Hello we will be traveling next may 2024. I have asked some of these questions previously but I hope we are finalized with plans so I am asking for more specific questions and directions . There are many places to stop but we will not have time to see all. We are flying into LHR and plan to take bus / train to oxford for 3 nights. Day 4 get take train to Bath for 3 nights. Here is where we will want to pick up a rental car ( keeping in mind we may have to drop it off in same place to avoid more charges). We plan to get Car on day 7. Where do you think is best place to do this.? Our next place to stay is tenby for 2 nights. We were told previously it is best to go from bath to tintern abbey / Chepstow on the way to tenby is this correct. Then tenby for 2 nights as I mentioned and st David’s for 2 nights. After that we will head back to Chipping Campden as our final destination for 3 nights. (On the way we will leave st David’s and stop at Dinefwr castle and Carreg Cennen and stay overnight in Abergavney )and then onto Chipping Campden. Please give best directions for driving ( as I was told previously to take northerly route from st David’s to Abergavney and will miss congestion at Birmingham on way to CC.). Our plan is then to drop off car where we picked it up,( unless you think it is not best to do it that way and pay more. ). We would then take bus /train from Bath and stay at lhr airport for 1 night and fly out next day. I know I gave you a lot to read but I am trying to be specific so it will make this easier for all wanting to contribute. Thank you Susan
I just want to say that Costwolfs is my favourite ever typo for the Cotswolds. 😃
Hopefully others will have more constructive comments.
To me it feels very unwieldy to go from Chipping Campden to Bath to drop off the car, then bus/train to Heathrow.
The better advice, to me, would be either to return it at Heathrow, or else at Oxford, then take the Oxford Airline bus direct from Oxford to Heathrow.
Between Abergavenny and Chipping Campden I don't know why you would go anywhere near Birmingham. -the A40/M50/M5/A46/A44 seems to be the more logical route- https://www.theaa.com/route-planner/route?from=Abergavenny,%20UK&to=Chipping%20Campden,%20UK
When on the southern route (M4) in south Wales, Castell Coch is 1 mile north of junction 32 in north Cardiff by the village of Tongwynlais and well worth seeing:>https://cadw.gov.wales/visit/places-to-visit/castell-coch
The Museum of Welsh Life at St.Fagans Castle on the west side of Cardiff is also well worth seeing. From Castell Coch - rejoin M4 head west to next junction (33) and go south on A4232 expressway for about 3 miles - look out for brown signs indication museum and SLOW DOWN in slip road to 10 mph due to sharp turn. To get back to M4, you return to expressway heading south and loop back from next junction. This museum site is large and needs at least half a day.
I think you really should spend a couple of nights in the Cardiff area to see the above and don’t forget that Cardiff also has a castle in the city centre. Best not to book a hotel in the city centre if you have a car.
It takes about 2 hours to drive from Cardiff to Tenby. I suggest you take a break on this leg at:> https://botanicgarden.wales
which is about 1 hour 10 minutes driving time west of Cardiff using the M4/A48.
You mentioned Chepstow Castle and Tintern Abbey. They are a bit of a detour but you could consider visiting these. Note that Chepstow is prone to traffic jams and the road pattern is complicated.
Hello , thank you all for responses. Golden girl I had to look thru my whole text to see what you were referring to. And then there it was at the header. I have fat fingers , I’m surprised there weren’t more errors ( thanks for pointing it out). So are you saying it would be quicker dropping car off in Oxford or even Airport? Would that not incur a heftier price for the car? and is the traffic crazy for us driving to the airport ( remember this is new driving on the opposite side of the road. James is it best to do Tintern abbey /Chepstow on the way to Tenby or on the way back from Abergavney to Costwolds? Thank You
Tenby to Cotswolds:> Are you planning to do this in 1 day? If so, that is quite a long trip and see things on the way like Dryslwyn and Carreg Cennen Castles. You certainly won’t have time to take a considerable detour to Tintern Abbey and Chepstow Castle. I would be inclined to skip Tintern Abbey and Chepstow Castle but if you were to visit, it is probably best when heading west from England. For Chepstow, you would need to cross the Severn on the M48 bridge.
When you leave Dryslwyn Castle - go south over the river bridge and turn left onto B4300. You eventually join A476 and reach Fairfach just south of Llandeilo. So, for Carreg Cennen - go straight ahead until you go under a railway bridge and then turn right.
When using the A40 route to head east, I suggest that you may like to go to the Brecon Beacons National Park Mountain Centre. To do this, at Sennybridge turn R for Defynnog and take A4215 until it joins A470 where you turn L. You soon reach Libanus where you take a hard left onto a minor road that leads to the Mountain Centre where you will find toilets, food and views of the Brecon Beacons. Note that a short cut exists by turning L off the A4215 and using very narrow roads. This route is not signposted as they don’t want people using it. You can see this area and check the roads on streetview via this map.
Don't forget that you have another castle ruin to see at Raglan = a sharp left turn off the A40.
We will be leaving St David’s and heading toward Abergavney for an overnight. (Not the Costwolds)we thought we would have time to stop at Carreg Cennen and dinefwr castle before reaching Abergavney. The next day on the way to chipping campden we would stop at Raglan castle if that makes sense
Abergavenny to Chipping Campden- Raglan Castle is fine- that is about 30 minutes from Abergavenny; then it is about 1 1/2 hours to Chipping Campden. So you could fit in Tintern Abbey (and even Chepstow) that day as the Abbey is about 0:30 from Raglan Castle, then about 1:30 from Tintern to Chipping Campden via Chepstow so a fairly full day, but far from impossible;
St Davids to Abergavenny via Carreg Cennen and Dinefwr-
St Davids to Carreg Cennen- 2:00
Carreg Cennen to Dinefwr- 0:30
Dinefwr to Abergavenny- 2:00
So another fairly full, but quite reasonable, day.
Bath to Tenby is around 3 hours so you could do Chepstow that day, and then even the Botanic Gardens ; or maybe Bath to Castell Coch; Castell Coch to Botanic Gardens then Botanic Gardens to Tenby. Overall that day is around 3:30 of driving. So only really do 2 things on the way.
It depends how you want to sort things out.
On the way home the fastest route from Chipping Campden to Heathrow will always be to drive- and drop off at Oxford or LHR will incur a one way fee, but I think it is worth it to avoid the dog leg to Bath. The busiest part is on the motorway/freeway. CC to LHR is around 2:00 so that will always be the fastest route. And not much worse than you have already encountered on the motorway in Wales. If you are used to busy freeway driving in the US it won't be any different and by then you will be used to driving on the other side of the road.
Oxford is around 1:30, then another say 2:00 on the bus, so around a one hour time penalty, but once you have dropped off the car you could have some time in Oxford.
So it is all swings and roundabouts- personal preferences.
So, you are planning top do Bath to Tenby in one day but break the eastbound day with an overnight in theAbergavenny area. That being so, I would do Tintern and Chepstow when going east.
I hear that the bridge on the A466 on the south side of Monmouth may be closed sometime in 2014 for repairs. Rather than go that longer way from Raglan to Tintern, I would take a short cut on some back roads. When leaving Raglan Castle - put ST. ARVANS into the satnav as your destination and it should direct you via the backroad which goes SE from Raglan village. Please zoom down at Raglan on this map to see the road configuration as it can be very easy to go wrong the leaving the castle and trying to get into Raglan village and the start of the backroad.
When you get to St.Arvans - turn L onto A466 for Tintern. (You will see some signs earlier for left turns to Tintern. These are short cuts but are narrow in places).
Dryslwyn Castle has a free car park at it’s base and the climb to the top (stunning views) is short and steep. Dinefwr Castle to which isn refers is a completely different castle located on the west side of Llandeilo. It also has wonderful views but is about a 20 minute walk from the car park (pay National Trust for parking). The car park here is right by Newton House (NT) and you must pay an additional charge for entry to the house.
Carreg Cennen Castle is a steady climb of about 15 minutes from the parking area. When you leave CC, you probably have input Brecon or Brecon Beacons Mountain Centre into the satnav. If the satnav tells you to turn right at first opportunity when leaving CC castle, it is taking you on narrow back roads via Gwynfe and Twnllanen. I am OK with this route but you might not and wish to use better roads. If that is the case, return to Llandeilo via the route you came on and stick to the A40 to Llandovery and onwards.
Thank you for helping with estimates of driving times and driving directions . I think it will be best for us to go to Tintern and Chepstow as you said when we are headed East and driving from Abergavney to Chipping Campden after Raglan . .Is it advised to stop at Stackpole on way to tenby( trying to avoid backtracking) . Although our luggage would be in car ( don’t know if we should be concerned about possibility of theft). We will have to get a good map and review driving rules and speed limits (any suggestions for either?). Does Google maps work with our phones in these areas and is the sat navigation dependable ?thanks Susan
Driving from Bath to Cardiff (M4) will take about 1 hour 20 minutes - assuming no hold ups. I suggest you see Castell Coch (M4 J32 north of in Tongwynlais). Whether or not you stop at the other places I suggested is up to you - (St. Fagans Castle & Museum just S of M4 J33 and the National Botanic Garden of Wales just E of Carmarthen and 5 minutes off A48). You certainly can’t drive non stop from Bath to Pembrokeshire.
I would not suggest that you go to Stackpole in the same day that you drive from Bath. I reckon that by the time you reach St. Clears that you will already be willing to reach Tenby and have a rest. Besides, going to Stackpole / Bosherston involves driving on some secondary roads that are slow going - you come to bends that you can only take at 15 mph or so.
When I parked at Bosherston Church and crossed the boardwalk to go through the lakes to Broadhaven South and then along the cliffs to Barafundle Bay and then back to the car park at Bosherston, it took just over 3 hours. The hardest part was on sand dunes on the east side of Broadhaven south beach. A shorter walk is to park at Stackpole Quay and go to Barafundle Bay = about 20 minutes 1 way. See:>https://nt.global.ssl.fastly.net/binaries/content/assets/website/national/regions/wales/places/stackpole/pdf/stackpole-map-2021.pdf