Cadw sites:
Tintern Abbey, Blaenavon Ironworks, Harlech Castle, Caernarfon Castle and Conwy Castle are in the care of Cadw. Register with the Cadw Tour Operator Scheme (CTOS) to become a member of Cadw’s online group booking scheme. Members benefit from preferential trade rates and discounts, complimentary admission for your tour leader, complimentary introductions to Cadw monuments, enhanced information for existing tours and invoicing following your visit. Travel Trade Explorer Passes can also be purchased. Please contact

The Gwynedd castles and town walls of King Edward and Blaenavon Industrial Landscape have been awarded with UNESCO World Heritage Site status.

Day one

In the Wye Valley you'll find the 12th century Tintern Abbey. It is one of the most serene and faithfully preserved ruin in Britain and was the source of inspiration for the artist Turner and poet Wordsworth.

Interior shot of an old abbey with the sunlight casting shadows.

Tintern Abbey

Travel on to the market town of Abergavenny on the edge of Bannau Brycheiniog (Brecon Beacons) National Park and home to the famous Abergavenny Food Festival. Take a stroll around the town and its indoor market (Tuesday, Friday and Saturday only), castle and museum and range of unique shops.

An external shot of the Market Hall, home to Abergavenny market.
People sitting on a lawn amongst food tents with Abergavenny in the background.

Abergavenny Market Hall and Abergavenny Food Festival

Next head to Blaenavon for a tour down a mine at Big Pit National Coal Museum. Enjoy a multi-media tour of a modern coal mine with a virtual miner in the Mining Galleries, exhibitions in the Pithead Baths and historic colliery buildings and of course the underground tour.

If there is time, or you want an alternative option, Blaenavon Ironworks is one mile (0.8km) from the pit. Wales' industrial heritage has been well preserved in this 18th century World Heritage Site.

Big Pit National Coal Museum

End the day in Hay-on-Wye, the town which is famous for its books. There are so many places to browse and buy books including at the  the cinema, the fire station and the restored and renovated Hay Castle, which opened to the public in May 2022. It also hosts the annual Hay Festival of Literature & the Arts in May/June which has placed the town well and truly on the world literary map.

A reader in a deckchair on a grass field with festival banners in the foreground.
A man on stage at a literature festival.

Hay Festival

Y Talbot and The Square

Y Talbot


The Metropole Hotel

Llandrindod Wells
Nanteos Mansion

Nanteos Mansion

Llangoed Hall

Llangoed Hall


Day two

En-route to Aberystwyth stop at Devil's Bridge - the waterfalls have attracted many visitors since the 18th century, including William Wordsworth who wrote the 'Torrent at the Devil's Bridge'. Today, the Falls Nature Trail provides a unique opportunity to see this great natural feature in the Rheidol Gorge. 

Take a stroll around the university town of Aberystwyth and home to the National Library of Wales. Don't miss the seafront and Aberystwyth castle.

Views of Aberystwyth bay from the Cliff top railway.
An aerial view of the steps leading down to a waterfall at Devil's Bridge.

A view of Aberystwyth from the Cliff Railway and Devil's Bridge

Travel on to Machynlleth and to the Centre for Alternative Technology. Take a ride in a water-powered funicular from its main entrance and enjoy exhibitions on solar power, wind energy, green gardening and other eco-initiatives. Stroll around acres of woodlands and organic gardens. Bespoke pre-booked group experiences are available where clients will be able to join expert tutors in a range of topics including gardening for nature. There is a vegetarian café on site with free parking for coaches.

The upper entrance area at Centre for Alternative Technology with a pond and flowers.
The organic gardens and the WISE building, Centre for Alternative Technology.

Centre for Alternative Technology

Travelling along the Cardigan Bay coastline through the fishing village of Aberdyfi you come to Tywyn where you can take a 7 mile journey through the countryside on-board award winning Talyllyn Railway, one of the Great Little Trains of Wales.

Aerial shot of Dyfi Estuary and Aberdyfi
Talyllyn Railway steam train riding through lush green fields.

Dyfi Estuary and Aberdyfi, and Talyllyn Railway

The Hotel Portmeirion

Hotel Portmeirion

Criccieth Castle

Caerwylan Hotel

Plas Weunydd Exterior

Plas Weunydd

Blaenau Ffestiniog

Day three

Travel up the coast to Harlech and visit one of Kind Edward I's mighty fortresses, Harlech Castle. Situated high upon a rocky outcrop, its seaward side was defended by sheer cliffs, while a deep moat protected the other sides. Coach parking is available at Bron y Graig Uchaf. Contact Harlech Castle to receive suitable directions for coaches to reach the car park.

A short distance away is Portmeirion, the unique Italianate seaside village created by Sir Clough William-Ellis and made famous by the TV series, The Prisoner. After exploring the beautiful woodland gardens, take a stroll around the pastel coloured buildings and facades of the "fantasy village".

Outside shot of Harlech Castle with a view of the towers and entrance.
Large wooden chess pieces on a board in the gardens at Portmeirion.

Harlech Castle and Portmeirion

Your next stop is Caernarfon Castle, another one built by King Edward I in the 13th century. It was the location of King Charles III's investiture when he became Prince of Wales in 1969 until he acceded the throne in 2022.

End the day in Anglesey. Here you will find the town with the longest name - Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwryndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch - shortened to Llanfair PG. It means St Marys Church by the white aspen over the whirlpool, and St Tysilios church by the red cave! Visit the impressive James Pringle complex, an attractively designed building on the Railway Station which contains a huge selection of craft items.

If time allows enroute to Anglesey, stop at the walled town of Conwy which has many things to see and do including Conwy Castle, Plas Mawr and the smallest house.

Inside the courtyard of a castle.
The entrance to Conwy Castle between the suspension cables of the bridge.

Caernarfon Castle and Conwy Castle

Travel Trade newsletter sign up

Subscribe to Visit Wales' Travel Trade newsletter to keep up to date with the latest developments.

Related stories