Liverpool, England, United Kingdom
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Approximately 8¼ Hours
Approximately 8¼ Hours
Wales boasts more castles per square mile of breathtaking landscape than anywhere else in Europe -- just one aspect of this country's many rich legacies. Its rugged mountains, lush valleys and craggy coastlines have witnessed hostile occupation and conflict since prehistoric times.
Visit Northern Wales to view delightful scenery, travel on a steam-hauled rail journey, and tour the bastion of an Edward I castle. Traveling via the tunnel under the River Mersey, you'll cross the Wirral Peninsula and enter Wales. Your journey takes you along Horseshoe Pass, offering some of the most spectacular views in Wales.
Enter the small town of Llangollen -- steeped in myth and legend. Shop for a souvenir in the main street's small stores.
The Llangollen Railway was built in 1861 and closed for economic reasons in 1964. The railway has re-opened and is now operated by a group of enthusiastic volunteers who have kept the station, rolling stock and track in excellent condition. Take your seat in a nostalgic 1960s carriage before the steam-hauled locomotive puffs its way out of the station and along the banks of the River Dee to Carrog.
At Carrog, rejoin your motorcoach and continue to a local hotel for lunch.
The afternoon begins with a short transfer to Chirck Castle. King Edward, I built this border stronghold on its hilltop site around 1295. Since then, it has been occupied continuously, and the elegant stately home that you'll visit today combines the styles of many different architectural periods. The spirit of the original structure is preserved in the Adam's Tower, which has a magnificent dungeon and clearly shows the 15-foot-thick walls. Don't miss the 'murder holes' through which burning pitch could be poured onto anyone trying to batter or burn down the doors below. Now owned by the National Trust, the castle is surrounded by beautiful formal gardens with topiary hedges and many flowering shrubs. Wander through the gardens for fine views of the castle's bastion exterior.
Then, commence the return journey, leaving behind the delightful Welsh countryside, crossing the border into England and heading back toward Liverpool.
Wear comfortable walking shoes. Please note that a diesel locomotive may be used if required by the conditions of the day.