This tour really does have it all. One of the finest collections
of medieval castles in Europe, a complete Italianate village, a
mountain railway adventure and an excellent selection of wonderful
gardens - including two of Britain's finest and best-loved gardens,
at Bodnant and Powis Castle - and all this, set amid the splendour
of the Welsh coast and countryside and against the stunning
backdrop of Snowdon.
This tour is a refinement of our original Gardens & Castles
tour, of 2013, itself another tour born out of a family holiday! In
July 2012 we spent 10 or so days camping in North Wales - something
of a long-overdue return for Tim - and a new adventure for the rest
of the family. And we can assure you that there is plenty to see
and do, that the scenery is stunning, the food excellent and the
hospitality warm and genuine.
Although the tour concentrates on the gardens and other major
attractions in this corner of north-west Wales - an area largely
within the Snowdonia National Park - we spend the final full day of
the tour in mid-Wales, to visit Powis Castle and Dingle Nursery
& Garden, and cross into Shropshire for our final night's
Castles of Wales
Castles may not be at the forefront of your mind if, indeed, they
have ever been, but any visit to North Wales would be incomplete
without visiting at least a couple of them - and they do have the
best ones! Wales has some 400 castles and we visit Caernarfon and
Beaumaris, which are amongst the finest examples of medieval
castle-building in Europe.
For a little insight into Welsh Castles, you might like to visit
this excellent private website - Castles of
Welsh Culture & Language
North-west Wales is regarded by many as the cultural heart of
Wales and not only is the Welsh language widely spoken in these
parts, but it is the first language of many.
This BBC website page - here - provides a good background to Welsh
history and its language.
Sleeping & Eating
We are returning to Ty'n Rhos Country House, where
we enjoyed such wonderful hospitality on our last Gardens &
Castles of North Wales tour, in 2013. Family-owned and run by
Stephen & Hilary Murphy and their daughter, Laura, Ty'n
Rhos is perfectly located for our five nights in North Wales.
Because we can't make it to Heathrow or Stansted, in time for
evening flights, if we stay in North Wales on our last night, we
need to stay somewhere more convenient - and what could be more
convenient than a 15-minute drive from David Austin Roses? We have
booked ourselves in, at the superbly-located Hundred House Hotel for our
end-of-tour-dinner and final night's stay.
We eat out twice, at The Groes Inn, an established
favourite of ours, and at The Peak Restaurant, in
Llanberis, which has been getting rave reviews and is starring in
many of the guidebooks.
Please let us know if any of the website links become
dysfunctional. Thank you.