We have carried out tours into the Vale of Glamorgan since we started, previously as an extension of our Cardiff City Tour. For 2024, we have a tour dedicated to this picturesque part of South Wales. The Vale of Glamorgan is a coastal county in South East Wales, that borders Cardiff. The county is fairly unique to Wales, as it is relatively flat compared to much of the rest of the country. This provides for long views across the countryside to mountains in the distance, or across to the coast.
The Glamorgan Heritage Coast is also very historic, with Jurrasic Period Fossils Iron Age Forts, and towns that can be traced back 3000 years
During the tour your driver, who will also be your guide, for the day will take you along the Glamorgan Heritage Coast, and through some of the many small picturesque villages that can be found in the county. Be sure to bring your camera with you, as there will be plenty of photos opportunities throughout the day
The tour starts at a location of your choosing in Cardiff (usually your hotel) and your driver for the day will arrive to meet you at 9:30.
Leaving Cardiff to the West, you will be taken past Penarth Marina, for a brief stop at Cardiff Bay Barrage. Taking seven years to build during the 1990’s when it was the largest civil engineering project in Europe, this barrage created a huge 500 acre lake
A quick drive over the cliff heads will see you arrive on Penarth Sea Front for the first stop of the day.
Penarth Pier was built in the late 19th Century, and was originally used for pleasure steamers to dock and provide pleasure cruises up and down the Bristol Channel, and over to Somerset and Devon. Shorter than many piers in the UK, the pier was kept short so as not to incur on the busy and important shipping lanes in and out of the near by Cardiff Docks
After taking in the fresh sea air, you will meet back up with your driver for the day at a pre-agreed location, and the tour will continue deeper into the Vale of Glamorgan.
Next stop on the tour is Cosmesten Medieval Village located next to Cosmeston Lakes & Country Park. The country park sits in a former limestone quarry. During its development from a Quarry into a country park in the 1970’s remains of a 13th century medieval village were discovered.
Archealogical work continues, and a medieval village has been reconstructed on the site. Visitors to the village can see find out what life was like in a 13th Century Welsh Village
Driving along the coast, the tour will arrive in Llantwit Major. Over 3000 years old, this town is the oldest continually inhabited place in Wales. The tour will stop briefly here to allow you to stretch your legs, the buildings in the town. Many of which have listed status and date back many centuries. If you wish, your driver will take you to Llantwit Major Beach, approximately a mile from the the town Centre, where you can see the layed Jurassic Limstone Cliffs. The beach is popular with fossil hunters, and over the years, many fossils from the Jurrasic Period have been found on the rocky beach.
Leaving Llantwit Major through its narrow streets, barely a cars width wide, you will be driven through the Vale of Glamorgan countryside where you will stunning views across the fields to the mountains in the distance on your right, and coastal sea views over the cliffs to your left.
Your driver will take you through the coastal villages of Southerndown & Ogmore-by-Sea. Both villages offer stunning and dramatic views along the coastline, across the Bristol Channel, and towards the Atlantic Ocean.
The tour will continue along the sand dunes that form the bank of the river Ewenny, which marks the western edge of the county, and past Ogmore Castle, a12th Century Norman Castle built to protect the river crossing, and is one of 3 built along the river Ewenny to protect the Norman contolled Glamorgan from the Welsh natives to the west.
Leaving the river Ewenny behind, the tour will leave the coast, head inland and begin heading back towards Cardiff. Driving through some of the many picturesque villages that are dotted around the county the tour will arrive in Cowbridge for the next stop of the day.
Orginally a Roman settlement, and later a medieval market town, the town is reguarly considered to be the most sought after place in Wales to live. The tour will stop in the town for around an hour, to allow you to independently explore the town full of independant shops. Medieval & Georgian Achirecture, and get a light lunch in one of the towns many eateries if you wish.
In the afternoon, the tour continues through the Vale of Glamorgan Countryside for around 40 minutes arriving at St Fagans Museum of Natual History. Set in the grounds of a Elizabethan Manor House, St Fagans is an outdoor museum that opened in 1948. You will spend the afternoon independantly explornig the museum, which has over 40 historic buildings which have been transported from all over Wales and re-built at St Fagans.
One of the highlights of the museum is Rhydycar Terrace. Originally built for Iron Ore miners in Merthyr Tydfil. The entire street of 6 identical cottages was distmanteld, transported to St Fagans and rebuilt brick by brick. Once rebuilt they have each been decoreated and staged to represent a different time period in Wales. For the early 19th Century, up to the 1980’s
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Timings & Numbers
The Vale of Glamorgan is for up to 6 people, and lasts approximately 8 hours. Their may be up to 1 1/2 hours driving time (depending on traffic) between some stops, where as others may be as little as 10 minutes apart.
This tour starts at a location of your choosing, but must start and finish in Cardiff.
Tour Start Time: Monday to Saturday at 9:30am
Planned Finish Time: 5:30pm
Additional important information
We are unable to accommodate any luggage on this tour. If you are likely to have luggage with you, please contact us in advance.
Whilst this tour is available for up to 6 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.
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.
The tour starts at 9:30am from your hotel, and your driver will return you to your hotel at the end of the tour around 5:30pm.
Your driver guide for the day will not accompany you around the various locations and attractions we stop at. You will be free to independently explore them as you wish.
There is no entry fee’s at any of the places we stop at. Cosmeston Lakes & St Fagans Museum have entrances, but there is no fee to enter them. There is an optional “Audio Wand” which can be hired at Cosmeston Lake, for £6.15 (as of October 2023)
Lunch is not included in the tour, and neither do we make arrangements to stop at any particular place for lunch. The day has been planned to include time for lunch in Cowbridge, however there are plenty of places for a lunch stop before and after Cowbridge. Including St Fagans, which has an onsite cafe.
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. St Fagans Museum closes at 5:00pm, and this is the last stop of the day.
The tour has been planned to spend atleast 2 1/2 hours at St Fagans, and we recommend spending atleast 2 hours there. If, in your guides opinion, the time spent at various stops means it is likely you will arrive at St Fagans later 3:00pm, they will advise you of this.
The weather in Wales can be unpredictable and changeable. Most of the stops on the Tour are outdoors, and / or with minimal cover. We therefore recommend you bring rain jackets or umbrellas on the tour. Even if it is sunny at the start of the tour, the weather may change during the day. These items can be left in the car at the various stops if not needed.
The tour is available Monday to Saturday all year round. Although between April & October is the best time to go on this tour, when the weather is usually slightly better, and the days are slightly longer.
Between November & Mid February it may be dark before leaving the final stop of St Fagans (around 5:00pm). During December & January, it may start getting dark soon after arriving at St Fagans. This could affect ability to see all of the museum, should you wish to go on this tour between November & February, you may wish to consider reducing the amout of time spent at other locations to allow time to fully see St Fagans in Daylight. Your driver on the day will be happy to advise you on this on the day