Cadw sites:
Tintern Abbey, Blaenavon Ironworks, Harlech Castle, Caernarfon Castle and Conwy Castle are in the care of Cadw. Register with the Cadw Tour Operator Scheme (CTOS) to become a member of Cadw’s online group booking scheme. Members benefit from preferential trade rates and discounts, complimentary admission for your tour leader, complimentary introductions to Cadw monuments, enhanced information for existing tours and invoicing following your visit. Site Entry tickets are currently released one week in advance of visit. See Cadw Admissions for more information.

Day one

In the Wye Valley you'll find the 12th century Tintern Abbey. It is one of the most serene and faithfully preserved ruin in Britain and was the source of inspiration for the artist Turner and poet Wordsworth.

Interior shot of an old abbey with the sunlight casting shadows.

Tintern Abbey

Travel on to the market town of Abergavenny on the edge of Brecon Beacons National Park and home to the famous Abergavenny Food Festival. Take a stroll around the town and its indoor market (Tuesday, Friday and Saturday only), castle and museum and range of unique shops.

An external shot of the Market Hall, home to Abergavenny market.
People sitting on a lawn amongst food tents with Abergavenny in the background.

Abergavenny Market Hall and Abergavenny Food Festival

Next head to the World Heritage Site of Blaenavon and to Big Pit. Enjoy a multi-media tour of a modern coal mine with a virtual miner in the Mining Galleries, exhibitions in the Pithead Baths and historic colliery buildings and of course the underground tour.

If there is time, or you want an alternative option, Blaenavon Ironworks is one mile (0.8km) from the pit. Wales' industrial heritage has been well preserved in this 18th century World Heritage Site. Main picture.

Big Pit: National Coal Museum

End the day in Hay-on-Wye, the town which is famous for its books. There are millions of them and they’re everywhere. The castle, the cinema, the fire station and alleyways are all book shops. It also hosts the annual Hay Festival of Literature & the Arts in May/June which has placed the town well and truly on the world literary map. 

Overnight suggestions: Hay-on-Wye or Llandrindod Wells

People walking  by The Hay Festival entrance with bunting flying in the breeze.

Hay Festival

Day two

En-route to Aberystwyth stop at Devil's Bridge - the waterfalls have attracted many visitors since the 18th century, including William Wordsworth who wrote the 'Torrent at the Devil's Bridge'. Today, the Falls Nature Trail provides a unique opportunity to see this great natural feature in the Rheidol Gorge. 

Take a stroll around the university town of Aberystwyth and home to the National Library of Wales. Don't miss the sea-front and the castle.

Views of Aberystwyth bay from the Cliff top railway.
An aerial view of the steps leading down to a waterfall at Devil's Bridge.

A view of Aberystwyth from the Cliff Railway and Devil's Bridge

Travel on to Machynlleth and to the Centre for Alternative Technology. Take a ride in a water-powered funicular from its main entrance and enjoy exhibitions on solar power, wind energy, green gardening and other eco-inititaives.

The upper entrance area at Centre for Alternative Technology with a pond and flowers.
The organic gardens and the WISE building, Centre for Alternative Technology.

Centre for Alternative Technology

Travelling along the Cardigan Bay coastline through the fishing village of Aberdyfi you come to Tywyn where you can take a 7 mile journey through the countryside on-board Talyllyn Railway, one of The Great Little Trains of Wales.

Overnight suggestions: Harlech or Portmeirion

Aerial shot of Dyfi Estuary and Aberdyfi
Talyllyn Railway steam train riding through lush green fields.

Dyfi Estuary and Aberdyfi, and Talyllyn Railway

Day three

Travel up the coast to Harlech and visit one of Kind Edward I's mighty fortresses, Harlech Castle, Situated high upon a rocky outcrop, its seaward side was defended by sheer cliffs, while a deep moat protected the other sides.

A short distance away is Portmeirion, the unique Italianate seaside village created by Sir Clough William-Ellis and made famous by the TV series, The Prisoner. After exploring the beautiful woodland gardens, take a stroll around the pastel coloured buildings and facades of the "fantasy village".

Outside shot of Harlech Castle with a view of the towers and entrance.
Large wooden chess pieces on a board in the gardens at Portmeirion.

Harlech Castle and; Portmeirion

Your next stop is Caernarfon Castle, another one built by King Edward I in the 13th century and the location of HRH The Prince of Wales' Investiture in 1969.

End the day in Anglesey. Here you will find the town with the longest name - Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwryndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch - shortened to Llanfair PG. It means St Marys Church by the white aspen over the whirlpool, and St Tysilios church by the red cave! Visit the impressive James Pringle complex, an attractively designed building on the Railway Station which contains a huge selection of craft items.

If time allows en-route to Anglesey, stop at the walled town of Conwy which has many things to see and do including Conwy Castle and the smallest house.

Overnight suggestion: Anglesey

An exterior shot of Caernarfon Castle behind the estuary filled with boats.
The entrance to Conwy Castle between the suspension cables of the bridge.

Caernarfon Castle and Conwy Castle

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