Wales & England’s Cotswolds

Wales & the Cotswolds
June 16 – June 30 2023 (15 Days)

LAND TOUR: $6,650
(Land tour begins in Cardiff Wales, June 16 and will finish at our hotel near Heathrow airport  on June 30th.
SINGLE SUPPLEMENT: $1,750 ( Please note single rooms are limited)
MEALS INCLUDED: 14 Breakfasts, 12 Dinners and 2 lunches.

Limited to 16 travellers + Norman & Julie Bruce

(updated Feb 16  2023)

BC REG: 3379



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DAY 1 - Friday June 16th : Wales

Everyone arrives in Cardiff at different times and makes their way to our group hotel. The rest of the day is free for you to relax and/or explore the Welsh capital.
First of 2 nights in Cardiff.  Hotel Mercure  or similar. No meals.


DAY 2 - Saturday June 17th: Wye Valley + Cardiff City

This morning we enjoy a guided walking tour of Cardiff.  We also visit  the National Museum, where we learn about the importance of Wales’ geology in shaping her history and people.   This afternoon we drive to the southern part of Wales’ border with England to enjoy the Wye Valley Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. We make a stop near the romantic Cistercian ruins of Tintern Abbey

Second of 2 nights in Cardiff.  Hotel Mercure or similar. Breakfast & Dinner.


DAY 3 - Sunday June 18th: Caerphilly Castle + Coal Museum + Milford HAven

Driving north into the South Wales coal mining valleys, we make our way to the town of Blaenavon.  This area  was inscribed as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 2000 in recognition of the  forces that drove the Industrial Revolution. We   visit  the Belaenavon Iron Works  for insight into the social history during the Industrial Revolution which  can be seen in the reconstructed company ‘truck’ shop and  19th century workers’ cottages.  Our exploration continues with a visit to the Blaenavon World Heritage information Center situated in a former church school.

We also visit the Big Pit National Coal Museum. It is only possible to understand the modern history of Wales when we understand the importance of the coal mining industry. It was this industry that transformed Wales from an agricultural country into an industrial one. We learn about the social history of the tight-knit communities that grew up around these mines – generation after generation. In 2023 Big Pit celebrates the 40th anniversary of its transformation from a working coal mine into a museum. As well as learning from the exhibitions, those who wish to may join us for an underground tour of the former mine itself.

First of 2 nights Milford Haven.  Ty Hotel or similar. Breakfast & Dinner.

DAY 4 - Monday June 19th: Pembroke Castle

This morning, we travel  to St. David’s, the smallest “city” in Britain – which earned its metropolitan status only by having a cathedral. Although St. David was never fully canonized by the Catholic Church, he is now the undisputed patron saint of Wales. We visit the cathedral, the Bishop’s Palace, and explore the town before driving to Tenby.   Tenby was once a prosperous fishing port and smuggling haven for brandy from France, now nicknamed the “Welsh Riviera”  It has two beautiful beaches, a small harbour, and narrow winding streets full of little shops inside the best-preserved town walls in South Wales. We enjoy a lunch hosted by Royal Heights.

After Lunch we visit via Pembroke Castle, the impressive fortress and birthplace of Henry VII.

This evening is free for you to choose your own restaurant for dinner (at your own expense.) in Milford Haven
Second of 2 nights in Milford Haven.  Ty Hotel or similar. Breakfast & Lunch.

DAY 5 - Tuesday June 20th: Tenby – Aberystwyth

En-route for the Central Wales coast, we pass Carew Castle and Cross, the oldest Celtic cross in Europe – well preserved with interlacing patterns. We also pass Cilgerran Castle, a 13th-Century ruin with massive drum towers spectacularly perched on a rock above the River Teifi Gorge, which has inspired many artists, including Turner. We continue up the wild west coast of Wales with enormous Cardigan Bay on our left and the daunting Cambrian Mountains on our right. This is the area where the bilingual detective TV series “Hinterland/ Y Gwyll” was filmed. At New Quay we visit the Cardigan Bay Marine Wildlife Centre to learn about the local populations of bottlenose dolphins and other marine life. A little further north we spend time in the seaside resort of Aberaeron, where one in every four houses is a heritage property. Here we visit the fascinating Welsh Craft Centre.

First of 2 nights near  Aberystwyth.  Nanteos Mansion or similar. Breakfast & Dinner.


DAY 6 - Wednesday June 21st: Little Train Ride

From Aberystwyth we catch the Vale of Rheidol Narrow-gauge Railway (one of the “Great Little Trains of Wales”) to Devil’s Bridge (actually 3 bridges, one on top of the other) above lovely waterfalls. We drive via the Central Wales market town of Machynlleth with its large and unusual town clock, a gift to the town by the Marquess of Londonderry in 1873. We return to the coast at the picturesque harbour of Aberdovey, a lovely place to explore – with its tiny alleyways and shops, and miles of golden sands. This is strongly Welsh-speaking area, so the town often appears on maps as “Aberdyfi.” We return to bustling Aberystwyth for a second night.

Second of 2 nights near  Aberystwyth.  Nanteos  Mansion or similar. Breakfast & Dinner.


DAY 7 - Thursday June 22nd: Aberystwyth – Criccieth

We start with a scenic drive via the Tal-y-Llyn Valley for Dolgellau and Cymer Abbey, then along the coast via Barmouth to 13th-Century Harlech Castle, the ruins of which dominate the town from a craggy hilltop. This was the last Welsh royalist stronghold to fall to the parliamentarians in the 17th-Century “English Civil War.” This afternoon we visit Portmeirion, a tiny Italian fantasy village where the TV series “The Prisoner” was filmed, and where you can buy the famous Portmeirion pottery. We visit the charming Victorian seaside resort of Criccieth, with its medieval castle built on a headland. This castle was so thoroughly sacked and burned in 1404 that even today the walls still bear marks of the flames.

First of 4 nights in Caernafon. Celtic Royal Hotel or similar. Breakfast & Dinner.


DAY 8 - Friday June 23rd: Slate Mine Visit + Caernarfon Castle

This morning we have an exciting trip from Porthmadog, a small port station for one of the most scenic short railway journeys in the world – the famous Ffestiniog Railway. This is the oldest of the Welsh narrow-gauge lines, built in the 19th Century to transport slate to the coast. In the slate town of Blaenau Ffestiniog we visit Llechwedd Slate Caverns, winner of all Britain’s top tourism awards and international praise. The spectacular underground lake has even been used as a film set. We return to the coast at Caernarfon and explore Caernarfon Castle, the magnificent Edward I castle dominating the town, with polygonal towers patterned with bands of different coloured stone. Here, in 1301 the first English Prince of Wales was presented to the Welsh people. Prince (now King) Charles continued the tradition in 1969.

Second of 4 nights in Caernafon. Celtic Royal Hotel or similar. Breakfast & Dinner.


DAY 9 - Saturday June 24th: Mount Snowdon + Anglesey

We visit the picturesque village of Beddgelert in the Aberglaslyn Valley for a walk to Llewelyn’s Cottage, where we learn the sad story of “Gelert”. We drive over spectacular Llanberis Pass to the town of Llanberis at the foot of Mount Snowdon.

ONLY if the weather is fine enough, we take the mountain railway up to the top of Mount Snowdon. Alternatively, free time in Llanberis until after lunch, when we leave the mainland to drive over the Menai Straits to the Isle of Anglesey. Although Anglesey is protected from the most dramatic Atlantic gales by Ireland, it is still pretty exposed. According to the weather, we divide our exploration of this rugged island between today and tomorrow. We include a visit to Plas Newydd House, an impressive 18th-Century house built by James Wyatt with magnificent views overlooking the Strait and mountains of Snowdonia. It is the traditional home of the Marquis of Anglesey, housing an exhibition devoted to the paintings of Rex Whistler – including his largest mural. The military museum contains fascinating relics of the 1st Marquis of Anglesey who commanded the cavalry at the Battle of Waterloo in 1815.

Third of 4 nights Caernafon. Celtic Royal Hotel or similar in . Breakfast & Dinner.


DAY 10 - Sunday June 25th: Anglesey + Beaumaris Castle

This morning we tour more of the Isle of Anglesey, which is a stronghold of the Welsh language. We visit the railway station of Llanfairpwllgwyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch, so you can photograph the longest sign in Britain, and stop at the Pringles Craft Centre. We also visit Beaumaris Castle, which, from its position guarding the entrance to the Menai Strait, looks across to the magnificent Snowdonia mountain range. Solid and symmetrical, with arrow slits and a moat, this is the last Welsh medieval castle built by Edward I. Opposite the castle is the 1614 Courthouse, a medieval jail, and a lovely promenade. We enjoy a lunch hosted by Royal Heights. Free time to explore the attractive waterfront and streets of Beaumaris village before we drive back to the west coast of the island. This evening is free for you to choose your own restaurant or pub for dinner (at your own expense.)

Fourth  of 4  nights Caernafon. Celtic Royal Hotel or similar Breakfast & Lunch.

DAY 11 - Monday June 26th: Anglesey – North Wales

A sightseeing drive through Snowdonia en-route to Penrhyn Castle situated between the Menai Strait and Snowdonia. This huge, impressive, neo-Norman fortress was built by architect Thomas Hopper between 1820-1845 as his dream castle. Described as “a lavish residence, massive and stupendous in every way,” it contains interesting “Norman” furniture, panelling and plasterwork, and the best private collection of paintings in North Wales. It also has a surprising railway, a doll museum, and a Victorian walled garden.

We spend the rest of the afternoon at Conwy Castle and town, where we can walk on the walls which are notable for their height and 21 towers. We then have a tour of the small town to make sure you don’t miss the smallest house in Britain.   Then on to the elegant seaside resort of Llandudno, with its fine long beach stretching between two headlands known as “the Great Orme” and “the Little Orme”.

First of 2 nights in Llandudno. Shelbourne Hotel or similar. Breakfast & Dinner.

DAY 12 - Tuesday June 27th: Splendid Gardens

The morning is free for you to explore Llandudno with its varied attractions including many shops, interesting architecture, wide promenade the length of the beach, a pier, and a cable car to the top of the Great Orme. North Wales is the other area of the country (along with Anglesey) where Welsh is most widely spoken. So, you may hear locals speaking to each other in the streets and shops in a “foreign language.”

This afternoon we visit Bodnant Gardens, one of the finest gardens in the world, situated above the River Conway and looking across the valley to Snowdonia. The Upper Garden consists of a terrace and formal gardens with its famous Laburnum Arch. The Lower Garden, “The Dell”, contains the Pinetum and Wild Garden. Special plantings make it spectacular at any time of year. We continue down the Conway Valley to the interesting Welsh-mountain hikers’ centre of Betws-y-Coed. At the end of our day we return to Llandudno.

Second of 2 nights in Llandudno. Shelbourne Hotel or similar. Breakfast & Dinner.

DAY 13 - Wednesday June 28th: Llandudno – The Cotswolds

From North Wales we make our way to the Welsh borderlands via Ruthin and Llangollen to see the amazingly-long Pontcysyllte Aqueduct, high above the valley. Built by Thomas Telford, it is now used as a canal for the long houseboats which you may see crossing up to 126 feet above the valley. We visit Chirk Castle, just on the Welsh side of the border. This is an imposing Marcher fortress, which was started in 1295 and completed in 1310, commanding fine views over the countryside, and inhabited by the Myddleham family until 2004 – when it became a National Trust property. It has elaborate entrance gates, elegantly-decorated state rooms, and a lovely formal garden with an amazing array of fancifully-shaped topiary bushes, herbaceous borders, rock gardens and terraces, surrounded by 18th-Century parkland.

From North Wales we make our way to the area of southwest England known as “The Cotswolds.” On our drive to our overnight stay in Cirencester – the “Capital of the Cotswolds” – we stop in the village of Bidbury to admire Arlington Row, a group of rustic cottages which was originally built as a 14th-Century wool store, before being converted into workers’ lodgings. You may also like to photograph the flower-lined lane alongside.

Overnight in Cirencester. Kings Head Hotel or similar. Breakfast & Dinner.

DAY 14 - Thursday June 29th: The Cotswolds – Heathrow Airport Area

This morning we enjoy the elegance of Georgian Cirencester, built on its prosperous wool trade from Medieval times onwards.

We visit the Corinium Museum to learn about the development of the Cotswolds from its prehistoric landscape to the modern day. This multi-award-winning museum is particularly strong on Roman artefacts , especially mosaics. Corinium Dobunnorum was Roman Britain’s second largest city – after London.

The Cotswolds are known for their idyllic, honey-coloured stone villages and rolling fields – the perfect pre-industrial landscape. Today we visit some of the highlights of this Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (designated so in 1966.) Depending on the weather, we balance our sightseeing between indoor and outdoor sites – those that are famous and those not so well known.

Painswick Rococo Garden, in the west of the Cotswolds, was designed in the 1740s as a pleasure garden for the owner of Painswick House to impress his guests with its spectacular views over the Cotswolds countryside. It is the UK’s only surviving complete rococo garden.

In Burford, in the centre of the Cotswolds, we see the well-preserved 15th-Century almshouses and the splendid 12th-Century church, near the river, which took over three centuries to complete.

With its stone bridges across the River Windrush, overhanging trees, village green and historic stone cottages, it’s no wonder that Bourton-on-the-Water often tops lists of the prettiest villages in all of England. With its many bridges crossing the river, Bourton is nicknamed the “Venice of the Cotswolds.” Bourton was an important strategic point for the Romans as a crossing over the River Windrush and was a staging point on the old Roman road which connected Exeter to Lincoln. Many of Bourton’s stone cottages were built during the 17th and 18th centuries.

The Cotswold Perfumery has been blending fragrances for over 50 years and sells its range of luxurious perfumes from its shop in a listed historic building which is over 300 years old. Perfume-maker John Stephen has created perfumes for clients around the world – including the late Queen Elizabeth the Second.

The twin villages of Lower and Upper Slaughter lie on the shallow River Eye, a few miles north. With its flower-draped cottages, stone footbridges and picturesque water mill, the small village of Lower Slaughter hasn’t changed for more than a century – with no building work allowed to take place at all since 1906. There’s been a mill in Lower Slaughter since the Domesday Book was published in 1086.

The River Eye – also known as Slaughter Brook – runs though the village of Upper Slaughter. Cars have to use a ford to reach the other side of the village, driving right through the water!

“Hilltop” Stow-on-the-Wold lies in the north of the region, surrounded by pretty villages and rolling countryside. This historic wool town is known for its market square, its antique shops and its great selection of traditional pubs and inns. Stow is the highest town in the Cotswolds – at just 800 feet above sea level! Its location at the junction of six Roman roads, including the Fosse Way from Exeter to Lincoln, meant it became an important trading centre. In 1476, Edward IV awarded a charter to Stow to hold two annual fairs. These grew into major events for the wool trade and, with them, Stow’s importance grew. The historic heart of the town is its impressive Market Square, which has hosted regular markets since 110 – with over 20,000 sheep changing hands here in its wool-trade heyday.

This afternoon we drive from The Cotswolds to our hotel at Heathrow Airport.

Overnight near Heathrow Airport.  Holiday Inn Express Terminal 4 or similar. Breakfast & Dinner.


DAY 15 - Friday June 30th: Heathrow – Home

Today you can walk from our hotel into Heathrow Terminal 4, from where you can take the light rail service to the other Heathrow terminals or take the subway or train into central London.

Breakfast, if not leaving too early.


More Information


  • Canadian passport holders do NOT require  a VISA to enter the UK.  Your passport must be valid for at least the expected duration of your stay in the United Kingdom. expire prior to your departure from
  • Lunches ( except on June 19 & June 25)
  • Trip Cancellation / Interruption and Medical Insurance.  Trip insurance is HIGHLY recommended.  Please let us know if you  would like us to put you in touch with our insurance expert for a quote.
  • Single Supplement charge, if requested ($1,650 Canadian)
  • Airfare
  • Personal Expenses such as souvenirs, laundry, drinks not included at meals.
  • Arrival & Departure transfers. We can arrange individual or group transfers when you have confirmed the arrival & departure times of your flights. Please contact us for a quote.
  • Porterage: We do NOT include porterage. Porters SHOULD be available to help you with your suitcase and you should be prepared to tip them if you use their services. Please only bring one piece of luggage per person and make sure your luggage has wheels so you can move your own luggage when necessary.


Our published price is based on 2 people sharing a room. If you would like to share, we will do our best to find you a roommate. The EARLIER you pay your deposit, the more likely we are to be able to find you a roommate. If you wish to be guaranteed a single room, there is a Single Supplement charge $1,650. Those people traveling alone but wishing to share will be informed 3 months prior to departure if a roommate is not currently available. At that point, you will be invoiced for the Single Supplement. If a roommate subsequently joins the tour, your single supplement will be refunded with the final documentation.


Land portion of the tour must be booked directly with Royal Heights Tours. You can secure your place on the tour with a $400 per person non-refundable deposit when you  complete the online tour booking form. Your invoice for your 2023 Land tour will be e-mailed to you in mid March 2023. Payment will be due by April 16th 2023. Price quoted is for FINAL PAYMENT by cheque. Should you wish to pay the outstanding amount for the LAND tour by credit card there will be an administration fee of 1.5% on the outstanding amount.


Please note the Land tour begins in Cardiff Wales on June 16 and will finish at our hotel near Heathrow airport  on June 30th.


This tour is NOT suitable if you need walking assistance in the form of walking sticks or canes. You must be in reasonably good shape to enjoy this tour – there is a lot of walking and exploring through the back streets of old historic towns, walking over cobbled streets and uneven surfaces where our bus cannot travel. Please ensure you wear comfortable walking shoes as some of our walking tours can take up to 3-4 hours.




No one expects to have a medical emergency away from home or to have to cancel or cut short a trip due to an accident. However, these unexpected events happen and they can be disruptive and expensive – so it’s critical to have travel insurance which protects you against being forced to cancel prior to or during travel due to unforeseen circumstances. We strongly recommend comprehensive insurance coverage that includes emergency medical, trip cancellation and interruption, accident, and baggage insurance.

Travel Insurance should be purchased at time of paying your Non- Refundable $400 Tour Deposit/person.


14 Breakfasts, 12 Dinners and 2 lunches.


6 Places Available

Deposit : $400.00 Per item

Wales & England’s Cotswolds

Wales & the Cotswolds
June 16 – June 30 2023 (15 Days)

LAND TOUR: $6,650
(Land tour begins in Cardiff Wales, June 16 and will finish at our hotel near Heathrow airport  on June 30th.
SINGLE SUPPLEMENT: $1,750 ( Please note single rooms are limited)
MEALS INCLUDED: 14 Breakfasts, 12 Dinners and 2 lunches.

Limited to 16 travellers + Norman & Julie Bruce

(updated Feb 16  2023)

BC REG: 3379




6 Places Available

Deposit : $400.00 Per item


(We liked) Our wonderful driver/guide David. We loved the variety of areas covered and the variety of animals we saw. The accommodations and pacing of the tour were excellent.

N.B. – Victoria, BC to Kenya, August 31, 2017