Discover Wales Culture, Tours Of Wales

What to do in Wales out of season?

This time, as part of our exciting blog series, Cambria Tours brings you the best things to do in Wales ‘out of season’.

The summer season has ended, and the coastal towns and villages have breathed a sigh of relief as we head into shorter days and chilly nights.

Wales – doesn’t it rain all the time?

No, of course not – Jokes aside, yes it does rain here – but it keeps our grass green and our air clean and fresh. The best thing about the weather here in Wales is that it’s so changeable. You might need your mac in the morning, but chances are it’ll be sunny by the afternoon all while it’s snowing up in the hills – Welsh weather likes to keep you on your toes.

Wales – more sheep than people?

Yes. 100% true.

BUT there are over 15 million in England and 75 million in Australia. That’s right – the real fact here is Wales has fewer people, which means quieter roads; magical empty beaches; the sound of birdsong in the parks; and more space for you.

So, what is there to do in Wales ‘off-season’?

We’re going to be honest with you. There is no ‘wrong season’ here. You’ll just beat the queues. There’s always something to do – and frankly, it feels more special when you visit away from the hustle and bustle of the school holidays.

Plan an authentic trip to Wales – Cambria Tours can help with guided and self-guided tours to suit any itinerary and budget, whether you’re travelling alone – or as part of a group.

Get crafty in Wales

Wales is a seriously crafty place. Like a real-life version of Etsy.

From local weekly craft markets in village halls to bespoke boutique craft fairs in our arts centres and city centres we love all things hand made and home crafted, usually manned by the makers themselves.

Buy local in Wales

Pick up a hand knitted cardigan from your new Mam-gu (Welsh for Grandmother) at a local craft market or head to Aberystwyth Arts Centre for one of the classiest craft fairs you’ll ever lay eyes on. You can even catch a show or grab a delicious bite to eat at their award-winning cafe with panoramic views of the town and Cardigan Bay.

North Wales is brimming with winter food fayres and craft exhibitions, from Wrexham’s extraordinary Victorian Christmas extravaganza to year-round foodie fun at Bodnant Welsh Food Centre in the Conwy Valley. With all the fabulous walking to be done in Wales you’ll easily burn off all those delicious Welsh calories!

Explore the Edwardian Arcades of Cardiff

These beautiful covered shopping lanes are home to independent traders who are some of Cardiff’s long running businesses. Don’t miss Spillers Records – the world’s oldest record shop and Madame Fromage – an out-of-this-world cheese and wine deli and restaurant with over 150 cheeses to sample.

Wales Underground

Layer up, grab a hard hat and explore a very different side of Wales.

Discover Wales’ Hidden Treasures

Mine for gold at Dolcothi or take part in a full-on theatrical performance at the Silver Mountain Experience.

Embark on a Black Gold Tour in the Welsh Valleys as the original men who worked the mines tell their story.

The Great Orme in Llandudno is home to the largest prehistoric copper mines ever discovered, uncover their history and walk in the footsteps of ancient man.

Cave Jumping in Wales

If adrenaline activities are more your style you will LOVE Bounce Below.

This abandoned slate cavern has been transformed into an adrenaline spiking, all weather adventure playground. Jump, bounce and slide your way through this neon underground cave maze for an unforgettable sub-terranean journey through a cave twice the size of St Paul’s Cathedral!

Scale the dizzying heights of Wales

Speaking of action, if the weather really isn’t playing ball there is one place you can rely on for clean, dry fun all year round.

Adventure Parc Snowdonia is home to a surf lagoon (well if it’s raining why not get wet), zip line and now a massive indoor adventure climbing area. Fun for the whole family; it houses a parkour trail, artificial caving course, and freefall jumps, and a soft-play area for younger children. If you’re feeling particularly brave you can even fly 2m into the air before landing on an air bag on the UK’s first and only kicker slide!

These are just a few of the incredible activities you can enjoy on a tour of Wales.

We are so passionate about this incredible country and we can’t wait to share it with you.

You can call us, chat online or drop us an email to discuss your ideas or itinerary and our team of Wales Gurus can point you in the right direction with hints, tips, accommodation options and even a driver-guide or hire car so that you can make the most of your next Wales adventure.

So, what are you waiting for?

Discover Wales Culture, Tours Of Wales

The North Wales Way – Your perfect tour of North Wales

Thrill seeker vs Chill Seeker. Whether you’re searching for adrenaline or relaxation, the North Wales Way has got you covered.

Let’s start from the top along the Northernmost tip of Wales. There are several faces to this uniquely cultured landscape and it’s up to you to decide which one you wish to discover. 

Tranquillity, Relaxation and Rejuvenation or Hustle, Bustle and Buzz? 

This is Wales your way.

Whether you’re visiting Wales to get away from it all, or if you’re thrill-seeking your way around our country – The North Wales Way is the perfect way for you!

Below are the towns of the North Wales Way – but not as you know them. This is our guide on what to do along the way – whether you’re a thrillseeker or a chillseeker.

The North Wales Way: Ruthin – Llandudno – Conwy – Caernarfon – Anglesey

Ruthin

Ruthin town is packed full of character, where you’ll find buildings dating back to the medieval times still in their original use today. The town is alive with history and stories tell of its links to King Arthur and Henry VII.

Chillseeker

Ruthin Castle is built on a red sandstone ridge 100 feet above the Clwyd Valley. It’s part of Edward 1st ‘Iron Ring’ Castle’s along with Caernarfon, Conwy, Beaumaris, and Harlech – which enjoy World Heritage status, this often overlooked castle is a real gem, tucked away from the crowds –  it’s even possible to enjoy a treatment at the spa, which rests beside the rustic woodland grounds of the castle moat, and relax with a view of ancient history.

Thrillseeker

Coed Llandegla just outside Ruthin is one of the most accessible mountain bike areas in North Wales. Adventure seekers, it’s time to get your rocks off on a mountain bike adventure! From picturesque green trails around the reservoir right up to intense black downhill tracks, it offers something for all ability levels. There are also hire facilities, a workshop, a bike shop and an award-winning cafe – perfect for when you’ve worked up an appetite.

Llandudno

The beautiful Victorian Resort Town has been delighting visitors for generations. Stroll along the promenade, sample some fish and chips on the historic pier. The Great Orme headlands are a Country Park, Special Area of Conservation, Site of Special Scientific Interest and a Heritage Coast.

Chillseeker

For a rejuvenating day out, take a ride on the Tramway. Britain’s only cable-hauled public road tramway is a delightful journey that has been running for over 100 years! So, breathe in that fresh sea air; admire the views; take a walk through the stunning countryside; explore the iron age fort or just stop for a well-deserved cuppa in the summit cafe!

Thrillseeker

Thrill Seekers can take a self-guided tour of the Great Orme Copper mines! Don your hard hat as you make your way through the largest prehistoric metal mine ever discovered in the world. A whopping 5-mile tunnel network has been uncovered since the mines were discovered in 1987.

Caernarfon

This Royal town is famous for its impressive castle, where Prince Charles received his investiture in 1969. It’s the perfect base from which to explore Snowdonia National Park, the mystical Isle of Anglesey and the North Wales coast.

Chillseeker

People of all ages and abilities can access the highest summit in England and Wales thanks to the Snowdon mountain railway which takes visitors to the summit. This narrow-gauge railway travels almost 5 miles from its home in Llanberis to the top of Snowdon or halfway to the Clogwyn for stupendous views across the Snowdonia mountain range.

Thrillseeker

If you like adrenaline adventures, you’ll have heard of Blaenau Ffestiniog, home to Zip World and the world’s fastest zipline. Velocity 2 speeds thrillseekers headfirst through the valley at over 100mph. The out of this world (or under it) Bounce Below is an enormous underground trampoline adventure located in the dark and spooky disused mines. This experience is certainly not for the faint-hearted!

Anglesey

Head to the magical island of Anglesey, home of druids, Cetlic myths and legends, and Halen Môn Welsh sea salt. The island is teeming with wildlife, beautiful views and rare birdlife including Puffins and Kittiwakes.

Chillseeker

No trip to North Wales is complete without a stop off at Europe’s longest place name, llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch (Llanfair PG to the locals)

You’ll notice that the light on Anglesey is different somehow. A drive along the winding country roads take you to windmills, castles and ancient burial chambers and ancient sacred ground.

Head towards the North and Holy Island to watch the sun set out far beyond the South Stack Lighthouse, and one of the world’s most awe-inspiring views. 

Thrillseeker

Rib Ride – Get your blood pumping with a water adventure that travels ‘at the speed of scream’ through the Menai Strait between North Wales and Anglesey.

With speeds of up to 75mph, Velocity is the world’s fastest passenger boat and an amazing way to see the area from a different perspective…if you can keep your eyes open!

So, there you have it, plenty of UNESCO World Heritage Sites, ancient lands packed with myths and legends, the highest peak in Wales and some of the most incredible vistas in the world.

Cambria Tours offer guided and self-guided tours along The North Wales Way.

We tailor our packages to give you exactly what you’re looking for. Whether you want to relax in style in a room with a view, or just need somewhere to crash out after a hard-days hiking our experts will work with you to create your dream tour of Wales.

Get in touch with our friendly team for more information and start planning your perfect tour of Wales today.

Discover Wales Culture

Six of the Best Cheesemakers in Wales

There are many things that Wales is notably famous for including beautiful mountains, award-winning beaches, friendly Welsh people, rugby, extreme sports and of course, food. To be even more specific – taste-bud-tantalising cheese, Welsh Cheeses are the best!

When it comes to cheese in Wales, we’ve got it nailed down to a fine art. After all, we did invent the world’s greatest (posh) cheese on toast, Welsh Rarebit. There is even an old joke about our undeniable love for cheese that dates back to medieval times. It goes a little something like this:

“One day in Heaven St Peter found himself with a bit of a problem; the Welshmen in Heaven were being far too noisy. They were singing at all hours, being boisterous, playing rugby and chattering to such an extent that God couldn’t hear himself think. 

So, he asked St Peter to do something about it, and, after some thought, Saint Peter walked outside of Heaven, and yelled “Hot damn, boys, someone’s left a load of cheese out here!” 

At which point every Welshman in Heaven ran outside to get some, and St Peter locked the door behind them.”

Although we are sure there are many different variations of the joke as it has been passed down through the generations, the point is very clear. In Wales we LOVE cheese and we want to share our fabulously delicious ‘caws’ (that’s cheese in Welsh by the way) with the world! 

When it comes to cheese in Wales, we don’t mess around. The cheesemakers on this list create award-winning Welsh cheeses that, after trying them, will make you turn away from that supermarket cheese in disgust!

The best Welsh cheeses and Cheesemakers

The Blaenafon Cheddar Company, South Wales

The Blaenafon Cheddar Company are specialists in one thing. That’s right, you guessed it, cheddar. This award-winning cheesemaker produces their cheese at the UNESCO World Heritage site of Blaenavon. 

Here all of their cheeses are handmade and, even more excitingly, their famous Pwll Mawr cheddar is actually aged 300ft below ground at the bottom of the mine shaft at Big Pit Mining Museum another part of the UNESCO site.

Their distinctive cheddars are often blended with a variety of local flavours and their Taffy Apple Cider cheddar is delicious heaped up high and melted on toast.

Caws Cenarth Cheese, Mid Wales

Caws Cenarth is the oldest established producer of Welsh Farmhouse Caerphilly. But they don’t just make plain old Caerphilly, Caws Cenarth have broken the mould to produce superb other varieties including Garlic and Herb and even Smoked Caerphilly. More recently they bridged out into developing new cheeses, and their Brie-like Perl Wen, and outstanding creamy blue cheese Perl Las are award-winning.

On a tour to Caws Cenarth, you can discover how their cheese is made and watch the cheesemakers below hard at work. Then comes the exciting bit as you get to taste a sample of each of their cheeses whilst learning more about the history of Welsh cheesemaking.

Perl Las is delightful melted across a freshly grilled burger.

Caws Teifi Cheese, Mid Wales

Caws Teifi Cheese is now the longest established artisan cheese maker in Wales. Since their conception in 1982, they have been at the forefront of Welsh artisanal cheesemaking with their clever mix of traditional and modern techniques.

Teifi Cheese are in fact one of the most highly awarded cheesemakers in Britain. Their cheeses have won countless first prizes and gold medals at The British Cheese Awards and The World Cheese Awards.

Want to know more? We can organise your group to take a tour around the factory where you can see the cheesemakers in action. Couple it with a tasting of their famous Dà Mhìle Welsh Whisky and Gin for the ultimate Welsh food and drink experience.

The Teifi Cheese Mature Caerphilly is perfect with a tangy farmhouse chutney.

Dragon Cheese, North Wales

Dragon Cheese is a big player on the list. You may recognise it from the shelves of most major UK supermarkets.

Dragon are a co-operative made up of 130 farms, some of which have been supplying the co-operative with milk for many generations. The close relationships built with all the farmers means that Dragon Cheese is made with only the best milk. Every carefully picked farmer really cares about their herds. 

The cows graze on lush grass and enjoy some of the most spectacular views that Wales has to offer – including the Llŷn Peninsula and Snowdonia National Park!

The beautifully buttery cheese is delightful and the Penderyn Whisky Cavern Aged Cheddar takes a ham and cheese toastie up a notch!

Hafod Cheese, Mid Wales

Hafod cheese is a handmade traditional hard cheese produced at Bwlchwernen Fawr, Wales’ longest certified organic dairy farm.

In 2007 Hafod Cheese was brought to life through the collaboration of Patrick Holden, a dairy farmer and his son and daughter-in-law who dreamed to one day produce a truly special Welsh-made cheese. The secret? Patrick’s old friend Dougal who mastered cheesemaking in the Swiss Alps taught Sam the art and it is his recipe that sparked the fire that is Hafod.

The cheese has developed a character of its own since then but the buttery, rich, nutty flavours of the Swiss origin still live on in this wonderful cheese that is the best accompaniment to Welsh Cawl (a delicious traditional Welsh lamb stew).

The Snowdonia Cheese Company, North Wales

The Snowdonia Cheese Company was born in 2001 with the sole aim of producing a new premium quality cheese that could be taken to the masses. They immediately garnered success at the local farmers’ markets and within 6 months the cheeses they had created were being stocked by fine food delicatessens and grocers across Wales. Their award-winning range of cheeses are created among the beautiful valleys, lakes and mountains of Snowdonia and their cheese embody their location.

Their unmissable flagship cheese Black Bomber has won awards at The World Cheese Awards, Nantwich International Cheese Awards, the Great British Cheese Awards and a Super Gold in France at Mondial Fromage. If you love strong cheddar, then we think it’s the best on the planet!

There you have it. Six incredible Welsh Cheesemakers and that produce a huge selection of award-winning Welsh cheeses that put Wales on the map of cheese heaven.

Are you desperate to try some of these fantastic cheeses? Cambria Tours specialise in creating small group, bespoke tours of Wales. Our Tour of Welsh Cheeses will tantalise your taste buds as you visit Cheesemakers across our beautiful country, learn the secret arts of Welsh cheesemaking, sample delicious cheeses at a variety of locations from source and supplier, all while you learn about the land of our fathers along the way.

When it comes to cheese. We don’t mess around. 

We hope to see you soon.

Discover Wales Culture, Tours Of Wales

Loving Welsh Food – The Ultimate Tasting Tours of Cardiff

Is there any better way to explore a city than to eat your way around it?

Loving Welsh Food, run by the fantastic Sian Roberts, is the ultimate tasting tour of our capital city Cardiff.

Sian was born in Cardiff but had always had a passion for travel and learning languages. When she finished school, she decided to travel to France for a gap year, but once she was there her sense of adventure and love for travel took hold and she decided to see the world and improve her languages instead of going to university.

Sian built a solid career in tourism and throughout her travels across France, Italy, Austria, Mexico, Malaysia, Hong Kong and Bali, she promoted Welsh food wherever she went. 

When Sian first started promoting Welsh food and drink at home and abroad, she was shocked to see how little the people she spoke to knew about not only Welsh food & drink, but Wales as a whole.  

Sian returned to Wales to work in television and radio – working on food and travel programmes. Following her marriage to husband Huw, she decided to go freelance and worked in tv, radio and also promoting Welsh food.

She decided it was time the world found out about Welsh food. Her first project involved creating Welsh cooking DVD – when it came out, Sian was invited to give talks about Welsh food and drink and was a regular host of cooking demos and workshops. 

Upon doing some research for a talk upon food tourism, Sian’s research, alongside hearing about Welsh students going to France and learning how to make croissants led to her discovering more about food tours, and she decided it would be a good idea to start them in Cardiff and Loving Welsh Food was born.

Tasting Tours with Loving Welsh Food

When you join in on a Cardiff Tasting Tour with Loving Welsh Food you can jump right into the thriving Cardiff food scene as Sian guides you to key landmarks in the city centre. Here you will discover specialist food producers, retailers and of course the Cardiff Indoor Market. 

Along the way you can sample several delicious Welsh delicacies including laverbread, cockles and Welsh beverages; alongside some continental favourites with a Welsh twist.

If that’s not enough for you and you’re looking for something a bit more personalised, Loving Welsh Food also offers private food and drink tours for individuals and groups. 

As an example, a Loving Welsh Food private tour could include; a Wine and Welshcakes tour where you can enjoy Welsh delicacies, a delicious lunch alongside a sampling of wine at a Welsh vineyard. Or a Castles, Coast and Cuisine day filled with excitement and exploration, and of course wonderful Welsh food. 

Sian also runs a variety of workshops alongside her fantastic tours as they are an immersive way of teaching visitors to cook and enjoy traditional Welsh recipes.

Loving Welsh Food has been running for 5 years and Sian loves every minute of it. Every day she shares her passion and skills with new people and broadcasts the voice of Welsh food. All of her tours and workshops can even be held in English, Welsh, French, Italian and Spanish.

We asked Sian two simple questions.

WHAT’S YOUR FAVOURITE FOOD?
“There are too many to mention I have experienced so many tasty foods in my travel and throughout Wales. Although dependent on the time of day, a warm Welshcake and a cup of tea, or, a delicious Welsh cheese platter always goes down wonderfully with a glass of wine.”

WHAT ELSE DO YOU ENJOY DOING WHEN YOU’RE NOT LOVING WELSH FOOD?
“To be honest I really do love going out for food – trying new restaurants and new dishes – with friends or meeting new people. 

Of course, my passion for travelling still thrives. Both my sisters live abroad – one in France, such a beautiful country – I go there as often as I can. The other lives in Sydney – not as easy to pop over there but I have been twice, and it was brilliant.”

So, if you are looking to find out more about the fabulous delicacies that Wales has to offer, alongside a chance to explore our beautiful capital city, look no further than booking a tour with Loving Welsh Food. 

All bookings for Loving Welsh Food are managed by Cambria Tours. If you are looking for your next foodie adventure, or you have any questions regarding single, group or private bookings, please get in touch. 

Our tours of Wales are bespoke packages with special added touches. We will make planning your Wales experience as simple as possible and ensure your stay is everything you want it to be.

Discover Wales Culture

Why Christmas in Wales is Epic!

The festive season is a season of joy. One of merriment, song, smiles, laughter, celebration, sometimes travel, and a coming together of friends, family, loved ones and even strangers. Whenever we think of Christmas, we always feel warm inside. Some distant memories transport us back to our childhoods to feelings of excitement and thoughts of Christmas will always put a smile on our faces.

Christmas is all about creating unforgettable memories that you and your loved ones will cherish for years to come.

Christmas in Wales is Epic.

At Cambria Tours, we specialise in helping to create memories. When it comes to Christmas, we are always reminded of the 1987 film ‘A Childs Christmas in Wales’. A film that began life as prose written by the great Welsh poet Dylan Thomas and creates a sense of the nostalgia as it remembers a Christmas from the viewpoint of Thomas as a young boy.

Dylan always felt that when he was a child the snow was simply better and more exciting.

We believe the same could be said for Wales.

Christmas in Wales is simply better and more exciting. Here’s why.

The Great Welsh Outdoors at Christmas.

It goes without saying that if you want to enjoy the beauty of the great outdoors then you go to Wales. Nothing can beat taking a stroll through the beautiful Welsh countryside and hearing the crunch of your footsteps on a crisp winter morning. The frost-covered hills and valleys are the perfect place to enjoy a Christmas Day walk.

If you are feeling brave another tradition of Welsh coastal towns and villages is the Boxing Day Swim. 1000’s of residents partake in the events, often to raise money for their chosen charities. If you wish to join in on the challenge, we can promise it will definitely be a bit nippy but it will also be a lot of fun. You’ll be full of adrenaline after the dip and be ready to take on the world.

Fantastic Christmas Food in Wales.

In Wales we love our food. We are very proud of our local delicacies and our recipes are passed down through the generations. Nothing beats mam’s Welshcakes or Mamgu’s Laverbread. When festive season rolls around, Christmas Markets spring up through the towns and cities and they are filled with tasty local treats and handmade Welsh crafts which make perfect gifts for loved ones.

If it’s Christmas Dinner you are searching for then you will never have to look far to find a wealth of wonderful offerings. Whether it’s one of Wales’ many award-winning restaurants or one of our cosy traditional pubs our roast dinners are hearty and delicious. Welsh Lamb is the best in the world and don’t even get us started on the gravy.

Festive Season Sport in Wales.

The festive season in Wales is an epic season of sport. As you may already know we are bonkers about rugby! Chowing down on a leftover turkey sandwich, the Christmas Pro 14 Rugby Derbies are one of our favourite things to watch over the Christmas period. If you visit Cardiff on Boxing Day this year you can Cardiff Blues take on Dragons. Or, head further west to Llanelli where the Scarlets host Ospreys at Parc Y Scarlets. Nothing beats the buzz of the crowds on derby days.

It’s not just rugby that we love during the festive season. The Welsh Grand National is on the 27th of December in Chepstow and fans of Ice Hockey will relish the chance to see Cardiff Devils play at home over December.

So, whether you’re at a match, in the pub, or just sitting on the sofa you can enjoy the excitement of festive season Welsh sports.

Merry Locals Filled with Cheer in Wales.

Speaking of the pub, pubs are another thing that we do best here in Wales. Welsh people are renowned as being one of the friendliest and most welcoming people in the world. This is even truer in local pubs and bars during the Christmas period when you’ll find friendly happy Welsh locals singing and sharing stories over a pint of the local brew.

So pop yourself in next to the fireplace, (Don’t worry we can tell you where the ones with the biggest, warmest fireplaces are) order a glass of delicious homemade mulled wine or mulled cider and soak up the merry atmosphere that is filled with joy and laughter.

And there you have it, just some of the reasons we believe that spending even just a small amount of time in Wales over the festive season will fill you with joy and excitement.

Because Christmas in Wales is simply better and more exciting than anywhere else.

At Cambria Tours, we specialise in all things Wales.

We are so passionate about our incredible country and we can’t wait to share it with you.

You can call us, chat online or drop us an email to discuss your Festive Season ideas or itinerary and our team of Wales Gurus can point you in the right direction with hints, tips, accommodation options and even a driver-guide or hire car so that you can make the most of your next Wales adventure.

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. 

Creating unique experiences on Tenby North Beach (look a little closer) – Part 2 of our blog on Pembrokshire includes a visit to this beautiful, picturesque Welsh seaside town.

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.

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. Contact us here

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!