Tel: 01438 715050


The Welsh Dragon


Saturday 18 May 2019

NEW OPTION: DYFFRYN HOUSE AND GARDENS
The Brecon Mountain Railway option is now full.

Cardiff, capital city of Wales and recently named sixth best shopping destination in the UK, offers a range of unique attractions and varied shopping, with innovative architecture sitting alongside historic buildings.

When you’ve had your fill of retail therapy, there are plenty of cafés, restaurants and bars to stop and relax in. The old Cardiff docklands have been redeveloped in the last decade to create Cardiff Bay, home to a large freshwater lake for sailing and water sports; the stylish five star St David’s Hotel and Spa, Mermaid Quay – a restaurant hotspot, and the home for Welsh National Opera, the Wales Millennium Centre.

You may wish to visit National Museum Cardiff, situated in the heart of Cardiff’s elegant civic centre and housing world class art and natural history, including Wales’s national art, natural history and geology collections, as well as major touring and temporary exhibitions. Entry is free!

Alternatively, you might pay a visit to Cardiff Castle, one of Wales’ leading heritage attractions and a site of international significance. Located within beautiful parklands at the heart of the capital and once a Roman fort, Norman stronghold and Victorian Gothic masterpiece, Cardiff Castle’s walls and fairy-tale towers conceal 2,000 years of history.

Our Great Days Out special train runs directly from Hertfordshire stations, Stevenage, Welwyn Garden City and Potters Bar, as well as from Finsbury Park and Ealing Broadway, both of which offer useful tube connections. We take an interesting route around north and west London before joining the Great Western Main Line at Acton. From here it’s straight down through Swindon, skirting Bristol before heading through the Severn Tunnel and entering South Wales.

You have a break of over four hours in the Welsh capital, before taking a scenic route home via Gloucester and Kemble. You can also pre-book one of the following options:

A: THE ROYAL MINT. Coaches meet the train at Cardiff for a journey taking a little over half an hour to Llantrisant, amidst the contrasting scenery of the Welsh Valleys.  The Royal Mint has been based here since 1968, when it was built in preparation for decimalisation. It’s where all the UK’s coins are made, literally millions every year! They also design and produce military and sporting medals, and strike coins for over 100 other countries.

When you arrive at the Royal Mint, take the guided tour, where your guide will show you a short film. You will then learn about coin making through the ages, see some of the equipment that is used in the coin making process, and discover what happens to all the old coins taken out of circulation. Then it’s time to watch new coins being made in the factory itself.

After the tour, the exhibition is a must. Avid coin collectors (numismatists) will love the rare coins on display. There is an extensive display of foreign coins which have been made on site, and you can even see the 2012 Olympic medals which were struck here. There is a cafeteria available.

B: THE BRECON MOUNTAIN RAILWAY: FULLY BOOKED

C: DYFFRYN HOUSE AND GARDEN – NATIONAL TRUST

A peaceful oasis ten miles to the west of the Welsh capital, Dyffryn Gardens covers more than 55 acres. The Edwardian gardens are undergoing an ambitious garden revival project to restore them to their original splendour. With year-round seasonal highlights the gardens feature the best woody collection in the National Trust.

Designed by eminent landscape architect Thomas Mawson in 1906, the gardens are the early 20th-century vision of coal magnate John Cory and his son Reginald. Within the gardens, Dyffryn House, a grand Victorian mansion, overlooks the key aspects of the garden.

Coaches will meet the train at Cardiff for the short transfer to Dyffryn, where you will have some four hours at leisure.  Both the house and the garden will be yours to explore, along with the gift shop and a fascinating secondhand book shop. The is a cafeteria so you can relax and take refreshment.

This option is pre-bookable only. A discount is available to National Trust Members – but you must remember to bring your membership card with you.

All timings are provisional and intended only as a guide.

StationDepartArrive
Stevenage07.3522.10
Welwyn Garden City07.4521.55
Potters Bar (for M25)07.5521.45
Finsbury Park08.2021.25
Ealing Broadway09.1520.30