Castles and Conflict
Wales has one of the world’s greatest collections of castles, upwards of six hundred. You may find the choice daunting as well as dazzling.
We are here to refine your choice, to guide you on a bespoke tour of the castles that proudly tell the story of a country clearly worth fighting for and of the forces that have shaped it. Many command spellbinding views of countryside, literally to die for.
You may be interested in Edward 1’s statement piece, Caernarfon, a World Heritage site with commanding the view of Anglesey, first home of Prince William and Kate.
You may be more interested in the castles commanded by the Welsh princes, such as mystical Dinefwr or imposing Carreg Cennen.
Then there are the unusual such as the Gothic fortress, Castell Coch, near Cardiff, sometimes more familiar as a television and film location, or Cardiff Castle in the heart of our capital city but dating back 2,000 years to the Roman occupation of Wales, when the ‘visitors’ were not made as welcome as you will be.
Coast and Country
The coast and countryside of Wales is unrivalled and each little corner has a story to tell.
You can explore more than 800 plus miles of coastal path. You can climb or take the train 1,085 metres to the summit of Snowdon and gaze towards Ireland. You may want to explore the gentler countryside of the Wye Valley and the Cistercian abbey at Tintern. It may be that Tenby in Pembrokeshire will give you a flavour of the traditional British ‘bucket and spade’ holiday.
We have many and varied islands, from Anglesey, first married home of Prince William and Kate, to Skomer off Pembrokeshire, home to puffins, seals and a vast array of wildlife. The coast and countryside of Wales is mesmerising and protected as areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty and National Parks.
Let us guide a bespoke path with you, step by step.
Wales has a unique and distinctive culture with its own language and literature drawn from its Celtic heritage.
It is a land of words, song, art, and of religion. These instinctive cultural traits have been shaped and influenced by war, industry, immigration, and religious revival. Today we enjoy open air concerts, drama festivals, the Hay Festival of literature and the Arts, the Brecon Jazz Festival, folk and a myriad other events.
We are proud of our annual National Eisteddfod where we celebrate poetry music and Welsh Literature. Or join the Llangollen International Eisteddfod which brings to a picturesque North Wales town the sights and sounds of international artists, which have included Pavarotti.
Then there are the visual arts, celebrated in galleries, public and private, and in craft shops and festivals across the country which itself draws painters to record what they see.
Cardiff venues include the Wales Millenium Centre in Cardiff Bayfor opera and musical theatre, the National Museum and Art Gallery exhibits local and international art, or visit the acclaimed and celebrated National Museum of Welsh Life.
You can take in as much as you wish in one place or take advantage of a bespoke tour of the best museums and art galleries across Wales.
Wales is the land that inspired one of the world’s greatest poets and every year, every day in Wales is a celebration of the life and work of Dylan Thomas.
His story takes us to some of the loveliest places in Wales, taking in the castles, the fishing villages, the ‘ugly lovely town’ that is now the city of Swansea. A bespoke tour of Dylan Thomas’s homes and haunts will take in Swansea’s No Sign Bar, Swansea Castle and Cwmdonkin Park, where he played as a child and still contains the fountain he refers to in one work.
Contrast the city with Carmarthenshire’s rural Laugharne, with its castle and the boathouse, where he wrote Under Milkwood. Breathe in the poetry along with sea-air and wonderful views of the Taf Estuary and Gower, and the ‘heron priested’ shore. Time too, perhaps, to ‘go to the Brown’s, buy a Felinfoel ale and if there is more time, we can take you to Llansteffan where he visited his mother’s farming family and to Newquay on the dramatic west coast of Wales.
Film and Drama
Wales has a varied backdrop, within easy reach of the main UK airports and is an ideal location for film and drama, with many a famous movie made here.
So, if you’d like to imagine yourself on the set of Tomb Raider, Harry Potter, Ironclad or Edge of Love, we can take you there. If it’s Doctor Who that does it for you, there’s the Doctor Who experience in Cardiff Bay or you can travel to another land of fantasy for the cult series, The Prisoner, filmed in North Wales’s wonderful, quixotic, Portmeirion. You can wander in the footsteps of the stars who did location shooting in the Welsh hills and mountains which have doubled up for China, Pakistan and South Africa.
Perhaps you’d like your bespoke tour to take in homes of the stars themselves – locals include Anthony Hopkins, Catherine Zeta Jones, Ioan Gruffydd and Matthew Rhys? You might share Michael Sheen’s passion for Port Talbot or you’d like to see the birthplace of the town’s most famous son, Richard Burton? It’s the stuff of dreams and where some of cinema’s best films have been made. Wales deserves an Oscar for its starring role in many films.
Food and drink
Wales enjoys some of the world’s finest food and drink.
We have hundreds of artisan cheese, bread, beer, wine, whisky and other producers, many of whom are proud to open their doors and invite you in for tastings and a better understanding of what makes them different and so desired among the discerning.
Getting there, you’ll see the cattle and sheep that graze our green, green grass and sea-washed estuaries, shaping the landscape and providing nourishment with a distinctive flavour. You might want to while away an hour with the coracle fishermen as they prepare to catch salmon and sea trout by the light of seven stars? Perhaps try your hand at fishing on a quiet river bank or if adventurous the open sea around our coast.
The light, colour and joy of a food festival or a farmers’ market might attract, with all the wonderful smells and tasting sessions which are so tempting. There are the long established permanent markets in county towns and the cities of Swansea and Cardiff. And our bespoke tour can take you to fine restaurants, quaint cafes and wonderful pubs you will not want to miss.
Wales was the first industrialised nation over 300 years ago.
You might not think it to look at our glorious landscapes but there is still a wealth of industrial heritage beneath our feet in a country that was once best known for its coal mining. This brought wealth and fame to Wales, led to the creation of our capital city, Cardiff, and to our terraced housing.
We are a nation of so much more, the iron that laid the railways across the world, from Russia to Chile, the slate that roofed the world and the copper that meant our Royal Navy ships could out manoeuvre Napoleon. The World Heritage site at Blaenavon, offers the opportunity to explore BigPit, a genuine underground colliery, or there are slate mines of North Wales, some of which are now providing unique adventure holidays.
Copper was mined in North Wales over 4,000 years ago and it’s said one reason the Romans invaded Britain was to get their hands on Welsh gold, which is still mined and among the rarest high quaity in the world and used by Britain’s kings and queens for centuries. We will help you discover a Wales you may not know existed but will leave treasuring as a memory for the rest of your life.
Ever wondered where your blue eyes, love of singing and a passion for sport came from? Do you have Welsh ancestry or a close bond with Wales?
If you would like to know more about your links with Wales and your family’s history then let us take you to your roots.
Working with you our genealogy expert Michael Churchill-Jones will research and uncover your family’s story and open doors to your past.
Michael is an experienced professional Family History researcher and a qualified tutor, who will personally guide you through the story of your ancestors.
Among his accomplishments is the BBC series ‘Coming Home’, which explores the Welsh ancestry of famous people.
Michael has worked with numerous stars, and among those who have taken part in ‘Coming Home’ are Donny Osmond, Olivia Newton John and Katherine Jenkins.
Then, guided by your family’s story we can help you re-trace their steps by taking you to the places in Wales where they lived and worked.
So let us help you make your journey of discovery and who knows what ancestral surprises we will uncover together?
Sport and Adventure
Wales is a land of natural sportsmen.
Think Wales, think rugby. We’re rightly proud of our place up there with the great rugby nations and of our rugby heroes. It’s a heritage built on our tradition of heavy, physical, work in an environment where team spirit was a matter of life or death. And today, state of the art technology takes our players forward. It’s natural that you will want to look behind the scenes at the Wales Millennium Stadium in Cardiff, to see what propels our game, to feel the atmosphere of match day.
But it might be that one of our many, many, other sporting attractions should be part of your bespoke tour? If you love golf you will know the Ryder Cup was played at the Celtic Manor Resort Hotel. Fancy surfing in Porthcawl? Sea kayaking in Pembrokeshire? Ride a rib under the famous twin bridges linking Anglesey or feel the adrenaline rush at over 100mph on Europe’s longest zip wire in North Wales. How about pony trekking in the Brecon Beacons? Or Mountain biking? Just bring your energy, we will provide the enthusiasm.