This 2 week route takes you on a journey around Wales starting in the south and heading north, although the journey can be done in either direction. Along the way you will have the option to do some great hikes in Wales’ National Parks, stroll on long sandy beaches, experience good and empty roads, gobble welsh cakes, feel the Welsh rain on your skin and when the sun does shine you’ll really appreciate it. Croeso (welcome!). Best if you have your own vehicle. For international visitors a car should be hired either from Heathrow, Cardiff or Manchester airport.
Just 3 miles from the centre of pretty Crickhowell, Gliffaes is an off the beaten track country house and fishing hotel, surrounded by the rolling hills of the Black Mountains and set in 33 acres of stunning grounds and mature woodlands.It boasts its own stretch of the River Usk and a 19th century arboretum. Built in 1885 the 23-bedroomed hotel has been in the hands of two families for over 70 years and is the only four star hotel in the Brecon Beacons area.
A pretty drive today which takes you through the Brecon Beacons (down the windy scenic road made famous by Top Gear’s Jeremy Clarkson (a.k.a the B4069!). Continue through Carmarthenshire and on to Pembrokeshire. Do a pit stop in Ammanford to try some rather special coffee at The Roastery.
For the next two nights you will be staying in probably Pembrokeshire’s loveliest bolthole. It's set above the sea, amid tumbling gardens, and is just a 30 minute-walk from Tenby and within 10 minutes of some lovely beaches.
Day at leisure. We highly recommend driving the short distance (30 mins) over to the National Trust’s Stackpole estate today. Discover Stackpole’s beautiful stretch of coastline with award-winning sandy beaches, tranquil wooded valleys, wildlife-rich lily ponds, walking trails and water-sports (including Stand Uppaddle-boarding, kayaking, coasteering), there’s lots to see and do.
Stackpole is both a listed designed landscape and an internationally important nature reserve. Footpaths radiate from the site of Stackpole Court, a grand mansion demolished before the National Trustowned this area. Exotic plantings in Lodge Park give way to mixed woodland further upstream.
The famous Bosherston Lakes were created 200 years ago to provide a backdrop to Stackpole Court. They have evolved into a wildlife habitat famous for its otters, water birds and dragonflies.
Cliffs, sand dunes and tiny coves alternate along eight miles of coastline. Barafundle is a jewel of a beach set between limestone cliffs and backed by dunes and woods. This secluded bay can only be reached by a cliff path walk from Stackpole Quay, with steep steps at either end. Stackpole Quay itself is a tiny harbour used by local fishermen and small pleasure boats.
Broadhaven South, at the foot of the Bosherston Lakes, is another safe family bathing beach while Freshwater West, a few miles West of the main estate, is Wales's premier surfing beach.
Today you will be driving further into Pembrokeshire. We suggest you visit Marloes Sands for a blustery walk/picnic on the beach – be sure to check the tides before doing so though – low tide is epic here.
Continue on to your accommodation for tonight is in St David’s which is the smallest city in Britain. The Twry Felin hotel is Wales’ first five star hotel and Wales’ first contemporary art hotel. The Blas restaurant, meaning ‘taste’ in Welsh offers a great menu always influenced by the season and locality with dishes designed to reflect Wales and its produce.
St Davids Cathedral is built from a local stone with a beautiful pink and grey colouring. It occupies the valley floor below the village. As you approach from The Square, you can’t seethe Cathedral until you get fairly close. When you pass through The Gatehouse, it’s magnificently revealed in front of you.
St Davids Peninsula has some of the most impressive coastal scenery in Pembrokeshire. This is the heart of the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park & The Coast Path walking is delightful. You could easily extend your stay here and do some great coastal walking and hopefully see some cool wildlife (common and bottlenose dolphins, puffins, Manx Shearwaters, Atlantic grey seals, gannets and loads of other migrant birds).
DAY 6 & 7
The biggest drive yet as you hug the coastline and go northwards to Southern Snowdonia. We recommend you break the drive in pretty Aberaeron and enjoy lunch at The Harbourmaster restaurant.
Ffynnon is the perfect place to stay in Southern Snowdonia. Formerly a Victorian rectory and the town's first cottage hospital, this pretty town house has been stylishly renovated to offer 6 lovely bedrooms with 21st century facilities. With a guest lounge, contemporary restaurant, library and peaceful gardens it is always possible to find a quiet corner in which to enjoy the magnificent views, relax and unwind.
Here you can Climb Cadair Idris!
At 893 m (2,930 ft), Cader (or Cadair) Idris is the highest mountain in southern Snowdonia. It’s a popular peak to conquer. There are three recommended routes, but it is not an easy walk by any means, whichever route you take. They are all designated hard/strenuous, and you should allow between five to six hours to get there and back. You’ll need to take plenty of food and drink as unlike on Snowdon, there isn’t a café (or loo!) on the summit.
DAY 8 & 9
For the next two nights you will be staying at this lovely boutique hotel set in a beautiful Georgian manor house standing in its own secluded grounds (under a mile from the beach!) on the wild Llŷn Peninsula,near Abersoch in north west Wales. The 10 bedrooms are all individually designed and overlook the gardens. The established fine dining restaurant at Plas Bodegroes has earned itself an excellent reputation. The great majority of the produce used comes from Wales, including Welsh Black beef, mountain and salt marsh lamb, free range pork and chicken from local farms. They serve primeWelsh cheeses, and vegetables, herbs and fruit from their kitchen gardens.
The Llŷn Peninsula is one of Britain's first designated Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty. With mile upon mile of open sandy beach, glorious gulf stream light, tranquil seclusion and the Wales coastal path edging the whole peninsula, this is a wonderful, unspoilt region.
Here you can visit any of the following beaches at low tide for wonderful sands: Llanbedrog, Porth Ceiriad beach or Hell’sMouth, other places of interest include the National Trust’s Plas y Rhiw or Portmeirion. Portmeirion was created by Welsh architect Clough Williams-Ellis from1925 to 1976 to show how a naturally beautiful site could be developed without spoiling it. Portmeirion village and gardens is one of Wales' premier visitor attractions and well worth a stop en route to Abersoch.
We also recommend walking to your lunch across two sandy beaches at the unusually located Ty Coch Inn nestled in the beautiful fishing village of Porthdinllaen. We reckon it is a strong contender for best pub in Wales! See overhead pic. The Inn is one of the buildings on the long sandy beach and afterwards you can enjoy the walk around the headland before returning to the car park.
Cross the Menai Straits via the Menai Bridge, perhaps stopping before hand at the impressive Caernarfon Castle on the way.
Beaumaris, your base for the next 2 nights isa captivating seaside town, with its mix of medieval, Georgian, Victorian and Edwardian architecture. Its name is based on the Norman ‘beau marais’, meaning ‘fair marsh’, a description of the site chosen by Edward 1 for the last of his ‘Iron ring’ of castles, constructed in his bid to control the Welsh. Beaumaris castle is a United Nations World Heritage site and was constructed between 1295-1330 to form perfectly symmetrical concentric lines offortification. There's also a moat and a dock for access by supply ships.
Enjoy a walk through the town, starting with a stroll along the seafront, taking in the pier and the views over the Menai Strait and Snowdonia then continuing through the charming streets with their picturesque cottages, many painted in soft pastel colours.
The Bull Inn is centrally located in the town and having been extensively renovated in the last few years is now an even better base for exploring Anglesey.
Visit Newborough National Nature Reserve & Forest (& Beach!) & LlanddwynIsland – not-really-an-island-more-of-a-peninsula
Newborough Forest is a forest to the west of Newborough, Anglesey, North Wales. It is one of the most important red squirrel conservation sites in theUK.
Starting from the car park – you can either walk out along the impressive sandy beach or through Newborough Forest, one of the largest publicly accessible forests in Wales. It was originally planted to stabilise the shifting sand dunes, but has actually become an important habitat for red squirrels and large numbers of roosting ravens.
You’ll emerge from the forest close to Llanddwyn Island, a narrow finger of land pointing out into the sea (despite the name, this ‘island’ remains accessible at all but the highest of tides). It’s home to the remains of St Dwynwen’s Church, named for theCeltic princess known as the Welsh patron saint of lovers.
Close to the church is a holy well, populatedby eels said to be able to predict your romantic future. If they’re jumping when you visit, you’re sure to be lucky in love.
You can also see reminders of Anglesey’s maritime history on Llanddwyn. Two 19th-century lighthouses, Twr Mawr and Twr Bach, still stand at the island’s tip, alongside two restored pilot’s cottages. The men who lived here would row out to help ships negotiate the treacherous sandbars between Caernarfon and Abermenai point, as well as manning the local lifeboat.
Enjoy the scenic drive (hopefully, if the cloud isn’t down!) via the Llanberis Pass. Recommend Pete’s Eats in town for lunch and to experience a bit of mountaineering camaraderie (especially if the weather is bad; if weather is good expect it to be emptier ;-).
The Bryn Tyrch Inn is a friendly, country-chic, road-side inn where you feel instantly at home. From a stack of giant books to mismatched old furniture, everything is characterful and cosy. The food is upmarket pub grub and there are Snowdon views from the riverside beer garden.
The "Bryn" combines the best traditional mountain hospitality with good quality hotel accommodation and is the perfect base for exploring and climbing in the beautiful mountains of Snowdonia. There are 12 ensuite rooms.
Climb Mount Snowdon if fine weather allows! There’s always a train if not….
Snowdon (Yr Wyddfa in Welsh) is the highest mountain in Wales and England. It's one of our most famous and recognisable landmarks and is well worth a visit. Standing tall over the village of Llanberis, Snowdon is a part of a close-knit family of jagged peaks and can offer views of Snowdonia, Anglesey, Pembrokeshire and Ireland. Choose from six different paths to bag this 1,085 metre (3,560 feet) giant which are the Llanberis Path, Pyg Track, Miners’Track, Watkin Path, Rhyd-Ddu Path or the Snowdon Ranger Path.
Leave for home with aching limbs from some good climbs and hopefully the desire to return to Wales for lots more adventures. Make a pit-stop in Betws-y-Coed for some fresh welsh cakes for the journey home!
Over the years we have researched and refined the list of vehicle equipment that we provide. The equipment is identical in every vehicle but we always ensure you have the essentials for each country and its respective driving conditions.
We have access to a range of vehicles for this itinerary. Should you wish to use another vehicle, just let us know and we will include it it your itinerary.
All our itineraries are tailor made, but here are some of our favourite routes and camp combinations.