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Driving trip around Wales 10-14 days

brisbane
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Driving trip around Wales 10-14 days

2 Aussies, early 60's, reasonable fit, like nature,scenery, art, churches, history, and small villages, and pubs. Not really interested in night life, more seeing the beautiful countryside and historic sights. We are planning a driving holiday ( rental car ) want to see both north and south and the coast.

Basic plan so far, train from London to Cardiff, possible stay 3 days, drive up to Brecon Beacons,

thought we would stay in Crickhowel for 2/3 days and explore. Then drive up north, heading for Llandudno. Can you advise somewhere interesting to stay mid journey on this stretch, for possible 2 days, Or would we be better not going so far and staying in Porthmadog. We do want to do one railway trip in Snowdonia and explore this area.

Then back down the coast to St Davids, also wanting somewhere to stay mid way on this trip.

Possible stay in Tenby or any other suggestions and then back to Cardiff, drop off car and return to London by train.

Looking for interesting places to stay/see or can anyone suggest an alternate route so we don't miss the best of Wales.

UK
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1. Re: Driving trip around Wales 10-14 days

After Crickhowell you could head for Hereford and pick up the A49 , (you will be in England ) and then the A5 to bring you to North Wales.a very scenic route through some nice villages

The A5 is a historic coach road linking London and Holyhead for Ireland

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A5_road_(Great_Britain)

The you have few options as you reach North Wales

You can then take the A470 to Llandudno

Or continue into Snowdonia , perhaps go via Llanberis to Caernarfon and hit the coast there .

Some good drives and scenery in Snowdonia.

On your return trip Barmouth would make a good stopping off point

If you like quiet places then have a look at the Llyn Penisula

Aberdaron for example.

Abersoch is nice but gets very crowded

http://www.llyn.info/

Edited: 05 January 2014, 07:33
UK
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2. Re: Driving trip around Wales 10-14 days

You could drive from Crickhowell to North Wales in a day but if you wanted to stay halfway then Shrewsbury might suit you.

The other route would be to go up the middle of Wales

Halfway would be around

http://www.llandrindod-wells.com/

Some interesting churches in North Wales.

http://www.greatorme.org.uk/llandrillo.html

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Betws_yn_Rhos

And thre is a small cathedral in St Asaph

Suffolk, United...
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3. Re: Driving trip around Wales 10-14 days

Hi and welcome,

My preferred route to see really scenic countryside from Crickhowell would be:- B4558 (which criss-crosses the Brecon Canal) to Brecon, B4520 and then B4519 North to Garth, A483 West for a couple of miles Beulah, a minor road to Tregaron (a lovely little town with a really old pub/hotel - Y Talbot). A diversion here to Lampeter (South on either A485 or B4343) is worth it and possibly to a National Trust property - Dolaucothi Gold Mine.

From Tregaron North on the B4343 to Pontrhydfendigaid (which is barely as big as its name!) and visit Strata Florida Abbey. Continue on B4343 to Devil's Bridge (tourist attraction). From here you could drop down to Aberystwyth and follow the coast northwards or take A4120 and A44 to Llanidioes followed by B4518 to Tafolwern then A470 to Dolgellau. From here there are several routes in and around Snowdonia but my knowledge of this part is rather limited.

Incidentally on the road from Beulah to Tregaron, after Abergwesyn is a turn of to Llyn Brianne. After about two miles is a turn off to the right to Soar y Mynydd a delightful little church in the middle of nowhere that is always open.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Soar_y_mynydd

The National Trust and some other similar charities have reciprocal arrangements with like organisations in Australia so if you belong bring your membership cards!

www.nationaltrust.org.uk

http://cadw.wales.gov.uk/?lang=en

Hope this helps, enjoy your holiday

Bob

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4. Re: Driving trip around Wales 10-14 days

I would stay away from the A49 and use travelbob31 route.

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5. Re: Driving trip around Wales 10-14 days

Hi enneirdaBrisbane,

Well this sounds lovely and nice to see that even at the 'basic planning' stage you've got a realistic timeframe in mind.

Already some good ideas for routes above. You haven't mentioned what time of year you will be traveling at or your budget for accommodation, which may help to give some more specific ideas.

In the South Wales area, you should look into visiting the National History Museum at St Fagans, on the edge of Cardiff, which is an absolute treasure. Also the Big Pit National Coal Museum at Blaenavon where you can go on an underground tour.

Crickhowell is a lovely place to stay. I stayed at a B&B there a couple of years ago which I would highly recommend. It only has a small number of rooms, but the owners are amazing.

tripadvisor.co.uk/Hotel_Review-g316019-d1400…

Lets us know how your planning progresses and any more specific questions!

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6. Re: Driving trip around Wales 10-14 days

While in the SE corner try to ensure you have some time to enjoy the lovely Wye Valley (between Chepstow and Monmouth) and the scenic ruins of Tintern Abbey.

brisbane
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7. Re: Driving trip around Wales 10-14 days

To C0rnc0b and all others who replied. Many thanks. Will study all your advice and do some more research.

You all have given me ideas to think about. Very much appreciated ... Enneirda

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8. Re: Driving trip around Wales 10-14 days

Heard good things about Plas Coch B&b near Snowdonia tripadvisor.co.uk/Tourism-g186448-Llanberis_… from there to St David's is about a 4 to 5 hour drive. Some lovely spots along the way down, including Ynys hir the wildlife park and the Eco centre near Machynlleth . You can break up the journey at. Cardigan tripadvisor.co.uk/Tourism-g316011-Cardigan_C… and St Dogmaels tripadvisor.co.uk/Tourism-g1474567-St_Dogmae… which gives you the options of walking both the Pembrokeshire and Ceredigion Coast paths http://www.walkstdogmaels.co.uk , dolphin boat trips in Cardigan Bay and Cardigan Castle (opening 2014) , st Dogmaels ruined Abbey and Medieval Watermill and Cilgerran Castle all within a 10 minute drive or 40 minute walk. From there it's a 50 minute drive to St David's. A great little detour is to go into the Preselis where the stone for Stonehenge comes from and walk there, plus Strumblehead is a stunning visit. St David's is amazing, lovely gallery at Oriel y Parc and the Cathedral is beautiful. Tenby gets more busy in the summer but is beautiful and lovely small museum. Worth also considering visiting Bosherton lakes in South Pembrokeshire nationaltrust.org.uk/stackpole/… and the Botanic Gardens of Wales in Camarthenshire. To be honest there is so much throughout Wales you can pull off a Coast road and find yourself on a beautiful sandy beach that isn't in a guide book. In Cardiff make sure you go round the museum, one of the best Impressionist collections outside of London and Paris. Hope that helps?

brisbane
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9. Re: Driving trip around Wales 10-14 days

Hi, C0rnc0b

Outline to our trip progressing, the more I research I do, the more days I add to our trip. We are planning of being there in late June/early July. Budget wise we look for B&Bs around 70 -90 pounds but happy to pay a little more for something very nice or different.

I looked at your recommended B&B in Crickhowell. Will stay there if rooms available.

Also have taken Blorengia's advice and decided to detour to Tintern abbey and stay one night there on the way to Brecon Beacons.. So, at the moment, it's Cardiff,4 nights Tintern 1 night,Crickhowell, 3 nights, a village outside Welshpool..Berriew, 1 night, Lion Hotel looks nice. On to Llanberis, 4 nights, do the Snowdonia railway, Slate Museum,Dolbadarn Castle and a day trip up to Llandudno, back down to Aberystwyth, stay somewhere east of here, 2 nights, want to see devil bridge falls and the Bwich Nant yr Arian Forest and the red kites.Back down the coast to St Davids 2 nights and on to Tenby 2 nights. Any advice on a nice way back to Cardiff.

Your thoughts and suggestions please

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10. Re: Driving trip around Wales 10-14 days

Wading in on behalf of North Wales, since, as you specify historic sites, you should really see either caernarfon or conwy. Since you want specific b and b recommendations, i have stayed very successfully at Caer Blaidd at ffestiniog twice, but about ten years ago. I stayed at the red lion near welshpool more recently, which you have found, and it was good, room a bit small, but i would recommend it. Powys Castle is terrific. Have not stayed there, but Gwydir castle does B&B, and it is a fabulous place.

Strongly suggest, given your stated interests, that you get Simon Jenkins book on castles, churches and houses in Wales. It covers the whole of Wales. It will be your bible. The best churches in the north are tiny medieval buildings hidden in the hills, and you will have a lot of fun (with the essential OS Explorer maps two and a half inches to the mile) finding them, deserted, ancient and beautiful.