Wales: Britain off the beaten path

Outdoor & Adventure, Site InSpections

Spectacular seashores, tumbling rivers and vivid green valleys.  Wales is full of unique group experiences and a wide range of accommodations throughout the country, including luxury five-star, spa hotels.  If you’re looking to offer your clients something familiar yet different, Wales is a great destination in its own right – or combined with other regions of Britain and Ireland.  Read on for inspiration and ideas…..


Wales is easy to get to by land, sea or air.  Only 2 hours by train from London and well served by major international airports – Cardiff, Bristol, Birmingham, Liverpool, Manchester and London.

Destination Overview – from South to North

Starting off in Cardiff, South Wales: this cosmopolitan capital city is filled with historic buildings, beautiful gardens and art galleries. Just nearby is the world-famous Celtic Manor Resort where the prestigious Ryder Cup 2010 was hosted. The world’s sporting media heralded the country’s golf credentials while the Twenty Ten Course challenged the world’s best golfers. Since then, the Celtic Manor Resort has been voted Europe’s Golf Resort of the Year 2011.

Brecon Beacons National Park. Crown copyright (2011) Visit Wales

Swansea, Gower & the Brecon Beacons: Swansea was home to the famous poet, Dylan Thomas. For poetry lovers, one can pick up a trail booklet from the Dylan Thomas Centre and discover the places he loved. Moving on to the Brecon Beacons, a mountain range including South Wales’ highest mountain. The natural beauty is stunning and is perfect for walking and cycling. One highlight is Hay-on-Wye, known as the “town of books” boasting more than 30 bookshops, a castle and great restaurants.  Every year since 1987, the Hay Festival takes place for 10 days in May, attracting the most exciting writers, filmmakers, comedians, politicians and musicians to inspire, delight and entertain.

Further West is Pembrokeshire, a coastal county made up of rugged cliffs, wooded estuaries and wild inland hills offering some of the best coastal walking paths in the U.K..  Next, heading North, you will come to Aberystwyth, Portmeirion and Snowdonia National Park.  Aberystwyth is home to a 13th century castle and the National Library of Wales. In Portmeirion, you’ll see an unusual Italianate village created by architect Sir Clough William-Ellis. Snowdonia National Park covers 823 square miles and includes Wales’ highest mountain, Snowdonia, its largest lake, Bala and a wealth of picturesque villages.

Caernarvon Castle, North Wales. Crown copyright (2011) Visit Wales

Moving North to Caernarfon, you’ll find Caernarfon Castle, one of the most impressive of the castles built by Edward I and is one of Europe’s greatest medieval fortresses. The Mighty Caernarfon is possibly the most famous of Wales’ many castles. Ending our journey at the Northern tip of Wales, the isle of Anglesey is famous for its picturesque windmills, wildlife and the magnificent Beaumaris Castle.  Following the marriage of Prince William of Wales to Catherine Middleton (Duke & Duchess of Cambridge), all eyes have turned to Anglesey as the couple make their first home on the west coast of the island, facing the panorama of the Snowdonia Mountains and the coast.

For more details on sending groups to North Wales, check out the new Groups North Wales 2011 brochure and website. Putting culture and heritage center stage, this online resource will offer a number of new ideas for group travel buyers looking for destinations with a difference.


“The Soul cannot thrive in the absence of a garden” – Thomas Moore.

Are your clients Garden lovers? Wales has some of the finest and most historic gardens in Britain.  From grand historic gardens to charming cottage gardens, Wales boasts the National Botanic Garden, at the cutting edge of horticultural research.

Did you know that Castles are Britain’s most popular attraction with foreign visitors? According to new VisitBritain research, touring a Welsh Castle was one of the top three choices among overseas travellers when asked what they want to see most when visiting Britain. Whatever your customers are passionate about, you’ll find a myriad of options in Sample Itineraries.

Golfing – Wales boasts around 200 golf courses, many stunning links courses like Nefyn & District, and Royal Porthcawl.

For other active vacations that include walking, cycling, mountain biking, fishing and horse riding, the options are endless!

Festivals & Events

The Welsh have a centuries-old tradition of entertaining and celebrating with music, drama, poetry and sport. The most famous festival is the traditionally Welsh Eisteddfod, a competitive festival of poetry, song and dance.  Click below for a range of unique choices

Explorer Pass

For discounts on group visits, check out the Explorer Pass – a fantastic way toexplore a wealth of historic attractions throughout Wales.  Available in 3 & 7 day passes.

What’s Next?

Wales Millennium Stadium, Cardiff. Crown copyright (2011) Visit Wales

For 2012 consider Cardiff, Wales’s capital city.  The buzz of London and the 2012 Summer Olympic Games are only 2 hours away by train.  Wales will host part of the Olympic Football tournament at Cardiff’s Millennium Stadium; there are 28 teams and 504 athletes involved in the Football alone. The football competition kicks off in Wales two days before the Opening Ceremony begins!  Wales will host c. 11 matches in the tournament. The National Museum Cardiff with its famous collection of impressionist paintings and gothic Cardiff Castle are just two of the city’s many popular attractions to choose from.

The centenary of Dylan Thomas’s birth in 2014 presents a great opportunity to showcase literary tours of Wales.  Dylan Thomas fans can soak up the very atmosphere that inspired the late poet by staying or taking a tour of No. 5 Cwmdonkin Drive in Swansea, the home where Dylan was born in 1914.

Group Friendly Hotels

For a list of group friendly hotels, go to

New Hotels:  The Maldron Hotel in Cardiff will open in May 2011 with 216 air-conditioned rooms.  It will be the first hotel in Wales from the Irish chain.

More hotels…..

  • Lake Vyrnwy Hotel –
  • Plas Tan y Bwlch –
  • Beaches Hotel –
  • The Metropole –

Online Resources
Wales Group Travel Directory

About Visit Wales

Visit Wales is the lead government agency responsible for marketing Wales both within the UK and overseas as a tourism destination.  Contact Paul and Lauren to discuss how we can help you plan your client’s trip to Wales.

Visit Wales, North America office

Paul Chibeba, Director—North America        email:
Lauren Summers, Marketing Executive        email:

Trade Website:

Consumer website:

About VisitBritain

VisitBritain is the national tourism agency, responsible for promoting tourism to Britain worldwide. Working in partnership with Visit London, Visit England, Visit Scotland, Visit Wales and hundreds of other travel organizations in Britain and North America.  Globus is a key partner for your group planning needs. Tap into their expertise and reap the rewards.  P.S. NEW! Develop your destination knowledge through our new online course.  Go to and start learning now.

Globus and Cosmos Packages

  • Globus Wales: Essential Britain
  • Cosmos Scotland: England, Scotland & Wales
  • Cosmos Wales: British Isles in Depth
  • Cosmos Wales: Wales & Ireland


When standard itineraries don’t quite meet the needs of your group, let the Globus family of brands Custom Groups Department assist you.  We’ll create a tour or package focused on your specific educational and destination goals while using our extensive buying power to provide you the best value.  Whether it’s music themed, a garden tour, food and wine, or whatever you can dream up, we’ll work with you to put together the perfect itinerary.

For Information Contact the Globus family Groups Department

Phone: 866-821-2752 Website:

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