The Best Themed Tours in Wales
Photo courtesy of Visit Wales
Adventure: a word that not only elicits a thrill, but conjures up images of racing, flying, zip lining or bungee jumping from a tall tower in a faraway place.
A “faraway” place that some may gloss over is Wales, which has designated 2016 as its “Year of Adventure” with several themed itineraries that allow you to explore its rich fabric of activities, from jumping on trampolines to cliff-camping.
Here are some thematic ways to get your adrenaline rush:
Take a Walk on the Wild Side
Known as the Wild Coast of Wales, the Pembrokeshire Coast was the first National Trail and is located on the southwest tip of the country. As you may have guessed, it is gorgeous in its cragginess, with interesting rock types that include natural arches, stacks, rock folds and even sea caves.
READ MORE: Ten Things You Must See In Wales
This is the region of Wales that houses the Preseli Hills, which can be accessed by a gleaming, mythological-sounding Golden Road. The Hills are known for their quarries from which Stonehenge’s famous blue stones came from.
Pembrokeshire is worth exploring on foot because of its many gems, including historic St. David’s, Britain’s smallest cathedral city. One way to do this area is to book a walking tour from The Wayfarers (six nights from $4,295). If that’s out of your budget, there are escorted coach journeys. Experienced hikers may find the 186-mile cliff-top trail appealing, but exercise caution in approaching it alone, or contact the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park Authority for guidance.
A Game of Thrones
Although “Game of Thrones” was never filmed in Wales (most of the scenes were shot in Ireland), much of the landscape could have been a setting shoo-in for the popular TV series.
A recent article actually examines how the gory, vivid and often explicit scenes could have been set against the dramatic backdrop of Wales, partly because of the sheer number of castles that the country offers, despite its slender size.
A tour company called Tenon Tours offers a themed tour that is inspired by “Game of Thrones,” and the itinerary includes visits to castles that very may well have inspired settings from the show, including The Red Keep and Castle Black.
Wales on Horseback
The Black Mountain range, with its moraines and often sheer escarpments, offer a spectacular way to explore Wales by horseback. But as you may suspect, this type of activity, appealing and romantic as it may be, is best done with a guide.
Equitours gives you a chance to ride pure and crossbred Welsh and Irish Cob horses through wooded valleys, hills and the bracken and moors of the Black Mountains. The groups are quite intimate, ranging from two to six guests, and you can expect four to five hours of riding per day for a seven-night trip (from $2,685 per person).
Get a thrill with the World’s Largest Underground Zip line Course
Zip lining in an old slate mine may not sound like your version of fun, but Zip World's latest attraction in Llechwedd Slate Caverns is a 10-line course that zips through five caverns, and yes, it’s in Wales.
The cave itself is illuminated by LED lights, which gives it a prismatic quality. Kids as young as ten years old can do this course, which defies expectations, and costs £45 for adults. It is also Europe’s only four-person zip line.
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