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South Wales by Steam

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6 days From £579 £529 per person
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Experience the beauty and culture of South Wales with heritage railways, picturesque coastal towns, and insights into Wales's rich heritage.

Operated by our sister company Rail Discoveries
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Save £50pp on selected British Isles 2024 last-minute holidays, when you book by 31st July 2024.

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Mobility Rating 3

2024 Tour code: 24WSS

About the tour

Experience the nostalgic steam trains, rugged landscapes, and charming towns that unveil the very best of South Wales, a place of unspoilt rural beauty. From your base in lively Swansea, journey on the Brecon Mountain Railway through the landscapes of the Brecon Beacons, delve into Welsh culture at fascinating museums, and explore the picturesque coastline of the Gower Peninsula.

Unforgettable Experiences

Brecon Mountain Railway
Brecon Mountain Railway
Journey on the Brecon Mountain Railway, taking in the stunning Brecon Beacons mountain range.
Gwili Steam Railway
Gwili Steam Railway
Enjoy a nostalgic trip on the Gwili Steam Railway, a heritage line that winds through the idyllic landscapes of South Wales.
St David’s
St David’s
Discover St David’s, the smallest city in Britain, and admire its striking cathedral.
Mumbles
Mumbles
Spend time exploring the pretty seaside towns of ancient Tenby and distinguished Mumbles.
St Fagans National Museum of History
St Fagans National Museum of History
Explore the living history and traditions of Wales at St Fagans National Museum of History.

What’s included

Itinerary

Day 1 – Welcome to Welsh culture in Swansea

You meet your Tour Manager at your hotel in friendly Swansea, where you spend the next five nights. Set amidst the rolling hills and golden sands of Swansea Bay, the city is an ideal base for exploring South Wales. After checking in, you're at leisure to start exploring before dinner with the rest of your group this evening.

Just a short walk from your hotel, in the city centre you'll find a lively atmosphere mixed with historic charm. You could head to the popular Indoor Market, which has over 100 stalls, to sample a variety of local delicacies. Or you could simply wander through the range of shops, cafes, and restaurants that line the bustling streets.

Includes
  • Dinner
Day 2 – The stunning Brecon Mountain Railway and ancient traditions in St Fagans

This morning, your group is introduced to the beautiful countryside of South Wales on the Brecon Mountain Railway. A coach drops you off in the village of Pant to board the heritage railway for a round trip. On the journey through dramatic landscapes, the vintage steam locomotive winds through leafy countryside and alongside the Taf Fechan Reservoir. It continues, climbing to the summit of the original line, Torpantau, high in the Brecon Beacons, where you can admire the wild vistas from the observation carriages.

Back in Pant, your group boards the coach to St Fagans National Museum of History. The museum stands on the grounds of the magnificent St Fagans Castle and Gardens, a late 16th-century manor house donated to the people of Wales by the Earl of Plymouth in 1948. With time at leisure, you can explore over 2,000 years of Welsh history on display, and see craftspeople demonstrating their skills in this remarkable living museum. There's time for you to get some lunch before the coach takes your group back to the hotel ahead of dinner this evening.

Includes
  • Breakfast, Dinner
Day 3 – Discovering glorious Swansea

Today you can discover Swansea at your own pace. You could gain an insight into the city's rich cultural history at the fascinating Swansea Museum, or step back to the 1800s at the National Waterfront Museum which celebrates the industrial and maritime history of Wales. If you're a poetry fan, you could visit the Dylan Thomas Centre which is dedicated to the life and works of the literary giant. Nearby these attractions, the Swansea Bay waterfront has many shops and cafes where you could enjoy lunch and try a traditional Welsh dish like rarebit or laverbread.

Alternatively, you could adventure beyond the city centre. The enchanting Clyne Gardens offers a quiet and relaxing day amidst beautiful flora. A collection of magnificent parks, the gardens are blooming with rare and exotic plants - the perfect escape from the bustling city. This evening enjoy dinner at the hotel with your group.

Includes
  • Breakfast, Dinner
Day 4 – The picturesque Gwili Steam Railway and renowned Mumbles

After breakfast, the coach takes your group to Abergwili Junction this morning for a journey on the Gwili Steam Railway. This preserved heritage line harks back to a time when life moved at a slower pace, taking you on a round trip alongside the River Gwili, past rocky outcrops and the Gwili Falls. Your group is treated to a 'Welsh Elevenses', enjoying tea or coffee accompanied by traditional Welsh cakes.

You then rejoin the coach and head to the Gower Peninsula's stunning coastline. This beautiful headland juts into the Bristol Channel, creating a stretch of rugged cliffs, topped by woodlands and fringed by sandy beaches. The area was designated an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty in 1956 - the first place in the UK to receive the title.

Along the coast lies Mumbles, a pretty little seaside town with a delightful name. This beloved area has a range of attractions you can explore at leisure. Marvel at the 18th-century Lighthouse, stroll along the Victorian Pier, or visit Oystermouth Castle which sits on a hilltop with fabulous views overlooking the sea. For lunch you could indulge in some 'fresh off the boat' seafood, followed by an ice cream from one of the Welsh-Italian ice cream parlours. The coach takes your group back to your hotel with plenty of time to relax before dinner this evening.

Trains are steam-hauled where possible, however due to timetable changes or weather conditions, heritage diesel locomotives may be running instead.

Includes
  • Breakfast, Dinner
Day 5 – Idyllic St Davids and historic Tenby

This morning takes you to the tiny city of St David's. Named after the patron saint of Wales, this is Britain's smallest city and has been a place of pilgrimage for centuries. Your group visits the city's iconic 12th-century cathedral, built from pale purple sandstone and set in a wild and beautiful part of St David's - the site of a church since the 6th century.

This afternoon, the coach drives your group to the charismatic seaside town of Tenby where there's time to explore at leisure. Surrounded by 13th-century walls and known for its sandy shores, pastel-hued houses, and winding cobbled streets, the town is steeped in history. You could sample some delicious local fish and chips for lunch, the perfect accompaniment to a day spent exploring the magnificent Welsh coast. Later this afternoon, the coach takes your group back to the hotel in time for dinner this evening.

Includes
  • Breakfast, Dinner
Day 6 – Homeward bound

Your holiday comes to an end this morning. After breakfast, say goodbye to new friends and once you've checked out, you can make your way home or continue exploring more of wonderful Wales on your own.

Includes
  • Breakfast

Additional information

Departure times

Provisional departure and return times, where available, can be found together with our dates and prices by clicking on the 'Prices & Availability' button. We write to all booked customers approximately 10 weeks prior to the start of their tour to advise the exact departure and return time for their particular group.

Hotel

Grand Hotel, Swansea

Grand Hotel, Swansea

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Trains

Brecon Mountain Railway
Gwili Steam Railway