Stonehenge and Wales : how many days

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Jun 7th, 2007, 03:58 PM
  #1
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Stonehenge and Wales : how many days

We have a big trip coming up early next year but thought we might first do a short trip renting a car at Heathrow and then seeing Stonehenge and Wales. I don't have a sense of how big Wales is or how many days it would take to wander through at a leisurely pace. Would 8 days be enough from Heathrow to Heathrow ?
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Jun 7th, 2007, 08:10 PM
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Well, I have visited Wales 4 times since 2000, for a total of 35 days, and have not seen it all. So, I am sceptical that you could do it all in 8 days at a leisurely pace. Perhaps in that amount of time, you could do an overview of Cardiff and one other area in south Wales, Swansea and the Gower, or Brecon Beacons and the Borders, or Pembrokeshire and Cardiganshire.
ron is offline  
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Jun 7th, 2007, 08:21 PM
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Anything is possible it raally depends on if you want to sit in a car for 8 hours a day. I know wales reasonably well having been to school in Llangollen, North Wales. My thought would be Stonehenge then to Pembrokeshire via Brecon Beacons in say 4 days. Then up the coast to Harlech in 3 days Carnarvon and Llandudno back to LHR on 8th day.
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Jun 7th, 2007, 08:25 PM
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Wales? Perhaps the next 5 years or so.
Seriously, you can see a lot in 8 to 10 days, but I can tell you one thing: You will not be happy until you return.

Perhaps it is my heritage and ancestry, but when I was there, I could sense that this is where I come from. Perhaps you don't have the same connection to that almost magical land, but I do.

I will visit Scotland this summer. But if my health holds, I must return to Wales.

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Jun 7th, 2007, 08:39 PM
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You can't "do" Wales in 8 days but you ceratinly can see quite a bit of it. Stonehenge is possible enroute to Wales - but it is also a doable day trip from LOndon.

Wales is a big place w/ the main touring regions being South Wales, the west/Pembrokeshire Coast, and North Wales. Each area would be great. S Wales is most convenient for a detour to Stonehenge. But I'd put N Wales ahead for "bang for the buck" because of all the castles and Snowdonia (though there are castles ALL OVER the country)

A reasonable itinerary for 8 days would be Day 1/ somewhere in Wiltshire to visit Salisbury, Stonehenge, Avebury etc.

Day 2/ Bath if you wanted to spend a day/night there

Day 3/ Near in S Wales near Cardiff/Chepstow for castles and Tintern Abbey

Days 4-6/ in NW Wales

Day 7/ Enroute back towards LHR w/ a stay near Stratford/Warwick or in the Cotswolds

If you didn't stay over in Bath I'd add that extra day to South Wales.
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Jun 7th, 2007, 11:54 PM
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You might want to read my trip report covering 4 days in Wales (From Poetry to Nature)

http://fodors.com/forums/threadselec...2&tid=34824413
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Jun 8th, 2007, 01:28 AM
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I think 8 days is a great amount of time to visit part of Wales. Perhaps a couple of days in South East Wales Cardiff.

http://www.visitcardiff.com/

Having seen Chepstow and Tintern and a few other wonderful castles en route.

http://www.castlewales.com/

Head west through Cowbridge Llantwit major on to the Gower penninsula, a couple of days there west again to Pembrokeshire then head slightly north Brecon, Abergavenny, and back again.

Have fun planning

Muck

I don't think you will see anywhere near 30% of what you would like to see but Im sure you will have a great stay none the less.

Muck

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Jun 9th, 2007, 09:07 AM
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Thank you all for your great replies. Once again this forum comes through ! We will have a look at all your suggestions and try to come up with an itinenary. I realize 8 days is not a lot of time but we have a major trip to SE Asia later in the year and have to be at home at least occasionally ! We did a similar tour of Western Ireland and it was perfect, although we will have to go back. Driving maybe 4 hours a day maximum is ok. BTW are the roads in Wales as narrow as rurula Ireland ?
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Jun 9th, 2007, 09:45 AM
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There are some narrow roads, that is for sure. We went on a tour with Back Roads Touring Co. and we went along roads so narrow that our skilled driver had to stop and somebody had to backup into a turnout so the two vehicles could pass.

For those of you interested in a short tour of south Wales, I enjoyed very much the Back Roads Red Dragon tour.
Our driver was one of the best around:
Hew Walton.

Not only is he a skilled driver of the vehicle, but he is a well-informed guide.

I was very happy when I learned that he will be driving our tour of Scotland later on in August.

Back Roads runs tours in small buses or vans. One truly goes down the back roads and sees places the average tourist never sees. The groups are small and there are none of these commercial stops where one either sits on the sidelines or pays extra to take some cockamamie optional tour.

Yes, per person Back Roads might cost a little more relative to one of those big bus tours like we did with Insight (and hated), but I thought I got my money's worth for sure. We went at it almost all day, and did things a big bus tour simply cannot allow. Like crossing a stream on stepping stones.
Or walking along a canal and watching the canal boats navigate the locks, or deciding on the spur of the moment what we want to do next. Or eating among the locals at a pub.
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Jun 9th, 2007, 09:49 AM
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BackRoads does have a good reputation for sure - but for "non-tour" people "crossing a stream on stepping stones. Or walking along a canal and watching the canal boats navigate the locks, or deciding on the spur of the moment what we want to do next. Or eating among the locals at a pub." are all even more possible on your own for less money than a tour.
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Jun 9th, 2007, 10:42 AM
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True. But I do not want to drive the UK way. I would smash up the car for sure.
Besides, following some of those roads is not my idea of fun driving.

You do it your way; I will do it mine.
Agreed? It is afterall my trip, my enjoyment, and my money.

Also, I think I am intelligent enough to know that. I also know an unacceptable risk, which is my business and not yours. Agreed there too??

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Jun 9th, 2007, 11:01 AM
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We did a similar trip last fall but our trip was over two weeks eventually staying four nights in the Cotswolds and five nights in London. We started our trip at LGW and went to Avebury first since we had already seen Stonehenge. We stopped at Laycock Abbey and Castlecombe before heading for Bath for one night. We had visited Bath before so one night was fine. We then drove to Wales and unfortunately made a wrong turn and had to rule out Hay-on-Wye. We went to Tintern Abbey and then through the Brecons to Llandovery for a one night stay. From there we were able to see Harlech, Portmeirion,and some other coastal towns before heading to Caenarvon where we spent the night. From there we went to Conwy Castle and then to Bodnant Gardens which was very beautiful even in October. Next we stayed in Betwys-y-coed for several nights and had adequate time to explore Snowdonia. We hope to return someday--it is a delightful area. We also managed to stop by Powis Castle before driving back into England. Be aware that these castles are actually ruins--Powis is not ruins and has very interesting gardens. Just outside of Betwys-y-coed are woolen mills and a charming little town, Llanwrst and we regretted not staying at a small castle there which has a few rooms available for guests. You will not be disappointed in Wales. We found it to be less expensive than England. I think 8 days will give you time to enjoy a taste of Wales.
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Jun 9th, 2007, 11:22 AM
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Bob_brown: What are you going on about?? No one attacked you OR your traveling style. In fact, you mentioned nothing about tours at all. I prefaced my comment re Brookwood's post by saying "backwoods has a good reputation" and "but for non-tour people . . ."

Which is exactly what I meant - that for folks who prefer to not go by tour, they can have the same (or even better) experiences on their own.

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Jun 11th, 2007, 05:58 AM
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The Brecon Beacons are gorgeous and Hay-on-wye is a must.
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