South Wales Rail, Mint and Whisky Escorted Tour

Tour highlights

  • Visit the Royal Mint, home to the UK’s coins
  • Gaze upon the gardens, parkland and Great Glasshouse at the National Botanic Garden
  • Discover Welsh Whisky as you tour the Penderyn Distillery
  • Take in the stunning scenery of the Valleys of South Wales
  • Visit Brecon Beacons National Park
  • Explore the coastline of Cardigan Bay
  • Enjoy 2 heritage railways, soaking in the romance of travelling by steam
  • Spot bottlenose dolphins in their natural habitat

Days 1 - 2: Arrival and Royal Mint

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Day 1: Arrive at Gowerton Club Campsite

Travel to the Gower Peninsula, an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty to start your tour. Settle onto your pitch and meet your tour hosts and fellow members.

Day 2: Royal Mint

Your first destination of the tour is the Royal Mint, nestled at the foot of the Welsh valleys. The Royal Mint has been producing, or ‘striking’ the coins of the UK Monarchy for over a thousand years. Originally in London, the Mint moved to Wales at the time of switching to decimal currency and has produced coins featuring our country's monarchs from Alfred the Great all the way through to the modern day and the coins featuring King Charles III, which are now entering circulation.

Travelling from the campsite by coach with the rest of the group, you’ll enjoy a tour of the Royal Mint to discover its history, see how the coins are made and walk through the factory where they are produced. You’ll also get to see the exhibition of some of the rarest coins held by the Royal Mint.

Days 3 - 5: National Botanic Garden of Wales and Brecon Mountain Railway

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Day 3: National Botanic Garden of Wales

A very different experience awaits you today as we take you to Wales’ National Botanic Garden. Spread across 500 acres the site is home to formal gardens, open parkland and a nature reserve, offering plenty for you to discover and a range of walks to enjoy for all abilities. The highlight of the Gardens is probably the Great Glasshouse, the largest single span glasshouse in the world, and home to a collection of plants ranging from the Mediterranean to Australia, California, South Africa and Chile.

Day 4: Free day

Today is free for you to enjoy at your leisure. You might want to relax on the site or perhaps you’d like to venture into nearby Swansea or to the Gower Peninsula either in your own vehicle or via public transport. The Gower Peninsula is famed for its natural beauty and you’ll discover a range of walks and cycle routes for you to enjoy.

Day 5: Brecon Mountain Railway and Penderyn Distillery

Travel into the Brecon Beacons National Park (aka Bannau Brycheiniog) this morning for a vintage steam train ride. Following the route of the old Breacon & Merthyr railway, today the mountain railway is home to steam locomotives from around the world. Step back in time as you board your carriage and set off into the Welsh countryside, passing forests, mountains and a reservoir as you travel high into the National Park.

Your next destination is the Penderyn Distillery. Labelled as the ‘Home of Welsh Whisky’, the distillery produces single malt whisky. You’ll get to see the distillation process, which uses fresh natural water from a nearby spring, and learn about what makes the whisky unique. At the end of the tour you can enjoy a taste of the end product without having to consider driving afterwards, as the coach will return you to the campsite.

Days 6 - 8: Cardigan Bay and Castle

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Day 6: From the Gower to Cardigan Bay

Travel from Gowerton to Shawsmead Club Campsite today, taking care to stick to the main roads. You have the whole day to make the journey so you can travel at your own pace and time. Situated a few miles from the Irish Sea, the site is close to a number of beaches and coves along the coastline of Cardigan Bay.

Day 7: New Quay & Dolphin Spotting

Today takes you to the seaside town of New Quay, a short distance from the campsite. With its sheltered bay the town was once a bustling fishing port but nowadays is a quiet coastal town with a small harbour and sandy beach.

The highlight of the day is a boat trip from the town’s harbour along the coast of Cardigan Bay to spot dolphins, porpoises & seals. Being wild animals, there is no guarantee that you’ll see them but Cardigan Bay is home to a resident population of bottlenose dolphins and the trip provides a great opportunity to try and see them. Be sure to have your camera at the ready!

Day 8: Cardigan Castle

Enjoy a guided tour of Cardigan Castle today. Standing guard on the edge of the river Teifi in the town of Cardigan, the castle is over 900 years old. Today it’s very different from its initial design and is home to a Georgian Mansion and a picturesque Grade II listed garden, within the Medieval castle walls. Your guide will give an insight into the history of the castle all the way up to the modern day. Afterwards you have some free time to explore the castle at your leisure or to enjoy a stroll around the town or along the riverbank.


Days 9 - 11: Aberystwyth and the Vale of Rheidol Railway

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Day 9 - Free day

You are free to choose what you want to do today. Perhaps you’ll visit one of the beaches or coves of Cardigan Bay or maybe take it easy at the campsite.

Day 10 - Aberystwyth and the Vale of Rheidol Railway

Travel north along the coast of Cardigan Bay today to the town of Aberystwyth, where you’ll find the Vale of Rheidol Railway. Originally built in 1902 to support local mining, today the steam trains take you along 12 miles of track out of the town and up through the valley to Devil’s Bridge Station. Enjoy the scenery as you pass through meadows and woodland towards the mountains and keep a lookout for the Red Kites & Buzzards that are often seen flying above the valley.

Embrace the romance of a journey by steam as you return back down the valley. Upon your return into the town, you’ll have some free time to explore Aberystwyth and enjoy its mile long seafront promenade and the oldest pier in Wales.

Day 11 - Goodbye South Wales

It’s time to say goodbye to your tour hosts and fellow members with some wonderful memories of South Wales to take home with you. Or perhaps you’d like to see more of Wales and want to continue straight on to our Scenic North Wales tour.


Image taken by Grant Cargill at North Ledaig Club campsite

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