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Suggestions for best itinerary for 4 days in Wales

Suggestions for best itinerary for 4 days in Wales

Old Jan 25th, 2018, 03:21 AM
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Help with itinerary for 4 days in Wales

We have 4 days to spend in Wales in early April with friends visiting the UK and after reading through many posts on the forum and guide books have come up with the below. (We have kids between the ages of 8-15years travelling with us) Would appreciate any suggestions to best enjoy Wales in the limited time we have there.

Day 1 - Early morning drive from London to Shrewsbury via Iron bridge in Telford. Lunch in Shrewsbury and continue to Powis Castle and gardens.
Night in Welshpool - is this a good choice for the night? or should we head to Bala or Dolgellau for the night? or other suggestions?

Day 2 - Morning drive via Bedgelert to Llanberis via the Pen-y-pass, for train ride up to the summit if weather is good. is it still worth the cost, as its only 3/4 way up in April and not to the summit? pop into the National Slate museum. Drive to Idwal Cottage to do the Llyn Idwal track from Ogwen. (3hr moderate walk)
Would this be the best choice for a rewarding short walk in Snowden NP?.
Dinner in Betsw-y-coed. Next 2 nights in Conwy.

Day 3. Drive to Caernarfon castle. Explore Town..and then head to either Beaumaris Castle OR to Llandudno & great Orme. which would be the better option? Night in Conwy.

Day 4 . Conwy castle and town . Late afternoon drive back to London. Friends will move on to Lake District afterwards, with a stop in Chester for the night.

Any suggestions/feedback to improve on the above will be appreciated!

Last edited by nikidi; Jan 25th, 2018 at 03:27 AM.
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Old Jan 25th, 2018, 06:08 AM
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It is certainly action packed and definitely "ambitious..." You don't say where you are staying in London. Driving to Shrewsbury is going to take a good three hours. Allow even longer oif you are wanting to get out and look at the Iron Bridge. Parking in Shrewsbury and k]having lunch and getting back to the car could take another 2 hours... Have you thought about driving straight to Powis Castle and having lunch in the tea room there? It would save time. There is so much to see in the castle and the gardens are wonderful. The castle shuts at 5pm (last entry at 4.30 ) and the grounds at 6pm.

Day 2 is horrendous, especially if you have had an overnight in Welshpool. To Llanberis via Beddgelert is going to be 3+hour drive depending on traffic. It would make sense to make Bala area your base rather than Welshpool. You need to allow a couple of hours for a trip up Snowdon on the Railway. (Could be longer if there are queues and a lot of coach tours booked). Also it is only worth doing if visibility is good! The National Slate Museum is fascinating and deserves at least an hour if not longer. That is effectively the whole day - I don't think you are going to have time for your 3hr Llyn Idwal walk. You could consider walking around Llanberis. The Vivian trail takes you up through the old quarry workings and there are good views. BUT you will need decent boots as it is quite steep in places.
Llanberis.pdf
https://www.mudandroutes.com/vivian-...erts-15112011/
I think you need to prune this drastically. Is Llanberis a must? If not make Beddgellert your destination and think about this walk along the stunningly beautiful Aberglaslyn Pass and Cwm Bychan. (You may even be lucky enough to see one of the might Garrett locos pulling a train on the Welsh Highland Railway.)
https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/cra...slyn-pass-walk
If time allows, it is worth continuing along the footpath north from point 5 which will bring you out to Llyn Dinas. There is a footpath and track back along the river to Beddgellert.
Attached Files
File Type: pdf
Llanberis.pdf (713.3 KB, 130 views, Original Link)
File Type: pdf
Llanberis.pdf (713.3 KB, 167 views, Original Link)

Last edited by wasleys; Jan 25th, 2018 at 06:12 AM. Reason: spelling
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Old Jan 25th, 2018, 06:21 AM
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I edited for spelling mistakes and managed to lose the comments about day 3... This is at least more manageable. If you are doing Caernarfon and Conwy castles then Beaumaris is possibly overkill with its concentric construction and moat. The Great Orme on a nice day is great - use the Victorian Tramway up and the cable car down. The other alternative is to skip Caernarfon (a walled town and in some ways similar to Conwy) and visit Beaumaris instead.
Beaumaris Castle
If you do this, continue your drive and include Penmon Priory at the south east tip of Anglesey and down to Puffin Point.
Penmon Priory

Make sure you walk along the walls in Conwy and also visit Plas MAwr, a lovely Elizabethan town house in the centre of the town.
Conwy Castle and its walled town
Plas Mawr Index
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Old Jan 25th, 2018, 07:25 AM
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I found Beaumaris disappointing, I think it is best seen from the air. I loved Conwy, but I think Caernarfon has a more substantial castle, although you can walk the walls at Conwy.

If you visit the National Trust property in Conwy you will also get admission to the toll keeper's cottage on the far side of the suspension bridge.

I agree with pretty much everything wasleys wrote. For my fairly recent stay in Conwy see:

https://mytimetotravel.wordpress.com...stle-and-more/

https://mytimetotravel.wordpress.com...he-great-orme/
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Old Jan 25th, 2018, 08:08 AM
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Thanks for the feedback - didn't realise that the itinerary was that bad ...here it is re-done..

Day 1 - Early morning drive from London to Shrewsbury (with or without a stop here, depending on time!) via Iron bridge in Telford. Lunch in Shrewsbury and continue to Powis Castle and gardens.
Night in Welshpool - is this a good choice for the night? or should we head to Bala or Dolgellau for the night? or other suggestions?

Day 2 - Morning drive via Bedgelert to Llanberis via the Pen-y-pass, for train ride up to the summit if weather is good. is it still worth the cost, as its only 3/4 way up in April and not to the summit?
pop into the National Slate museum. Next 2 nights in Conwy.

Day 3. Drive to Caernarfon castle. Explore Town..and then Drive to Idwal Cottage to do the Llyn Idwal track from Ogwen. (3hr moderate walk)
Would this be the best choice for a rewarding short walk in Snowden NP?. Night in Conwy.

Day 4 . Conwy castle and town . Late afternoon drive back to London. Friends will move on to Lake District afterwards, with a stop in Chester for the night.
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Old Jan 25th, 2018, 08:31 AM
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Just a quick question . . . >>Early morning drive from London<<

From Where in London? That can make a HUGE difference re drive time. If you are starting from say Bermondsey or Docklands it could take an hour longer than if you are leaving from someplace like Ealing.
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Old Jan 25th, 2018, 08:45 AM
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From Leatherhead in Surrey - connecting on to M25 in 5 mins and then to M40.

Last edited by nikidi; Jan 25th, 2018 at 08:50 AM.
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Old Jan 25th, 2018, 08:58 AM
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Originally Posted by nikidi View Post
From Leatherhead in Surrey - connecting on to M25 in 5 mins and then to M40.
Then you are talking a 4 hour drive on day 1, plus stops at Iron Bridge and Powis Castle (totaling at least 2 hours) - and longer of the M25 is backed up.
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Old Jan 25th, 2018, 08:59 AM
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Unless things have changed considerably in the past several years, there’s really no need to explore Caernarfon. When I was last there, thought the place pretty depressing. The castle definitely.
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Old Jan 25th, 2018, 10:27 AM
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Janisj, for Day 1- we plan to start off early and a 4 hour drive is fine for us.. can skip the stops and head straight to Powis Castle, if it gets too late..
And may be we can add one more night in Conwy? and drive back the following morning giving us half a day extra..?

Can someone help with a rewarding short walk in Snowdon NP please and would appreciate some advise re taking the Snowdon mountain train in early April ..

Would it make more sense to base ourselves in Betsw-y-Coed rather than Conwy?

historytraveler, noted..just the castle in Caernarfon..giving us more time to enjoy a walk in the area.
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Old Jan 25th, 2018, 10:57 AM
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Wesleys - thanks for the suggestion for the walk - will read up on that..! and I have trimmed down the itinerary quite a bit now..but would still like to see a few castles and a bit of snowdon as well..
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Old Jan 25th, 2018, 12:02 PM
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Nikidi - Shrewsbury is a nice place but poor parking and we didn't find any stand out places to eat when we stayed there for a few nights about 2 years ago. If you stop you'll end up spending at least an hour there I expect. However we found several nice looking eating places in Ironbridge and loved the look of this pub, if only for its name:

The Tontine Hotel

[A tontine is a sort of will whereby as each member dies, the property or whatever in the will passes to the survivors; it features in one of the Agatha Christie stories in which it provides a clear motive for murder]

IMO a much better stopping place if you have limited time and quite unique. When we were there they had planted wild flowers below the bridge which were all in bloom and looked stunning but even without that, the bridge is very striking. And you will have to stop somewhere for lunch, so why not there? By then you will have broken the back of the driving as it's only another hour or even less to Welshpool.
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Old Jan 25th, 2018, 01:23 PM
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Agree with annhig that you can skip Shrewsbury. I spent a night there a couple of years back and wished I had spent an extra night in Worcester instead.
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Old Jan 25th, 2018, 04:46 PM
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Thanks so much Annhig, exactly the sort of info I was after..Its hard to decide between sights and locations by just looking at the guide books- Thursdaysd, Shrewsbury will be dropped.. So it will be
Day 1 - Early morn drive with stop over at iron bridge and then to Powis Castle. Night in Welshpool.
Day 2 - Has anyone done the mountain train early spring to Clogwyn. Is this a worth while trip? Or is it better to do a drive in the area instead? if so any recommendations?
Also, should we base our selves in betsw-y-coed or Conwy..?
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Old Jan 29th, 2018, 03:00 AM
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PalenQ, Have you got a trip report for your Wales Trip - I can't find it and look like you visited all the same places during your trip!

any more suggestions would be welcome!
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Old Jan 29th, 2018, 07:20 AM
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>>PalenQ, Have you got a trip report for your Wales Trip - I can't find it . . .<<

. . . because there isn't one - PQ doesn't do TRs

​​​​​​​(and for clarification - that was not snarky, just trying to save the OP some time)
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Old Jan 29th, 2018, 07:59 AM
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We are planning a first trip to Wales. We are booking hotels and then have a long list of possible day trip options and sites depending upon the weather and such.

If you drive from Conwy to either Caernarfon or Beaumaris you will be going right past: https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/penrhyn-castle
Looks impressive, we plan to stop there.

Good luck!
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Old Jan 31st, 2018, 04:00 AM
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thanks everyone.
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Old Jan 31st, 2018, 12:04 PM
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The walk I described in post 2 is ranked 31in the list of top 100 UK walks, so it's not just me who thinks this is a good one.
https://www.ordnancesurvey.co.uk/get...vourite-walks/
And details of the walk here.
https://osmaps.ordnancesurvey.co.uk/...lks-Beddgelert

But allow more than the estimated 1 hr 58min to really enjoy it....
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Old Feb 1st, 2018, 02:19 AM
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thanks wasleys - brilliant link for future reference as well..
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