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South Wales by Steam

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3.2 stars(12 reviews)
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Discover the very best of South Wales

You are viewing the 2022 itinerary. Select your departure year
20212022
6 days From £499 per person

2022 Tour code: 22WSS

About the tour

Discover nostalgic steam trains, rugged National Parks, and ancient castles on a scenic holiday that unveils the very best of South Wales, a place of spectacular rural beauty.

Highlights

What’s included

Itinerary

Day 1 - Swansea

Meet at your hotel in Swansea, where you spend five nights. Set amidst the rolling hills and golden sands of Swansea Bay, the city is an ideal base for exploring South Wales.

Includes
  • Dinner
Day 2 - Brecon Mountain Railway

Today, journey on the Brecon Mountain Railway from Pant. This heritage railway takes you through dramatic landscapes, its vintage steam locomotive winding through leafy countryside and alongside the mirror-like waters of the Taf Fechan Reservoir. Climb to the summit of the original line, Torpantau, nestled high in the Brecon Beacons, admiring the wild surrounding vistas from the observation carriages before your return journey. Stop off en route at Pontsticill. With a little free time here, you could visit the Lakeside Café or take a scenic walk along the waterfront. Continue by coach to Caerphilly Castle, a striking medieval fortress and Britain's second-largest castle after Windsor. Sprawling across 30 acres and surrounded by an artificial lake, the 13th-century ruins are perhaps best known for the 'Leaning Tower', a tower to the South East of the castle that leans out over the lake at a jaunty 10-degree angle, beating even the Leaning Tower of Pisa. You have time to explore the castle and grab lunch in Caerphilly before returning to the hotel.

Includes
  • Breakfast, Dinner
Day 3 - Swansea

Enjoy a free day in Swansea. Perhaps gain an insight into the city's rich cultural history with a visit to the fascinating Swansea Museum, or step back in time at 1940s Swansea Bay, a museum that details what life was like here during the Second World War. You could visit a local café to sample traditional Welsh fare for lunch. The country is known for its Welsh rarebit, toast topped with a cheese sauce, often with ale and Worcestershire sauce, and laverbread, a puréed edible seaweed that's locally known as 'Welshman's caviar'.

Includes
  • Breakfast, Dinner
Day 4 - Gwili Steam Railway & The Mumbles

Travel to Abergwili Junction for a nostalgic journey on the Gwili Steam Railway. This preserved heritage line harks back to a time when life moved at a slower pace, taking you on a round trip alongside the River Gwili, past rocky outcrops and the cascading waters of Gwili Falls. As you soak up the scenery, you're treated to a 'Welsh Elevenses' service, enjoying tea or coffee accompanied by delicious traditional Welsh cakes. Next, transfer by coach to the breathtaking Gower Peninsula. This beautiful promontory juts into the Bristol Channel, creating a seemingly endless stretch of rugged cliffs, topped by dense woodlands and fringed by sandy beaches. Such is its scenic allure, the area was designated an Area of Outstanding Beauty in 1956 - the first place in the UK to receive the title. You visit the delightfully named The Mumbles, a pretty little seaside town crowned by a medieval hilltop castle. The Mumbles epitomises Welsh seaside charm; with some free time here, maybe visit the historic lighthouse, which was built in 1794, or take a stroll along the Victorian Pier. For lunch, you could indulge in some 'fresh off the boat' seafood, followed by an ice cream from one of the famous Welsh-Italian ice cream parlours.

Includes
  • Breakfast, Dinner
Day 5 - Pembrokeshire Coast National Park

You're immersed in more of South Wales' stunning scenery today as you embark on a full-day coach excursion around Pembrokeshire Coast National Park. Designated a National Park in 1952 due to its splendid coastline, this area is highly regarded as one of the most beautiful in the UK. Stop at historic Fishguard, a typical fishing village split into two parts, Fishguard and Lower Fishguard, connected by a winding hill. Next, you visit Milford Haven, a vibrant town situated by one of the world's deepest natural harbours. Finally, explore the charismatic seaside town of Tenby. Surrounded by 13th-century walls and known for its sandy shores, pastel-hued houses, and winding cobbled streets, the town is steeped in history. Lunch today is delicious local fish and chips, the perfect accompaniment to a day spent exploring the magnificent Welsh coast.

Includes
  • Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 6 - Home

After breakfast, you're free to make your way home.

Includes
  • Breakfast

Additional information

Departure times

On many of our UK & Ireland tours, you may check in at the first hotel on your itinerary anytime after 14:00; your Tour Manager will be available between 16:00 and 18:00. However, if you are arriving later, you can meet your Tour Manager before dinner from 19:00.

Hotel

Grand Hotel, Swansea

Grand Hotel, Swansea

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Trains

Brecon Mountain Railway
Gwili Steam Railway

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Upgrades

UK rail connections

Reviews

3.2 stars3.2 / 5 · 12 reviews

  1. 5 stars
    (1)
  2. 4 stars
    (4)
  3. 3 stars
    (4)
  4. 2 stars
    (2)
  5. 1 star
    (1)

KH

3 stars

Submitted 3/Jul

Tour manager excellent. Staff, service and food at hotel excellent. Coach drivers excellent. Steam train journeys disappointing. Drop off point in the mumbles too far out and insufficient time to enjoy the resort. Do not understand why there was a 10 minute stay in Milford Haven. Fish & chips cold at hotel in Tenby, hotel staff knew they were serving cold food, no offer to replace with hot food. Tour manager made the overall trip enjoyable.

Collected by Trustpilot

Elizabeth Northern

3 stars

Submitted 29/Jun

We enjoy having a schedule and a tour guide. The hotels are always good too. This time the Friday was a failure. we oldies don't want to be in a coach for more than an hour after breakfast without a stop. When we arrived at our destination, it was toilet and back on the coach!!! None of us could go down a steep hill to fishguard harbour -it was too far and we couldn't be sure of the way -there was certainly no time to go the wrong way. It spoilt the day. We then arrived late for our fish and chips -they were rubbish.

Collected by Trustpilot

Mark Wakem

4 stars

Submitted 28/Jun

An interesting holiday with lots to see, and the tour company and particularly Christine our tour manager did a wonderful job of making it go smoothly despite circumstances necessitating changes here and there. The hotel base was well located, excellent food and very helpful staff (our room could have been bigger and nowhere to unpack to, but others didn't have that problem). A programme of varied excursions (perhaps "with" steam a better title than "by" steam - but sufficient for us!), and the free day varied the pace for us. A well-rounded holiday with, we are sure, something for everybody. Thank you.

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A Watts

3 stars

Submitted 28/Jun

1...Tour success limited a bit by covid restrictions (June 2021) but much better than no holiday at all. 2...Hotel good (though in noisy location) - food and waitress service excellent. 3...Too much time spent on coaches (especially on the Fishguard / Tenby excursion) - better organisation could have increased time available at Fishguard. 4...For future tours we recommend visiting Rhosili bay (if coaches are allowed?) - beautiful scenery across the moors and not so far as Fishguard. 4...Tour manager - okay, but too covid cautious (public speakers do not have to wear a mask when actually speaking). Too much time wasted waiting to board coaches at the hotel.

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Lynne Oakley

4 stars

Submitted 28/Jun

Hotel accommodation was good, food was very good. Only two very short train journeys. Friday a wasted day. Long coach journey to Fishguard supposedly to view a tapestry which was not open to see. Only 20mins in Fishguard then another coach journey to Tenby with no stop in Milford Haven as stated in details (which looked far more interesting than Fishguard) fish and chip lunch which was burnt fish, cold chips and grumpy staff. The hotel this was served up in was not suitable for people with limited mobility. It was a cold day and there was nowhere in Tenby other than coffee shops to get out of the cold and rain.

Collected by Trustpilot

Bill Pilkington

3 stars

Submitted 28/Jun

Good hotel close to the station. Too many long coach journeys. Only 30 minutes in Fishguard after a two hour coach journey. No time to see anything.

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Europe & UK Escorted Holiday by Rail 2021

Europe & UK Escorted Holiday by Rail 2021

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South Wales by Steam

Discover the very best of South Wales

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