13 days
Duration
British Isles
Destination
Level 3 - Moderate to Challenging
Activity

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:

Frequently Asked Questions about Walking in Wales.

Wales has an array of great attractions, ranging from the quirky (Wales is home to the steepest street in the world), to the picturesque (the town of New Quay above Cardigan Bay) and the remote (the ‘Desert of Wales‘).

However, our number one pick has to be Conwy Castle, easily one of the greatest castles to visit in Europe. Its eight huge towers are set above a network of high walls, parapets and bridges, creating a truly impressive sight. It is fantastically well preserved, and an absolute must see!

There are several ingredients for a great walk. A beautiful location is, of course, number one. Here, Wales is blessed with stunning vistas from mountains and moors to coasts and coves.

However, it can be hard to enjoy the local scenery if you are not properly equipped. This does not mean ice axes and climbing ropes, but simply a sturdy pair of proper walking boots, and an adequate amount of layers. You can read more about what to pack on a walking trip here.

Walking is the best way to appreciate the full character of a destination. You will get so much more value from travelling through a location, rather than just going to it. Walking through Wales, you will get the chance to see how nature, culture and history intersect.

At Odyssey, we take the time to ensure that all walking holidays are flexible enough to cater for walkers of all confidence and experience. If you want to read more about walking tours, and how best to prepare for them, click here.


PDF of Tour PDF of Reading List

Overview: After we meet at the Manchester hotel, we gather with the Programme Leader for a welcome dinner.

Accommodation: Mercure Manchester Picadilly or similar

Overview: 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.

Accommodation: Royal Oak Hotel or similar

Overview: 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.

(B)

Accommodation: Royal Oak Hotel or similar

Overview: 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.

(B,D)

Accommodation: The Bulkeley Hotel or similar

Overview: 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.

Accommodation: Belle Vue Royal Hotel or similar

Overview: 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.

Accommodation: Belle Vue Royal Hotel or similar

Overview: 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.

Accommodation: St. David’s Cross Hotel or similar

Overview: 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.

Accommodation: St. David’s Cross Hotel or similar

Overview: 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.

Accommodation: Dragon Inn or similar

Overview: 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.

Accommodation: Dragon Inn or similar

Overview: 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.

Accommodation: Overnight London Lodge or similar

Overview: After breakfast at the hotel, the tour comes to an end.

1
Circle around from Llanberis with great views of Mt Snowdon on a clear day.
2
Visit Carreg Cennen with a local guide.
3
Admire the scenery around St Davids on a coastal walk.
4
Walk Conway to Morfa Beach via the Coastal Path.
5
Enjoy the spectacular Millennium Coastal Path

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.
Exploring Wales on foot, mature travellers small group walking tours
Exploring Wales on foot, mature travellers small group walking tours
Wales coastline
Wales
Barmouth, Wales, UK