This year, we are continuing to celebrate ‘Llwybrau. Wales, by Trails. Whether it’s heritage or walking trails, literary or music trails, restaurant and distillery trails, there are many opportunities to present existing trails well as new tours and itineraries using the theme and incorporate it into your marketing. Transport for Wales has introduced a range of trails along their network From Rail to Trail. Your clients can travel by rail to cities and towns around the country and explore attractions and highlighted trails.

Wrexham is currently enjoying its increased profile as series three of Welcome to Wrexham was launched in April 2024 with Hollywood actors & club chairmen Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenney. Follow their story on Disney+ and Hulu and meet some of the characters and discover more about this area of Wales. Wrexham is where the Football Association of Wales was founded in 1876 and a Football Museum for Wales and Wrexham Museum are due to open in 2026.

A good refreshment and toilet stop for coaches travelling to/from and through the borough of Wrexham is Caffi Cyfle at Alyn Waters Country Park, a 400-acre Green Flag Award accredited site. They can tailor packages for your needs whether that’s providing refreshments to be taken away and consumed on the coach or the use of their large conference room situated behind the café. It can also offer an opportunity for your clients to take a walk as there are a variety of woodland, grassland and riverside walks throughout the park.

Caerphilly Castle is undergoing a £10million renovation scheme that includes a new visitor centre, catering, toilets, digital interpretation of the site and a 13th century makeover of the Great Hall. It’s due to be completed by summer 2026.

Cadw’s Tour Operator Scheme

Penderyn Swansea Copperworks Distillery has opened their third distillery in the historic Hafod Morfa Copperworks site. Their other sites include Penderyn Brecon Beacons Distillery and Penderyn Llandudno Lloyd Street Distillery. All offer a visitor centre, shop, behind the scene tours and masterclasses.

2024 is set to be another memory making year at The Royal Mint, with exciting new additions to their exhibition – the return of their Gold Bar. Can you manage to lift a bar of gold worth over £450,000 with just one hand? Plus, a new exhibition to be announced very soon. New for 2024 – an enhanced visit to The Royal Mint with their new Key To The Mint package. Trade exclusive just £30pp add lunch for just £9.95pp extra. Christmas & Festive afternoon tea is now on sale for 2024 exclusive to Travel Trade only. The attraction is part of the Coin, Coal and Cheers package. They won ‘Best Museum or Gallery’ and runner up ‘Best Guided Tour’ (Group Leisure & Travel Awards 2023).

Hensol Castle Distillery, also part of the Coin, Coal and Cheers package, has been recognised by Tripadvisor as a 2023 Travellers’ Choice award winner for its visitor experience for the second year in a row. Situated on the estate of the Vale Resort, in the cellars of the 400 year old Grade-I listed Hensol Castle, it offers a number of experiences including a gin distillery tour, gin making experience and cocktail masterclass.

SCALE, a rooftop adventure has opened at the Principality Stadium in Cardiff offering a thrilling experience with panoramic views across the city and beyond. Your clients can choose to head to the viewing platform 60 metres (197 feet) above the stadium floor and take in the views or if feeling brave can combine the adrenaline rush of zip lining across the roof canopy and abseiling back down to Base Camp.

Newport Transporter Bridge will open in 2024/25 as an innovative attraction experience with a new visitor centre, café and toilets, shop and exhibition space. It is one of the most complete surviving transporter bridges, and only one of 6 remaining in the world. It is also the inspiration for the interior design of the nearby 135 bedroomed Mercure Newport Hotel which opened in 2022.

The Museum of Land Speed has opened telling the story of Pendine and the land speed records by Sir Malcolm Campbell and John Parry Thomas. The interactive exhibition features motorbikes and other large objects including Babs – the ill-fated car that crashed, killing John Parry Thomas and was buried for around 70 years in the sands. The development includes Y Caban with 14 rooms sleeping up to 43 guests in double, triple and family rooms.

Halen Môn Anglesey Sea Salt has introduced seaweed bathing in recycled, insulated barrels to their visitors. Behind the scene tours, a gift shop and café is also offered.

The historical visitor attraction Llancaiach Fawr Manor has won two prestigious awards. They were presented with ‘Best Told Story 2023-24’ and the new category ‘Quality Food and Drink 2023-24' accolades by Visit Wales, awarded by VAQAS (Visitor Attraction Quality Assurance Service) following a mystery shopper visit by representatives of the tourism industry regulatory body.

Corris Caverns is the new brand name for the attractions and experiences that start from the Corris Craft Centre, namely, King Arthur's Labyrinth, Corris Mine Explorers, the Welsh Legends Maze, the Corris Café , Welsh Deli and nine Craft Workshops including the Dyfi Distillery. Free coach parking is available and coach drivers receive a complimentary refreshments / meal voucher in the on-site café. They can also offer complimentary familiarisation visits for the Travel Trade to assist with planning visits.

St Fagans National History Museum can offer ‘meet the curator talks’ lasting approximately 30 minutes delivered by specialists from the Museum’s Curatorial and Conservation teams. This includes an introduction to the site and top tips for highlights to look out for during a visit. There is 10% off in the gift shop (£5pp min. spend) for your clients and complimentary refreshments for the coach driver. A minimum notice period of two weeks must be given and payment is required in advance. The latest building to be re-built at the museum is The Vulcan Hotel – an iconic pub from Cardiff. The Vulcan was built on Adam Street in Cardiff in 1853 to serve the mainly Irish community of what was then called Newtown. During its long history it saw major changes as Cardiff grew to become an industrial powerhouse and then the nation’s capital, finally closing its doors for the last time in 2012. The Vulcan is displayed as it was in 1915, when it had just undergone a major refurbishment. Amgueddfa Cymru have partnered with Glamorgan Brewing Co. to supply beer for the pub and visitors to the museum can enjoy a pint in The Vulcan.

Cwm Weeg Gardens is a 15th century farmhouse surrounded by three acres of landscaped gardens and over 20 acres of woodland and wild flower meadows.  They offer private group bookings outside of their limited public opening times by prior arrangement.  Private talks of up to 1hr on a variety of subjects, a tour of the house, and homemade tea and cake can also be included on request (min 10 / max 100).

Elan Valley is famous for its six dams and Victorian architecture and covers an area of 72 sqm with a visitor centre and gift shop. Pen-y-Garreg Dam tours are only available to the public on selected open days throughout the year but they can arrange a private tour which is a great ‘behind the scenes’ experience, especially in winter when the dam is in spill. There isn’t anywhere else in the UK where you can go inside an actual Victorian dam. They can also offer private ranger tours of the estate which entails a ranger going your coach/minibus to talk about the Elan Valley Estate and visit the six dams. 

Neath Port Talbot has launched group itineraries showcasing the Dramatic Heart of Wales. The itineraries includes group friendly accommodation, attractions, activities and coach parking information. Located along the M4 and A465 the area is a great coach stop, whether for the full itinerary or to break up the journey further west. To request a bespoke itinerary for your group, get in touch with the team by emailing or calling +44  (0)1792 460200.

Loving Welsh Food has launched a new private group tour, Castles and Cuisine. The day coach tour includes a visit to Fonmon Castle and Cardiff Castle, with a lunch break in the city centre included. Other private tours are also available including Welshcakes and Wine. Also recently launched is the Cardiff Tasting Tour which takes in some of the city’s finest Welsh delicacies. Treats include traditional Welshcakes from Fabulous Welshcakes, whisky tastings at Wally’s Delicatessen, Clark’s pies at the Market Deli, Welsh cheeses at Ty Caws, Welsh cider or beer at The Welsh House and more. They also offer bespoke tours which can be arranged in French, Italian, Spanish and German on request.

Cycling UK has launched Traws Eryri (Trans-Snowdonia), a new 140 mile (225 km) off-road cycle route from Machynlleth to Conwy. Adventure Tours UK has launched a new tour along this route for 2024.

Farmer, Gareth Wyn Jones, has launched RhiGar Farm Tours for small groups which includes a sheep dog training demonstration with Gareth and his wife Rhian. This tour can be followed by a tour up to Dinas, a Celtic fortress behind the farm with many secrets and panoramic views of the Menai Straight and Anglesey. Another option is to include a visit to the Carneddau mountains which is home to the rare Carneddau Ponies. A bespoke tour to include all elements will take 3hrs. They can cater for groups of up to 30 people. As the farm isn't accessible in a tour bus, they have a 32 people carrier to start the tour from the village. This is available at an extra cost.

Hidden Routes offer e-mountain bike tours through the hidden routes of rural north Pembrokeshire, a thrilling way for your clients to discover the ancient landscape, scenery, history and food (either individually or as a small group). They offer guided tours for a maximum of 12 people - ratio of one guide per six people with a choice of a taster 1.5hr, half day, full day and two day tours. The tours include Orange Electric Mountain Bikes, safety helmet and guide (age 14 plus). The local guides have extensive knowledge of the history and legends that surround this mystic landscape. Accommodation can be included at Llys Meddyg and neighbouring hotels. They can also offer other experiences including food, well-being and bespoke packages.

Midweek and weekend adventure breaks for groups of 6-12 people are now available at Hafren Forest Hideaway. The package includes two nights full-board accommodation and two group activities such as paddle boarding, kayaking, canoeing, archery, axe throwing and guided walks. You clients will also be able to relax with a trip to the beach, a forest stroll or unwind in the cosy lounge area and in the evenings the camp fire becomes the focal point for sharing stories under the stars.

Dylan’s Restaurants are a family of four award winning waterside restaurants, serving locally sourced produce and seafood, in the beautiful coastal towns of Menai Bridge, Criccieth & Llandudno in North Wales and their new restaurant in the UNESCO town of Conwy. They also offer cookery school experiences, including breadmaking, cocktail making, game and fish preparation and cake making - all with a Welsh sense of place. They can offer bespoke evenings for your clients with a menu using local produce and the opportunity to meet local suppliers – all with a story to tell.

The National Library of Wales in Aberystwyth has opened Wales’ biggest EV charging site with a new hub of 40 charging points.  It will enable a 20% - 80% state of charge within 40 minutes. This facility will also allow EV drivers to visit the shop and browse the library while they wait for their electric vehicle to complete a charge cycle.

Best Western Heronston Hotel & Spa has completed its refurbishment of bedrooms, bathrooms, public areas and function suites. There are 75 en-suite rooms in the hotel with dining options and a leisure club on site. Located in Bridgend, it is a great base to explore Cardiff, Swansea and the Glamorgan Heritage Coast.

Hilton Cardiff has long been a city landmark with an unrivalled location in the heart of the capital, Cardiff. All 202 guest rooms have seen a complete refurbishment with a new contemporary feel reflecting the unique location overlooking Cardiff Castle and Cardiff City Hall. The public areas, bar, restaurant and health club have also been updated.

Tŷ Newport with 129 bedrooms plus restaurant and bar is due to open on 31 May 2024. It sets new sustainability standards as the largest all-electric hotel in Wales. Other Tŷ Hotels include Tŷ Magor and Tŷ Milford Waterfront, part of the Celtic Collection. Other hotels in their portfolio include the Celtic Manor Resort, The Manor House and the Coldra Court Hotel (all in Newport), the Newbridge on Usk, and The Parkgate Hotel in Cardiff. St Brides Spa Hotel in Saundersfoot has also become a recent edition to the collection.

Old College Aberystwyth plans to open in 2025/2026 as a mixed-use experience, culture & creative centre and attraction. This includes a 4-star hotel with 31 bedrooms and up to 200 capacity function space. Situated on the promenade this will be a significant addition to Aberystwyth as a destination resort.

Tenby Golf Club, one of the oldest golf clubs in Wales, is expanding their clubhouse to add 4-star accommodation, all day restaurant and function room which will be complete by the end of the summer 2024. They currently have 7 ‘dormy’ twin bedrooms but this project will add 10 boutique style 4-star rooms, as well as a further 5 ‘dormy’ rooms. They are aiming to attract non-golfing visitors as well as more golfers.

Penmaeunuchaf in Dolgellau which is now part of the Seren Collection is undergoing a refurbishment of its bedrooms, restaurant, bar and lounge spaces. The owners are retaining the historic character of the property whilst building on its sense of place in the Eryri (Snowdonia) mountain landscape. The project is due to be completed by June 2024. Also part of the Seren Collection is the Grove of Narberth which was named in the UK’s Top 50 Boutique Hotels 2023 and won the Best Service Award. It has also been ranked 13th in ‘World’s Best Small and Boutique Hotel’ category in TripAdvisor’s ‘Best Places to Stay in the World for 2024’ awards.

Beaches Hotel, Prestatyn has completed the upgrade of the 69 bedroom hotel from 3 to 4 Star quality and added 12 new bedrooms to make a total of 81 bedrooms. The project also included the creation of a mini spa with treatment rooms, upgrade to the kitchen and hotel car park and landscaping.

The Inn Collection Group update - The Bull’s Head Inn, Beaumaris has a refreshed look to one of its historic lounges and six new bedrooms which continue the tradition of being named for Charles Dickens characters and will feature wallpaper and furnishings creating the look and feel of a traditional inn. Betws-y-Coed’s The Swallow Falls Inn and Llandudno’s St Kilda Hotel will be the next sites of focus, returning both to trading after long-term closures. The Swallow Falls Inn will undergo a full and extensive refurbishment to bring it back to life. Plans once realised will create a new bar and restaurant, 40 bedrooms and upgraded facilities to the campsite, which will be retained and be the first such offering within The Inn Collection Group’s portfolio. In the shadow of the Great Orme, the refurbishment of the St Kilda will provide 52 bedrooms as well as a fully refurbished bar and kitchen to bring the group’s award-winning hospitality venue to the famous promenade.

A new museum has opened at the Vale of Rheidol Railway. The museum contains worldwide priceless collections and exhibits.

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