We begin the day with a drive through Cathays Park, an area which is home to The National Musuem of Wales, City Hall and Cardiff University, as we head towards and drive around Cardiff Castle. The castle, located in the city centre, is a combination of building work across many different centuries, beginning its life as a defensive fort for the Romans in the mid 1st century AD. It was the Romans’ main residence when they controlled Wales and was a site of important strategic value along the network of Roman roads. The castle was subject to a Norman invasion in the 11th century, with the first Norman castle built on the site in 1091.
Leaving Cardiff we pass through the quaint village of Llandaff and towards the village of Tongwynlais. Here we stop for a short while to walk around Castell Coch, translated as 'Red Castle'. Castell Coch, known as ‘the fairytale castle’ was built as a country retreat for the 3rd Marquess of Bute in the 1870's and is situated at the gateway to the Rhondda Valleys.
Our final castle sighting of the day is the largest castle in Wales; Caerphilly Castle. It is also the second largest in Great Britain (second only to Windsor Castle) and was built in the late 13th century by Gilbert de Clare as part of his campaign to conquer Glamorgan and is still surrounded by large scale water defences. Defences that, by historian Allen Brown, are quoted as 'the most elaborate water defences in all Britain'. In 1403 Caerphilly Castle was captured by Owain Glyndwr, who was the last native Welshman to hold the title Prince of Wales (Tywysog Cymru). This occupation lasted only 100 days. Here you will get the opportunity to explore Caerphilly Castle from both the interior ( optional, ) and exterior (admission charge payable) and take time to enjoy some light refreshments in the town of Caerphilly before continuing our journey to the Brecon Beacons.
Suitably refreshed we continue our tour leaving Caerphilly and travel to the Brecon Beacons, one of three National Parks in Wales, passing though the village of Penderyn, the home of 'Welsh Whisky' and the famous Penderyn Distillery. The Brecon Beacons covers an area of 500 square miles, home to the highest mountain in Wales, Pen-y-Fan and also home to one of the world's oldest and prettiest horse breeds – Welsh Mountain ponies and cobs. The National Park’s reservoirs and dams provide most of the drinking water for South Wales and are striking additions to the natural landscape. There are many photo opportunities here amongst the breathtaking scenery as well as a visit to the Brecon Beacons Visitors Centre where you will get the opportunity to walk on the Beacons in a safe traffic free environment. .
Leaving the National Park, we continue to the final destination on our tour, the market town of Brecon, famous for hosting the world-renowned Jazz Festival, held in the town every August. Brecon is steeped in history and dates from Norman times, boasting a Cathedral Church dating from 1923 an eclectic range of independent shops, selling gifts, local crafts, antiques, books and cafes. Brecon also marks the start of the Monmouthsire and Brecon Canal, one of the most beautiful and peaceful stretches of waterway in the country. You can spend some time visiting Brecon Cathedral browsing the shops in the town or perhaps take a walk alongside this beautiful canal – you decide!
With the tour at an end we board our vehicle and travel to where the tour started with an estimated arrival in Cardiff at 17:30 - 18:00hrs ( Subject to traffic conditions )