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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

  New for 2021  
Tours of Wales - Brecon Beacons

A small group tour of Wales – Discover beguiling natural landscapes and an utterly unique heritage on this journey through enchanting Wales. Departing 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.

  Improved Itinerary  
Tours of North Wales - Caernarfon Castle

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!

  Improved Itinerary  
Tour of York England

A Britain Rail Tour – Experience the cities and landscapes of two great nations on this rail journey of discovery through England and Scotland.  Travelling from vibrant London in the South to romantic Edinburgh in the North and back again your itinerary will take you through the historic cities of Oxford, Glasgow and York. Along the way you’ll experience scenic rail-rides through the rolling British countryside and enjoy hand-picked day tours to reach the rural sites and villages of the Cotswolds, the Lake District and Loch Lomond & the Trossachs National Park.

Wales Rail Tours

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 quaint coastal towns of Tenby and Llandudno, historic Shrewsbury and the hidden gem in medieval Conwy.

  New for 2021  
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.

Tours of Wales - Brecon Beacons

A Small Group Wales Tour - join us on a six-day journey of discovery as we explore the history, heritage and natural beauty of the small but fascinating nation of Wales. During this small group tour of Wales from London you'll experience a host of magnificent landscapes and vistas including the rolling green hills of the Wye Valley, the barren moorlands of the Brecon Beacons National Park, the striking mountains of Snowdonia and wild seascapes of the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park. Along the way you'll spot ancient castle ruins, hear local legends and see the contrasting "cities" of tiny village of St Davids' and the cosmopolitan capital city of Cardiff. The Best of Wales is a magical tour of an enchanting nation.

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.

  New for 2021  

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.

  Improved Itinerary  
Tours of Scotland - Edinburgh Arthurs Seat

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.

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.

  Improved Itinerary  
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.

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.

  New for 2021  
Tours of Wales - Brecon Beacons

A Small Group Wales Tour - join us on a six-day journey of discovery as we explore the history, heritage and natural beauty of the small but fascinating nation of Wales. During this small group tour of Wales from London you'll experience a host of magnificent landscapes and vistas including the rolling green hills of the Wye Valley, the barren moorlands of the Brecon Beacons National Park, the striking mountains of Snowdonia and wild seascapes of the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park. Along the way you'll spot ancient castle ruins, hear local legends and see the contrasting "cities" of tiny village of St Davids and the cosmopolitan capital city of Cardiff. The Best of Wales is a magical tour of an enchanting nation.

  Improved Itinerary  
Tours of England - Liverpool

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 the Mountains of Snowdonia in the North.

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