The Wales Way is a family of national routes which lead you on great journeys through our country. The Coastal Way 180-mile / 290km) travels the west coast around Cardigan Bay, a road-trip between the sea and mountains. The Cambrian Way (185 miles / 300km) journeys between Llandudno and Cardiff, through National Parks and big spaces. The North Wales Way (75 miles / 120km) leads past mighty 13th century castles into the Isle of Anglesey. Travel trade friendly itineraries highlighting these routes are available.
Museum ExporAR is a new experience at National Museum Cardiff allowing the visitor to explore self-led experiences by hiring a hand held state-of-the-art device from the shop. Watch sea creatures and dinosaurs come to life and explore Monet’s waterlily garden. From spring 2019, walking routes will be offered to help keep fit around the seven museums. There is also an exciting array of new exhibitions launched for 2019-2020.
Following its redevelopment, visitors will now be able to explore life in Wales from the earliest humans to present day life at St Fagans National Museum of History. There are two new galleries featuring national collections of history and archaeology in the main building. Other new editions include Gweithdy, a workshop celebrating skill makers, Bryn Eryr, an Iron Age farmsted and a reconstruction of the court of the Princes of Gwynedd. Please note that the National Roman Legion Museum will be closed from September 2019 to September 2020.
Cambria DMC has had a fantastic 2018 which has seen their team of Wales experts almost double to 10 full-time team members all working solely on the promotion and creation of unique products and tours for Wales. Their popular weekly guaranteed departures for FITs (Snapshot of Wales) will extend in 2019 - beginning in May and running every Monday until the end of September. They will also have a new literary tour and more bespoke tours in 2019.
routescape launches at WTM creating exceptional journeys, initially focused on the best of Wales and the wider British Isles. Carefully designed tours will offer stays in a collection of handpicked luxury hotels and inns set in the most scenic locations offering unrivalled levels of food and service and a true sense of place. Website will be launched at WTM.
The Italianate village of Portmeirion is offering new group rates and complimentary guided tours for 2019. Situated on a private peninsula in North Wales, the village features scenic gardens, iconic architecture, woodlands cottages, spa, restaurants and two hotels. The rates are applicable to groups of 12 or more through advance booking.
The Royal Victoria hotel in Llanberis has just completed an upgrade to all 104 bedrooms along with improvements to the reception and dining areas. The three star hotel stands at the foothills of Snowdon.
Aber Falls Distillery Visitor Centre is now open and is the first of its kind in North Wales for more than 100 years. Heralding the area and its natural beauty, the brand offers a range of award-winning, premium gins and liqueurs; made using Welsh-inspired ingredients and botanicals, including Welsh Dry, Orange Marmalade and Rhubarb & Ginger gins, and Salted Toffee, Violet and Coffee and Dark Chocolate Liqueurs. Their single-malt whisky will be available from 2020. Distillery tours are offered and include master classes, lab experiences, and an opportunity to sample and purchase from the range of premium quality spirits.
Penderyn Distillery, nestled in the foothills of the Brecon Beacons National Park has taken the whisky world by storm since it first started creating its smooth single malt in 2004; since then, it has also concocted award-winning vodka, gin and a cream liqueur. Their new bespoke Gold Range bottle is their latest product and they have recently won 13 gold medals for their single malt whiskies in international awards. As well as sampling, visitors can experience the distilling, bottling process and the history of the whisky making in Wales. Whisky master-classes are also available. They have plans to open new distilleries in Swansea and Llandudno.
Loving Welsh Food offers a variety of food tours, cookery workshops and demonstrations in Cardiff and the Vale of Glamorgan. The company recently won ‘Best Activity in Wales’ at the National Tourism Awards 2018. Tours are offered in English, Welsh, French, Italian and Spanish.
Following the launch of Hwyl Events their website is now live. Take a look to see how they can tailor make an experience for your group which showcases the best of Welsh entertainment and activities including storytelling, a Welsh choir or traditional dance.
Royal Mint Experience is now offering VIP tours which includes the original tour with a chance to meet the experts, see a World Famous Collection, discover how the coins are made on the factory floor and experience the Tool Room. Also, their new Mint, Mine & Vine bespoke experience includes a visit to The Royal Mint, the Welsh Mining Experience and Llanerch Vineyard.
Caernarfon is seeing a £15m part EU funded Tourism Attractor Destination project which includes a new Welsh Highland Railway station, due to open early 2019. A further development known as ‘The Island Site’ is an equally important part of this plan, adding to the visitor experience by connecting the WHR terminus, the castle and town. It will include retail, catering and a spacious modern interpretation area showcasing the history of the quayside area and railway.
Twr y Felin in St Davids is a former windmill which has been meticulously restored and extended, and is now home to 21 bedrooms and two Rosette Blas Restaurant. Originally opened in March 2016, Twr y Felin has exceeded its business goals and as a result, is in the early stages of extending with 20 additional bedrooms, due to open in 2020. Twr y Felin is part of the Retreats Group and also offer unique breaks including castle, foraging, wildlife and adventure breaks. Exclusive stays are possible at Penrhiw Priory and Roch Castle and helicopter landing is an option too.
The Angel Hotel Abergavenny is working with local businesses and developing new product ideas and things to do for small groups. This includes group foraging trip with Brecon Beacons Foraging, wine tasting at Ancre Hill Vineyard and baking courses with ‘The Abergavenny Baker’ in her beautiful house on the side of The Sugarloaf Mountain.
The Severn Bridge and The Prince of Wales Bridge, formerly known as the Second Severn Crossing will abolish their tolls with effect from 17 December 2018. This means that all modes of transport will be able to enter Wales from south west England free of charge.
The International Convention Centre Wales at Celtic Manor Resort is due to open in June 2019 and is now taking bookings. It will include a 1,500-seat auditorium and separate exhibition hall which, at 4,000 square meters, will provide the largest pillar-free ballroom in Europe, capable of hosting 2,400 people for a gala dinner.
You can download a Microsoft Word version of the new product updates for Wales over the last year here:
Travel Trade Wales Product Update - November 2018
Travel Trade Wales Product Update - February 2018