A Glimpse of South Wales: Wye Valley Landmarks
- River Severn: At 220 miles, this is Britain's longest river, stretching from the Welsh mountains through the English countryside all the way to the sea at the Bristol Channel.
- Chepstow Castle: Originally built for the Earl of Hereford after the Battle of Hastings in 1066, this fortress guarded the main crossing of the River Wye between Southern England and Wales well into the 1600s.
- Tintern Abbey: The best preserved medieval abbey in Wales, the remaining structure represents construction completed between 1131 and 1536. Its 13th-century west front is a must-see.
About this Bristol tour
One royal wedding in 1981 put Wales on the map and in the hearts of people all around the globe. An estimated 750 million television viewers watched, completely rapt, as the soon-to-be Princess of Wales walked down the aisle in her fairytale bridal gown. And now you have the chance to explore Wales' fairytale Wye Valley, the same lands that inspired the poet Wordsworth, and the artist Turner.
You'll admire the poetic and artistic views along the way to South Wales, starting with the bridge crossing the mighty River Severn and onto the medieval town of Chepstow. Of course, every fairytale has its dark side and you'll find it here, in the land first occupied by the Ancient Romans only to be wrested away by the Norman army, led by William the Conqueror, in his conquest of England.
It doesn't take a military strategist to see the merits of building a fortress in Chepstow, with its superior vantage point on the limestone cliffs high above the River Wye. And that's just what the Normans did, constructing Chepstow Castle shortly after their victory in the Battle of Hastings. You'll tour the formidable stronghold's gatehouse, towers, baileys, great hall, and kitchen.
Follow up your encounter with military might at a much more peaceful site, the best-preserved medieval abbey in all of Wales. The structure's roofless remains represent 400 years worth of construction. Admire the gothic 13th-century west front. Stroll through soaring archways. And visit with the statue of Our Lady of Tintern. And, if you listen very carefully, you just may hear the melodic chanting of the abbey's long-gone monks.
Awaken, heroic king!
Wales has more than its fair share of ties to the legendary Camelot. There's a stone said to bear the hoof print of King Arthur's horse, made while the royal was fighting a monster. And two lakes are suspected of hiding his famous sword, Excalibur. But the most exciting of all is a cave beneath Chepstow Castle. A man reported to have seen the king and his knights there, sleeping until the day they will rise again. But he bolted after making a noise that made the men stir.
Please make your way to Main Entrance of the Bristol Temple Meads Railway to meet our tour representative.
There are some great views seen along your drive. If taking pictures from the bus, turn your flash off, set your camera on manual focus, use the fastest shutter speed possible, and zoom as far as you can.
Expect a moderate amount of walking, over cobblestones and up/down hilly streets, with some steps to climb. Tour is not wheelchair accessible. If your mobility is limited, you may not see all the sites fully. Participate with the group at your discretion.
Cultural, Family Friendly, Scenic
Tour Participation Requirements
This experience is rated moderate. Full participation may require extended periods of walking over even and uneven surfaces, steep terrain and/or water activity in a slight current. There may be steps, inclines, cobblestone surfaces, and extended periods of standing. Participants with physical limitations should take this into account.
Travelers must be 5 years of age or older and accompanied by an adult to participate in this tour.
Full refunds issued for cancellations made 7 full days prior to the date and time of requested services. Cancellations made within the 7-day and 72-hour window will receive a 50% refund of purchase total. Purchases are non-refundable inside of 72 hours.
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