Prepare for an incredible week in North Wales, mountain railway, World Heritage castles and natural wonders!Itinerary
|Date||Length of stay||Group size (min-max)|
|16-23 September 2017||8 days/7 nights||8-10 persons|
We arrive in Manchester in the morning hours from where we head to Rhuddlan by a one-hour private transfer to have breakfast and some coffee. Our first mediaeval castle to see is Rhuddlan Castle, built in the 13th century, where a local performer, Ruth is presenting a storytelling session with music as part of a historical anniversary. After lunch we travel to the Menai Strait where our accommodation, Ynys Castell, is located. Our house was built on a tiny island that is linked to the mainland by a causeway. We can reach the small town of Menai Bridge by a short walk where we have our first dinner in a local pub.
We spend most of our first morning in the house, we have breakfast and take our time before travelling to Caernarfon. There is no way we would miss a typical Sunday lunch in a 500-year-old inn before visiting Caernarfon Castle, the most famous and impressive mediaeval Castle of both Wales and the United Kingdom. The construction of the castle was the most costly investment of King Edward I in the 13th century, it exceeded the yearly tax income of the whole kingdom! The inauguration ceremony of the Prince of Wales takes place in the castle and it is also a UNESCO World Heritage site. Ruth, who is an English and music teacher as well, joins us in the castle and fills us in on Welsh language and culture with typical Welsh musical instruments, feel free to try them all!
We set out on an interactive sightseeing tour in Bangor so that we get to know the oldest town of Wales better. We discover the town by doing exciting tasks in small teams, giving everybody the chance to use their English and interact with the locals, including the coast guard. :) Find out where our lunch is served! In the afternoon we go to a golf club and try a 9-hole course, following training with a native speaker professional. After these excitements, we return to our private island and have a rest.
Today we explore the country’s oldest and fantastically beautiful national park with mountainous landscapes, Snowdonia. Our first stop is Snowdon, the highest peak of Wales (1085 m), which the national park was named after. Instead of climbing mountains, we get on the steam railway in Llanberis, the village built at the bottom of the mountain, and reach the top of Wales by rail with spectacular views on our way. We continue our excursion with an easy walking tour in the Ogwen Valley to get amazed by the wonderful landscape from a different perspective as well.
In the morning we head to Porthmadog to look around the historical port town and taste award-winning handcrafted beer at the Purple Moose Brewery. After having lunch at a stylish restaurant, we continue discovering Snowdonia. We visit the mysterious Ugly House for an afternoon tea, then move on to the traditional Trefriw manufacture to learn about the local textile industry. At the end of the day we take part in a quiz night with the locals. Who will win the challenge?
We start our day with a motorboat ride in the hope of meeting seals and dolphins. After getting to know more about the wildlife of Wales’s largest island, we visit the town with the longest place name in the world, Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch :). If we manage to get into a photograph with the town sign, we head on to the most famous sea salt manufacture of the island from where special quality sea salt is transported to prestigious restaurants all over the world. After lunch, we take a glimpse at the sand dunes of Newborough Warren and the Holy Island lighthouse in order to get stunning views of the sea. We also stop by the only windmill in Wales and at the moonlike copper mines near to Amlwch. In the afternoon, we taste locally produced honey, jam and chutney at Nanner farm and finally visit Beaumaris for dinner, a seaside town with a famous ice cream shop and another 13th-century UNESCO World Heritage Castle.
In the morning we travel to Conwy to discover the unique historical buildings of this notable mediaeval trading town: we take photos of the smallest house of Great Britain – no chance for a group photo :) -, we visit the famous suspension bridge, the 14th-century Aberconwy House and Plas Mawr, a well-preserved 16th-century Elizabethan house and eventually a 13th-century World Heritage Castle. Before leaving this gorgeous town, we have some free time to do shopping in the high street or chill out in a local pub. In the afternoon, we get on the train and arrive in Llandudno, the biggest seaside resort of Wales. As we walk along its sandy beach and long pier, we become Welsh aristocrats for a short while :).
At dawn, we depart from Ynys Castell and leave autumn Wales behind. We take the morning flight from Manchester Airport to Budapest unless we club in, buy a house in Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch and send a message home that they should not wait for us :).
Ynys Castell is a very unique place to stay, on a private island in the Menai Strait, that is separated from the mainland during high tide. It is highly recommended to people who are open to new experiences and prefer spending their mornings and evenings in a comfortable and familiar environment.
Ynys Castell has a wonderful panorama to the surrounding landscapes, Menai Bridge and the mountains of Snowdonia. There are cosy bedrooms, a modern kitchen, three bathrooms and spacious living areas in the house. We also have a large garden to be able to relax.