Your adventure starts at a convenient location on outskirts of Liverpool.
We can provide a 35 minute private van transfer from Liverpool or Manchester airport/rail points to our base, making your vehicle pickup hassle free. Here, you will begin your Land Rover tour of Wales, (we also offer free secure parking at our base).
After a short safety briefing, you will head South to the Welsh border, guided either with our in-car tablet based APP (standard), or by our expert local guide and safety vehicle (optional).
Your destination is an impressive Cheshire castle. Its exquisite architecture, elegant spaces and extensive grounds were once part of the ‘Welshman’s way’, the salt trade route to Wales. The countryside in this part of the world is typically English with rolling hills & green fields.
Built in the 1850’s for John Tollemache, the largest landowner in Cheshire at the time, its design was that of a medieval castle.
In 1851 The Illustrated London News said that it "seems to exhibit the peculiar beauties of Carnarvon Castle without its inconveniences" It is regarded as the last serious fortified home built in England, possibly to protect against any revolution by the masses from nearby Manchester or Liverpool.
Bed & Breakfast / Restaurant & Bistro within the Castle.
Land Rover Experience 4x4
A great familiarisation course with expert Land Rover instructors using new factory Land Rover Defenders on a challenging training zone. An exciting start to your adventure, and to explore what your Land Rover is capable of.
Today, our Land Rover tours leave the Castle and 4x4 Training experience behind, to enter Wales and head South towards the Brecon Beacons.
After breakfast you can stroll the castle grounds or take a one hour / or half day Land Rover training experience from the castle, with expert instructors, new Land Rover Defenders, and a challenging off road course. A great way to get to know just what a Land Rover is capable of!
Its then time to take to the road and head south into Wales with a coffee or lunch stop at the Rhug Estate, an award winning organic farm, for some "provisions" and a visit to the Michelin rated bistro there. The nearby chapel is fascinating.
You will then have a choice of on and off road routes through the rolling Shropshire countryside, arriving at one of Wales’s most renowned boutique hotels situated in the beautiful county of Monmouthshire. Mapped walks take you to one of the famous ancient Marches castles, and medieval local church.
This riverside former 17th century coaching inn, decorated with oak beams and antique furniture, offers a superlative award winning restaurant, using locally sourced products, along with fruit and vegetables & food foraged from the hotel grounds. A lovely place to spend an evening.
Bed & Breakfast
Today we begin our journey North, through the Brecon Beacons National Park.
We now take some lovely single track lanes over the hills to the market town of Abergavenny. With its annual food festival, the town is also a mecca for foodies – and there are plenty of gorgeous gastro pubs, ancient inns and restaurants to try in the surrounding countryside too. The town has regular markets where you can buy quality produce grown locally. Abergavenny has history and heritage in spades – explore castles, medieval mansions, Roman remains and standing stones on the route.
The unmistakable silhouette of nearby Raglan Castle, crowning a ridge amid glorious countryside is the grandest of the Welsh Castles from the 14th Century, and home to a young King Henry VII. At Cheptstow, the Castle here is the oldest surviving post-Roman stone fortification in Britain. Located above cliffs on the River Wye, construction began in 1067!
A lovely welsh farm, with even lovlier views offers warm hosts, simple rooms, and hearty locally sourced food. This is a popular haunt for adventure riders and drivers who come here to explore the Cambrian Mountains and the Brecon Beacons on the numerous off road trails in the area.
Bed & Breakfast + Dinner
Today, its all about getting off the beaten track in your Land Rover and exploring the wilder side of Wales, on one of two guided tour options.
Nearby, a Cistercian Abbey from 1182, called Strata Florida, is also the name given to probably the most famous off-road trail section in the UK. This challenging guided 4x4 route is not for everyone, and not to be done alone. It will test both you and your vehicle, with 9 river crossings.
Your expert local guide will be on hand to assist throughout, and there is a real sense of achievment in completing this off road challenge. Note, this route can only be attempted when weather conditions allow, and is entirely at the discretion of your guide.
There are some equally excellent trails 4x4 trails to navigate in the area, that are not quite so gnarly, and offer a fun, yet exciting way to get off-road, even if the weather is not co-operating. Our alternative route heads into the Elan Valley, on some superb off road trails, culminating in your final stop at Claerwen Dam. This was the famous scene of the BBC Top Gear - Land Rover Series 1 winch up the vertical wall of the Dam and an iconic Land Rover historical location.
After your morning adventure, you will continue to head North, crossing the Cambrian landscape known as the "green desert of Wales" an area of peaks, forests and lakes, with lots of beautiful options to stop at pools and waterfalls along the way (detailed in your trip APP). Lovely single track lanes lead to the small coastal villages of Aberdyfi, and Tywyn.
There are a couple of great Nature Reserves on the way, with such highlights as otters, leaping salmon, and red kites (hunted to near extinction, and now making a remarkable recovery).
Near one of the reserves is Ynyshir Restaurant, rated one of the top 5 finest restaurants in the UK, with Chef and owner Gareth Ward serving "terroir" focused food to Michelin Star levels. He was named 2019 Good Food Guide chef of the year. Try the lunch tasting menu which starts at 1pm. Pre booking essential.
Towards sunset, we descend to the beautiful Mawddach estuary, in the shadow of Cadair Idris for a night of real luxury at one of the UK's most unusual and luxurious small boutique hotels. Here, you can enjoy some pampering after your off-road adventures.
Lovingly restored, with beautiful gardens and walks at the rear of the acclaimed property, each room is individually designed with mood lighting, spa features such as steam baths, and state of the art in- room music systems, where treatments are available at your request. Owned and run by the man who designed the Aston Martin Vantage, no detail is left to chance and every luxury is taken care of, all with lovely views of the estuary and mountains as a backdrop. A fine Tuscan themed restaurant, and a fascinating wine list round off this unique experience.
Bed & Breakfast
We reluctantly leave the Mawddach estuary, heading Northwards and inland to cimb into Snowdonia National Park, with lots of options today.
You can cross the Mawddach estuary on an old wooden toll bridge built in 1879. The George III pub on the other side makes and ideal coffee or lunch stop (try the wild boar sausages or dressed crab), with some easy trail walks and bike trails in the area. Head up the tiny lanes from Arthog, via Creggennan lakes to explore the sublime Lynnau Cregennen. With stunning sea views, waterfalls and mountain vistas, this a joy of a drive, eventually descending down to Dolgellau.
Dolgellau is a handsome, dark-stoned market town, set beneath Cader Idris, the legendary ‘Chair of Idris’, and a good place for a traditional pub or cafe lunch. From here you can take the aptly named Precipice Walk and Mawddach Trail along the waterside for 9½ miles, also a great cycle route. The Coed y Brenin Forest Park is nearby, with mountain biking trails for all abilities plus a host of other outdoor attractions.
The alternative route takes the coast to Harlech, site of the famous 14th century castle, fringed by a huge beach, with the chance to see dolphins offshore. Blackrock sands offers one of the only two "beach drives" in the UK and is a great picnic spot.
The nearby "Rhinogs" are probably the wildest place in the UK with exception of the North West Scotland. There are beautiful treks into the mountains to remote tarns (all detailed on your in-car travel App), where you can take a quiet swim and admire the scerenity of this off the beaten track region of Wales.
Here you will find 4000 year old stone circles, 5000 year old bronze age burial chambers, and truly breathtaking views.
Y Maes & St Twangs offers a small beach, backed by a 13th Century chapel built on a 5th century site, (and one of the oldest Christian locations in Britain) or St Tecwyns offers equally stunning scenery, tarns, and views over the sand flats. The quiet nearby harbours were used by the earliest Irish Saints and pilgrims, and where haunts of Vikings pre-Christianity.
Portmeirion, set in 70 acres of sub tropical gardens and woodland offers guided walks or train tours taking in the exquisite architecture, and stunning surroundings of this beautiful waterfront location. The hotel here also makes an ideal lunch stop, with perfect views over the estuary from the patio cafe.
From Portmeirion you will climb into the mountains towards ffestiniog, and reach the historic Llechwedd mine, with a choice of boutique B&B or comfortable off grid glamping pods sited into the mountainside, with view of Snowdonia.
This location is adventure central, and among other things offers Europes fastest Zipline and a 500ft descent on Britains steepest cable railway into a 200 year old slate mine, not to mention the extreme downhill mountainbike tour.
Our exclusive optional 4x4 adventure drive here, takes in the old quarry and its history, as you navigate accross the mountains in your Land Rover on some fairly challenging narrow tracks. With steep inclines, declines, and water crossings, enjoy views of Snowdonia, and Harlech Castle far below as you put your Land Rover through its paces.
Boutique B&B or Off Grid Glamping Pods, situated with views of Snowdonia.
Bed & Breakfast.
Today, we descend back to the coast, and cross the Lyn Peninsula to a beach front location in a typical tiny coastal Welsh Village.
The route heads west from Snowdonia and out to the lovely Lyn Peninsula, and its exquisite beaches with a choice of the mountainous route inland via high tarns, or the flatter coastal route south.
Either way your guaranteed spectacular views and a lovely drive towards Nefyn and the Llyn peninsula, for a taste of some of the nicest bays in Wales.
A short but steep off road route takes you to a delightful picnic spot, high on a rocky promotary overlooking the coast in both directions, before a steep descent down the cliffside to Nant Gwrtheyrn.
Nant Gwrtheyrn or “the Nant” as it is often called, is now home to the National Welsh Language and Heritage Centre, a remote magical place, located in a former quarrying hamlet, in a secluded cove. You will be staying in one of the restored quarrymans cottages, overlooking the bay, or further along the peninsula at a small hotel situated right on the beach in the lovely village of Aberdarron.
The coastal walks here are lovely, as are the sunsets.
Tomorrow, there is a great optional boat trip out to the Holy Island of Bardsey, located 2 miles off mainland. On this naturally protected site was the first religious house in Wales, founded by the Celtic St. Cadfan in the early 6th century.
A place of pilgrimage in the Middle Ages and later a haunt of pirates, Bardsey Island is now a major British nature reserve and bird sanctuary. According to tradition, Bardsey Island is the burial place of 20,000 saints and the last resting place of King Arthur and Merlin, home now to just 4 inhabitants.
In the village is the lovely Church of St Hywyn, dating from the 12th century, although its origins date to the 5th to the 7th centuries, when Viking raids here were commonplace into Wales. Its graveyard overlooks the beach, and there are numerous walks and trails from the village center.
A restored quarrymans cottage, or small boutique hotel, both with spectacular sea views
Bed & Breakfast.
Today, our Land Rover tours leave the Lyn Peninsula and route North again, to the Island of Anglesey for your final night in Wales.
After the optional boat tour to Bardsey Island or a bracing coastal walk, its an easy coastal road that takes you Northeastwards to the island of Anglesey.
Connected to the mainland by Thomas Telford’s Menai Suspension Bridge (started in 1818) and Robert Stephenson’s Britannia Bridge, both are marvels of Victorian era engineering.
The Strait is a unique environment with strong, reversing tidal flows, rapid currents and swirling whirlpools. From the Anglesey side, there are lovely views of the Snowdonia and Carneddau mountain ranges, Conwy Bay and the towns of Bangor through to Caernarfon.
You will overnight in the shadow of Beaumaris Castle, begun in 1295, the last and largest of the castles to be built by Edward 1, it is possibly the most sophisticated example of medieval military architecture in Britain.
A stylish seaside coaching Inn welcomes you for the night. Mixing old with new, traditional with contemporary, with a style and food you’d least expect in two 400-year-old buildings. This 5 star accommodation offers award-winning food and chance to unwind in the snug, lively bar.
Bed & Breakfast
It's your last day on your Wales guided tour, but there is still plenty time to enjoy the island.
One our favourite walks heads out from Newborough beach to llanddwyn Island, while fast RIB powerboats from Beaumaris can take you out to observe puffins and seals in the Menai straights. Learn to surf at Surf Snowdonia or enjoy some fresh crab or lobster for lunch, before heading to the Great Orme Cliffs at Lllandudno as you head North towards the border.
Your gateway back to England, is historic Conwy. Construction began in 1283, and the impressive castle here was an important part of King Edward I's plan of surrounding Wales in "an iron ring of castles" to subdue the rebellious population.
Finally, you will head back to our base and the finish of your Welsh Overland Adventure.
We can book an extra nights accommodation for you, at the lovely Moor Hall, close to our base with optional air/rail transfers.