Highlights
  • Explore the Iron Age Castell Henllys with the resident archaeologist.
  • Go behind the scenes at St Davids Cathedral in Pembrokeshire.
  • Performances by a Welsh choir and a renowned Welsh harpist.

From whence springs the distinct Welsh identity? From their proud language, world famous orators and choirs? Or the castles and prehistoric settlements that dot the bucolic countryside? From Snowdonia in the North and Pembrokeshire in the West, venture through a land of magnificent, varied scenery to experience the history and heritage of Celtic Wales and its ancient tradition of myths and legends.

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Destinations
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Flights & Transport
  • Only ground transport

30
Road Scholar Travel Reviews & Ratings
Has very high quality customer experiences and demonstrated commitment to responsible travel practices. read more
87% Recommend

4.5 out of 5
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Value
4.5 Guide
4.6 Activities
4.5 Lodging
4.3 Transportation
4.4 Meals
4.3
Celtic Wales: Snowdonia and Pembrokeshire

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S

Recommends

Old Cuba is fantastic and should be seen before it's spoiled by capitalism. January 2017

5.0
  • Value 5.0
  • Guide 5.0
  • Activities 4.0
  • Lodging 4.0
  • Transportation 5.0
  • Meals 3.0
This was my wife's and my first trip with Road Scholar. At the time (April, 2012), it was not possible for Americans to directly visit Cuba. You had to do it with a cultural/educational group, often associated with a university. Or, you could fly to Canada, Mexico, or Europe first and then get a flight to Cuba from there (while risking a ~$10,000 fine from the US Government). We opted for the legal route with Road Scholar.

It was a fantastic trip! We had a small-ish group of about 20 people and a wonderful guide, José Luis (who, like most Cubans, had never been off the island).
The trip began in Miami where we had an orientation and spent the night. Then we flew to Havana and stayed in the Hotel Nacional for four nights. It doesn't get more historic -- or fun -- than the Nacional:
https://vimeo.com/41612444

While in Havana, we enjoyed great history/culture lectures from experts, toured various parts of Havana (including Hemmingway's home in the hills nearby), and, on our own, had the opportunity to have dinner at a paladar -- a restaurant inside someone's home.

The Cuban people are friendly but the infrastructure of their country is in shambles. It's been a long time since Russia's deep pockets left the island (1991), and you see poverty everywhere. But not the begging-in-the-street kind. Cuba provides universal health care, education (including room and board all the way through grad/med school!), food staples, and a very modest income (~$30/month) to everyone. Most people add to that income by working on the side.

After Havana, we traveled to Cienfuegos. From there we saw the infamous Bay Of Pigs, but also the wonderful Benny Moré Art School where we learned of the fantastic support for the arts by the Cuban government. Children are identified in grade school as having artistic talent and then funneled into magnet schools like Benny Moré to study art for their entire scholastic career!

Don't go to Cuba for the food. It's edible (and won't make you sick) but rather boring. You mainly get the "three amigos": fish, pork, or chicken, along with rice and/or black beans. But the aged rum is superb and so are the cigars!

Probably my favorite thing on the island, though, was the music -- whether on the street or in a more formal setting:
https://vimeo.com/43273083

Cuba is fantastic. Go enjoy it!
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Operator Road Scholar

D

Recommends

Best trip I ever took! October 2016

5.0
  • Value 5.0
  • Guide 5.0
  • Activities 5.0
  • Lodging 5.0
  • Transportation 5.0
  • Meals 5.0
Loved the variety of different hotels, the expertise of the individual tour guides, the meals and especially the beautiful countryside. All 17 of us on the t rip got to know each other well, thanks to the kindness, the personality and the organizational skill of Mark, our tour director. Keep up the good work!
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Operator Road Scholar

C

Recommends

Sunrise, Sunset, Learning Photography August 2016

5.0
  • Value 4.0
  • Guide 5.0
  • Activities 5.0
  • Lodging 4.0
  • Transportation 5.0
  • Meals 4.0
Road Scholar offers many tours starting in Utah. The one I took focused of photography of the National Parks in Utah, with a professional photographer traveling with us. The schedule was set up such that we would get "the golden light" at each of the parks. Those not familiar with the term must know that the best light occurs at either sunrise or sunset, when the impact of the sun on objects is diffused by having to travel through the earth's atmosphere on a diagonal rather than vertically.

As such, you can now expect that sleep will be an issue as you will get to bed late and rise early. But the territory is beautiful at all times, and more so illuminated by the golden light.

In order to maximize your sleeping ability, the tour is only offered in the spring and the fall. Doing this in the winter would be pretty cold and require special equipment to traverse the snow. Doing it in the summer would basically mean no sleep as the daylight is so long.

A great learning experience in beautiful territory.
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Operator Road Scholar

J

Recommends

Thank you Road Scholar July 2016

5.0
  • Value 5.0
  • Guide 5.0
  • Activities 5.0
  • Lodging 5.0
  • Transportation 5.0
  • Meals 5.0
Thank you Road Scholar Staff for planning a wonderful introduction to Cuba today. My previous knowledge was from people who felt they had to leave Cuba more than fifty years ago. I learned from qualified professors, tour guides and from talking to Cuban people from different parts of Cuba who work in different kinds of jobs. I could see how the Cuban people have come together to meet the challenges of the past and to prepare for a brighter future.
Read more

Operator Road Scholar

R

Recommends

Thank you Road Scholar! July 2016

5.0
  • Value 5.0
  • Guide 5.0
  • Activities 5.0
  • Lodging 5.0
  • Transportation 5.0
  • Meals 5.0
Road Scholar tours are the best bang for your buck

Operator Road Scholar

N

Recommends

Fabulous! July 2016

5.0
  • Value 5.0
  • Guide 5.0
  • Activities 5.0
  • Lodging 5.0
  • Transportation 5.0
  • Meals 5.0
This is a fabulous program for young and old. The instructors are great with kids and adults. The activities are very well organized and varied. My grandson is already making plans for next year.

Operator Road Scholar

Itinerary

Day 1: In Transit to Program

In Flight

Day 2: Arrival Day, Manchester

Meals: Lunch and Dinner

Accommodation: Crowne Plaza Manchester Airport

Lunch: In the hotel dining room for those arriving by lunchtime. A light lunch with coffee, tea and water. Other beverages are available for purchase.

Afternoon: Arrivals continue, with free time for those who have already arrived. At 5pm we will have an Orientation in the hotel. The Group Leader will greet everyone and lead introductions. This program is staffed with both a Group Leader, who will accompany us throughout the program and deal primarily with logistics, and a Study Leader who will lecture, conduct field trips and serve as an information resource on program-related topics. We will review the program theme, the up-to-date Daily Schedule and any changes, discuss safety guidelines, emergency procedures, roles and responsibilities and answer any questions you may have. We have set aside some free time in the schedule for your personal independent exploration. Please note that program activities, schedules and personnel may need to change due to local circumstances. In the event of changes, we will alert you as quickly as possible. Thank you for your understanding.

Dinner: A seated dinner will be taken in the hotel dining room with coffee, tea and water. Other beverages are available for purchase.

Evening: Free time to relax and prepare for the program ahead.

Day 3: Transfer to Betws-y-Coed, Bodnant Gardens, Conwy Castle, Betws-y-Coed

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Accommodation: Royal Oak

Breakfast: In the hotel. A wide range of hot and cold options, as well as coffee, tea, water and fruit juices.

Morning: This morning we transfer by motor coach to Betws-y-Coed via Bodnant Gardens, situated above the River Conwy and one of the finest gardens in the world.

Lunch: Served local fare at Bodnant Gardens.

Afternoon: Travel back to medieval times with a field trip to the imposing Conwy Castle. We’ll enjoy a lecture in the field on the Wars of Edward I, before exploring the castle. Conwy Castle was constructed by Edward between 1283 and 1289 to act as a key fortress in containing the rebellious Welsh. The views from the battlements are breathtaking, looking out across mountains and sea down to the roofless shell of the Great Hall.

Dinner: In the hotel.

Evening: Your Study Leader will introduce what you will see, learn and discover over the next eight days.

Day 4: Landscapes & Copper Mines, Betws-y-Coed

Meals: Breakfast and Dinner

Accommodation: Royal Oak

Breakfast: In the hotel.

Morning: This morning we board the motor coach for a field trip to Great Orme, Llandudno’s mountain, on a beautiful vehicular tram ride. The Great Orme Tramway has been operating since 1902 and was considered an engineering marvel of its age – it is still the only cable-hauled tramway operating on British public roads. We’ll follow this experience with a visit to Great Orme Copper Mines, a Neolithic mine originally abandoned circa 600 BC.

Lunch: This meal has been excluded from the program cost and is on your own to enjoy what you like. The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions and give directions.

Afternoon: Investigate through two lectures “The Historical Landscape of the Celts” and “The Roman Invasion”.

Dinner: In the hotel.

Evening: Free time. Your Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions should you wish to further explore the local area.

Day 5: The Isle of Anglesey, Betws-y-Coed

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Accommodation: Royal Oak

Breakfast: In the hotel.

Morning: Relax with some free time, or take a walk around the picturesque village of Betws-y-Coed.

Lunch: In the hotel.

Afternoon: Board the motor coach and discover the ancient island of Anglesey. We’ll explore Penmon, where you can see the Romanesque architecture of the island’s medieval monastery before continuing onwards to Beaumaris Village, Gaol and Courthouse. Be sure to keep an eye out for the tongue-twisting town of Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch, the second longest place name in the world!

Dinner: In the hotel.

Evening: Free time.

Day 6: Environment, Cultural Heritage, Industrial History, Betws-y-Coed

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Accommodation: Royal Oak

Breakfast: In the hotel.

Morning: Investigate the cultural heritage and environment of Wales during a lecture in the hotel, before boarding the motor coach for Snowdonia National Park and a ride on the Ffestiniog railway.

Lunch: In the hotel dining room.

Afternoon: Enjoy a lecture in the field on the Welsh slate industry at Llanberis Slate Museum and quarry followed by a field trip to the Royal Town of Caernarfon. Caernarfon’s royal connections extend all the way back to ancient Celtic chieftains still exist to the present day and the 1969 investiture of Prince Charles as the Prince of Wales. We’ll examine the role of King Edward I’s impressive medieval fortress, Caernarfon Castle, a seat of power and a symbol of English dominance over the subdued Welsh. Due to time constraints we will not be able to visit the castle.

Dinner: In the hotel.

Evening: Free time.

Day 7: Transfer to Lamphey, Beddgelert, Fishing & Churches

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Accommodation: Lamphey Court Hotel

Breakfast: In the hotel.

Morning: We board the motor coach and transfer to Lamphey, a peaceful village on the south coast of Pembrokeshire. En-route we will pay visits to the village of Beddgelert, and the beguiling fantasy town of Portmeiron.

Lunch: Taken at the National Library of Wales.

Afternoon: Take an expert-led look at the National Library of Wales, before learning about the importance of fishing and trade to the local community during a field based lecture in Aberaeron, with its Georgian houses and harbour.

Dinner: In the hotel.

Evening: This evening’s lecture reveals the Celtic history of the local area through the inhabitants’ religious convictions and introduces you to the architecture and landscape of the Pembrokeshire National Park.

Day 8: Castell Henllys, The Preseli Mountains, St. David’s, Lamphey

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Accommodation: Lamphey Court Hotel

Breakfast: In the hotel.

Morning: Today we’ll explore the archaeology of the region with a field trip to Castell Henllys via the mysterious Preseli mountains, where you will learn about the early history of Wales. Arriving at Castell Henllys, we’ll find an ancient and important Iron Age hill fort currently under excavation by archaeologists and home to some accurate reconstructions of Iron Age dwellings.

Lunch: Lunch will be taken in the town of Newport.

Afternoon: Further explore the themes of ancient Wales and early Christianity as you continue on to Britain’s smallest city, St. David’s. Situated on the far west coast of Wales and dominated by its 12th Century cathedral, it was granted city status due to its cathedral but is, in reality, a small and attractive village.

Dinner: In the hotel.

Evening: Relax and enjoy a performance from a local harpist.

Day 9: Laugharne, Locals, Mixed Voice Choir, Lamphey

Meals: Breakfast and Dinner

Accommodation: Lamphey Court Hotel

Breakfast: In the hotel.

Morning: Free time.

Lunch: On your own to enjoy what you like.

Afternoon: This afternoon the motor coach departs for the Drefach Felindre Woollen Mill in Carmarthen, before continuing on to Laugharne – a town perhaps best known for its associations with Dylan Thomas.

Dinner: In the hotel.

Evening: Meet and converse with locals and have the opportunity of experiencing one of the true joys of Welsh culture – a Mixed Voice Choir – during an evening of farewells to this beautiful country.

Day 10: Transfer to Heathrow, Caerleon Roman Fortress, London Heathrow

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Accommodation: Radisson Blu Heathrow Hotel.

Breakfast: In the hotel.

Morning: Leaving Wales for London Heathrow by motor coach, we will stop en-route at Caerleon. Caerleon is the site of one of Britain’s three Roman Legionary Fortresses, and some even believe it to be the location of King Arthur’s Camelot. In 830 AD Nennius wrote Historia Brittonum and included a list of King Arthur’s battles, one of which he located at “The City of the Legion” – this could well be Caerleon. The remains of some 75 amphitheatres have been located in the wider Roman Empire and Caerleon’s is the best preserved example in Britain.

Lunch: A packed lunch of sandwiches, fruit and a drink or similar will be provided to make the most of this busy transfer day.

Afternoon: The transfer continues.

Dinner: In the hotel dining room.

Evening: Free time.

Day 11: Program Concludes, London Heathrow

Meals: Breakfast

Breakfast: In the hotel. Some participants may depart prior to breakfast.

Morning: Shuttle bus to Heathrow Airport for onward flights. This concludes our program. If you are returning home, safe travels. If you are staying on independently, have a wonderful time. If you are transferring to another Road Scholar program, detailed instructions are included in your Information Packet for that program. We hope you enjoy Road Scholar learning adventures and look forward to having you on rewarding programs in the future.

Dates & Pricing
Checking price

Price From

$ 2,899

Price Per Day:

$ 264 per day
 
  • Select Custom Arrangements to get to and from Road Scholar-provided airfare for your program
Prices may vary due to local taxes and trip seasonality. Click "Request Info" to inquire directly with the tour operator for the final trip price.
Details
Trip Includes
  • 9 nights of accommodations
  • 8 expert-led lectures
  • 12 expert-led field trips
  • 3 hands-on experiences
  • 2 performances
  • An experienced Group Leader
  • Customary gratuities throughout the program
  • The Road Scholar Travel Protection Plan, 24-hour-a-day emergency assistance coverage
  • Taxes
Meals Included:

9 Breakfasts, 7 Lunches, 9 Dinners

Flights & Transport
Only ground transport
Group Size:
Standard Group
Accomodations

Crowne Plaza Manchester Airport: 1 night  Manchester

The Crowne Plaza Manchester hotel boasts a gym, stylish restaurant, high speed WiFi and new meeting rooms. The hotel also has airport parking with a free shuttle bus to Manchester airport and the airport train station. Superbly located on the Manchester Airport complex, the four-star Crowne Plaza Manchester Airport Hotel offers you fantastic accommodation with easy access to the M56, M60 and M62, as well as Manchester City Centre.

 

Royal Oak: 4 nights  North Wales.

The Royal Oak Hotel is a picturesque building, which was once a coaching inn. Situated in the centre of the village amidst charming scenery and overlooking the River Llugwy.

 

Lamphey Court Hotel: 3 nights  Pembrokeshire

Situated in acres of scenic grounds next to a medieval Bishop’s palace, The Lamphey Court Hotel is a 19th century Georgian mansion which has a luxury spa, all-weather tennis courts and stylish rooms with views over Pembrokeshire National Park. All rooms have a private bathroom and come with a TV, and some rooms have parkland views. Free on-site parking is available, and free Wi-Fi is also accessible throughout the hotel.

 

Radisson Blu Heathrow Hotel: 1 night  Hayes, Middlesex.

Close to Heathrow Airport.

Start City
Manchester
End City
London
Guides

Conway Davies

Conway Davies earned a degree in history at Bangor University, a master's from Cardiff University, and is completing his Ph.D. at Swansea University. Conway has extensive knowledge of the Welsh language and the history and culture of both North and South Wales. He is the author of two books, "The History of Poor Law Provision in South Wales" and "Out of Sight, Out of Mind: the History of Mental Health provision in South Wales.

Trip ID#: CelWalRoa

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