Wales: The Llyn Peninsula, Anglesey & Snowdonia

Guided Walking Tour, Wales: The Llyn Peninsula, Anglesey & SnowdoniaGuided Walking Tour, Wales: The Llyn Peninsula, Anglesey & Snowdonia

Wales

The Llyn Peninsula, Anglesey & Snowdonia

overview

Many visitors to Wales experience a mystical sense of belonging. The Welsh have a word for it: hiraeth, or “homecoming.” On the Llŷn Peninsula, the rugged Welsh coastline confronts the sea with 95 miles of scenic paths that traverse the landscape from Caernarfon to Portmadoc. Its diverse topography takes you from mudflats to rocky cliffs, from secluded coves to open heath, encompassing splendid vistas in this heritage site of Outstanding Natural Beauty. In addition to the unusual terrain, revealing some of the oldest rock in the British Isles, there are charming seaside resorts and fishing villages untouched by time, remnants of Iron Age civilizations, and castles steeped in Arthurian legend. Ancient origins come alive at Felin Uchaf, an earthworks center where you’ll find a traditional Iron Age roundhouse, timber-framed barns, and a working farm and crafts collective.

2014 Downloadable Itinerary

2015 Downloadable Itinerary

Activity Level
Easy to moderate;
5-8 miles daily
Meet
Chester, England
Depart
Bangor, Wales
Reading List
Recommended
pre-trip reading
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From our blog

Guided Walking 
7 days, 6 nights Trip Includes 

Trip Includes

  • Two expert, local guides (for groups of 8 or more), with you 24/7
  • All meals except for one lunch and one dinner; wine and local beer included with dinners
  • All accommodations while on tour
  • Transportation from the meeting to the departure point
  • Entrance fees and special events as noted in the itinerary
  • The unbeatable and cumulative experience of the Country Walkers staff
per person double occupancy
Single supplement + $325
 

Solo surcharge + $0
 

Call 800.234.6900 to book this trip.

REQUEST RESERVATION
Number of Travelers
Total in your party
Price From
per person double occupancy

Call 800.234.6900 to book this trip.

REQUEST RESERVATION

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Itinerary and Accommodations

Days
Destination
1
Aberdaron
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2
Aberdaron
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3
Aberdaron
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4
Caernarfon
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5
Caernarfon
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6
Caernarfon
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7
Caernarfon
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Day 1

Aberdaron

Transfer from Chester to Conwy. Guided visit of Conwy Castle. Transfer to the Llyn Peninsula. “Town of the Giants” Bronze Age hill fort; 3 miles, easy to moderate, 1,000-ft. elevation gain and loss

Your tour of Wales begins in the charming English town of Chester. This gateway to northern Wales is rich in history and houses some of England’s best-known Roman ruins. From Chester, you transfer to Conwy where a local guide gives you a tour of Conwy Castle. This imposing structure was built by English King Edward I between 1283 and 1289 as part of a ring of castles constructed to contain the Welsh. It is set in the medieval walled town of Conwy, with views of the sea on one side and the Snowdonia mountain range on the other.

After completing your tour of the castle and enjoying lunch in a local tea room, you depart for the lovely Llyn Peninsula, which stretches out into the  Celtic Sea. Walk the trail to visit the ruins of a Bronze Age hill fort, which provides an excellent vantage point of the entire peninsula. Situated atop a heather-covered plateau, the site is known as “Town of the Giants” and retains intact stone walls up to 12 feet high in places, 72 hut circles as well as other evidence of pre-Roman inhabitants.

After descending from the hilltop, transfer to the whitewashed fishing village of Aberdaron, situated at the westernmost tip of the peninsula. See the 12th-century church of St. Hywyn, located close to the beach and next to your hotel. It is said that at times the locals could not hear the service due to the wind and waves.

Tonight, eat fresh local seafood at the hotel and enjoy the view from its panoramic seaside terrace (weather permitting).

Gwesty Ty Newydd

Aberdaron, Wales

In the historical fishing village of Aberdaron, a family-run hotel offers comfortable, newly renovated rooms throughout, most of which overlook the bay and wide sandy beach. The setting and proximity to the walks is exceptional.

Day 2

Aberdaron

Walk from the hotel along the beach before taking the coastal path for 1 mile to the cove Porth Meudwy. Boat trip to Bardsey Island; Circular walk visiting the lighthouse and the remains of the abbey 5-6 miles; easy to moderate

Today’s excursion starts off on foot from your hotel to board a local boat, going just under 2 miles offshore in the Celtic  Sea, for a walk and visit to wild and sacred Bardsey Island, the “island of 20,000 saints”—in Welsh Ynys Enlli means “island of the currents,” while its English name is “island of the bards.” An important religious site since the construction of a monastery in 516, this island—just over a mile long and a mile wide—is now equally treasured as a national wildlife reserve. On the migration route of seabirds traveling between Iceland and Africa, it is a nesting site for Manx shearwaters, and all of the migrating birds are counted each year. The waters that surround its cliffs are also home to dolphins, porpoises, and grey and elephant seals.

You walk to the lighthouse on the southernmost tip—in spring and summer blanketed in wildflowers, and especially blazing in color when the heather and gorse are in bloom. Then you continue along the ridge with views back to the mainland, circling back past the abbey ruins to the boathouse. Your boat captain’s family has deep roots in Bardsey—on the return trip he slows down to better view seabirds and regale you with stories. If the seas are too rough for the boat crossing, you head out for an alternative walk at the tip of the Llyn Pensinsula.

You return in the late afternoon to your sea-view hotel to freshen up before dinner. This evening, near the village of Rhoshirwaun, you visit the Felin Uchaf Educational Centre, an educational farm that works to preserve traditional rural crafts and building techniques. One of many projects is the construction of an Iron Age roundhouse, made of timber and thatch, in which you are invited to local entertainment from a globally respected story teller recanting tales in the Bardic tradition.

Gwesty Ty Newydd

Aberdaron, Wales

In the historical fishing village of Aberdaron, a family-run hotel offers comfortable, newly renovated rooms throughout, most of which overlook the bay and wide sandy beach. The setting and proximity to the walks is exceptional.

Day 3

Aberdaron

Aberdaron to St. Mary’s Well; 8 miles, easy to moderate

Following breakfast, your walk starts from the (hotel and follows the beach to Porth Simdde before climbing onto the top of the cliffs and onto the coastal track. Passing a wooden bridge, you continue toward the headland with views of the small islands of Ynys Gwylan Bach and Ynys Gwylan Fawr. At Porth Parwyd, the trail turns inland, crossing fields before returning to the coastal trail. Spectacular views of Bardsey Sound abound and you are the farthest west you can be in North Wales. You then arrive at St. Mary’s Well, a short scramble down to the sea’s edge where you can gaze into the still surface of the fresh water well (when the tide is low).  Who knows what visions will await you. Afterwards we continue onto Maen Melyn the finger stone pointing back out to Bardsey Island and on to the remains of St. Mary’s Church.  Finally we walk up and onto Uwlch Mynydd the highest point of our journey with fantastic views out to Bardsey Island, Anglesey and on a truly clear day the coastline of Ireland. You now return by an inland route across fields and country lanes, with wildflower displays alongside the hedgerows. After walking through the “path of gold” (the path is flanked by yellow gorse bushes) you return to Aberdaron, you return to the hotel before dinner at a local seafood restaurant.

Gwesty Ty Newydd

Aberdaron, Wales

In the historical fishing village of Aberdaron, a family-run hotel offers comfortable, newly renovated rooms throughout, most of which overlook the bay and wide sandy beach. The setting and proximity to the walks is exceptional.

Day 4

Caernarfon

Beddgelert through Aberglaslyn Gorge; 5 miles, moderate

Packed and ready after a sustaining breakfast, you transfer to Beddgelert, a traditional Welsh village with its sturdy stone cottages that cluster around the banks of the River Glaslyn. Here you may enjoy a little free time wandering through the small streets of this typical Welsh mountain village. From here you walk south out of the village, crossing a railway line, and passing an old disused slate mine. (Slate mining began in Wales during Roman times!) Gradually gaining height, you then reach a viewpoint that offers lovely views back into the village of Beddgelert and out over the Irish Sea. Once you have soaked in this splendid view, you then walk downhill, across the River Glaslyn and along a pretty trail through woods and heather scrub. You then walk through the Aberglaslyn Gorge and alongside the river once more, with beautiful views of the vegetation along the riverbank. At times you must walk along a narrower stone path and hold onto steel handholds in order to negotiate around the river. The route also passes over a short section of boards and rock slabs which are crossed over by some wooden slats. The ground rises and falls above the water in gentle inclines and declines.

In the afternoon we visit a local school where you will be immersed into a modern day local Welsh environment.  You will have the opportunity to learn some Welsh words and expect to be grilled by the pupils on American culture.  You will also have the opportunity to sing the American National anthem.

Afterwards you transfer to your second hotel of the tour. Dinner will be eaten in the lovely hotel dining room. Indulge in a feast of regional specialties, such as Conwy Valley oak-smoked venison or breast of Anglesey duck.

Seiont Manor Hotel

Caernarfon, Wales

This restored Georgian manor house is an elegant hotel with spacious rooms, a fitness center, and a fine-dining restaurant. It is situated within 150 acres of farmland, streams, and walking paths.

Day 5

Caernarfon

Red Wharf Bay to Penmon Point; 7 miles, easy to moderate

You will have a leisurely start this morning, with some free time in the town of Caernarfon to either shop or to visit the castle. Later, embark on your walk on the Isle of Anglesey in northwestern Wales. This walk follows a portion of the 125-mile-long Anglesey Coastal Path that winds along this island’s stunning coast. Its designation as an “Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty” speaks for itself, with its varied land- and seascapes of seaside cliffs, limestone escarpments, and fields of pastel wildflowers—all set against a backdrop of the aquamarine waters of the Celtic Sea. The route begins along the eastern side of Red Wharf Bay, where it soon connects with a sea wall for about half a mile. Rising through farmland towards Bwrdd Arthur (Arthur’s Table), you can see the ruins of an Iron Age village and out toward Penmon Point. Following close to the shore, the walk finishes up with lovely views of the Carneddau Mountains across the Menai Straits between the mainland and the island. You finish near the Penmon Priory and Trwyn Du lighthouse, looking over to Puffin Island.

After the walk, you are on your own for dinner tonight, perhaps selecting a wonderful local pub or restaurant.

Seiont Manor Hotel

Caernarfon, Wales

This restored Georgian manor house is an elegant hotel with spacious rooms, a fitness center, and a fine-dining restaurant. It is situated within 150 acres of farmland, streams, and walking paths.

Day 6

Caernarfon

Narrow Gauge Railway, Caernarfon to Beddgelert. Watkin Path; 6 miles, moderate

Today we take the narrow gauge railway from Caernarfon back into the picturesque village of Beddgelert, where we get off the train. Following the Afon Glaslyn (river), we walk out of the village past Dinas Emrys, an ancient hill fort from Arthurian legend, and up to the village of Nant Gwynant. Here we take the Watkin Path up to the Gladstone Rock, where the eponymous famous Liberal prime minister addressed Welsh slate miners, before we walk past small copper mines and large slate excavations up and over the south ridge of Snowdon.

At our highest point, we are halfway to the summit (the highest point in all of England and Wales) before descending through more slate mines set amongst the beautiful upland mountain environment and back to the small village of Rhyd Ddu. After our fantastic walk, we then return to the hotel for our final night of fine dining in the hotel.

Tonight, enjoy a sumptuous farewell dinner in the hotel’s fine-dining restaurant, with fine views overlooking the countryside towards the sea and, if you are lucky, a spectacular sunset. The food here features fresh local ingredients, meat from a local farmer or butcher, fish from the North Wales coastline, and, when in season, locally grown herbs and vegetables. Enjoy a Welsh beef fillet, local sea bass, or organic salmon. The cuisine here reflects the chef’s global and varied experience.

Seiont Manor Hotel

Caernarfon, Wales

This restored Georgian manor house is an elegant hotel with spacious rooms, a fitness center, and a fine-dining restaurant. It is situated within 150 acres of farmland, streams, and walking paths.

Day 7

Caernarfon

Departure from Bangor

Departing the hotel after breakfast, you say goodbye to your newfound friends.

Itinerary Disclaimer

Bear in mind that this is a typical itinerary, and the actual activities, sites, and accommodations may vary due to season, special events, weather, or transportation schedules. We reserve the right to alter the itinerary since tour arrangements are made up to a year in advance, and unforeseen circumstances that mandate change may arise. Itinerary changes are made to improve the tour and your experience. If you are currently booked on a CW adventure, an itinerary has been sent to you for your exact departure date. Please call CW at 800.464.9255 if you have any questions about the exact itinerary or hotels selected for any of our tours.

Guides

Peter Cooper

Peter lives in Snowdonia, North Wales with his wife, daughter, and two sons. Pete’s love of the outdoors began when he walked the Pennine Way (a 270-mile walk from the Peak District, U.K. to the Scottish Borders) at the age of 15. When not guiding Country Walkers tours he works as an activity instructor leading guided mountain walks, and teaching canoeing, kayaking, and rock climbing. In addition to guiding in North Wales he also guides in locations such as Scotland, Africa, Nepal, Morocco, and the Pyrenees. In the past he has worked for the Civil Service and as a college lecturer, but his real calling is to be in the outdoors, sharing his love of nature with his guests.

Zak Griffiths-Key

Zak has been working in the outdoor industry since leaving school, where he began his career working for the Outward Bound organization in the English Lake District. After a few years he went on to college to study Welsh language and literature, and also to university where he studied environmental science. He has traveled extensively in Europe, Asia, and the South Pacific, but has now settled in Wales and specifically Snowdonia, where he works as an outdoor activity instructor. He passes on his love for the environment and the Welsh mountains to all his guests.

Guest Comments

C. Odom, New York, June 2010

The Snowdonia & Northern Coast region of Wales is absolutely beautiful. Rolling green fields, magnificent stone walls, majestic mountain peaks, and a craggy, breathtaking coast give a feast to the eye and the soul.

D. Rosenfeld, S. Woo, California, May 2012

Experiencing the village environment in Wales and the more relaxed pace of life and importance of community was as refreshing as the beautiful and varied walks. Our local guides who live and work in the community and made the Welsh culture, community, economy and history come alive were integral to making the trip so good.

H. Guaraglia, California, June 2012

The guides were simply wonderful. We experienced an accident on our trip and they went way out of their way to accommodate the injured guest while not causing any suffering on the part of the rest of the group. They were both informative and forthcoming.

L. Green, New York, June 2012

Our guides were impeccable: they planned hikes with plenty of variety, they were attuned to our needs, they were able to roll with the punches, and they were wonderful interpreters of the ancient cultures if Wales.

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