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Enjoy all that Wales has to offer with this short break to the Glamorgan area. Combine new and old - Cardiff, picture perfect villages, designer outlets, breathtaking coast and visits to museums and churches. Enjoy both the countryside and coastline of this fantastic country.
From: 01 Apr 2012 - To: 30 Sep 2012
Drive to your hotel. Settle in and enjoy a relaxing dinner.
Spend your first full day in Wales taking in the beautiful countryside, exploring the towns and villages of Glamorgan’s heritage coast and countryside. Head east to the medieval settlement of Bridgend to enjoy a visit to the market town’s designer shopping outlet. Afterwards, visit the ancient market town of Maesteg and then Porthcawl, followed by the picture postcard chocolate box village of Merthyr Mawr, where you can explore the Sahara-like sand dunes of Merthyr Mawr Warren, where several scenes in Lawrence of Arabia were filmed. Afterwards, visit the unique rural village of Ewenny, set on the banks of a river and boasting a priory and pottery that was founded in 1610. Finally, visit the elegant market town of Cowbridge. Take time out in the Psychic Garden, parts of which date back to the 13th century. Indulge in some chic shopping or afternoon tea before returning for your second night at the hotel.
Visit the largest medieval moated castle in Wales: Caerphilly Castle, which boasts full-size working replicas of medieval siege engines and its south-east tower leans at more of an angle than the famous Leaning Tower of Pisa in Italy. Leaving Caerphilly, head to Castell Coch, which enjoys splendid views of Cardiff city. This turreted fairytale castle was built on medieval remains, then lavishly restored by William Burges in the Victorian Gothic style. Spend the rest of your day enjoying St Fagan’s National History Museum, just 4 miles out of Cardiff. It stands in the grounds of the magnificent St Fagan’s Castle, a late 16th-century manor house donated to the people of Wales by the Earl of Plymouth. During the last 50 years, more than 40 original buildings from different historical periods have been re-erected in the 100-acre parkland, among them houses, a farm, a school, a chapel and a splendid Workmen's Institute. Visitors can gain an insight into the rich heritage and culture of Wales, and the Welsh language can be heard in daily use among craftsmen and interpreters. Return to your hotel for a third night.
Spend your last morning in Wales enjoying the delights of the capital, Cardiff. You may choose to visit the iconic Cardiff Castle, but there are many other gems to discover. Enjoy a visit to the National Museum of Cardiff, where you can marvel at the impressionist art by Monet, Picasso and Rodin, to name but a few. The Norwegian Church has a fascinating past and was the place where children’s author Roald Dahl was christened. Before crossing the bridge back into England, take in the delights of Blaenavon Ironworks, Tintern Abbey and Chepstow Castle. Blaenavon Ironworks began operations in 1789. The best preserved blast furnace complex of its period and type in the world, take time to view the blast furnaces, cast houses, the restored Water Balance Tower, the reconstructed company shop and the refurbished workers’ cottages. The Cistercian abbey of Tintern is one of the greatest monastic ruins of Wales. Founded on 9 May 1131 by Walter de Clare, Lord of Chepstow, it prospered until King Henry VIII’s Dissolution of the Monasteries in 1536. Chepstow Castle is set on a cliff above the River Wye, close to where it joins the River Severn. This massive and mighty medieval fortress is beautifully preserved and is something of a history lesson in stone. The historic walled border town and ancient port of Chepstow has many places to choose from for a bite to eat before beginning your homeward journey.
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