Wales Coach Holidays
Language: English and Welsh
Currency: Pound Sterling
Time Zone: GMT
Tipping: 10 to 12% is usual for hotels with 10 to 15% being usual for restaurants. In each case, it is not necessarily added to the bill. If a service charge has already been added, no further tip is required.
Wales - an introduction
Home to daffodils, sheep-shearing, a town with a name that no-one can pronounce apart from the Welsh (Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch) and new for 2013, one of the World's Top 10 Beaches according to TripAdvisor. Wales might be a small country, but it's emerging as a jewel in the UK's crown. If there was ever any doubt as to why you should take a holiday here, just think; where else in the world can you take part in Bog Snorkelling?
Coach holidays to Wales certainly pack a mighty punch with a fist-full of exciting attractions. Featuring more castles per square mile than any other country in the world, take your pick from over 600 castles from Dolbadarn to Caldicot and when you're done with those visit the fascinating Italianate village of Portmeirion – the setting for TV series 'The Prisoner'.
Sport is a major passion in Wales with the latest rugby results being the focal point of many a conversation and there are coach tours to some of the games around Wales including ticket. For a small country, it certainly doesn't lack in dramatic landscapes which is why so many walkers, cyclists and surfers head to Wales in order to explore the scenery. Stunning beaches can be found on coastline tours of Carmarthenshire, Pembrokeshire and Cardigan Bay; indeed, Rhossili Bay in Swansea recently ranked number ten in TripAdvisor's Top 25 Beaches in the World ahead of beaches in Cuba, Hawaii and the Seychelles. Keep your eyes peeled for local marine life such as dolphins, basking sharks, grey seals and leatherback turtles as they regularly visit the Welsh coast.
In the North, the attractive and elegant seaside resort of Llandudno remains a popular favourite, with its sunbathating beaches, Victorian pier, and plenty to do, with the nearby Snowdonia National Park. Most coach trips to North Wales will incorporate an excursion through magnificent Snowdonia in their itineraries, with a chance to ride the famous Ffestiniog Steam Railway to Porthmadog and a ride over the breathtaking Llanberis Pass.
Things to do
Wales is vast in terms of what is available to see and do whilst staying here. Some of the top destinations are:
The capital of Wales is a vibrant city with lots to see and do. Why not visit Cardiff Castle, the medieval castle with over 2000 years of history which can be found in the heart of the city. Visitors can explore the castle and there is an interpretation Centre with exhibition and film presentation to give you an insight into life at the castle. On the outskirts of Cardiff you'll find St Fagan's, The Museum of Welsh life, so if you fancy wandering around an open air museum then this is the place for you, made up with reconstructed buildings from all over Wales.
Tenby is one of the most picturesque harbour towns in Wales and as a result is very popular with locals and tourists alike. The cliff-top seaside resort has cobbled streets featuring shops, cafes and restaurants. If you want to escape to a more peaceful place then catch the boat over to Caldey Island, home to the monks of the Cistercian Order. Here you can explore the medieval churches, walk up to the lighthouse or just relax on the beach.
Snowdonia National Park
Snowdonia National Park is not only the largest National Park in Wales but it is also home to the highest mountain in Wales and England standing at 1,085 m high. There are numerous walks which you could do in the National Park, however, if you don't fancy a climb, you can take a ride on the Snowdon Mountain Railway to 'the rooftop of Wales' for some spectacular views.
Llandudno is a beautiful Victorian seaside resort uniquely situated between the Great and Little Ormes with wonderful beaches for people to explore. Wales's largest seaside resort has plenty to keep everyone of all ages entertained. Make sure you visit the pier which is home to various shops, cafes and attractions or explore the shops under the pretty Victorian canopies in Mostyn Street.
Tips & Advice
To help you have an enjoyable holiday in Wales, take a look at these useful tips and advice provided by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO):
Health and Travel Insurance
British Citizens are advised by some of our tour operators to have travel insurance before going on a tour or holiday, even if it happens to be in your country of residence. As a British citizen you will be entitled to free emergency health care on the NHS.
If you are visiting Wales from outside the United Kingdom and fall ill or are involved in an accident and are from any member of the European Economic Area or Switzerland, you can obtain free or reduced cost treatment with The European Health Insurance Card (EHIC). Comprehensive travel insurance is advised for all other nationals planning on visiting the Wales.
If you need to contact the emergency services whilst in Wales simply dial 999 or 112 to ask for an ambulance.
Most destinations in Wales are generally trouble-free, however as with all places that you are not familiar with, keep an eye on your belongings and if necessary lock them away somewhere safe back at your hotel if possible. Keep an eye on everyone in your party and do not go off with people you do not know. Buy your own drinks and keep sight of them at all times, be aware of your surroundings and don't venture off on your own.
Local Laws and Customs
Queuing is a British Institution, jump a queue at your own risk.
Drug offences will carry penalties in the UK, so avoid getting involved with anything whilst in Wales. Please note the narcotic plant Khat/Qat is legal in the UK, but is not in a majority of other countries so never try to export this when leaving the UK.
If you are visiting from outside of the United Kingdom, it is wise to check customs requirements before you travel. If you are planning to bring alcohol, tobacco or souvenirs into the country, you need to be familiar with the UK's custom laws. For those people coming to the UK from the EU, you are allowed to bring an unlimited amount of most goods for your own use without paying tax or duty.
However, if you are travelling to the UK from outside of the EU, you are given an allowance of how much alcohol, tobacco, perfume, souvenirs and other goods. If you go above this allowance you may have to pay tax or duty. It is worth checking the HM Revenues and Customs website before you travel.
When travelling between the UK, Northern Ireland, the Channel Islands or the Isle of Man, in most cases, an official form of identification such as a Driver's License will be ok. However, some airlines will insist you show a passport so check before you travel.
If you are travelling to Wales from Australia, Canada or the USA, you must have a valid passport for at least three months beyond the length of your stay. EU nationals need to have either a valid passport or identity card.
Visas for the UK are not required by those travelling from Australia, Canada, USA or EU for stays of up to six months.
To find out more about visiting Wales, check out the official tourism website at visitwales.co.uk