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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 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.

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.

  Improved Itinerary  
Tours of Wales - Cardiff

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.

Tours of North Wales - Caernarfon Castle

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.

  New for 2020  
Tours of Cornwall - St Michaels Mount

A Cornwall Coach Tour - Explore a Celtic history, beautiful landscapes, dramatic coastlines and quintessential charm on this journey to the sleepy South West of Britain. Passing through South Wales and the coastal counties of Devon and Cornwall you'll experience a region of contrasts, from historic cities and stately homes to wild moors, craggy cliffs and traditional fishing towns. The Country Roads of Wales, Devon and Cornwall tour offers a unique journey to a largely unexplored corner of Britain.

Tours of Wales - Brecon Beacons

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.

Wales Tours - Conwy Valley

A Wales Coach Tour - 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.

Wales Tours

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.

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.

  New for 2020  
Tours of Wales - Brecon Beacons

A small group tour of Wales - join us on a five-day journey of discovery as we explore the history, heritage and natural beauty of this little nation. During this small group tour to Wales you'll absorb stunning scenery in the mountains of Snowdonia and along the coastlines of Pembrokeshire, visit ancient castle ruins, hear local legends and see the contrasting cities of tiny St Davids and the cosmopolitan capital of Cardiff.

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