Over the years we have been asked by many people to plan a custom South Wales tour for them. From 2 days to 10 days, we have planned bespoke tours that have allowed us to show guests more of Wales than just Cardiff & South East Wales. Parts of Wales, we simply can not reach in one day. Places such as Pembrokeshire & Elan Valley.
Whilst planning these tours, the same places were requested time after time. Places like Tenby & St Davids Cathedral in Pembrokeshire. Aberystwyth & Devils Bridge, and ofcourse, Bannau Brechinniog (The Brecon Beacons). During the planning of these custom tours we would also add various places, that we believed would be well recived. We have taken the feedback from these tours and put together some of the most popular places we have been too across the years to create a three day and a five day South Wales Tour. This allows us to make the booking process more streamlined for our guests. In the words of the famous BBC Childrens Program, Blue Peter, we can simply say, “Heres one we made earlier”
So where does our Three Day South Wales Tour go? What can you see, and what can you do on our Three Day South Wales Tour?
Day one begins at any location of your choosing in Cardiff, when your driver for the whole 3 days will meet you at around 9:30am. You will then be taken on a short drive, just to the north of the welsh capital for the first stop of the tour. Castell Coch.
You will head north from Cardiff, and be taken up through the Rhondda Valley, once the heart of the Welsh Coal mining industry.
Here you will have the chance to explore the Fairytale Red Castle nestled in the hills around 6 miles from Cardiff City Centre. Despite its medieval look, the castle was built in the late 19th Century as a summer house for John Crichton Stuart, the 3rd Marquess of Bute. At the time he was one of the richest men in the world, having made large fortune due to owning vast coalfields across South Wales, and Cardiff Docks. Which at the time were the largest and busiest docks in the world.
From Castell Coch, you will then head towards Cwm Porth in Bannau Brechinniog, at the start of the Four Waterfalls walk, near Ystrafellte. From the car park, it is a short walk to Porth-yr-Ogof, the largest cave opening in Wales
You will also have the chance to go on part of the Four Waterfalls Walk before returning returning to meet back up with your driver.
Once back in the car, you will be driven through some of the most remote parts of the National Park, where you can get a true feeling for the wilderness of the area, and find out why the British Army & SAS use the Brecon Beacons as part of their selection process.
You will then arrive at Dan-yr-Ogof National Showcaves, where you can spend the afternoon exploring the Cave Systems underneath the mountains of the Brecon Beacons, before being driven to the hotel of your choice, where your driver will leave you to spend the evening as you wish.
We recommend booking somewhere in the Llandeilo area in the edge of the Brecon Beacons. The historic pretty market town of Llandeilo has many options for somewhere to spend the night, as well as wide choice of places to eat.
Before leaving you for the evening at your hotel, your driver will arrange a time to meet you to start Day 2, which is usuallly around 9:00am. Once your bags have been loaded back into the car, you will be driven through Carmarthenshire and its rolling hills towards Pembrokeshire, and the magical town of Tenby, and the south Pembrokeshire Coast.
In Tenby, you will have a few hours to independantly explore the narrow streets of the town with its colourful houses. You may choose to visit the Tudor Merchant House, which has be set out to resemble that of a wealthy merchant in Tudor Times. You can walk along the golden sands of one of the beaches at Tenby. There is also a choice of boat trips that depart from Tenby Harbour. One of the more popular ones is one the many boat trips to Caldy Island, where there is an active monestary whose monks welcome vistors, apart from on Sundays.
At an agreed time in an agreed location, you will then rendezvous with your driver once more, who will take you through the Pembrokeshire Countryside, and through towns such as New Gale & Solva on the way to the UK’s smallest city. Along the way you may wish to stop to take pictures of the scenery, particularly around New Gale. Your driver will be more than happy to do so.
Around an hour after leaving Tenby, you will arrive in St Davids. With a population of less then 2000, St Davids is the smallest city in the UK. Despite its size, it boasts the largest and most impressive cathedral in Wales. Construction of the current Cathedral began in 1181, and replaced a smaller one that had been consecrated only 50 years ealier, on the site of a Monasty founded by the patron St of Wales in 589.
From St David’s you will then be driven up along the West Wales coast through towns such as Fishguard and Cardigan, before arriving in the pretty village of Aberaeron. In Aberareon, you will have the chance to stretch your legs, and look around the pretty harbour, before heading to your choosen hotel of the evening.
There are a small number of guest houses and small hotels in Aberaeron, which you may wish to choose. The nearest large town is Aberystwyth. This is 30 minutes along the coast from Aberaron has a larger range of hotels for you to choose from. It is also where the first stop of Day 3 will be. We recomend booking somewhere for the 2nd night of the tour in either Aberareon or Aberystwyth, or somewhere between the two
As with the end of the first day, before leaving you for the evening, your driver will arrange a mutually convenient time to meet you at the start of Day 3. This will largely depend on where your hotel for the evening is, but will normally be around 9:30. The later start to the day is largely due to the opening time of the first planned stop of the day, and the length of the day as a whole. The third, and final day of the tour is the longest of the three.
The first stop of the final day will be Aberystwyth Cliff Railway. Built as a visitor attraction as Aberystwyth was becoming a popular holiday destination towards the end of the 19th century, it is the longest cable driven funicular railway in Wales, and the 2nd longest in the UK. Opening at 10:00am, the train will take you up the side of the cliffs on the edge of the town, and overlooking the sea front. At the top of the, you will have views across the town of Aberystwyth, and out across the Irish Sea. Using the Camera Obscura, you will be able to see 1000 square miles of see and land, including the peaks of 26 different mountains along the Cambria Mountain Range which runs from a little north of the Brecon Beacons, to just south of Snowdonia.
On your return to the bottom of the railway, you will once more be met by your driver, and taken into the Cambria Mountains and too Devils Bridge, just outside Aberystwyth. Here you will be able to choose either a short or long walk to Devils Bridge Waterfalls and to see the three bridges built on top of each other. According to legend, due to the terrain it was impossible for the three bridges to be built by man, and they were were indeed built by the Devil himself.
From Devils Bridge, you wil head inland towards Elan Valley. You will be driven past the erry abandoned lead mines of Cwmystwyth, and along what we consider to be one of the best roads in all of Wales, for its beauty and wilderness. You will then be taken down through the Elan Valley and past several of the reservoirs the area is famous for, before arriving in the town of Rhyader. Known as the crossroads of Wales, Rhyader is almost exactly in the centre of the country.
Arriving in Rhyader early / mid afternoon, you will have the option to visit Gigrin Farm, which is a feeding site for Red Kites. Every day at 3:00pm, meat is laid out on the farm, which often attracts large numbers of Red Kites, buzzarrds, ravens, jackdaws and crows. You will have the chance to watch them vying for the best morsals. There is a fee for the show, and tickets can be booked directly from the Farm. Whilst pre-booking is not absolutely required, it is highly recommended due to the limited number of places available. The farm also remommends arriving by 12:30 if tickets are not booked in advance. We estimate arriving in Rhyader around 2:30pm, so it is highly unlikely entry would be granted without tickets. If you do purchase tickets in advance, please advise your driver at the start of the day, and they will ensure arrival at the farm in plenty of time.
After watching the Red Kites feed, the tour will head south, and begin the return to Cardiff, driving through Builth Wells and stopping in Brecon. In Brecon, you will have around an hour to independently explore the historic market town with strong military links on the edge of the National Park which bears its name. Arriving in Brecon around 5:00pm, you may choose this stop to get a meal if you wish.
Departing Brecon around 6:00pm, you will be driven once more through the Brecon Beacons National park, arriving back in Cardiff at around 7:00pm, where the tour will end, and your driver for the last 3 days will bid you farewell.
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Timings & Numbers
The Three Day South Wales Tour is for up to 4 people, with each day lasting between 8 & 10 hours.
This tour starts at a location of your choosing, but must start and finish in Cardiff.
Day 1: Start 9:30am. Finish Approximately 5:30pm – 6:00pm
Day 2: Start Approximately 9:00am. Finish Approximately 5:00pm – 5:30pm
Day 3: Start Approximately 9:30am. Planned Finish Time: 7:00pm
Additional important information
Whilst this Three Day South Wales Tour is available for up to 4 people, we will need to know how many people will be going on the tour, as the vehicle used may be dependant on the number of people on the tour.
Items may be left in the car overnight, however we are unable to accept any responsibility for any items left the car overnight and can not be held liable for any loss of, or damage too any items left in the car at any time.
Our guides are not historical experts. Your guide will have at least a basic knowledge of the locations they will take you, and Welsh HIstory and Culture in general. They will also be happy to answer any questions you may have to the best of their ability, but there may be some gaps in their knowledge and may not be able to answer all questions fully.
No accomodation is booked or paid for by us on this tour. It is our guests, or their agents, responsibility to arrange their accomodation and advise the accomodation details for each night. We will arrange accomodation for the driver, and an overnight fee to cover this cost is included in the tour fee.
Several of the stops planned for this tour have an entrance fee. These include Castell Coch, Dan yr Ogof National Showcaves, Aberystwyth Cliff Railway, Devils Bridge & Gigrin Farm. Other places may also charge an entrance fee. Entrance to any location or attraction is not included in the tour fee, and any fee’s will need to paid directly to the attraction. It is recommended tickets are booked in advance for Dan-yr-Ogof and Gigrin Farm.
No meals are included in this tour, and neither do we make arrangements to stop at any particular place for lunch.
You are free to spend as little or as much time as you wish at any of the locations we stop at, and your driver will be happy to stop anywhere else during the day, so long as it is safe and legal to do so.
The weather in Wales can be unpredictable and changeable. We therefore recommend you bring rain jackets or umbrellas on the tour. Even if it is warm and sunny at the start of the tour, the weather may change during the tour. These items can be left in the car at the various stops if not needed.
The walk to Porth-yr-Ogof and The Four Waterfalls Walk may be wet and slippery in places, even in dry weather. We therefore strongly recommend suitable footwear, that is sturdy, waterproof and has a good grip is worn, and care is taken when walking
The tour is available all year round.
No boat trips run between Tenby & Caldy Island on Sundays. St Davids Cathedral is only open 1:00pm to 3:00pm on Sundays