Tours Of Wales

The Perfect Tour of Pembrokeshire: Part 1

From the pretty market town of Cardigan, which straddles the border between Pembrokeshire and Ceredigion, right down to the picturesque medieval walled town of Tenby, Pembrokeshire is a place of art, inspiration, culture and wild panoramas.

It has 186 miles of incredible coastline and an impressive 50 stunning beaches and coves.

Pembrokeshire is a tale of two halves.

It’s the perfect place for an exciting family holiday. Fun, vibrant full of buzzing adventure parks and family-friendly events.

It’s also a place to embrace the peace and tranquillity you crave. To switch off and get back to nature. A place of wide, open beaches and colossal coastal walks. If you’re lucky you might not meet another soul all day!

There’s a Tour of Pembrokeshire for everyone. It can be as invigorating or as tranquil as you choose. This time on the blog we’re putting the spotlight on 24 hours in the halcyon, unhurried, St David’s Peninsular.

24 Hours in St David’s – Part 1 of the perfect tour of Pembrokeshire.

Get there…

Pembrokeshire is easily accessible from Cardiff or Bristol Airport. By road, the main access to the county from the east is via the M4. Pembrokeshire even has two ferry ports, so there are plenty of options for travel to this beautiful part of Wales.

Stay at…

If you’re after some serious R&R and ‘us’ time, you can’t get better than Twr y Felin in St David’s. We love their attitude towards fabulous Welsh hospitality and the edgy design of this contemporary art hotel, and we’re not the only ones! Twr y Felin has won some serious awards as AA Hotel of the year and The Good Hotel Guide’s prestigious Editor’s Choice Hotel Discoveries 2019. 

Wake up…

Stay in one of the beautiful bedrooms at Twr y Felin, the exclusive Roch Castle, or the recently (seriously) revamped Penrhiw Priory, and wake for a hearty Welsh breakfast to keep you on your feet until lunchtime. The rooms in this hotel group are as unique as the venues themselves and you’ll often find yourself sat next to returning guests at breakfast. 

Spend the morning….

One of Pembrokeshire’s charms is that there’s always somewhere else on your list to explore and there’s something about the special light in this part of the country which calls to your soul. Artist Graham Sutherland put it well when he said of Pembrokeshire “The quality of light here is magical and transforming… one has the sensation of the after-tranquillity of an explosion of light”.

Take a walk along Pembrokeshire’s famous coastal path. Keep an eye out for wild Welsh mountain ponies, rare birds and beetles and of course, Cardigan Bay’s bottlenose dolphins on the picturesque St David’s peninsular.

Lunch….

Pack a picnic to enjoy en-route or head to the Whitesands Bay café on St David’s Peninsular for fish and chips or a well-deserved cuppa. An hours walk (less than 10 minutes in the car) along the dramatic clifftops will find you in Solva – home to Mrs Will the Fish and her out of this world, award-winning seafood platters.

Afternoon…

It’s a short walk from the hotel to St Davids City – Britain’s smallest city. See artists create masterpieces in glass, pottery and stone engraving in the small workshops and galleries that dot the tiny city. It’s even possible to complete a workshop with a local artist to get experience their craft. Later take a walk to St David’s Cathedral. Built in the 11th Century in deep purple Cambrian sandstone – this site has been a site of pilgrimage for nearly 1,000 years. 

Dine….

Back to Twr y Felin for a dinner at its in-house 2 rosette restaurant Blas, which is also featured in the Michelin Guide. The menu focuses on local ingredients, fish and seafood caught daily in the sea below the hotel, lamb and duck from the surrounding farms, cheese from the dairy herd who graze in the fields overlooking the bay and foraged Welsh specialities such as samphire and laverbread.

The result is stunningly presented, lovingly prepared food with flavours that mimic the rugged coastlines and green pastures they’re inspired by.

To give you an idea of the menu, during the Autumn a sample menu included BBQ pigeon or local Solva crab, watermelon, avocado and caviar to start; followed by a main of Celtic Promise Tart with Custard, White Grape and Candied Walnut or Dry Aged Fishguard Duck; a dessert of Raspberry – Parma Violet, Cocoa, Pickled local Elderflower complete what will surely be a highlight of your tour to Pembrokeshire. 

Your Tour of Pembrokeshire

We can make all the arrangements to secure a table for you at this world-class restaurant as part of your tour package, just ask us.

The landscape is part of Pembrokeshire’s way of life. Everything here is influenced by and because of the sea and the land.

Pembrokeshire has inspired the many artists who call this place their home and their creativity has become part of the fabric of the communities here.

If you are interested in visiting Pembrokeshire, with your family, the special person in your life or even for some time to yourself, our team of travel experts are here to help.

Keep your eyes peeled for our next instalment of The Perfect Tour of Pembrokeshire – Part:2 COMING SOON!

We can arrange large group tours for 80+; bespoke guided tours for small groups, driver guides or everything you can think of for a self-drive tour of Pembrokeshire. All that’s left for you to do is choose your date!

Discover Wales Culture, Tours Of Wales

A Winter Welcome in Wales

It’s time to discover your perfect winter break in Wales. We offer small group tours, private bespoke experiences and self-drive packages so that you can explore Wales – your way.

Here at the Cambria Tours offices, the Summer season is over and scarves are officially in. Winter is coming. With so much to see and do this winter in Wales, we thought we’d share our Winter Welcome in Wales guide with you. 

We have accommodation packages to suit all budgets and if you book with us soon, you can snap up a great deal around one of Wales’ fabulous winter events. 

Where to spend winter in Wales.

North Wales

If food and drink is your thing, then you’ll find a host of festive markets and fairs that illuminate the small towns and bustling communities of North Wales as we head towards Christmas. 

Welsh hospitality is famous all year round, but in the wintertime, as the nights draw in and the cold winds start to bite, the focus turns to cosy evenings by the fire and plenty of quality local food and drink.

We can recommend the best cosy fireside pubs to warm your cockles after a day in the great outdoors or at one of our many Winter Fairs. 

It will come as no surprise that we’re good at Panto’s here in Wales. We’re game for a laugh and we love to get involved…loudly. The Panto at Venue Cymru – North Wales’ brand-new theatre, conference centre and arena, is set to be Sleeping Beauty with a showstopping cast including Sherrie Hewson from Loose Women and Emmerdale, and West End star Kieran Powell. 

After all that magic, you can make your loved one’s dreams come true with a stay at a fairy tale French-style castle. Enjoy a traditional Welsh breakfast overlooking one of arguably the best view in Anglesey – over the Menai straits and across at the silver-tipped mountains of Snowdonia in the distance. 

Chateau Rhianfa mixes high-class elegance and a touch of quirky novelty (one of the bathrooms is in a circular turret!) to create a truly unique and memorable stay, like something out of a storybook. We can even arrange a fabulous 3-course meal at their brilliantly named Le dragon rouge restaurant, well known across the region for its excellent local seafood.

Mid Wales

If you want a truly magical family adventure this winter look no further than mid-Wales. 

Visit the spectacular Abbey Cwm Hir where every single one of the 52 rooms in this Grade two listed Hall is decadently decorated to a unique Christmas theme. Take a special, personal tour conducted by the owners themselves, who pride themselves on their fabulous festive spectacle! 

Aberystwyth comes alive during the colder months with a lantern parade, Santa steam train rides, a winter fair and one of the best indoor Christmas craft fairs in the country at Aberystwyth Arts Centre.

If you add a stay at Nanteos to your Mid-Wales break this winter prepare to be off that naughty list all year! This luxurious 18th century grade 1 listed country house has been beautifully restored to the highest quality thanks to its sympathetic owners. The rooms are sumptuous and expensively decorated, perfect for some r & r after a busy day of Christmas shopping! 

The showstopper at this venue however (apart from the chandelier on the stairs!) is most definitely the food. The Eos Restaurant serves fresh, local produce delightfully presented and deliciously flavoursome, it’s only a matter of time before this fine dining restaurant hits the big time, so book in while you can!

Pembrokeshire

For a winter break with a difference, why not choose a long weekend in Pembrokeshire. 

Visit Laugharne, a favourite of Dylan Thomas, and experience the weather and atmosphere of his famous poem “A child’s Christmas in Wales”. Spend an afternoon in Pembroke Castle, take a boat ride through dramatic sea caves and narrow rock gorges around Ramsey Island, or wrap up for a walk to St David’s Cathedral to experience a choral evensong resonating up to the ancient Irish oak ceiling. The possibilities in Pembrokeshire are endless.

Twr y Felin is a former windmill turned luxury boutique art hotel. It’s totally unique and located on the tip of St Davids peninsula. Why not enjoy afternoon tea in the Oriel lounge. Oriel means gallery and this ambient space is indeed a gallery showcasing local artists talents. 

Choose Twr y Felin and you can expect sweeping sea views, stunning cuisine and a winter break you’ll be talking about for years to come. Did we mention it was The Good Hotel’s 2019 Guide’s Editor’s Choice Hotel? 

Its sister hotels, the dramatic Roch castle and the opulent Penrhiw Priory offer premium luxury accommodation on one of the most beautiful coasts in the world. We’ll be talking more about them later on in our blog post series.

At Cambria Tours, we build fantastic relationships with our suppliers because we believe they are the best in Wales, so, you won’t find inflated prices when you book with us. Our winter breaks are bespoke packages with special added touches. We will make planning your winter getaway to Wales as simple as possible and ensure your stay is everything you want it to be.

These are just 3 Welsh Winter Welcome packages we love – there’s plenty more to see, do and experience throughout our beautiful country – all you have to do is ask.

So, why not treat yourself and a loved one this winter – get in touch with our team now, for itinerary ideas or to book!

Discover Wales Culture

10 Welsh foods you definitely shouldn’t eat when you visit Wales…

The delicacies of Wales are a foodie’s dream. Are you the type of person that will leap in and take a bite? Would you enjoy the Welsh foods you shouldn’t eat when you visit Wales?

How often do you hear this comment in conversation just before you head off on holiday? 

“Oh, it’s amazing in *insert beautiful country*, but when you ask whether they sampled the local delicacies, the answer is often “…no”

But if you don’t get out of your comfort zone you might miss out on the most incredible meal that you’ve ever had. You might miss a party on your palette and a celebration of all things tasty.

In the world of taste adventures, there’s everything to play for.

One man’s delight is another man’s poison. 

This couldn’t be truer.

If you’re the type of person whose favourite food for breakfast, lunch and dinner is a dry, un-buttered piece of toast with a glass of water, then you absolutely shouldn’t try any of the beautiful Welsh specialities on this list.

However, if you are ready to tantalise your taste-buds with flavoursome treats passed down through generations, then our list of wonderful Welsh food is for you.

So, here is our list of Welsh foods you definitely shouldn’t eat when you visit Wales (if water-biscuits are your desert island dream).

Laverbread

This tasty and traditional delicacy is found clinging to the rocks along the Welsh coast. That’s right, it’s seaweed. The fresh seaweed is minced and boiled for several hours until it forms a deep green salty paste. 

Mix it together with a good helping of porridge oats and fry it up in bacon fat, serve with bacon and eggs, and you have the breakfast of kings.

Cockles

Ok maybe not exclusively Welsh but ours are bigger, juicier and tastier – go on just try one. To be eaten the true Welsh way, all these seasonal gems need is a sprinkling of white pepper and a good splash of malt vinegar.

Cawl

Move over shop-bought tomato soup. Forget Grandma’s chicken broth. It’s all about cawl Mamgu in Wales. Cawl is essentially a lamb and vegetable stew with big chunks of veg and plenty of meat. There is only one way to eat cawl, and that’s with a big chunk of cheese and lots of spongey bread to soak up all the juices. The veggie version is no less delicious.

Welsh Rabbit

Or as Rarebit as it’s now known, is the best cheese on toast that you will ever eat. It’s actually cheese because, well, it’s cheaper than rabbits. It’s like a cross between a rich fondue and a bechamel, served on the biggest doorstep of bread you can find.

There is a medieval joke which states that St Peter wanted to lock the Welsh out of heaven because they were too rowdy. The only way to get them out of the pearly gates was to stand outside and shout cheese on toast, and they all ran out. 

We like cheese. Always have.

Oggies

Okay so we might have pinched the idea, but Welsh Oggies are our own twist on the Cornish pasty. They are also often the size of your head! Picture a Cornish pasty but filled with the amazing flavours of Wales like lamb and leeks. We think they taste better than the originals to be honest (just don’t tell Cornwall we said that).

Rissoles

Step into a Welsh fish and chip shop and you’ll typically find rissoles on the menu – delicious deep-fried pockets of potato and corned beef, or cheese and onion, breadcrumbed and served with fresh chips. Try a rissole instead of traditional battered cod, you won’t be disappointed (and you’ll earn yourself an approving look from the chippie too!).

Faggots 

Every Welsh person remembers when they first found out what a faggot was. But it’s too late by then, you’re already hooked. These offal enriched meatballs are designed to be eaten with lashings of rich onion gravy, buttery mash and mushy peas. Don’t let the inclusion of liver or heart put you off, once you’ve tried them, you’ll be a convert for life. Just tell the kids it’s mincemeat – that’s what our Mothers did!

Glamorgan Sausage

Another Welsh trick to throw you off the scent of what you’re eating – this sausage is actually not a sausage at all! In fact, it’s not even meat! If you haven’t got the memo by now, we love dairy here in Wales, which is why these amazing little sausage-shaped bites of cheese; leeks and herbs, deep fried in breadcrumbs have been popular here since the 12th century.

Bara Brith

Yes, it’s a bit of a mouthful and no we didn’t just sneeze (eye roll). This is simply the best fruit cake ever. The fruit is kept moist by being steeped in tea overnight before it’s added to the mix. Perfect spread thickly with real Welsh butter and a proper cup of tea.

Bonus! You may not eat it, but it’s certainly drinkable!

Welsh whisky

Easily as good as the Scottish, we now have 3 distilleries in Wales, 2 are currently working on their first batches, but it officially makes Wales a whisky producing nation. Making whisky in Wales can be dated as far back as the middle ages, however, it died out in the late 1800s. Our newly revived whisky industry incorporates our heritage and h won plenty of awards, leading to a huge surge in popularity.

We offer some incredible culinary tours and adventures in Wales. If this list has got your mouth watering, get in touch with us and tell us your foodie fantasies and we’ll do the rest. Whatever you do, don’t try any of these foods the next time you visit Wales…leave them for us instead.

Tours Of Wales

The Wales Ways – Your perfect tour of Wales.

The Wales Ways – 3 incredible routes through Wales which will leave you inspired and full of stories about your best trip ever.

You’ve ventured along Ireland’s Wild Atlantic Way and crossed Scotland’s North Coast 500 – but have you experienced jaw-dropping beauty of The Wales Ways? These Visit Wales routes may well be Wales’ best kept Secret. But not for not much longer…

Wales is one of the most beautiful destinations on the planet.

Fact.

Rough Guides and National Geographic are just a few global heavyweights who have Wales firmly on their lists when it comes to top places to travel this year.

Isn’t it time you did too?

The only question is – where should you visit in Wales? 

With so much choice it’s so hard to pick one place, which is why Cambria Tours are championing The Wales Ways – a set of 3 stunning routes through our beautiful country, designed by the experts at Visit Wales to ensure you get the most out of your visit to Wales and see as much of our incredible country as possible.

These routes are perfect for adventurers who want to take the reins themselves. They are simple to navigate if you enjoy a self-drive holiday and include regular stop-offs and fabulous accommodation options.

If a guided tour is more your style, we know some passionate Welsh guides who would be thrilled to share our beautiful country with you. They’ll take you on an unforgettable journey, share their knowledge and tell stories of old which will bring the landscape to life and leave your imagination running wild. No arguments about directions or missing out on the scenery – this is time for you to just sit back and enjoy the views. 

The focus of each route is for you to choose, we can arrange itineraries and activities based on your interests, from passes allowing you to access historic Welsh sites, to securing reservations at Wales’ top restaurants, to organising beautiful boutique accommodation.

So, which one will you choose?

The Coastal Way

From the Llŷn Peninsula to Pembrokeshire. Or as locals know it, from the ear of the boar all the way down to the tip of his nose. Take a look at a map of Wales to see if you can spot this similarity for yourself!

Wales is actually the first place in the world to have a dedicated coastal path along its entire coastline, and what a coastline it is. The crystal clear waters of Cardigan Bay are home to the largest population of bottlenose dolphins in all of Europe. It’s many coves and secluded beaches are home to some of it’s rarest and most endangered wildlife and marine life in the country. 

The Coastal Way is a fabulous route showcasing the most beautiful coastline in the UK also hides some of the most Wales most secret natural treasures.

The Cambrian Way

Travel down through the heart of Wales, following its mountainous spine from North to South. 

From the picture-postcard Victorian resort town of Llandudno, through the outskirts of the majestic Snowdonia National Park and down along the Cambrian Mountains to our beautiful capital city of Cardiff – via the Brecon Beacons – one of only 13 Certified IDA International Dark Sky Reserves in the WORLD.

The Cambrian Way is a mythical journey through the ancient Welsh countryside which will leave you with stories to tell for generations to come.

The North Wales Way

The shortest of these routes is arguably the most jam-packed of the experiences. North Wales is perfectly accessible from many major airports, yet remote enough to make you feel as though you’re the first person to unearth its treasures. 

The North Wales Way spans from the North easternmost tip of Wales, home to one of our greatest feats – The UNESCO World Heritage Site of Pontcysyllte Aqueduct in Llangollen. A beautiful journey along the North Wales coast skirts around the Snowdonia National Park, taking in epic fortresses and castles before finishing at our most beautiful Island, Anglesey, home of fresh lobster, mussels and, of course, the longest place name Llanfair­pwllgwyngyll­gogery­chwyrn­drobwll­llan­tysilio­gogo­goch (don’t worry – even we usually call it Llanfair PG!)

Now if that’s not enough to have you raring to book your next self-drive or guided tour to Wales – over the next few weeks we’ll be breaking things down with our definitive guide to each of the Wales Ways.

If you like what you’ve read but have your heart set on a particular location in Hen Wlad fy Nhadau (the land of our fathers as we’re colloquially known) we would love to hear from you. 

Our team are experts in Wales – specially chosen for their passion and dedication to all things Welsh. Just get in touch with us and allow us to help you plan your best tour yet!

Discover Wales Culture

Immerse yourself in Wales and the Welsh language at our annual cultural festivals

What do you get if you mix a big top, with a beautiful hand-carved wooden chair and one of the oldest spoken languages in Europe? An Eisteddfod of course!

With this year’s Eisteddfod Genedlaethol drawing to a close, it’s time to start planning for next year. If you’re thinking of booking your next holiday to Wales why not arrange for it to coincide with one of our festivals of song, language and culture so you can experience what this exceptional spectacle has to offer.

Welsh Eisteddfodau always include plenty of fabulous food and drink too, along with a friendly Welsh atmosphere – that famous Cymru Croeso.

So, start practising your singing in the shower, dust off your dancing shoes and get ready to join us for an Eisteddfod in 2020.

The National Eisteddfod (Eisteddfod Genedlaethol)

Held every August, this Eisteddfod is the Big Mama, the Glastonbury of Eisteddfods, around which all others orbit. The location changes each year as the travelling extravaganza makes its way around our beautiful country, giving everyone in Wales an opportunity to experience the magic of the Eisteddfod being held in their hometown.

You don’t have to be a Welsh speaker to enjoy the eisteddfod – if you’ve ever wanted to give the learning (Dysgu) and free translation equipment is available so you can enjoy the competition action in English!

Be sure to catch a Gorsedd Ceremony. Time your visit right and you will have the opportunity to watch Wales’ Best Poet or writer honoured on stage in the Pafiliwn (Pavilion) It’s quite the spectacle. Flower girls dance to the harp in their emerald green dresses. You can join in as the crowd cry out ‘Heddwch’ (meaning ‘Peace’) when the Archdruid pulls a sword from its sheath, before the bard takes his place on the wooden throne.

Guto Dafydd, Eisteddfod Crown, Visit Wales
The winner of the Crown at Llanrwst Eisteddfod August 2019 was Guto Dafydd

When the day is over, be prepared to experience hiraeth – a unique welsh term for ‘longing’ which will likely mean your first visit won’t be your last!

The 2020 Eisteddfod Genedlaethol is being held in Tregaron, Ceredigion – Mid Wales.

To the North is Devil’s Bridge and the seaside town of Aberystwyth.

To the East are the Brecon Beacons and the Black Mountains.

To the West, Cardigan Castle – the home of the original Eisteddfod; and Pembrokeshire National Park, one of the best coastlines in the World.

To the South our capital Cardiff and the rich mining history of the Welsh Valleys.

Llangollen International Eisteddfod

What do Status Quo, Grey’s Anatomy and Luciano Pavarotti all have in common? Llangollen Eisteddfod!

Status Quo has played, Pavarotti won first prize with his choir in 1955 (and now has a competition in his memory) and the Swingles – who have been featured on Grey’s Anatomy and Sex and the City – competed for the Pavarotti Trophy this year!

Ever wanted to do an around the world trip but never had the time?

Now’s your chance.

A visit to the Llangollen Eisteddfod will take you all over the globe as more than 4,000 performers from over 50 countries descend onto one of the most stunning riverside towns in North Wales to sing, dance and compete. Thailand, Ghana, Russia, Italy, USA, Costa Rica, India, Sweden and Ireland made up just a handful of the 2019 winners.

It’s Wales’ biggest street party – A lively, carnival atmosphere with a big scoop of Celtic magic thrown in for good measure.

2020 Llangollen International Eisteddfod promises to be the best eisteddfod yet as more countries than ever take part.

Llangollen is in the North East of Wales, near the UNESCO World Heritage site of Pontcysyllete Aquaduct, and the gateway to Snowdonia National Park.

Urdd Eisteddfod

The Urdd has been around for almost 100 years, as a National Voluntary Youth Organisation allowing for children and young people the opportunity to meet and socialise in Welsh.

Urdd literally means Welsh League of Hope and its annual Eisteddfod is a massive celebration of youth, Welsh language and culture. So, be sure to expect very high standards in the competitions.

Explore the ‘Maes’ (the field) and immerse yourself in the vibrant, colourful future of Wales – you’ll be smiling all day long.

The 2020 Urdd Eisteddfod is being held in North Wales, where we’d recommend adding a couple of day trips to the region whilst visiting this week-long event. Why not Llanfair­pwllgwyngyll­gogery­chwyrn­drobwll­llan­tysilio­gogo­goch on Anglesey, a train ride up our highest mountain, Snowdon and the seaside town of Llandudno with its extravagant Victorian Pier.

Eisteddfodau and festivals run throughout the year in Wales, in schools and communities across our country. Get in touch with us if you would like to know what events are happening while you are visiting.

Our expert team can advise on your itinerary and make all the arrangements you need for your dream trip to Wales.

Come to Wales and immerse yourself in the music, dance and poetry all around you – we’re not known as the Land of Song for nothing!