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Travel and. Intinerary

Will be visiting next may and planning to go from Bath to pembroke coastal towns of tenby and st davids. Is it best to see tintern abbey and wye valley on our way to tenby or would it be better to stop at hay on wye on return to chipping campden? How long would it take to drive from st David’s to conwy? Would like to include conwy and bodnant gardens if able .
If we did head north to conwy how long would driving take to go to chipping campden?thanks much Susan

Posted by
6635 posts

It depends on how much time you have. If coming from Bath, I’d stop at Tintern Abbey on the way to Tenby, if your time is limited. The drive from St. David’s to Conwy is 4 hours without stops. When we were there we made stops en route and spent a night in Aberystwyth.

Conwy to Chipping Campden is about 3.5 hours without stops. While in the area, Pontcysyllte Aqueduct was interesting and both Shrewsbury and Ludlow were nice to walk around. We broke up the drive from Caernarfon to Stratford Upon Avon by spending a night in Ludlow.

Posted by
1920 posts

How much time are you planning for all this?

Tenby and St David's may not look that far from Conwy on a map but are at the opposite ends of Wales. You are talking about 150+ miles along not very fast roads. I would estimate about 4.5-5hours for the trip PLUS time for stops. - and it is surprising how long they can add! It is effectively going to take nearly all day to get there.

You also have to double back on yourselves to get back to Chipping Campden. This isn't that nice a journey either as you have to get round/through the sprawling mass of Birmingham and the West Midlands. Again you are talkingg 4hours PLUS stops

What is it particularly that is drawing you to Conwy and Bodnant Gardens as we may be able to suggest somewhere similar that might fit in better with your itinerary. (There are other castles you can visit on your way to Tenby and St Davids and there are some lovely gardens in teh Cotswolds.)

Where else are you visiting while you are here?

Posted by
49 posts

Thank you Jaime and Wasley,
So if we choose not to do northern wales ,is there a way to avoid the congestion you referred to around Birmingham when we are returning from Pembroke coast to costwolds?
This is where we are going and want to include on our trip. Oxford Bath southwest wales and the costwolds. If we went to northern Wales I have desired to go to town of Conwy for castle and walls and to Bodnant garden.it sounds lovely . I loved the city of York and its walls! I had figured the trip from st davids to Conwy to be about 4 hrs so 4.5 - 5 may be doable. We have about 18 days ( we are retired) but still have to account for the costs of course! My husband would like to golf on a links course and he was considering Royal St Davids which is on the way but is is also willing to try Royal Porthcawl ( it is also less costly) We are trying to find out if they do club rentals( don’t want to be lugging golf clubs around)!z almost forgot we are going to hidcote and kiftsgste but just thought Bodnant sounded fantastic. I hope in May the gardens will have something blooming . Did plan on a June trip but friends are not able to do June ,and I saw there is bank and school holiday last week in may?! Thank you

Posted by
1920 posts

Travelling from St Davids to the Cotswolds, you don’t need to go anywhere near the Birmingham area. As you have done the stretch via Tintern Abbey etc on the way there, return via a northerly route skirting round to the north of the Brecon Beacons - heading to Brecon and Hereford (both attractive small cathedral cities) to Chipping Campden. This will take you through some lovely countryside.

Bodnant Garden is lovely but if you are visiting Hidcote and Kitfsgate, you have another two lovely and very different gardens there. Check out stately homes in the area as many of them also have some superb gardens too .

Much as I love Conwy I’m not sure that it repays the time and expense of gettin g there. Instead, have a look at Chepstow on the way to St Davids. This could provides a good alternative to Conwy. This has a castle overlooking the River Usk and the remains of town walls with a gateway and 10 towers. Chepstow is an attractive town, which has yet to be discovered by overseas visitors and doesn't feature on their itineraries. It has 3 town trails letting you explore the town.

It also fits in nicely with Tintern Abbey

Posted by
49 posts

need more help re itinerary. looked back at all the old forum posts and it seems there is a lot to see in Wales and I cant do it all. have decided not to do northern wales .we plan to head to wales from Bath and after Wales to go to Chipping Campden. we plan to stop somewhere near langlandbay or porthcal for golf. after that we will stop at tenby and then St Davids. would like to return the easiest route to chipping campden , and stop and see what is enroute.. does it make sense to go to Abergavney on the route back and would we be near Carreg Cennen Castle or Raglan castle. I understand that we would be near Chepstow and the castle there, would like to do some park trails in Breacon Beacon. i just came across Puzzlewood Forest (it looks amazing, has anyone been there or reccomend it?)also want to stop at tintern Abbey. As you can tell I am not sure of the best way for these logistics and if any of it is off the beaten path then we will not include it. we do have a car! thank you for all you do! what a great job you all do. I have gotten help in the past and it was very beneficial. Susan

Posted by
2444 posts

So, you are now thinking of Bath > cross Severn on M48 bridge > see Chepstow Castle > A466 (after St.Arvans I would suggest you visit the Eagle’s Nest viewpoint ) > then return to A466 to Tintern Abbey.

I then suggest you return south on A466 to join M48 and head west joining M4. At J32 in north Cardiff (which is complicated so view on Google Maps the layout) - go north side to Tongwynlais and drive to CASTELL COCH. After CC (assuming not visiting Cardiff) return to M4 J32 and take M4 west to next junction (33) and take A4232 south for about 2 miles. Look out for brown signs for Museum of Welsh History at St.Fagans - slow down as very sharp turn off expressway slip road. The grounds are vast and need at least half a day - not to be missed. To get back to M4 - you need to return to A4232 expressway and go south to next junction and loop back. Alternatively, use A48 from that junction and go via Cowbridge* (accommodation?) to reach Porthcawl.
* If staying in Cowbridge, a regular bus service goes every half hour into Cardiff should you wish to visit.

When heading west, the M4 ends and becomes the A48. A few miles east of Carmarthen you will see brown signs for National Botanic Garden of Wales - well worth seeing and just around 2 miles off the expressway. Then back to expressway west to TENBY. See >https://www.tenbygolf.co.uk/

Barafundle Bay is lovely and a few miles west of Tenby which could be combined with Pembroke Castle and/or parking by Bosherston church and the walk by the lily pools to Broadhaven south beach. (You can also walk the coast path to Barafundle from the west but you must be fit and the weather must be good as very exposed).

When heading to the Cotswolds from Pembrokeshire - use the northerly scenic route. East of Carmarthen - visit the ruin of Dryslwyn Castle (free) lovely views from top. Aberglasney Gardens is nearby but I was disappointed. Just west of Llandeilo is Newton House (NT) and at the same place DINEFWR CASTLE - well worth the walk. You are aware of CARREG CENNEN CASTLE - near Trapp, about 4 miles E of Llandeilo. Definitely worth a visit!

When in the Brecon area, on the A40 SE of Brecon is the village of Bwlch. As you approach this village is the Welsh Venison Centre (closed Sun & Mon). You could use their car park and where you entered their driveway is a track. A 45 minute hike up this track gives fine views in all directions. Of course, if so inclined, you could climb the Brecon Beacons - reached from car park off A470.

Continue on A40 to Abergavenny and then RAGLAN CASTLE. Continue on A40 towards Monmouth and then Ross where you join M50. Where M50 joins M5 head south one junction to come off at M5 J9 and take A46 and B4077 into The Cotswolds.

Posted by
6635 posts

We used Tintern as a base for a few nights. From it we visited the abbey, Raglan, White, Skenfrith, Grosmont, Coch, and Caerphilly castles. We also visited Monmouth and Harold’s Stones in Trelleck. From Tintern we drove to Tenby stopping at Neath Abbey and from Tenby drove to St. Davids with stops at Carew and Pembroke castles. While in St. David’s we walked a couple sections of the coastal path.

After St. Davids we stopped at Pentre Ifan Burial Chamber and St. Brynach’s church in Nevern to see the bleeding Yew. A fairly quick stop was at Dyfi Furnace with another stop at Pont Minllyn. There are plenty of things one can stop and see, and having a car will make it easier. Many places we stopped at would have been hard to get to using public transportation.

Posted by
1920 posts

How many days are you planning for Wales? All of these are wonderful suggestions, but would probably fill up nearly a week to see...

Posted by
49 posts

Wanted to say thank you to everyone for their input. I am unable to follow up with more questions at this moment. Lots of good ideas were made and I will be asking for more directions and what stops will be manageable in the time we have . Thanks Susan