Snowdon Mountain Railway and Great Castles of North Wales

Boasting a spectacular location opposite the lovely beach and promenade, the Llandudno Bay Hotel is the perfect base for a Welsh escape. Listen to the soothing sounds of the sea as you relax in the well-furnished outside area, admire the beautifully finished interiors, and enjoy a comfortable stay in the tastefully decorated rooms. From here, we’ll explore captivating castles and historic gardens, taking in breathtaking views of the Snowdon Valley and the Menai Strait. Visit the tranquil Tudor Gwydir Castle, be left in awe by the lovely gardens at Penrhyn, Plas Cadnant and Bodnant, enjoy an idyllic stroll through Beaumaris, and even take a train to Snowdon’s peak!

Your Tour Includes

  • 4 nights hotel with Welsh breakfast
  • 4 evening meals
  • Coach transfers for our excursions
  • Services of an experienced Tour Manager
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Itinerary

Please choose your preferred 5 day itinerary

Make your own way to our hotel in Llandludno, where you meet an experienced Tour Manager and enjoy a relaxing evening.

Included Meals

  • Dinner

This morning we travel by coach to Penrhyn Castle, where there’s plenty to discover whether you are exploring the luxurious Victorian rooms or wandering through the beautiful gardens. The neo-Norman Castle is the former home of the Pennant family and was rebuilt between 1820-1833 using profits from the North Wales slate industry and sugar plantations in Jamaica.

There is free time at leisure to explore the castle and grounds this morning before we continue by coach to Beaumaris on Anglesey, a captivating seaside town. Perhaps enjoy a stroll along the seafront and take in the views of the Menai Strait or walk through the charming streets with pastel-painted cottages.

This afternoon, we travel by coach to Plas Cadnant Hidden Gardens. Described as one of North Wales’ best-kept secrets, the hidden world of Plas Cadnant Gardens is situated at the side of the Menai Strait. In 1996 the semi-derelict estate was purchased by Anthony Tavernor, a former dairy farmer from Staffordshire. Work began on a huge programme of restoring the historic buildings and gardens. Large areas had disappeared under a dense canopy of self-seeded trees, laurel and wild rhododendron, and the walled garden and valley areas were only accessible with the use of a chainsaw. Plas Cadnant Hidden Gardens have undergone a dramatic transformation over the last quarter of a century, and with contrasting formal and picturesque elements, they extend to some 10 acres.

On arrival, we have tea or coffee and cake before enjoying a guided tour of the gardens. After which, there is free time to explore further. Discover the estate’s history from the early 19th century, through to its decline and the rediscovery and restoration of the gardens. Absorb the formal beauty of the walled garden and lose yourself in the stunning valley gardens.

Later this afternoon, the coach returns us to the hotel. Dinner is included this evening.

Included Meals

  • Breakfast
  • Dinner

Included Highlights

  • Penrhyn Castle
  • Beaumaris
  • Plas Cadnant Hidden Gardens

Our coach takes us to Gwydir Castle, one of the most important Tudor houses in Wales which was acquired in 1994 by Peter Welford and author Judy Corbett. At this point it was in desperate need of restoration, so they took on the mammoth task of restoring the house and gardens, whilst managing to retain Gwydir's timeless atmosphere and natural beauty. Of particular note is the seventeenth century panelled dining room, which was bought by William Randolph Hearst of Citizen Kane fame, and has now been reinstated in its rightful home of Gwydir. A guided tour will take you through over 500 years of history as the castle shares its stories and secrets, followed by an included cream tea and further time to explore the gardens and admire the resident peacocks.

We continue by coach to the village of Llanberis, which sits on the southern bank of Lake Padarn and the foot of Mount Snowdon, the highest mountain in Wales at 1,085 metres. We board the Snowdon Mountain Railway for a return journey to the summit and the visitor centre, enjoying fantastic views over the valley as the train makes its way up the 4-mile track.

We return by coach to the hotel, where we enjoy dinner this evening.

Included Meals

  • Breakfast
  • Dinner

Included Highlights

  • Snowdon Mountain Railway
  • Gwydir Castle

This morning, we travel by coach to Bodrhyddan Hall, the home of Lord Langford and his family. Bodrhyddan has been home to successive generations of the same family and is one of the few remaining family-owned stately homes in Wales. As the hall passed through the generations, styles and tastes changed, with the most recent additions designed in 1874 by the renowned architect William Eden Nesfield. The gardens cover around 12 acres and include a formal parterre, cascading lawns and a Japanese walk of life. The garden is home to a number of native trees and others from further afield, including giant sequoia, cedar of Lebanon and an Indian bean tree. On arrival, we enjoy a guided tour, which gives great insight into this beautiful family home. After the tour, we enjoy coffee and cake before exploring the gardens at leisure.

Later, we travel by coach to Bodnant Garden for an afternoon exploring at your own pace. Spanning across 80 acres and over 250 years of horticultural history, the National Trust’s Bodnant Garden is home to five Italianate terraces, wildflower meadows, woodland, and riverside gardens. From champion trees to national botanic collections, seasonal delights include daffodils, bluebells, camellias, magnolias, the laburnum arch and rhododendrons in spring, roses, water lilies and wildflowers in the summer, and rich autumn colours, which lead into a stunning display in the winter garden.

When Victorian industrialist Henry Davis Pochin bought Bodnant at auction in 1874, it was an estate with a walled garden, woods and plantations. It was Pochin's grand vision which originally shaped Bodnant into the world-renowned garden that we see today. Gifted to the National Trust in 1949, the donor family continue to maintain a link to the garden which has, in a new era of 21st-century developments, brought about the opening of previously private areas such as the Winter Garden, Old Park, Yew Dell, the Far End and Furnace Wood. After our visit, we return to the hotel by coach and dine together at the hotel.

Included Meals

  • Breakfast
  • Dinner

Included Highlights

  • Bodnant Garden
  • Bodrhyddan Hall

After breakfast, you are free to check out of the hotel and make your own way home. You could take the opportunity to make your way up the Great Orme in Llandudno or visit the neighbouring town of Conwy before leaving.

Included Meals

  • Breakfast

Accommodation

You will stay for four nights at the Llandudno Bay Hotel.

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