It’s summertime in the U.K. and it’s almost the perfect time for day tours! And prior to my trip to U.K. this July, I’ve booked a day tour to the Wye Valley in South Wales with Where When Wales Tour.
This tour takes no more than 15 pax per trip which is good as I think anything more than that would be very havoc and everybody would be waiting for one another. We were seated in a comfortable 16-seater Mercedes-Benz air-con mini coach, the tour guide (also the driver) was friendly and knowledgeable, though sometimes a bit long-winded, we really enjoyed ourselves!
The day-tour started off at approx. 8:50am from the National Museum Cardiff.
Our first stop was Caerleon Town, where we were given a guided tour to the Roman Bath Museum, National Roman Legion Museum and the Roman’s Amphitheatre.
The Roman Bath Museum was once a permanent Roman Legionary fortress in Roman Britain, and was operational and occupied for over 200 years. The baths museum has covered walkway at the side of what the remains of the military bathhouse. Quite interesting but not as spectacular as the Roman Baths in Bath.
Next, we went to the National Roman Legion Museum, located just less than 5 minutes walk from the Bath House. The museum isn’t very big, but it contains many interesting bits of Roman’s history. There’s a huge collection of artifacts that give visitors a better insight into the Romans’ life.
Last stop in Caerleon Town was the Roman Amphitheatre. This Amphitheatre was built to serve as the Roman legionary fortress of Isca, at around AD 90. And the remains of the Amphitheatre is simply magnificent! You could see the seatings and the archway where Romans will enter the Amphitheatre. Pretty cool!
After leaving Caerleon Town, we made our way to our lunch stop, in a charming town of Monmouth, the birthplace of King Henry V. Before alighting for our lunch stop, we were given the chance to walk across the 34m Monnow Bridge. It’s Great Britain only remaining fortified river bridge, with its gate tower standing on the bridge itself.
It’s lunchtime and we just decided to have a quick meal at Pizza Express, the entire store was empty and we were the only customers! But anyway, the pizzas were great, and freshly baked right in front of our eyes!
After lunch is what I’m most looking forward to! We followed the River Wye and arrived at Tintern Abbey. This 13th-century Cistercian abbey is the first in Wales, and second in Great Britain. It was established a long long time ago on 9 May 1131, by Walter de Clare, the Lord of Chepstow. This abbey fell into ruins after the Dissolution of the Monasteries in 1536. Even there isn’t any windows or roof, but when you’re inside the building, you could imagine how grand, how magnificent it would look like if it’s able to withstand till today.
We then continued our journey through Wye Valley to the quaint border town of Chepstow. Here in this town, we visited Britain’s oldest Norman castle – Chepstow Castle. It was founded in 1067 AD. This is also the castle that brings us Harry Potter, as it was reported that J.K. Rowling got her inspiration for the series during her young days in Chepstow.
Chepstow Castle is located not too far from the England-Wales border, and it’s situated on a cliff looking over the River Wye. It was quite properly maintained!
This is the last stop before our journey back to Cardiff. I’ve been to Cardiff a few times, but never travel around South Wales for sightseeing, seeing different small towns and ruins. This is definitely an eye-opening day for me, and would I recommend this tour? Yes, I would! You should really spend a day out from the city exploring the outskirts of Cardiff City.
For more information about my tour agency for this trip, Where When Wales, you can click here.