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Wye Valley & the Royal Forest of Dean

Wye Valley & the Royal Forest of Dean

5 day tour visiting the Wye Valley & the border towns of the 'Welsh Marches'


5 day tour visiting the Wye Valley & the border towns of the 'Welsh Marches'


Coleford is a small market town in the west of the Forest of Dean, Gloucestershire, two miles east of the Welsh border and close to the Wye Valley.



Monmouth is a Welsh border market town situated at the confluence of the Rivers Wye, Monnow and Trothy. With its bustling main street it makes a great destination for a day out! Perhaps best known as the birthplace of Henry V, Monmouth boasts a whole host of historical sites, people and buildings from the Nelson Garden to The Town Hall. It has a medieval 13th-century bridge over the river Monnow, unique in Britain, the only remaining fortified river bridge in Great Britain with its gate tower standing on the bridge. Such bridge towers were common across Europe from medieval times, but many were destroyed due to urban expansion, diminishing defensive requirements and the increasing demands of traffic and trade.

Symonds Yat & River Wye Cruise

Symonds Yat is a village in the Wye Valley and a popular tourist destination, straddling the River Wye and on the borders of the English counties of Herefordshire and Gloucestershire. It is within a few miles of Monmouthshire and the Welsh border. The name is said to come from Robert Symonds, a 17th-century sheriff of Herefordshire, and yat, an old word for a gate or pass. Famed for its natural river scenery and wooded expanses, Symonds Yat Rock is a limestone outcrop rising some 500 feet rising from the banks of the River Wye.

The river winds its way around the outcrop through a deeply wooded gorge. Yat Rock is one of the best known view points in the Wye Valley and The Royal Forest of Dean.

Sit back, relax and soak up the surrounding sights whilst a local experienced captain navigates you through some of the most wonderful scenery in Britain. Leaping salmon, peregrine falcons and mink are all regularly sighted, although the local otters are a little more elusive! Overlook the rapids where hillside streams babble into the river between mature woodlands of oak, ash, beech and cherry trees which are all set against the backdrop of views that extend over three counnteies.


Tintern Abbey

The Cistercian abbey of Tintern is one of the greatest monastic ruins of Wales. It was only the second Cistercian foundation in Britain, and the first in Wales, and was founded on 9 May 1131 by Walter de Clare, lord of Chepstow. It soon prospered, thanks to endowments of land in Gwent and Gloucestershire, and buildings were added and updated in every century until its dissolution in 1536. However, it was never very large and important, and its history was relatively uneventful. Its position well away from the Welsh heartland meant that, it suffered little in the periodic Welsh uprisings of the medieval period.


The historic walled border town and ancient port of Chepstow commands the entrance to the Lower Wye Valley in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. The name Chepstow derives from the Old English words "Chepe" and "Stowe" meaning market place. Chepstow Castle, situated on a clifftop above the Wye, was established immediately after the Norman conquest and was extended in later centuries before becoming ruined after the Civil War and is often cited as the oldest surviving stone castle in Britain.

Discover the independent, locally run specialist shops in the town centre and the range of unique products on sale.

Dean Forest Railway

The 4 1/2 mile line runs through beautiful woodland and countryside offering visitors a chance to experience the relaxing pace of a typical country branch line.



The town of Brecon nestles in the shadow of the majestic Brecon Beacons and has stunning and beautiful scenery.  It is rich in history and there is something of interest for everyone with interesting and unusual shops selling antiques, a wide range of local arts, crafts & books. The finest Welsh produce - fresh, locally sourced and prepared is available at the many restaurants, public houses, cafes, bars and shops.  

The Big Pit National Coal Mining Museum

The Big Pit National Coal mining Museum is a real coal mine and one of Britain's leading mining museums. Enjoy a multi-media tour of a modern coal mine with a virtual miner in the Mining Galleries, exhibitions in the Pithead Baths and Historic colliery buildings open to the public for the first time. All this AND the world-famous Underground Tour. Go 300 feet underground with a real miner and see what life was like for the thousands of men who worked at the coal face.

Day 1

We leave Cumbria in the morning and travel south to Birmingham and then on past Worcester and Ross on Wye to Coleford and our hotel the Bells. Dinner in the hotel


Day 2

This morning we head to the Brecon Beacons and some wonderful mountain scenery. Our first visit is to Abergavenny, famous for its annual food festival, take time to visit the busy market selling all kinds of goods from local produce to finely crafted works of art. We then pass Pen y Fan the highest peak in South Wales on our way to Brecon with its narrow streets and passageways lined with Georgian and Jacobian shop fronts. Dinner in the hotel followed by entertainment.

B, D

Day 3

Today we head to Norchard, the main station of the Dean Forest Railway. We have time to visit the museum and the locomotive restoration shed before we take a return journey on a steam or heritage diesel train through 8.5 miles of the medieval Forest of Dean. We include a cream tea on board the train. We continue to the historic walled border town of Chepstow, where we have a visit to the oldest surviving stone castle in Britain, offering breath taking views across the Wye valley. Dinner in the hotel.

B, D

Day 4

After breakfast we cross the border into Wales to the Georgian market town of Monmouth, famous for its unique 13th century Monnow Bridge. In the afternoon we follow the River Wye south to Tintern, dominated by the spectacular remains of Tintern Abbey, time to explore the Abbey's remains before visiting the craft and antique shops. Dinner and entertainment at the hotel.

B, D

Day 5

We leave our hosts at the Bells hotel for the return journey home to Cumbria. Arriving home early evening.


B=Breakfast Included, D=Dinner Included


The Bells Hotel combines traditional, elegant style with convenient modern facilities to ensure your stay is as relaxing and welcoming as possible. Staffed 24 hours a day, we’re always on hand to provide you with a warm welcome.

We have a total of 53 rooms available, including three indulgent suites and two wheelchair accessible rooms. Each one of our rooms is en-suite with colour televisions, hairdryers, telephones and tea and coffee-making facilities.

Situated within the old Bells Grammar School building, the Clubhouse  features Potter’s Restaurant, which is named after local playwright Dennis Potter – a former pupil of the school. Open for breakfast and evening meals, Potter’s restaurant serves spectacular cuisine, made fresh with as much local produce as possible. Our dedicated, talented team of chefs have worked with us for many years and know exactly how to rustle up wholesome, traditional dishes which are firm favourites with diners. We also have a range of vegetarian dishes available and can happily cater for any other dietary requirements – just let our staff know of your needs and they’ll be sure to oblige.

The Clubhouse is also a popular spot for entertainment.

Below is a list of pick-up points available on this tour.

Below is a list of pick-up points available on this tour.

Name Address Contact Details
Appleby The Sands Appleby
Aspatria Car Park beside Spar Aspatria
Brough Monument Bus Shelter Brough
Carlisle Entrance to Sands Centre Car Park Carlisle
Cockermouth Monument Main Street Cockermouth
Dearham Commercial Corner Dearham
Distington Outside Prospect Works Distington
Egremont Conservative Club Egremont
Flimby Railway Station Flimby
Harrington Galloping Horse bus stop Harrington
Keswick Bell Close Car Park Keswick
Kirkby Stephen Market Square Kirkby Stephen
Maryport Outside Coop Maryport
Penrith Sandgate Bus Station Penrith
Shap Village Hall Shap
Tebay Old Services Car Park Tebay
Thursby Bus Stop Thursby
Waverton Bus Stop Waverton
Whitehaven Bus Stop Tangier Street Whitehaven
Wigton Old Bus Station Wigton
Workington Lay By opposite Grahams Travel Jane St. Workington
From Price Call Back Telephone Favourites

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