Explore Wales

This item appears on page 37 of the April 2008 issue.
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My friend Judy Watson and I visited Wales in November ’07, and I can’t recommend highly enough Daniel Jones and Explore Wales (18 Forrest Rd., Canton, Cardiff, South Glamorgan, Wales, UK; phone +44 7899 012578, www.explorewales now.co.uk).

After asking us our preferences (hotels versus B&Bs plus price range desired), Daniel made several arrangements for us. We were very pleased with his selections, and everything went off like clockwork.

£780 (about $1,613) for the two of us included the bus from London’s Victoria Coach Station to Cardiff, three nights at a fabulous B&B in the country in Wales (about an hour north of Cardiff), a luxury car with a personal driver/guide for four days, four lunches plus snacks while on tour, the bus from Cardiff back to Victoria Coach Station, and the bus from there to Gatwick Airport.

The B&B in the country was called Pentre Farm Holidays. It used to be a sheep farm, then the owners retired and converted several of the barns into nice places to stay. Full English breakfasts were served in the main house.

Daniel recommended we stay one or two nights in London to get over jet lag. Our B&B in London the first two nights, Morgan House (29 Ebury St., London, SW1W; www. morganhouse.co.uk), was extra.

I did a Google search and chose Morgan House because it was the closest I could find to Victoria Coach Station (one short block away), for the bus to and from Wales. It also was only three to four blocks from Victoria Station, where the train from Gatwick arrived.

For two nights, this B&B cost $377 for two people (two beds), including a full English breakfast. It was quite nice; I would stay there again. I searched websites for hours and it was the least expensive place I could find. I made the reservations over the Internet.

The B&B in Cardiff, Penrhys House, where we stayed our first and last nights in Wales, also was extra, though Daniel made the reservations for us. He sent us perfect instructions on how to walk the two blocks there from the castle where we got off the bus. It was very convenient to walk to with luggage.

This B&B also was very nice and the least expensive of the many I looked at. On the first night, a weekday at the start of our Wales trip, it cost $123 for two. The second night, on a weekend with a huge soccer match going on, it cost $171. A full English breakfast was served.

Our only other expenses were our international airfare, the Gatwick Express train to Victoria Station (£12 each, one way), dinner nightly and castle entry fees (usually about £3 each).

Daniel, the driver/guide and the B&B owners all were first-language Welsh speakers, and we really got a true feeling for the Welsh culture.

We drove the entire country and saw many castles, three national parks, Penrtre Ifan burial chamber, the national slate-mining museum, the Big Pit National Coal Museum, lovely old towns and villages and fabulous countryside and coastlines.

Wales is more than Cardiff, which is the only place that the big travel operators take you. If you want to really see Wales, to experience Wales, contact Daniel Jones.

Questions? E-mail me c/o ITN.

DIANA BARROWS

San Diego, CA

Please login or subscribe to ITN to read the entire post.

My friend Judy Watson and I visited Wales in November ’07, and I can’t recommend highly enough Daniel Jones and Explore Wales (18 Forrest Rd., Canton, Cardiff, South Glamorgan, Wales, UK; phone +44 7899 012578, www.explorewales now.co.uk).

After asking us our preferences (hotels versus B&Bs plus price range desired), Daniel made several arrangements for us. We were very pleased with his selections, and everything went off like clockwork.

£780 (about $1,613) for the two of us included the bus from London’s Victoria Coach Station to Cardiff, three nights at a fabulous B&B in the country in Wales (about an hour north of Cardiff), a luxury car with a personal driver/guide for four days, four lunches plus snacks while on tour, the bus from Cardiff back to Victoria Coach Station, and the bus from there to Gatwick Airport.

The B&B in the country was called Pentre Farm Holidays. It used to be a sheep farm, then the owners retired and converted several of the barns into nice places to stay. Full English breakfasts were served in the main house.

Daniel recommended we stay one or two nights in London to get over jet lag. Our B&B in London the first two nights, Morgan House (29 Ebury St., London, SW1W; www. morganhouse.co.uk), was extra.

I did a Google search and chose Morgan House because it was the closest I could find to Victoria Coach Station (one short block away), for the bus to and from Wales. It also was only three to four blocks from Victoria Station, where the train from Gatwick arrived.

For two nights, this B&B cost $377 for two people (two beds), including a full English breakfast. It was quite nice; I would stay there again. I searched websites for hours and it was the least expensive place I could find. I made the reservations over the Internet.

The B&B in Cardiff, Penrhys House, where we stayed our first and last nights in Wales, also was extra, though Daniel made the reservations for us. He sent us perfect instructions on how to walk the two blocks there from the castle where we got off the bus. It was very convenient to walk to with luggage.

This B&B also was very nice and the least expensive of the many I looked at. On the first night, a weekday at the start of our Wales trip, it cost $123 for two. The second night, on a weekend with a huge soccer match going on, it cost $171. A full English breakfast was served.

Our only other expenses were our international airfare, the Gatwick Express train to Victoria Station (£12 each, one way), dinner nightly and castle entry fees (usually about £3 each).

Daniel, the driver/guide and the B&B owners all were first-language Welsh speakers, and we really got a true feeling for the Welsh culture.

We drove the entire country and saw many castles, three national parks, Penrtre Ifan burial chamber, the national slate-mining museum, the Big Pit National Coal Museum, lovely old towns and villages and fabulous countryside and coastlines.

Wales is more than Cardiff, which is the only place that the big travel operators take you. If you want to really see Wales, to experience Wales, contact Daniel Jones.

Questions? E-mail me c/o ITN.

DIANA BARROWS

San Diego, CA