Coins.Castles & the Brecon Beacons

Coins.Castles & the Brecon Beacons

Enjoy visiting the Royal Mint, a steam train journey and a distillery tour on this 5 day tour to beautiful South Wales

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Enjoy visiting the Royal Mint, a steam train journey and a distillery tour on this 5 day tour to beautiful South Wales

Royal Mint Visitor Centre

A fascinating behind the scenes look at how the Royal Mint puts 1000 years of history into combining the finest craftsmanship with cutting-edge techniques to make coins and medals for over 60 countries. Experience the sights, sounds and smells of thousands of glistening coins, hot off the press to the precision striking of over 700 coins per minute and follow the journey of a coin, from a blank to a bank. Discover fascinating facts about the coins in your pocket and the craftsmanship that goes into each miniature work of art.

St Fagans National Museum of History

St Fagans National Museum of History commonly referred to as St Fagans after the village where it is located, is an open-air museum in Cardiff chronicling the historical lifestyle, culture, and architecture of the Welsh people. The museum is part of the wider network of the National Museum Wales.

It consists of more than forty re-erected buildings from various locations in Wales, and is set in the grounds of St Fagans Castle, a Grade I listed Elizabethan manor house.  A six-year, £30 million revamp was completed in 2018.

 

Dyffryn Garden

Dyffryn is a peaceful oasis on the outskirts of Cardiff, boasting 55 acres of exceptional Edwardian garden design around its unique Victorian mansion house.

Considered to be the best Edwardian gardens in Wales, the National Trust’s Dyffryn Gardens comprises of intimate garden rooms, formal lawns and a glasshouse showcasing an impressive cacti and orchid collection.

Standing at the heart of the estate is the magnificent Dyffryn House, where everyone can play the pianos, enjoy a game of billiards or sit down and admire the breath-taking views.

Dyffryn’s arboretum on the east side of the garden is a wild and exotic area, holding one of the most significant collections of trees in the National Trust. Covering 22 acres, there is plenty to discover, with all year round colour and 17 Champion Trees, the largest of their kind in the British Isles.

Castell Coch

While resting on ancient foundations, Castell Coch (Red Castle) is relatively modern, the by-product of a vivid Victorian imagination, assisted by untold wealth. The Middle Ages fascinated the Victorians as much as the Victorians fascinate us today. High Gothic was the order of the day.

The ‘eccentric genius’ William Burges was given free rein by his paymaster, John Patrick Crichton-Stuart, the 3rd marquess of Bute, to create a rural retreat to complement the opulence of his main residence, Cardiff Castle. He didn’t hold back. Dazzling ceilings, over-the-top furnishings and furniture were liberally applied.

The castle was not suitable for, nor was it intended to be, a permanent residence and the family’s visits were infrequent.

 

Brecon Mountain Railway

The line runs from Pant, 3 miles North of Merthyr Tydfil, to Torpantau following part of the route of the original Brecon & Merthyr Railway which closed in 1964.

Travel from the Main Station at Pant in one of the all-weather Observation Carriages, behind a vintage Steam Locomotive.

The journey takes you into the Brecon Beacons National Park, through Pontsticill and along the full length of the Taf Fechan Reservior before climbing to Torpantau high in the Brecon Beacons and the summit of the original line. At the main station in Pant you can visit the Licensed Tearooms for refreshments, gifts and souvenirs are available from the Shop. You can also visit the Workshop where the Steam Locomotives and Carriages are repaired.

All trains travel non stop from Pant to Torpantau. All returning trains from Torpantau stop at the intermediate station in Pontsticill where you can visit the Lakeside Cafe, admire the view or go for walks alongside the reservoir. Facilities for disabled passengers including ramps, toilets and an adapted carriage to accommodate wheelchairs.

Penderyn Distillery

Before 2004, there hadn’t been an established whisky producer in Wales for a century. Penderyn changed all that. Whisky from the Brecon Beacons is now sold throughout the UK and in more than 20 countries worldwide. In 2004, a group of whisky enthusiasts commissioned a team of scientists to design a new still and Wesh Whisky was born again! As well as single malt whiskies, Penderyn makes Brecon Gin and other spirits. 

Day 1

A morning departure from Cumbria as we head to South Wales and our hotel the luxury Parkway Hotel & Spa, Cwmbran. Time to relax and check into our rooms before dinner in the hotel.

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Day 2

This morning we head to the Royal Mint Experience visitor centre for a guided factory tour and a self guided interactive tour, watch how blank pieces of metal become coins, see the heads, hear the tales! About how the Royal Mint make coins and medals for over 60 countries. In theafternoon we visit St Fagans National History Museum, one of Europe’s leadingopen-air museums and Wales’s most popular heritage attraction. Standing in the grounds of the magnificent St Fagans Castle, over forty original buildings from different historical periods have been re-constructed in the 100 acre parkland site. Dinner at the hotel.

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Day 3

Today we visit the stunning 55 acres of Dyffryn Gardens surrounding the partially restored Dyffryn House, where we can explore the beautiful garden rooms, formal lawns and extensive arboretum at leisure. In the afternoon we head to Castell Coch a 19thcentury Gothic Revival castle built above the village of Tongwynlais in South Wales, the Castle is the ultimate fairy tale castle, with conical towers, needle-sharp turrets, drawbridge, portcullis, court yard and lavish interiors. Dinner in the hotel.

B, D

Day 4

This morning, we embark on a return vintage steam train journey from Pant to Torpantau on the Brecon Mountain Railway. We journey along the Taf Fechan Reservoir before climbing to Torpantau high in the Brecon Beacons. Our 1.5 hour trip includes a 35 minute stop at Pontsticill station where there is a Lakeside café and Steam Museum. Time for lunch back at Pant Station’s tearoom and visit the locomotive workshop before heading to the famous Penderyn Distillery where we enjoy a guided tour and tasting of Welsh whisky and Brecon Vodka. Final dinner in the hotel.

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Day 5

We leave our hosts at the Parkway hotel for the return journey home to Cumbria. Comfort stops en-route

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B=Breakfast Included, D=Dinner Included

Parkway Hotel & Spa

Set in over 7 acres of gardens, Parkway Hotel & Spa in Cwmbran boasts a leisure club with a 20 yards swimming pool, sauna and spa bath. There is also a restaurant and lounge with a real log fire.

Less than 5 miles from Newport and 3 miles from the M4 motorway, Parkway Hotel & Spa has a 4-star rating from the AA.

Ravello's Restaurant offers an à la carte menu of European dishes, made using fresh, local produce. The traditional carvery has also proved popular, as have the hotel's coffee shop and bar.

Parkway offers a range of facilities including snooker and billiard tables, outside chess and boules green as well as a badminton and croquet lawn. There is also a herb garden and an outdoor patio.

Beautifully furnished, the rooms have oversized beds, plush carpets and marble en suite bathrooms. Each room has a TV, an in-room safe, tea/coffee making facilities, luxury toiletries and soft, fluffy bathrobes.

Below is a list of pick-up points available on this tour.

Below is a list of pick-up points available on this tour.

Name Address Contact Details
Appleby The Sands Appleby
Aspatria Car Park beside Spar Aspatria
Brough Monument Bus Shelter Brough
Carlisle Entrance to Sands Centre Car Park Carlisle
Cockermouth Monument Main Street Cockermouth
Dearham Commercial Corner Dearham
Distington Outside Prospect Works Distington
Egremont Conservative Club Egremont
Flimby Railway Station Flimby
Harrington Galloping Horse bus stop Harrington
Keswick Bell Close Car Park Keswick
Kirkby Stephen Market Square Kirkby Stephen
Maryport Outside Coop Maryport
Penrith Sandgate Bus Station Penrith
Shap Village Hall Shap
Tebay Old Services Car Park Tebay
Thursby Bus Stop Thursby
Waverton Bus Stop Waverton
Whitehaven Old Bus Station Whitehaven
Wigton Old Bus Station Wigton
Workington Lay By opposite Grahams Travel Jane St. Workington
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