only a few days in Wales this summer

Old Mar 16th, 2023, 09:14 AM
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only a few days in Wales this summer

I'm heading back to the UK this summer for the first time post-pandemic. My favorite place in the World to visit is Scotland, but I'm trying to fit in the rest of the UK and Ireland. My trips are normally about 15-16 days with my wife. I'm now 64, she's 59, ok for walking around, no strenuous hiking.

I'm heading to London for 4 nights, then a 7 day Norwegian Fjord cruise. Return to Southampton July 1 at 6:00 AM. Although nothing reserved yet post-cruise, my plan has been to go to Wales. Never been there. I know that you can't see a Country in 3 days. I've spent two 2 week trips to Scotland, and still haven't been North of the Caledonian Canal. 2 weeks in Ireland managed to get the Southern 1/2 of the Island. However, that's all that I have.

Morning of July 1 planning on taking a train to Cardiff from Southampton. Rent a car for 3 days in Cardiff. probably rent a hotel near the City Center. Spend three nights there, then on the afternoon of July 4, take a train to Heathrow for a return flight to the U.S. on the 5th.

We enjoy old castles, waterfalls, small town with character, scenery, etc. Not quite as energetic as on my last trips 4-5 years ago, but still generally ok. I see some of the people that write on Wales are some of the people that I relied on heavily on my Scottish trips, such as Janis J and BilboB ... I thought that you were Scottish experts?


Again, with only about 3.5 days, there's a real limit on what we can do. I've kind of been thinking 1 day in Cardiff, maybe head West 1 day, head to the Brecon Beacons 1 day, St. David's? Carreg Cennan? Tintern Abbey? What recommendations do you have in my brief time? I live in a Coastal community, so I don't really need to travel to find a beach to walk on. Must find 1-2 good waterfalls. Any help appreciated. Thanks.
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Old Mar 16th, 2023, 09:27 AM
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I would suggest Caerphilly Castle and Chepstow, for sure. IMO Tintern abbey is a must.

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Old Mar 16th, 2023, 11:02 AM
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"I see some of the people that write on Wales are some of the people that I relied on heavily on my Scottish trips, such as Janis J and BilboB ... I thought that you were Scottish experts?"

I've spent a lot more time in Scotland (my favorite place on earth), but I've been to various parts of Wales half a dozen times or more.
If its South Wales you want to visit -- then yes, Caerphilly, Chepstow, absolutely Tintern Abbey, St David's is awfully far for a day trip being more than 3 hours away by car.

I personally would not stay IN Cardiff. Driving in the city can be a real beeee-atch. You'll have a car so you can stay anywhere out in the countryside. If it was me I'd stay somewhere near Brecon Beacons NP like maybe Abergavenny or nearby.
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Old Mar 16th, 2023, 11:27 AM
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Janis:

Thanks. I remember how wonderfully helpful you were in both of my Scotland Trips. I was going to try and spend a week on this trip in the Highlands and Islands, but we decided to go on the cruise instead.

I specifically haven't made my reservations yet in Cardiff just in case people had other ideas, however, I'll have luggage, and will need to at least rent and return a car in Cardiff. I'm not planning on driving in Cardiff itself.

I am open to staying elsewhere.

Thanks to you and all others that have replied thus far.

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Old Mar 16th, 2023, 11:43 AM
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On our visit to the area we stayed at The Bear in Crickhowell. https://bearhotel.co.uk. That was before the pandemic -- I gather they closed for a while during it but have now reopened. We enjoyed our stay and hope they are back in form. Here's my trip report from our stay. Wales begins on May 4, Post #6 Winchester, London and Wales


Last edited by Fra_Diavolo; Mar 16th, 2023 at 11:46 AM.
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Old Mar 16th, 2023, 12:49 PM
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Originally Posted by SenatorSteve
Janis:

Thanks. I remember how wonderfully helpful you were in both of my Scotland Trips. I was going to try and spend a week on this trip in the Highlands and Islands, but we decided to go on the cruise instead.

I specifically haven't made my reservations yet in Cardiff just in case people had other ideas, however, I'll have luggage, and will need to at least rent and return a car in Cardiff. I'm not planning on driving in Cardiff itself.

I am open to staying elsewhere.

Thanks to you and all others that have replied thus far.

If it was me - I wouldn't rent the car in Cardiff. Instead I'd take the train from Southampton to Bristol Temple Meads Station instead. Bristol is maybe only 5 miles closer to say Chepstow than is Cardiff . . . But its easily a 30 minute shorter drive (Motorway almost all the way). Plus the train Southampton > Bristol is about 50 minutes faster - both are direct trains (its the same train )

Cardiff station driving through the city and to Chepstow takes 1+ hour. Bristol Temple Meads > Chepstow is around 30 minutes. Either station to Abergavenny + approx 90 minutes. So total travel time no matter where you end up would be less using Bristol.
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Old Mar 16th, 2023, 03:05 PM
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I was going to suggest using Bristol too, but JJ got in there before me. If you are determined to see the countryside further west than Cardiff, then I suggest thinking of getting the train to Cardiff, picking up a car there, then gradually working your way back to Bristol where you could return it and get the train to LHR. Or the other way round depending on how you decide to shape your itinerary. Just an idea.
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