Birthplace of the Tudor Dynasty

- 5 Days -

Wales is the birthplace of Henry VII, the founder of the all-powerful Tudor Dynasty.

Delight in the architecture, buildings and monuments of this extraordinary period in British history. Uncover the tales of the castles that developed from medieval fortifications into glorious manor houses and Elizabethan stately homes under the five House of Tudor Monarchs, including Henry VIII and Elizabeth I. Your journey will take you across this beautiful land of lush green valleys, rugged mountains and spectacular seascapes, from Anglesey in the very north of Wales, to Pembrokeshire, the land known as the ‘jewel in Wales’s crown, before venturing towards the Wye Valley, and its glorious position framed by the Brecon Beacons and Black Mountains.

At a glance

  • Walk in the footsteps of the Welsh Tudor dynasty and its Welsh legacy.
  • Journey through the Wye Valley and the dramatic vistas of the Brecon Beacons to the capital city of Cardiff, before heading west via the Gower Peninsular to Pembrokeshire, and then compete your trip in the majestic scenery of Snowdonia.
  • Learn about Wales’s rich medieval past which helped define a nation and its place in British history.
  • Enjoy authentic warm Welsh hospitality in laid back country inns and fabulous country house hotels, all set in spectacular scenery.
  • Taste delicious food that showcases the best of Welsh ingredients, washed down with locally brewed ales and Welsh wines.

Day 1

Wye Valley and the Black Mountains

Arrive in Wales, a country known for giving the warmest of welcomes and having the most generous of spirits. Explore the hidden treasures of the meandering Wye Valley. Stumble across the unmistakable silhouette of Raglan Castle, which crowns a countryside ridge. Its elegant and stylish demeanor is a definitive reflection of 15th century Wales. The Welsh fortress, home to a garrison of 800 men, was later transformed into a palatial Elizabethan stately home. Venture into the Black mountains within the Brecon Beacons National Park to Tretower Court, an architectural wonder with 900 years of history. It houses a massive circular monumental tower, and its fortified court is home to a great hall that became a magnet for medieval Welsh nobility and poets. Tretower gives a true insight into gracious living free from conflict, reflecting Wales’s wealth and influence under the Tudors. Stroll its restored 15th century garden, and wander among fragrant white roses that represent its passionate sympathies to the House of York.

Day 2

Brecon Beacons and the Capital

Journey over the sandstone peaks of the Brecon Beacons to Wales’s capital city. Climb one of its many peaks or drop into the Penderyn distillery to taste the local liquid gold in its foothills. Learn more about Welsh history and the Tudors by exploring the farmhouses and churches restored to Tudor magnificence within the extraordinary grounds of St Fagans Castle and gardens. As one of the finest Elizabethan manor houses from the late 16th century, it’s also home to the National Museum of Wales. Discover the beautiful St Teilo’s Church with its Catholic Tudor murals, carvings and altars. Be inspired by Welsh traditional crafts with a working blacksmith forge, a pottery, a weaver, a miller, and a clog maker. Stay in the heart of the city just a stone’s throw from the magnificent Cardiff Castle and the national Principality Stadium, which embodies the beating heart and soul of the nation through the oval rugby ball.

Day 3

Gower Peninsular

Head into the wild west, first to the windswept coast of the Gower Peninsula. Follow the grass banks of Llanrhidian Sands on the Loughor Estuary, famed for its sweetest salt marsh lamb, to discover the ruins of the high-society home of Weobley Castle. This epic view must be the same today as it was 700 years ago, when the fortified manor house was raised in stages by the wealthy de la Bere family, stewards to the lords of Gower. Pay your respects at the tombs of Edmund Tudor and Rhys ap Thomas, the man believed to have dealt the fatal blow to King Richard III at the Battle of Bosworth. Take in the truly spectacular views from the village of Rhossili across its iconic beach, and for the more adventurous, head out to Worms Head at low tide. Travel through the Penrice estate and its glorious marshlands to the giant dunes of Oxwich Bay. Settle back and enjoy a meal to remember right on its golden sandy beach, tasting Gower Salt Marsh Lamb, lobster from the bay and the best of Welsh cheeses.

Day 4


Follow the road to the enormous oval Pembroke Castle, surrounded by a serene mill pond famed as the birthplace of Henry Tudor. Tour the castle to learn more about this proud Welshman who went on to be crowned King of England. As the first monarch of the House of Tudor, he successfully restored power and stability to the monarchy after the War of the Roses. Trace the route of the tunnel once used by Henry and his uncle Jasper to escape from St Mary’s Church in the walled town of Tenby through to its pretty harbour, to exile to France. He landed back in Wales at Mullock Bridge and its little cove near Dale, on his way to meet Richard III at Bosworth Fields. Admire the lovingly restored three-storey Tudor Merchant House near the Tenby quayside. Watch the sunset over the promontory site dominated by the sprawling ruins of Carew Castle, a fortified residence which served as the scene of the last Jousting Tournament in Wales, which honoured King Henry VII. Reflect on your day watching the sunset at a local inn on Cresselly Quay, drinking locally brewed ale.

Day 5

Snowdonia and Anglesey

Follow the Cambrian coast deep into the north, to Snowdonia, the land of myth and legend. First stop is a pretty village of Harlech, with an imposing medieval castle perched high like a sentinel overlooking the Irish Sea. The castle was home to the medieval ruler, Owain Glyndŵr, Prince of Wales. Find out more about the de facto King of Wales and his countrymen, who rebelled against the English rulers just prior to the Tudor Dynasty. Cross the Snowdonia mountain range into the Conwy Valley and explore some of the finest Tudor homes in Wales. Visit Gwydir Castle, recently lovingly restored with painstaking respect for its Tudor history, for a deeply evocative experience. Journey on to the World Heritage Site at Conwy Town, one of Britain’s best-preserved medieval towns. Preserved ancient walls, the most intact in Europe, enclose a town of narrow cobbled streets, nooks and crannies chock-full of historic buildings, including the Elizabethan Town House of Plas Mawr, which is regarded as the finest Elizabethan Townhouse in Britain. Step back in time and admire the exquisite interiors and gardens built by its staggeringly wealthy merchant owner. Spend the final evening of your trip overlooking Snowdonia in the luxury of a late-Elizabethan country house.

All of our itineraries are designed around you, so please remember that this is just a suggestion which can be tailored into something completely bespoke to you and your preferences.

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