Start your tour in Bodnant Garden, world-famous and created over 150 years, with plants collected and brought to Britain from afar. The Laburnum Arch flowers in late May and is a great attraction. Group visits should be booked in advance. A minimum of two hours is recommended for a visit.
The site is on a slope and although this means spectacular views of the mountains and interesting planting, visitors with mobility issues need to keep to the top. There is still plenty to see in the more formal gardens.
There is ample coach parking, special group rates and meet and greet is available if pre-booked. A restaurant is available in the coach park, as well as a café and shops in the gardens, accessed by a tunnel under the road at the top. Refreshments and toilets are also available at the bottom of the site but allow half an hour for the steep walk to return to the entrance. The exit from the gardens to travel south on A470 is at an awkward angle for coaches so many drivers chose to turn left from the carpark and take the narrow back roads, leading to an exit onto the A470 near Bodnant Welsh Food.
Lunch can be taken in Betws-y-Coed, a village in the forest straddling two rivers. There is a wide choice of cafes, restaurants and shops. Clients can visit the Conwy Valley Railway Museum or walk to the ancient St Michael’s Old Church, taking the footbridge over the railway. The coach drop off is a lay-by next to the toilets (charged for) and then a large coach park at the end of the road.
After lunch, take a scenic drive to the mountains of Snowdonia along the historic A5 coaching route passing the Ugly House and Swallow Falls on the right before reaching the higher mountains, still on the A5. A suitable lay-by for a photo stop is on the left at Lake (Llyn) Ogwen beneath, the towering cliffs of Tryfan mountain.
Just before the town of Bethesda, clients can look out for thrill seekers descending the fast zip line in the huge slate quarry on the left at Zip World Penrhyn Quarry.
After Bethesda take the A55 to travel over the Menai Strait by Britannia Bridge, turning right on the A545 to Beaumaris. The coach drop off is just before the castle on the left and the coach parking is after the castle, again on the left. Clients can visit the Victorian Beaumaris Gaol complete with treadmill or Beaumaris Court, an even older courthouse. The biggest attraction is probably the World Heritage Site Beaumaris Castle surrounded by a pretty moat. Group rates are available.
An alternative option is a boat trip to Puffin Island. There are toilets (paid for) near the castle and between the High Street and the coast. The Victorian pier is where you can embark the boat with Starida. Special rates apply to coach parties who book in advance. Group rates for 10 or more are also available. There are also discounts on fishing trips for groups of 12 or more. Coaches can pick up outside the chemist on the High Street.
Return to the Britannia Bridge by the incoming route with an option of making a photo stop at one of three lay-bys on the left after Menai Bridge to see the Menai Suspension Bridge and the mountains of Snowdonia and the little island of Ynys Gorad Goch built as a fish trap. History and visitor information of the bridges, island and exhibition can be found at Menai Heritage.
There may also be time for a photo stop at the station at Llanfair PG which has the longest place name in Europe. There is a shop, café and coach parking.
Continue home or to onward destination.