Hiking in Wales – 13 Days
October 11, 2018 Double: $4,195, Single: $4,295 (If booking your own airfare reduce price by $500.) Book by June 8, 2018 and SAVE $100 pp. Wales has rugged coasts and mountains, castles and myths, a singing language, and a proud Celtic history. You will…
October 11, 2018
Double: $4,195, Single: $4,295
(If booking your own airfare reduce price by $500.)
Book by June 8, 2018 and SAVE $100 pp.
Wales has rugged coasts and mountains, castles and myths, a singing language, and a proud Celtic history. You will rove the trails that wind from black lakes to glacial peaks, choosing from three guided walks: easy, medium, and difficult. Designed for the casual ambler to the thrill-seeking mountaineer, you’ll exhaust your eyes and raise a well-earned glass to ‘lechyd da’ (good health) at day’s end!
You begin in Chester, England, once the largest Roman fortress in Britain (Castra Devana). Chester’s Tudor and Victorian buildings sit snug within the red Roman wall. Shop the Rows, explore the cathedral, and make a wish at the wishing steps!
On to Wales, where you’ll explore the Gwynedd landscape (northwest Wales) for five days, spending your nights at Craflwyn Hall in Beddgelert. Outstanding footpaths lead from Betws-y-Coed, a village at the edge of the Gwydyr Forest nestled between the Llugwy, Conwy, and Lledr rivers. Llanberis, at lake Llyn Padarn, is a mecca for walkers and climbers, and a hub for exploring Snowdon, the highest mountain in Wales. From its summit, Snowdon provides clear views across the sea to Ireland and drops down to valleys with slate villages.
Heading south to the market town of Brecon, you’ll spend three nights at the charming Nythfa House. Walk the old stone streets, or climb the old sandstone peaks of the famous Brecon Beacons. Here you will find some of the finest scenery in South Wales.
Wales National Parks
Snowdonia National Park boasts Wales’ highest mountain (Snowdon), biggest lake, and most extensive network of trails. Craggy peaks like Cader Idris and Tryfan cover half the park, many over 3,000ft Magnificent views of waterfalls, woodlands and long stretches of sandy beach make a beautiful and diverse landscape. The Llanberis Path is Snowdon’s most gradual and the Rhyd Ddu Path has the most striking mountain scenery, especially toward Moel Hebog and the hills of Nantlle.
Brecon Beacons National Park has four distinct regions, each singular and awe-inspiring: high moors and lakes (Mynydd Du); flat-topped sandstone hills including the Brecon Beacons’ highest peak, Pen-y-Fan (Bannau Brycheiniog); great forests, crashing waterfalls, and rushing streams (Fforest Fawr Geopark); and rolling ridges (Y Mynyddoedd Duon). Some say the park is even more spectacular at night – the Brecon Beacons were named an International Dark-Sky reserve – when the Milky Way spills over rocky silhouettes, and nebulas and meteor showers shine brightly above Wales’ massive and striking rippled expanse.
Return airfare from Toronto, airport transfers in England, motorcoach transportation, 11 nights accommodation, 11 breakfasts, 9 lunches, 11 dinners, all highlights listed, a DeNureTours Tour Director, Connections Program and all taxes.
Prices are in Canadian dollars, are per person and include HST.
• 5 days of guided hiking in the Snowdon area
• 2 days of guided hiking in the Brecon Beacons
• Free time in Chester
• Salisbury Cathedral
• Bombay Sapphire Distillery lunch and guided tour
• Moel Siabod and Betws-y-Coed
• Llanberis and Snowdon
• Moel y Gest
• Moel Hebog
• Llny Crafnant
• Carnedd Dafydd
• Y Garn and Foel Goch
• Rhyd Dhu
• Nantlle Ridge
• Waterfall Country
What to Bring
• Comfortable footwear with a good grip (hiking boots are recommended)
• Waterproof jacket and waterproof over-trousers
• Warm clothing, such as a fleece
• Several layers of clothing, which can be added or removed (hat and gloves are recommended)
• Small backpack
• Water bottle (at least 1 litre)
• Walking poles are particularly useful for descents
• Insect repellent, sun hat, sunglasses, sunscreen
Gwynedd: Crawflwyn Hall (7 nights)
Brecon Beacons: Nythfa House (3 nights)
Gatwick: Hilton Gatwick Airport (1 night)
(click to enlarge)
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Hiking in Wales – 13 Days
Day 1 & 2: Fly to Manchester and Travel to North Wales
Arrive in Manchester airport where you will be met by your Tour Director and motor coach. Travel to Chester, known for its extensive, well-preserved Roman walls made of local red sandstone. You will have free time to explore the Rows and the Abbey here.
Your afternoon drive takes you to North Wales: This land of shimmering lakes and magnificent peaks is an area of outstanding natural beauty, where mighty mountains give way to scenic valleys and pretty-slate villages. The drama of these landscapes is mirrored in its many myths and legends and made more mystical still by the singing lilt of the Welsh language that echoes in its valleys. Listen for ‘lechyd da’ as you raise a well-earned glass at the end of day.
Cralfwyn Hall offers a stunning and peaceful location on the edge of Beddgerlert village. There are superb walks right on the doorstep, with the local mountains of Snowdon and Moel Hebog within easy reach.
Stay: Crawflwyn Hall, Gwynedd Wales
Day 3: Guided Hikes: Betws y Coed
Meals: B, L, D
Day 4: Guided Hikes: Llanberis and Snowdon
Meals: B, L, D
Day 5: Free Day
Meals: B, L, D
Day 6: Guided Hikes: Coast and Mountains
Meals: B, L, D
Day 7: Guided Hikes: Lakes & Mountains surrounding the Ogwen Valley
Meals: B, L, D
Day 8: Guided Hikes: Ridges around Rhyd Ddu
Meals: B, L, D
Day 9: Transfer South Wales
Admire the finest scenery today as you travel to South Wales; a world of waterfalls, superb mountain walks and gentle riverside strolls. The Brecon Beacons National Park offers contrasting landscapes, from the high moors and glacial lakes of the wild Black Mountains to the rushing streams and tumbling cascades of Fforest Fawr Geopark and the flat-topped hills of the Brecon Beacons.
You will soon reach Nythfa House, a charming Country House located on the edge of the market town of Brecon. Spacious public rooms, attractive gardens and indoor swimming pool make it a popular and relaxing place to stay.
Stay: Nythfa House, Brecan Beacons
Meals: B, D
Day 10: Guided Hikes around Crickhowell
Meals: B, L, D
Day 11: Guided Hikes: Waterfall Country
The waterfalls of the Hepste and Mellte Valleys are truly spectacular – particularly after a period of heavy rain. Your choice of walks visit a series of these mighty cascades, including Sgwd yr Eira where you can walk behind the torrent.
Meals: B, L, D
Day 12: Salisbury Cathedral, Bombay Sapphire Distillery
Travel into southern England today and visit Salisbury Cathedral, one of the leading examples of Early English architecture. The cathedral has the tallest church spire in the United Kingdom. It is also home to the best surviving of the four original copies of Magna Carta.
In the afternoon enjoy a tour an tasting at The Bombay Sapphire distillery. Here you will discover the artistry and heritage behind Bombay Sapphire. The distillery is located at Laverstoke Mill which is within a Conservation Area and Site of Special Scientific Interest in rural Hampshire. The River Test flows through the site creating unique wetland habitat throughout the distillery. The Test is the purest chalk-stream in the UK with many native species inhabiting the river and surrounding wetlands.
Enjoy a farewell dinner with your fellow travellers at your hotel.
Stay: Hilton Gatwick Airport
Meals: B, D
Day 13: Fly home
After an included breakfast at the hotel, make your way across the walkway to check in for your return flight home.
DAY 3: Moel Siabod and Betws-Y-Coed
6½ miles (10.5km) with 900 feet (260m) of ascent
Betws-y-Coed is a honeypot for a good reason, and this hike shows you why. Hiking through Gwydyr Forest to Llyn Parc and Llyn Y Sarnau, we circle back to reach the lovely Swallow Falls, and return by the River Llugwy.
5½ miles (8.5km) with 2,300 feet (700m) of ascent
Starting at Pont Cyfyng, we go direct for the top of Moel Siabod, the favourite Welsh mountain for many people. Its 360º views are unparalleled. We descend to the National Mountain Centre Plas Y Brenin, and finish at the Pinnacle Café in Capel Curig.
8 miles (13km) with 2,650 feet (820m) of ascent
A circular route from Capel Curig, ascending Moel Siabod via Pont Cyfyng, Llyn y Foel and the Daear Ddu ridge, giving us the best views of Moel Siabod, as well as the rewards of seeing Snowdonia laid out for us from the summit. We descend to Plas Y Brenin, and the Pinnacle Café in Capel Curig.
DAY 4: Llanberis and the Surrounding Areas
6 miles (10km) with 950 feet (280m) of ascent
We walk around Llyn Padarn from Llanberis, enjoying the Padarn Country Park, old quarry hospital and slate museum (free entry).You have lots of time to enjoy the wealth of historic and scenic interest.
8 miles (13km) with 2,500 feet (760m) of ascent
Moel Eilio stands proud at the end of one of the massive ridges leading up to Snowdon and gives us an impressive top to reach, with superb views out to sea. We leave Llanberis by road, track and disused quarries, top Moel Eilio and hike the ridge to Bwlch Maesgwm before returning to the start.
9 miles (14.5km) with 3,200 feet (980m) of ascent
We reach the summit of Snowdon from Pen y Pass, then descend the superb and less busy south ridge to join the Watkin Path by its waterfalls, then hike all the way back on “the new path” to Craflywn.
DAY 6: Coast and Mountains
6½ miles (11km) with 450 feet (140m) of ascent
From the picturesque town of Criccieth with its imposing castle we follow the coast to the popular holiday beach of Black Rock Sands and Morfa Bychan before following the Dwyryd estuary to the gorgeous little harbour of Borth y Gest and on to Porthmadog.
9 miles (15km) with 1,300 feet (400m) ascent
From the same starting point as the easier hike at Criccieth, we follow the same route to Morfa Bychan, where we then head inland to the hill of Moel y Gest with a panoramic viewpoint, and remains of an iron age hillfort before dropping down to Porthmadog with all facilities and iconic little railway.
10 miles (16km) with 3,250 feet (980m) of ascent
A circular hike from Craflwyn Hall to the lovely peaks that dominate Beddgelert. First we ascend Moel Hebog, to start a classic horseshoe which finishes on Moel Lefn. We return through Beddgelert forest beside the Welsh Highland Railway.
DAY 7: Lakes and Mountains around the Ogwen Valley
7½ miles (12km) with 1,350 feet (400m) of ascent
Walking from Capel Curig over moorland on a good path we pass through Cwm Glas Crafnant National Nature Reserve containing orchids, to reach Llyn Crafnant, then on to Llyn Geirionydd before proceeding to Trefriw with its woollen mill.
7½ miles (11.5km) with 2,850 feet (880m) of ascent
East of Llyn Ogwen, we ascend Afor Lloer to the ridge of Pen yr Ole Wen, with its short but not too difficult scramble, to reach the summit. We continue over Carnedd Dafydd and the famous Black Ladders to decend by Craig Llugwy to the intake wall, back to Afon Lloer, completing the circle.
7 miles (11km) with 2,900 feet (900m) of ascent
Ogwen Cottage is our start with its new visitor centre. We make our way around Llyn Idwal to ascend the path by the famous Devils Kitchen to Llyn Cwn [Lake of Dogs.] Here we turn North to ascend Y Garn with the best views of two valleys then on to Foel Goch [the Red Hill] to decend and contour back to Llyn Idwal via the Mushroom Garden on a little used path.
DAY 8: Ridges around Rhyd Ddu
7½ miles (12km) with 1,500 feet (460m) of ascent
A linear hike today, starting from Rhyd Ddu ascending on a good quarry track and one of the main pathways up Snowdon. We soon reach Bwlch Cwm Llan before decending to join the Watkin Path to Nantgwynant and a lakeside hike to finish back at Craflwyn.
7½ miles (12.5km) with 3,100 feet (940m) of ascent
Ascend to the summit of Snowdon via the Snowdon Ranger Path. The Snowdon Ranger youth hostel overlooking Llyn Cwellyn is our start, to initially zigzag our way on one of the main paths up Snowdon over the Black Crag or Clogwyn Du’r Arddu to reach the summit of our highest mountain. After exploring the summit complex we descend Bwlch Main [the narrow ridge] and Llechog overlooking the cliffs below us and complete the walk on the Rhyd Ddu path to the village of the same name and the real ale of the Cwellyn Arms!
7 miles (11km) with 3,000 feet (920m) of ascent
The Nantlle Ridge is a must-do for more adventurous walkers: a true British ‘classic’ ridge with some exposure but with rewards to match. From Rhyd Ddu we ascend steeply up to Y Garn, then follow the ridge round to Trum Y Ddysgl; we then take a satisfying spur south down to Bwlch-y-Ddwy-Elor and a forest track back to the start.
DAY 10: Around Crickhowell
6½ miles (10km) with 900 feet (280m) of ascent
We hike from north of Cwmdu to Tretower, with its renowned medieval court and castle. Then we follow a contouring path across farmland leading to the wooded Cwmbeth Brook Valley and Crickhowell.
8½ miles (14km) with 2,050 feet (640m) of ascent
From near Glangrwyney the hike ascends up onto Sugar Loaf, then along the ridge and down into the beautiful Grwyne Fawr valley to Llangenny, and then into Crickhowell.
12½ miles (20.5km) with 2,600 feet (780m) of ascent
From Pengenffordd we pass Castell Dinas, the remains of a 12th century castle, before ascending Y Grib ridge on to the Black Mountains plateau and on to the summit of Waun Fach – our high point of the day. We descend onto Table Mountain to finish in Crickhowell.
DAY 11: Waterfall Country
6½ miles (10.5km) with 800 feet (240m) of ascent
Starting near Ystradfellte we follow parts of the Mellte, Nedd Fechan and Pyrddin rivers with their picturesque waterfalls, finishing along an old industrial tramway to reach Pontneddfechan village.
9 miles (14.5km) with 1,300 feet (400m) of ascent
Entering the Afon Hepste gorge we have an exciting opportunity to hike behind the Sgwd yr Eira waterfall before viewing the cave at Porth yr Ogof. From Nedd Fechan we follow the same route as the easier hike.
14 miles (22.5km) with 2,000 feet (600m) of ascent
This hike contours round towards Fan Frynych, joining the Beacons Way along the stunning ridge of Fan Dringarth and Fan Llia, then down into waterfall country along the Nedd Fechan to Pontneddfechan.