Exploring Wales on foot : small group walking tours for seniors
A Walking tour of Wales with spectacular views across as you walk the millennial path across the Irish sea or up in Snowdonia national park. This guided tour that provides insight into the history of each castle visited and breathtaking scenery enjoyed before exploring the capital of Wales, Cardiff with day tours of Wales from Cardiff. For seniors, couples or Solo interested in small groups.
- 1. Visit Carreg Cennen with a local guide.
- 2. Admire the scenery around St Davids on a coastal walk.
- 3. Walk Conway to Morfa Beach via the Coastal Path.
- 4. Enjoy the spectacular Millennium Coastal Path
|05 August 2023 |
Ends 17 August 2023 • 13 days
|03 August 2024 |
Ends 15 August 2024 • 13 days
Exploring Wales on Foot - a small group tour for seniors
The Exploring Wales on Foot tour is a small group walking tour designed for mature travellers. It gives the active traveller the opportunity to explore the stunning Welsh landscapes on foot. On this 11 night tour, we travel by coach across the length of Wales with the chance to walk up to 15 kilometres each day. The paths selected will take you through some of the most spectacular scenery in the country including the Brecon Beacons where we base ourselves in Crickhowell. Our tour takes us from Betwys-y-Coed in the north to St. Davids in the south. We will travel though rolling hills, rocky mountain passes and along the magical coastline.
We will visit several Welsh national parks, castles, cities, towns, and villages:
- Manchester city, northwestern England, is the nucleus of the largest metropolitain area in the north of England. It was at the forefront of the Industrial Revolution in the 19th century, expanding rapidly from a market town to be the first industrialised city in the world due to a boom in textile manufacturing. Despite a process of deindustrialisation following the Second World War and a resulting decline in vitality and influence, it still remains a notable city today for its architecture, culture, musical exports, scientific and engineering output, sports clubs, and transport connections.
- Betwys-y-Coed is a village in the Conwy Valley on the verge of the Gwydyr Forest in North Wales. Lying in the heart of Snowdonia National Park at the intersection of four gushing river, it is North Wales’ most popular inland resort and accommodation provider. It has been attracting visitors for centuries to experience its scenic beauty and partake in numerous outdoor activities.
- Penrhyn Bay is a small town on the northern coast of Wales to the east of the Little Orme between Llandudno and Rhos-on-Sea. Penrhyn Bay beach is a quite sandy and pebbly beach mostly used by locals. It is perfect for enjoying the sea air, beautiful views, and a seaside stroll. Located on the North Wales Path, coastal walks lead to nearby Colwyn Bay or Ormes Bay.
- Llandudno Bay is a two mile curving sand, shingle and rock beach between the headlands of the Great Orme and the Little Orme, located on the North Wales Path. For most of the length of Llandudno’s North Shore is an elegant wide curving Victorian promenade with many hotels. Wales’ longest pier is also located on the North Shore and includes a bar, a cafe, amusement arcades, fairground rides, shops and kiosks.
- The Great Orme’s Head is a prominent limestone headland on the coast in North Wales, north-west of the seaside resort town Llandudno. The Head is 3km long and 2km wide, rising to 207m at the summit, and is bounded by precipitous cliffs to the north and west. Attractions include its massive Bronze Age copper mine, rich flora and fauna, stunning views from the summit, historic Orme tramway and Llandudno cable-car, and outdoor activities.
- Conwy is a walled town and community in Conwy County Borough on the north coast of Wales situated on the west bank of the River Conwy’s estuary. Historic sites throughout the town tell of its past from the site of the 12th century Welsh Aberconwy Abbey, to a key English fortification and strategic and commercial centre. The UNESCO World Heritage listed Conwy Castle especially is a exceptional medieval masterpiece rich in history.
- Caernarfon Castle is a medieval fortress in Caernarfon, Gwynedd, north-west Wales. It was built on the shoreline at the southern end of the Menai Strait between north Wales and Anglesey in 1283 by King Edward I following the English conquest of Wales - and acted as the administrative centre of north Wales. Today the gigantic castle and its polygonal towers, eagle statues and multi-coloured masonry is recognized around the world as one of the greatest buildings of the Middle Ages.
- Aberystwyth is a small ancient market town and stunning seaside resort in Ceredigion on the west coast of Wales. Established as a castle town in the Middle Ages, the town has developed over the centuries first into a major port, then a Welsh centre of culture and education famous for its Edwardian architecture and scenic coastal railway. Today it is a popular sea-side holiday destination attracting tourists to relax within its picturesque scenery and at its numerous hotels, cafes, restaurants, bars and pubs.
- The Brecon Beacons are a mountain range running through South Wales, including the two highest peaks in the region, Pen y Fan and Corn Du. Pen y Fan (“the top peak”) has an elevation of 886 metres, and the walk up features a sandstone footpath. Corn Du is the second highest peak in South Wales at 873 metres. Both summits are quite similar—flat and anvil-shaped—and both marked by a Bronze Age cairn. The burial cairns dotting Brecon Beacons speak to the legacy of the prehistoric Neolithic and Bronze Age settlements that once thrived in this area.
- St. Davids is a historic city located within the stunning Pembrokeshire Coast National Park near the tip of St Davids Peninsula, the most westerly point in Wales. The smallest city in Great Britain, consisting of four streets that meet in the ancient marketplace Cross Square, it has more of a charming feel like that of a large village. Yet despite its small space, as the birthplace of St David, the patron saint of Wales, the city holds a vast amount of history waiting to be explored.
- Castell Coch (Welsh for ‘Red Castle’) is a 19th-century gothic revival castle built above the village of Tongwynlais in South Wales, just outside of Cardiff. The current castle is built upon the ruins of a stone fortification most likely built by Gilbert de Clare in the mid-13th century to defend his freshly annexed Welsh lands. Designed in the 19th century by the architect William Burges, the stunning fairy tale castle is a romantic reconstruction of an imaginary medieval world with conical towers over a fanciful drawbridge, and an elaborately decorated interior.
- Cardiff is the capital of Wales, surrounded by beautiful scenery at its location on the Bristol Channel at the mouth of the River Taff. From its historical humble beginnings as a Roman fort and small town throughout the middle ages, the city has developed significantly over the last 200 years playing a key role in Welsh history as an industrial center. Today modern Cardiff continues to serves as the country’s center of commerce and the prime hub of cultural, political and media institutions.
Highlights of this small group walking tour in Wales
The tour, Exploring Wales on Foot, encompasses a range of natural and cultural wonders to see and explore. Throughout the experience, we will be listening to stories of local history and culture from local guides with the chance to explore some of the hidden gems of Wales. We walk to see the limestone and dolomite cliffs at Great Orme's Head and visit the walled town of Conwy (where you can see 'The Smallest House in Great Britain'). Along the way, we'll see numerous castles, including Castell Dolbadarn and Castell Coch. There is also the opportunity to enter Carreg Cennen castle, magnificently perched on a limestone outcrop. During this small group walking tour our guides share lessons about the history, landscapes and people of Wales. Our departure point is in Manchester and from there we travel to the small town of Penrhyn Bay of the northern coast of Wales. Towards the end of the tour there is the opportunity to explore Cardiff with a guided day tour before finishing up in London. Here you are welcome to end your tour by exploring the sites of the city, such as Big Ben and St. Paul's Cathedral.
This is a holiday program suited to a senior couple or solo travellers who enjoy a good walk, and only one of the many walking tours Odyssey offers each year. The total number of participants in this tour will be 12 or fewer with the addition of an Odyssey program leader. This trip is paired with Odyssey's Walking Tour of Ireland & the Lake district. You can also learn more about Britain and Wales and see all other departures on the country profile page.
For more details on this tour, click the ‘Top 5’ or ‘Itinerary’ buttons above! If you’re keen to experience this tour, please call or send an email. Or, to book, simply fill in the form on the right hand side of this page.
Articles helping to prepare senior travellers for a walking tour
To help you prepare for any walking program these articles by Odyssey or carefully selected external sources are intended to help you prepare for your holiday:
- Selecting walking shoes for women
- footwear and walking shoes
- what to pack when travelling
- maintaining muscle fitness in senior and mature age travellers
- selecting socks for walking
- preparing for a walking holiday
- Hiking advice for women
- Aluminium water bottles safe for water?
- Bringing too much luggage and overpacking the day pack.
- Tips for preventing dehydration when walking
Articles about Wales
The following list of articles published by odyssey Traveller for mature aged and senior travellers to maximise their knowledge and enjoyment of Wales when visiting;
- Roman roads in Britain
- Understanding British Churches
- Medieval British life
- Icons of British villages
- Studying Gargoyles and grotesques
- New discoveries about Britain's stone circles
- Britain's neolithic past
- Lumps and bumps, how to read the British landscape
- Guide to Wales
- Great Britain; A profile
- National trust; Britain's best walks with Julia Bradbury
- National Parks of Britain
- Ten books about Walking in Britain from the Guardian
- Wales in the last civil war ; refuge of the Monarchy
- Harlech; West Wales
You can also browse all the articles published on Wales by Odyssey Traveller.
Day 1: Manchester
Accommodation: Mercure Manchester Picadilly or similar
After we meet at the Manchester hotel, we gather with the Programme Leader for a welcome dinner.
Day 2: Betws-y-Coed
Accommodation: Royal Oak Hotel or similar
After breakfast in the hotel, we drive from Manchester to Penrhyn Bay. For our first walk, we travel 5km from Penrhyn Bay to Llandudno via North Wales Path. On the way, we see Little Orme’s Head, Llandudno Bay and Llandudno Pier.
From there, we walk 3km from Llandudno to Great Orme’s Head. We drive from Great Orme’s Head to Conwy, where you’ll see ‘The Smallest House in Great Britain’ We then walk 5km along the Coastal Path to Morfa Beach. We drive to Betws-y-Coed where we have dinner at the hotel.
Day 3: Betws-y-Coed
Accommodation: Royal Oak Hotel or similar
After breakfast, we walk 4km to the picturesque Swallow Falls along Afon Llugwy. We then walk back to Betws-y-Coed via Llyn Elsi, and see the Llyn Elsi reservoir en route.
The rest of the day is at leisure.
Day 4: Beaumaris (Anglesey)
Accommodation: The Bulkeley Hotel or similar
After breakfast, we drive to Llanberis for an 8km circular walk around the spectacular lake, Llyn Padarn. During the walk, you will be able to see the highest mountain in Wales, Mount Snowdon. and the Dolbadarn Castle.
We then drive to Moelfre, and from there we walk 7km to Dulas via the Wales Coastal Path. Along the way, we see Liligwy Bay and Dulas Bay.
We drive to Beaumaris where we spend the night after dinner at the hotel.
Day 5: Aberystwyth
Accommodation: Belle Vue Royal Hotel or similar
After breakfast, we begin the day with an 8km walk to Penmon Point. We then drive to Caernarfon, where we’ll enjoy a guided city highlights tour, and entrance to Caernarfon Castle.
We then drive to Harlech, and take a 6km walk to Llandanwg. This is followed by a drive to Aberystwyth, during which we’ll be able to see Snowdonia National Park.
We have dinner at the hotel.
Day 6: Aberystwyth
Accommodation: Belle Vue Royal Hotel or similar
After breakfast, we begin the day with a 9km walk towards Borth via the Ceredigion Coastal Path. Along the way, we’ll visit the Camera Obscura on Constitution Hill. We then drive from Borth to New Quay, and walk 6km from New Quay to Cwmtydu via a coastal path.
We drive back to Aberystwyth where we spend the night.
Day 7: St. Davids
Accommodation: St. David's Cross Hotel or similar
Today, we have the first part of the day at leisure in Aberystwyth. You can take the time to visit the local sights and museums, or just take a break. Later in the day we drive from Aberystwyth to St. Davids, where we have dinner at the hotel.
Day 8: St. Davids
Accommodation: St. David's Cross Hotel or similar
After breakfast we take a 3km morning return walk to Caerfai Beach, followed by a guided city highlights tour of St. Davids, which includes entrance to Bishop’s Palace. We then drive to St. Martin’s Haven; during the drive we’ll be able see Pembrokeshire National Park. We walk from St. Martin’s Haven to St. Anne’s Head via the Welsh Coastal Path. After visiting the Old Stables Heritage Centre, we drive back to St. David’s where we spend the night.
Day 9: Crickhowell
Accommodation: Dragon Inn or similar
In the morning we drive from St. Davids to Llanelli. From there, we take a 7km walk to Burry Port, taking the Millennium Coastal Path. We then drive from Burry Port to Carreg Cennen, where we visit Carreg Cennen Castle, and take a 7km walk around the area with a guide. We drive to Crickhowel – where we spend the night – l via Brecon Beacons, during the drive we’ll have views of the Brecon Beacons National Park.
We have dinner at the hotel.
Day 10: Crickhowell
Accommodation: Dragon Inn or similar
After breakfast we drive to Storey Arms, and take an 8km return walk from Storey Arms to Pen Y Fan summit, with a local guide. We then drive from Storey Arms to Libanus, where we visit the Brecon Beacons National Park Visitor Centre. In the afternoon, we drive to Llangynidr, where we take an 8km guided walk along a canal to Talybont. We drive back to Crickhowell in the evening.
Day 11: London
Accommodation: Overnight London Lodge or similar
After breakfast, we drive from Crickhowell to Cardiff, stopping on the way at Tongwynlais, where we visit Castell Coch.
Once we arrive at Cardiff, we enjoy a guided city tour, and visit the Cardiff Bay area.
In the afternoon we drive to London for our last night of the tour, here we enjoy a farewell dinner.
Day 12: London
After breakfast at the hotel, the tour comes to an end.
Includes / Excludes
What’s included in our Tour
- 11 nights hotel accommodation
- 11 breakfasts and 7 dinners
- Transport in comfortable and modern coach.
- Gratuities and necessary tips.
- Services of Tour Leader for the duration of tour.
What’s not included in our Tour
- Comprehensive travel insurance.
- International airfares and departure taxes.
- Items of a personal nature such as telephone calls and laundry.
Participants must be in excellent health, extremely mobile and live an active lifestyle. Program activities may include up to 6 hours of continuous strenuous, moderate-to-fast paced activities per day on varied terrain.
Make it a private tour
Easing your journey
Crossing international borders with restrictions
The list of requirements to travel internationally has changed and will continue to change for several years. Odyssey is here to assist you in managing your way through these requirements:
For more information see our Crossing international borders with restrictions page.
Book With Confidence
If less than 30 days before your tour starts you are unable to travel as a result of Government travel restrictions, Odyssey Traveller will assist you with a date change, provide you with a credit or process a refund for your booking less any non-recoverable costs.
See Terms and conditions for details.
Peace of Mind Travel
The safety of our travellers, tour leader, local guide and support staff has always been our top priority and with the new guidelines for public health and safety for keeping safe for destinations around the world, we’ve developed our plan to give you peace of mind when travelling with us.
See Peace of Mind Travel for details.
Reading List Download PDF
The story of Wales
The Story of Wales is a vibrant portrait of 30,000 years of power, identity and politics. Revisiting major turning points in Welsh history, from its earliest settlements to the present day, Jon Gower re-examines the myths and misconceptions about this glorious country, revealing a people who have reacted with energy and invention to changing times and opportunities. It's a story of political and industrial power, economic and cultural renewal- and a nation of seemingly limitless potential.
The Story of Wales is an epic account of Welsh history for a new generation.
By Jon Gower
The Last King of Wales: Gruffudd ap Llywelyn, c. 1013-1063
Gruffudd ap Llywelyn was a mighty king, yet 1,000 years after his birth he is all but forgotten. In 1055 he led a great army into England, burning Hereford and forcing King Edward the Confessor to seek peace. Gruffudd united Wales and conquered border land that had been in English hands for centuries, turning the Viking threat into a powerful weapon. In 1063, however, he was betrayed and beheaded by the forebears of the princes who have entered history as Wales’ national heroes, leaving the country in chaos on the eve of the arrival of the Normans. The death of the last king of Wales would nevertheless also lead to the downfall at Hastings of England’s last Anglo-Saxon king, Harold II.
By Michael Davies (Author), Sean Davies (Author)
Castles of Wales
Wales, a small country, is littered with the relics of war - Iron Age forts, Roman ruins, medieval castles and the coastal forts of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. The biggest construction of fortifications in Wales took place during the reign of Edward I. They were not only built to deter an invader, but to control the frequent Welsh uprisings. The next wave of constructions occurred during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, when a number of forts and gun emplacements were built, mostly in South Wales, to deter a seaborne invasion. The twentieth century introduced a new mode of defence, especially during the two world wars, in the form of pillboxes, tank traps and gun emplacements. The various airfields constructed were the most visible form of defence and could be regarded as the castles of the period. This book looks at how Welsh castles protected Wales to make it what it is today.
By Alan Phillips
Maritime history of Newport Pembrokeshire: Castles, Inscribed Stones, Pilgrim Crosses, Shipwrecks, Shipbuilding, Rowing Races, and Newport Nonsense
A collection of Historical notes about the Welsh coastal town of Newport, Pembrokeshire. A few of its legends, characters and little known facts are included in this delightful book. An important Medieval town with one of the first stone built Castles that replaced one at Nevern which was a prime meeting place for the Welsh Princes. Newport (Trefdraeth) lies under the sacred mountain of Carningli but it is the mischievous nature of its inhabitants that coined the phrase "Newport Nonsense". This book looks at the towns ancient and recent history, and shows how Newport's regatta , with its Down River Rowing Race was the prelude to the Dinas Head Challenge, so popular today with the Celtic Longboats. Intensive research has produced a comprehensive list of the Sloops, Schooners and Brigs built at Newport between 1760 and 1850. With no less than 80 ships listed, this is the first time names, tonnage, rig and owners of Newport vessels has been published.
By TOM BENNETT
Life in a Medieval Castle
From acclaimed historians Frances and Joseph Gies comes the reissue of this definitive classic on medieval castles, which was a source for George R.R. Martin’s Game of Thrones series.
“Castles are crumbly and romantic. They still hint at an age more colorful and gallant than our own, but are often debunked by boring people who like to run on about drafts and grumble that the latrines did not work. Joseph and Frances Gies offer a book that helps set the record straight—and keeps the romance too.”—Time
A widely respected academic work and a source for George R.R. Martin’s Game of Thrones, Joseph and Frances Gies’s bestselling Life in a Medieval Castle remains a timeless work of popular medieval scholarship.
Focusing on Chepstow, an English castle that survived the turbulent Middle Ages with a relative lack of violence, the book offers an exquisite portrait of what day-to-day life was actually like during the era, and of the key role the castle played. The Gieses take us through the full cycle of a medieval year, dictated by the rhythms of the harvest. We learn what lords and serfs alike would have worn, eaten, and done for leisure, and of the outside threats the castle always hoped to keep at bay.
For medieval buffs and anyone who wants to learn more about this fascinating era, Life in a Medieval Castle is as timely today as when it was first published.
By Joseph Gies & Frances Gies
Articles about Wales
Beaumaris Castle, Wales
Beaumaris Castle, Edward I of England’s architectural masterpiece built from 1295 to protect his territorial gains in the region. The historic castle is a world heritage listed site considered to be one of the most significant and sophisticated surviving examples of medieval military architecture.
Britain’s National Trust role for successful small group history tours
Britain’s National Trust: Historic houses, gardens and natural wonders Britain is home to many attractions, many of them rich in the region’s history. Sites and artefacts are preserved beautifully, and […]
Caernarfon Castle, Wales
Edward I's massive Caernarfon Castle was a display of English might on Welsh territory. Caernarfon Castle was built on the shoreline, consisting of a castle, a walled town, and a quay all built at the same time. Construction of this massive project took 47 years to complete.
Great Orme's Head, Wales
Great Orme’s Head is a prominent limestone headland on the coast in North Wales. Attractions include its massive Bronze Age copper mine, rich flora and fauna, stunning views from the summit, historic Orme tramway and Llandudno cable-car, and outdoor activities.
History of Wales: The Definitive Guide for Senior Travellers
History of Wales The Anglo-Saxons fell to the Normans in 1066, but it would take more than two centuries before England’s rulers–starting, crucially, with Edward I–turned their attention to dominating Wales. In this article, we…
Lumps and Bumps: How to Read the British Landscape
The British landscape has been worked and re-worked. It is secrets of this palimpsest landscape is revealed through drainage patterns and prehistoric features all the way through to the modern day. These small group tours for mature and senior travellers examine the landscape from the Neolithic, to Roman, through the seven ages of Britain in walking tours and history tours of Britain.
Millennium Coastal Path, Wales
The Millennium Coastal Path was inaugurated by Queen Elizabeth II at the turn of the new millennium in 2000. It was part of the Millennium Coastal Park, a parkland transformed from around 20 kilometres of industrial wasteland along the Carmarthenshire coastline.