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South Wales by Steam

3.8 stars(75 reviews)

Discover the very best of South Wales

6 days From £379 per person
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Save up to £100pp on selected UK and European 2023 holidays when you book before 31st of March 2023.

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2023 Tour code: 23WSS

About the tour

Discover nostalgic steam trains, rugged landscapes, tiny cities and stunning ancient castles on a scenic rail holiday that unveils the very best of South Wales, a place of unspoilt rural beauty.


What’s included


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.

  • Dinner
Day 2 - Brecon Mountain Railway

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 Taf Fechan Reservoir. Climb to the summit of the original line, Torpantau, high in the Brecon Beacons, admiring the wild surrounding vistas from the observation carriages before your return journey. Stop off enroute at Pontsticill. With free time here, you could take a scenic walk along the waterfront or visit the Lakeside Café. Continue by coach to Caerphilly Castle, a striking medieval fortress. The 13th-century ruins are best-known for the 'Leaning Tower', a tower 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.

  • Breakfast, Dinner
Day 3 - Swansea

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

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

Travel to Abergwili Junction for a 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 Gwili Falls. You're treated to a 'Welsh Elevenses', enjoying tea or coffee accompanied by traditional Welsh cakes. Next, transfer by coach to the Gower Peninsula. This beautiful promontory juts into the Bristol Channel, creating a stretch of rugged cliffs, topped by woodlands and fringed by sandy beaches. The area was designated an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty in 1956 - the first place in the UK to receive the title. You visit The Mumbles, a pretty little seaside town with a delightful name and a medieval hilltop castle. The Mumbles epitomises Welsh seaside charm; with some free time here, maybe visit the historic lighthouse, built in 1794, or 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 Welsh-Italian ice cream parlours.

  • Breakfast, Dinner
Day 5 - St Davids & Tenby

This morning takes you to the tiny city of St David's. Named after the patron saint of Wales, this is Britain's smallest city and has been a place of pilgrimage for centuries. You visit the city's iconic 12th-century cathedral, built from pale purple sandstone and set in a wild and beautiful part of St David's - the site of a church since the 6th century. This afternoon, you have time to 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. You might like to sample some delicious local fish and chips, the perfect accompaniment to a day spent exploring the magnificent Welsh coast.

  • Breakfast, Dinner
Day 6 - Home

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

  • 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.

Mobility information

Due to the nature of our tours they are generally unsuitable for those with restricted mobility. If you’d like to discuss any particular holiday with us in this respect, then please don’t hesitate to call us.


Grand Hotel, Swansea

Grand Hotel, Swansea

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Brecon Mountain Railway
Gwili Steam Railway

Enhance your holiday


UK rail connections


3.8 stars3.8 / 5 · 75 reviews

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

J Jeffreys

5 stars

Submitted 30 Sep 2022

It was a very good holiday with we both enjoyed very much. Your Tour Manager, Jon Williams, was excellent: extremely informative, helpful and knowledgeable. St. Fagan's Castle and Folk Museum was an excellent substitute for Caerphilly Castle with much more to offer. The two train journeys were excellent especially the Gwilly. St. David's would have been good to see again but, on relection, we think it would have been too far. The substitute of Laugharne was an excellent choice and should, we think, be a permanent item in the schedule but with longer time allowed. Thanks for "delivering the goods" - once again!

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R Faux

3 stars

Submitted 30 Sep 2022

We had a good guide but found the bus tours too long.

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5 stars

Submitted 29 Sep 2022

Interesting, well put together holiday. Good tour manager, who handled itinery changes well. Hotel very convenient for station/Swansea centre. Would suggest in future that Laugharne be substituted for St. David's, as we did. Less time on the coach, and an interesting substitution. Enjoyed the week very much.

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S Marshall

4 stars

Submitted 25 Sep 2022

hotel very good ; excursions badly planned. For me a less enjoyable experience than the many other Rail Discovery trips I have been on in recent years- but perhaps that is due to old age?!

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Joy Bradley

4 stars

Submitted 24 Sep 2022

Very good holiday but a pity that 2 days itinery had to be changed.

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3 stars

Submitted 24 Sep 2022

Excellent food in hotel,but some dubious housekeeping. Tour not very inspiring.

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South Wales by Steam

Discover the very best of South Wales


Lynne Broadley
Ashleigh Howe
Simon Laverack
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