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Scenic North Wales and Chester – Make Your Own Way

From £486.00
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Snowdonia National Park
Departing Self Drive
Duration 5 Days
Available Now

Immerse yourself in the myths and legends of north Wales as you recharge your batteries from your four-star hotel base, set in an 18th-century manor house among 12 acres of gardens and grounds, on the outskirts of Chester.

Explore north Wales, an area famous for its outstanding natural beauty, crumbling castles and ancient myths. Pass through some breathtaking landscapes as you travel through Snowdonia National Park, to the isle of Anglesey to discover a host of UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

Enjoy a two-hour cruise on Llangollen Canal, culminating as you cross the stunning Pontcysyllte Aqueduct. On your final day, choose between a fascinating optional trip to Conwy Castle and Bodnant Garden or relaxing at your hotel, making use of its wonderful facilities.

What You’ll Love

  • Make your own way to Chester, and spend five days exploring north Wales from your four-star hotel
  • Enjoy a fascinating full-day excursion to Anglesey and mainland Wales, taking in two UNESCO-listed castles and Plas Newydd, home of the Marquess of Anglesey
  • Relaxing two-hour canal cruise on the UNESCO-listed Llangollen Canal across the Pontcysyllte Aqueduct, the largest in the UK
  • Included orientation walk of historic Chester
  • The chance to explore Chester under your own steam
  • Optional tour to Conwy Castle, Llandudno and Bodnant Garden
  • Four nights’ bed and breakfast accommodation at the four-star DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel & Spa Chester
  • Two evening meals
  • The services of a friendly, experienced tour manager

Itinerary

Day 1

Make your own way to DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel & Spa Chester, a glorious 18th-century manor house set in 12 acres of manicured gardens. The hotel is set on the outskirts of Chester, 3 miles from the city centre. If you’re driving, free on-site parking is available at the hotel.

Unpack and settle into your fantastic new surroundings: perhaps take a walk through the walled gardens or enjoy an indulgent treatment (payable locally) in the spa, which features mud baths, a Turkish hammam and hydrotherapy pool. Later on, meet your tour manager for a quick welcome brief.

Alternatively, you may wish to stroll to historic Chester, a former Roman settlement known for its remains and lovingly-preserved period buildings.

Enjoy an evening at leisure, looking forward to a fascinating and relaxing break ahead.

Day 2

After breakfast, join your tour manager and board the coach for the journey through Snowdonia National Park to the Welsh island of Anglesey. Stop at Plas Newydd, home of the Marquess of Anglesey. This grand home dates back to the 15th-century and boasts fantastic views over the Menai Strait to Snowdonia. Enjoy a stroll around the gardens and grounds as you learn more about the history of the house before the tour continues to the captivating seaside town of Beaumaris, at the eastern end of the Menai Strait.

Beaumaris’ UNESCO-listed castle dates back to the 13th century, when Edward I ordered its construction as part of his campaign to conquer Wales. However, construction of the castle was abandoned in the early 14th century when resources were diverted toward the invasion of Scotland. The unfinished castle was then occupied by the Welsh, and taken back by the English, and then reoccupied by forces loyal to Charles I during the English Civil War. Today, the castle remains as it was then: an unfinished masterpiece of near complete symmetry. The tour manager will bring the castle’s fascinating history to life, regaling you with tales stretching back the best part of a thousand years.

Enjoy some free time for lunch in the town (payable locally) before continuing across the Menai Suspension Bridge to Caernarfon, on the Welsh mainland. The UNESCO-listed Caernarfon castle was also built as part of Edward I’s efforts to conquer Wales. Recognised as one of the great fortified buildings of the Middle Ages, the impressive Caernarfon castle took 47 years to complete, at a cost of £25,000 and contained an entire town!

Your tour manager will give a talk outside the castle, and there will be time for those who wish to enter to do so (entrance payable locally). Depart Caernarfon in the late afternoon, after a fascinating day filled with myths and legends. Later on, an included dinner at your hotel rounds off a wonderful day.

Day 3

Today one of the undoubted highlights of the tour awaits. Transfer to the picturesque Llangollen Wharf this morning, where you will board your canal boat, the Thomas Telford, for a scenic two-hour cruise on the UNESCO-listed Llangollen Canal through the stunning Dee Valley.

Take your seat on the traditional canal barge, and sit back and relax as you drift past tranquil villages and unspoiled countryside, listening as your skipper tells you all about the area’s unique heritage and history, pointing out the fascinating wildlife. Refreshments are available onboard.

Your cruise reaches its climax as you pass over the Pontcysyllte Aqueduct. Built by Thomas Telford in 1805, after whom your barge is named, the aqueduct remains unsurpassed today in terms of engineering achievement. The aqueduct is the UK’s largest, towering 126ft (37 metres) above the River Dee, and running for 1007ft (307 metres), and is rightfully a UNESCO World Heritage Site in its own right.

After you disembark, a coach will take you back to Llangollen where you can spend some time at leisure, before returning to Chester for a guided walk. Take in Chester Cathedral, Eastgate Clock, the Roman gardens and the city walls, which were made by the Romans out of local red sandstone. The old city is known for its two-level arcades and Tudor-style half-timbered buildings. Just outside the city walls, there is a Roman amphitheatre that is currently being excavated.

Return to your hotel to spend a well-earned evening relaxing at the end of a wonderful day.

Day 4

Today, you have the choice between joining an optional tour to Conwy Castle, Llandudno and Bodnant Garden, or spending the day at leisure, perhaps exploring Chester or relaxing at the hotel.

The optional tour begins at Conwy, home to a magnificent UNESCO-listed medieval castle that is still standing strong after more than 700 years. Built by Edward I as part of the same series of fortifications as the castles at Beaumaris and Caernarfon, Conwy is framed by the distant dramatic peaks of Snowdonia. Astonishingly, Conway was completed in just under four years, and includes almost one mile of fortified walls, together with eight lofty towers. The energetic may wish to climb the castle’s spiral staircase, from where you can walk around the entire battlements.

The next stop is the picturesque seaside town of Llandudno, where you’ll have some free time for a bite to eat (payable locally) before continuing to Bodnant Garden. Founded in 1874, Bodnant Garden spans 80 acres and features plants from all over the world, including 22 Champion Trees, noted for their age and size. The garden is famous for its Laburnum arch, which is the longest in the UK and flowers in May and June every year.

However you decide to spend the final day of your break, enjoy an included farewell dinner at your hotel tonight, no doubt reflecting on a fantastic few days.

Day 5

Check out and make your own way home this morning, feeling not only recharged but also inspired after discovering the myths and legends of this magical part of the country.

 


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