Updated September 2021
A new visitor centre and bistro is now open at Aber Falls Distillery and in the coming months they will have a gin lab, where your clients can make their own gin. They offer a range of award-winning, premium gins and liqueurs and their single-malt whisky will be released autumn 2021. Distillery tours are offered and include master classes, lab experiences, and an opportunity to sample and purchase from the range of premium quality spirits.
Adventure Tours UK is the first UK inbound tour operator to provide a carbon footprint label on all of its small group adventure holidays. From its multi-activity adventure breaks to wild wellness retreats and epic hiking experiences, Adventure Tours UK worked with ecollective, a forward-thinking sustainability consultancy, to measure the carbon footprint of every single group tour.
Alpine Travel is the first operator to install a filtration system on its fleet of luxury tour coaches. The system is deemed to be extremely effective combatting airbourne viruses. The company also run the award winning Marine Drive Tour, which was recognised by Tripadvisor travellers as one of the best attractions worldwide.
The Angel Hotel Abergavenny is working with local businesses and developing new product ideas and things to do for small groups. This includes group foraging trip with Brecon Beacons Foraging and tours, workshops and wellbeing sessions at Nant y Bedd Gardens. Lifestyle and luxury travel magazine writers Condé Nast listed Abergavenny in their top 10 best places in the UK to visit in 2021.
Anglo Welsh Waterways is now offering visitors to Trevor Basin the opportunity to enjoy a boat trip across the Pontcysyllte Aqueduct, aboard its newly refurbished trip boat ‘Seren Fach’. The 45min return trips take your clients across the World Heritage Pontcysyllte Aqueduct, towering 38 metres (126 feet) high with amazing views across the Dee Valley. It runs daily (except Tuesdays) and can take up to 48 passengers. Refreshments are available on-board.
Boutique Tours Wales is celebrating its 10th anniversary and has launched a new website featuring a range of new itineraries with flexibility to custom design arrangements to suit your clients’ needs. John Hadwin specialises in private small tours for up to seven passengers. A tour with Boutique Wales Tours will allow your clients to visit parts of Wales where coach tours can't go and enable them to experience the real Wales by discovering hidden gems and spectacular scenery.
The main entrance of Caernarfon Castle, The King’s Gate, will be transformed into a new accessible visitor centre during a two year project. A lift will take clients to a new rooftop deck on the upper level of the gatehouse. There will be new interactive, imaginative and immersive experiences, a refreshment area in the tower, accessible toilet facilities and an improved shopping experience. In the Porth Mawr gatehouse, two new luxury apartments are planned along with new access to the Town Walls.
Caerphilly Castle is undergoing a £5million renovation scheme that includes a new visitor centre, catering, toilets, digital interpretation of the site and a 13th century makeover of the Great Hall.
Celtic Routes is a new way to discover West Wales and Ireland’s Ancient East. For Celtic inspiration visit their website.
The Chartist Tower Hotel, Newport will open in 2022. It is a 4 star, 150 bedroomed hotel by Mercure. It will be a good base for exploring South East Wales.
As part of Neath Port Talbot County Borough Council's new tourism campaign, Dramatic Heart of Wales, a new destination website has been launched which features itineraries and a group travel guide featuring inspiring experiences for groups.
Gwrych Castle will again be the setting for ITV’s ‘I'm A Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here’ in 2021 and key locations featured will be part of future tours. The history of the site goes back 2000 years! Free parking is available for cars and coaches. Contact the castle for guided tours and group rates.
Hensol Castle Distillery has officially opened and now offers gin making experiences and tours. The craft spirit distillery, gin school, visitor experience and bottling plant is located in the cellars of a 17th century Grade I listed castle in South Wales.
Knowdonia, a small group tour business, has recently launched, offering customised itinerary-free private, group, single and multi-day tours for maximum of eight people around Snowdonia and the wider North Wales area.
Sean Westlake has launched Mid Wales Tours, UK’s only licenced motorcycle and sidecar tour. Sean is a former police motorcyclist and an official green badge Wales tourist guide for North Wales, offering full and half day tours of Mid and North Wales for two people. He can also arrange bespoke tours. Your clients will be provided with a commentary as they travel via a radio. Helmets and wet weather clothing can be provided if required.
National Botanic Garden of Wales has opened its new attraction following a five year restoration project. Clients can explore the 1.5km lake, 350m dam, a waterfall and a cascade over six new bridges.
National Churches Trust has unveiled a series of bespoke tours combining Wales’ sacred treasures and hidden gems as part of its ‘Experiencing Sacred Wales’ programme. The website showcases the fascinating history and stunning art and architecture of over 500 historic places of worship across the country with suggested itineraries linking them together.
North West Wales' slate landscape has been awarded World Heritage status. It is now Wales’ 4th UNESCO World Heritage site. Between 1780 and 1940 the slate industry dominated world production of roofing slates, transforming both the environment and the communities who lived and worked here. Today, there is plenty for visitors to discover and experience as the legacy of the industry continues to be recognised worldwide.
Old College Aberystwyth plans to open in March 2023. It will be a 4 star hotel with 31 rooms together with a 600 cover café bistro and 200 capacity function room.
The Parkgate Hotel in Cardiff is a new luxury 170 bedroom hotel due to open in October 2021. It is an exciting collaboration between the Welsh Rugby Union, property developer Rightacres, and The Celtic Collection.
Penderyn Lloyd Street Llandudno Distillery has opened with plans to open its new Swansea distillery in 2022. It will be housed in the historic Hafod Morfa Copperworks site, opposite the Swanea.com Stadium (formerly Liberty Stadium) and home to Swansea City football club. There will be an exhibition area, shop, a tasting bar and a conference suite.
Saundersfoot will see the completion of a £9million redevelopment scheme. Phase two projects include Ocean Square Heritage & Arts Centre Retail, accommodation, visitor centre, Marine Centre of Excellence, Coastal Storm Centre and coastal schooner centre.
Southern Wales Tourism has created a virtual familiarisation visit to help coach and tour operators plan tours to Southern Wales. The virtual tour is guided by Steve Griffin from Griffin Guiding and he explores the coastline, Cardiff, castles, heritage railways and old coal mines.
A new visitor centre with café, toilets and changing facilities will open at Newport Transporter Bridge in 2022. The world's most complete surviving transporter bridge will also reveal a shop, exhibition gallery and community space. It is one of only eight remaining transporter bridges in the world.
Guided tours are now offered from Twr y Felin Hotel, Penrhiw Priory and Roch Castle. Working in partnership with Shân's Wales Tours, Wales’ smallest city St Davids, and Pembrokeshire can be explored with a reputable tour guide. Twr y Felin Hotel, Wales’ first contemporary art hotel have also open twenty new rooms. The new Garden Wing is home to the state of the art rooms - five with coast facing terraces. The Oriel Bar has been extended and there is a new alfresco area at the Cornel Bar.
Tŷ Milford Waterfront Hotel is a new 100 bedroomed 3 star hotel is opening in Pembrokeshire spring 2022. It is part of The Celtic Collection (including Celtic Manor Resort). Their Tŷ Hotels brand includes Tŷ Magor and Tŷ Newport and will be targeting group business.
A new steam engine museum will open in 2022 at Vale of Rheidol Railway in Aberystwyth by converting the existing engine shed. This follows the completion of a new ticket office, platform, café, toilet block and storage building for heritage coaching stock.
The Wales Way continues to be a focus as part of a ten year development programme to increase visitors to Wales. This one epic route includes three distinct journeys that cross the country, showcasing Wales’ fascinating history, coastlines, landscape and attractions. The Wales Way is named among the 25 best trips in the world in 2020 by National Geographic. Travel Trade friendly itineraries highlighting these routes are available.
Welsh Water Attractions have recently had a number of new developments to their sites including the opening of Llys-y-Frân Lake which has included the refurbishment and expansion of the visitor centre and café. It now offers a wide range of water and land-based activities such as walking, cycling, fishing, open water swimming, kayaking and stand up paddle boarding.