modern development. The buildings around Cathays Park are Victorian or Edwardian Baroque and now contain many of the cities Government buildings, civic centre and the National Museum and Gallery of Wales. It was in this period throughout the 1800s that Cardiff’s population boomed as a result of the industrial revolution and resulting coal industry. Welsh coal, mined in the South Wales mountains, was funneled down the narrow valleys via railway to the Cardiff’s port where it was distributed worldwide. By 1905 Cardiff was home to the second largest port in the world and by 1955 the city, which now had the largest population in Wales, was pronounced the Welsh capital.
This Victorian glory period of the city has left some marvellous and intriguing souvenirs of Cardiff’s industrial heritage and the vast wealth that came with it. At Cardiff Bay, The Coal Exchange is noted as the site of the signing of the first million dollar cheque whilst at Cardiff Castle and Castell Coch ancient castles were renovated by rich coal barons in opulent Gothic revival masterpieces which include the stunning Clock Tower, Beauchamp Tower and Castle Apartments. For a wider view of the history of Wales, Cardiff is also home to the Museum of Welsh Life.
Following the closure of the South Wales coalmines throughout the 1980s Cardiff did face decline, but the city has since reinvented itself as the commercial, political and cultural centre for Wales. The city’s Cardiff Bay area is a prime example, home to chic waterside cafes, restaurants and bars which rub shoulders with the stunning Welsh Millennium Centre Theatre and the Senedd Building home of Wales’ devolved political powers: the National Assembly for Wales. Nearby sports and activities centres have sprung up including the Principality Stadium which was Britain’s largest sports venue upon its completion in 1999. As recently as 2010 the new St David’s Centre retail development, located in the heart of the city, has finalised Cardiff’s transformation into a leading commercial and cultural centre in Britain. Certainly, Cardiff should not to be missed on any tour of the UK and Wales.
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A Castle Tour of Wales – A nation renowned for its ancient fortresses, discover the heritage and natural beauty of Wales on a trip 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. Your tour ends with two nights in the cosmopolitan capital city of Cardiff.View this tour
A small group tour of England and Wales – Enjoy an epic journey of discovery through the varied histories and landscapes of England and Wales. We’ll see many of Britain’s most beautiful natural landscapes from the golden coasts of Pembrokeshire and the mountains of Snowdonia in Wales to the rustic hills and vales of Yorkshire and the Lake District in England. Along the way we’ll sample traditional fare and enjoy a host of local visits and experiences including archetypal medieval fortresses, stately English manors, ancient abbeys and historic steam train journeys; the ideal tour to discover the very essence of Britain.View this tour
A South Wales Driving Tour – Enjoy a journey of contrasts taking you from the barren Moorlands of the Brecon Beacons and the rugged coastlines of Pembrokeshire to the bright lights of the bustling Welsh capital of Cardiff. Along the way you’ll experience Welsh culture, hear the welsh language, see ancient abbeys, immerse yourself in abundant wildlife and of course visit a host of ancient castles ruins.View this tour
A Great Britain driving 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
A Wales Rail Tour – Relax and enjoy the views of your scenic rail journeys as you explore the unique culture and landscapes of Wales. From the cosmopolitan capital of Cardiff this rail journey will take you to the rugged coastlines of Pembrokeshire, through the picturesque Welsh border Marches and into the dramatic landscapes of the Snowdonia National Park. Along the way you’ll see the beautiful coastal towns of Tenby and Llandudno, historic Shrewsbury and the hidden gem in medieval Conwy.View this tour
A Wales small group tour – Wales is a land of myth and mystery, dramatic landscapes and a rich Celtic heritage just waiting to be discovered. On this journey your explore all aspects and regions of this small but fascinating nation. The Wonders of Wales takes us to the nation’s major sites, through some of Britain’s most beguiling countryside, along dramatic coastlines and introduces us to Welsh history, language and culture old and new!View this tour
A Rail Tour of Wales – Enjoy an epic rail journey taking you to all corners of this small but magnificent nation. Your rail tour takes you from the Welsh capital of Cardiff through the rugged coastlines of Pembrokeshire to the dramatic mountains of the Snowdonia National Park. Medieval castles and historic harbour towns await as well as some of Wales' renowned historic and heritage railway lines which will take you on some of the most scenic rail journeys that Britain has to offer. All in all a comprehensive tour of Wales travelling by train.View this tour
A small group tour of Britain – discover what makes Britain Great on this small group journey through the diverse cultures and landscapes of England, Scotland and Wales. This comprehensive itinerary takes you from the peaceful coasts and mountains of Wales, through rustic landscapes of rural England and north in to remote wilderness of the Scottish Highlands. We’ll see iconic landmarks and hidden gems, visit Britain’s quaint villages and heritage cities and enjoy a host of local experiences from steam train rides through the English countryside to whisky tasting in the Highlands. In the company of your local guides, the Great British Journey is the ultimate way to explore Britain.View this tour
A small group tour of Wales – Discover beguiling natural landscapes and an utterly unique heritage on this journey through the enchanting nation of Wales. Following a stay in the cosmopolitan capital of Cardiff, we’ll explore the dramatic coastlines of Pembrokeshire, the barren moorlands of the Brecon Beacons and the towering mountains of the Snowdonia National Park. Along the way we’ll encounter colossal castles, walled medieval towns, secluded villages and ancient abbey ruins. Wales is an undiscovered gem that will leave you enchanted by its natural beauty and ancient Celtic heritage.View this tour
A Great Britain Rail Tour - Make use of Britain's extensive rail network on this comprehensive rail tour through England, Scotland and Wales. Your journey will take you from the bustling city of London over scenic rail routes to the remote Highlands of Scotland. You’ll experience Britain’s many cultural highlights along the way including the historic cities of Cardiff, Bath, York and Edinburgh. In selected destinations your trip is complemented with small-group day tours to ensure you reach those out-of-the-way highlights such as Stonehenge, the rustic scenery of the Lake District and Loch Ness.View this tour
Enjoy an England and Wales driving tour to experience the contrasts of two distinct British cultures on this in-depth tour of two of Britain's intriguing nations. 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
A British Rail Tour – Get two countries for the price of one as you use the British rail network to explore the rails England and Wales. Your itinerary will include scenic rail rides through the scenic Welsh border Marches and over the Yorkshire Dales whilst overnight stops include the historic cities of Chester and York and the cosmopolitan Welsh capital city of Cardiff. In order to best explore the rural landscapes of Wales we’ve included two separate day tours to explore the South Wales countryside and the mountains of Snowdonia in the North Wales.View this tour
A Driving Tour of Wales - Immerse yourself in breath-taking natural scenery and an ancient Celtic culture as you explore the diminutive nation of Wales. A land of contrasts from the cosmopolitan capital city of Cardiff to the tiny cathedral village of St Davids and from the industrial valleys of the South to the majestic snow-capped peaks Snowdonia in North Wales you’ll see it all on this journey of discovery. Along the way see untouched coastlines, medieval fortresses, meandering rivers, ancient abbeys and a host of traditional towns and villages.View this tour
A small group tour of Wales and England – This journey of discovery takes you through the contrasting landscapes of the rugged coastlines and mountains of Wales to the mellow rolling hills of the English Cotswolds. We’ll encounter medieval castles, walled towns and epic vistas aplenty as we discover the unique culture and countryside of Wales. Then it’s over the border to visit the elegant historic cities and honey-coloured villages of the heart of England. Along the way we’ll wander cobbled streets, walk amongst ancient standing stones, step inside historic abbeys and even visit a working farm.View this tour