Unforgettable journeys to the ancient sites of
England, Scotland, Wales, Ireland and France
 
Day 1: Llansantffraid hotel
Day 2: Carreg Cennen Castle
Day 3: Castell Henllys Iron Age Village
Day 4: St Davids Cathedral
Day 5: The Celtic Church at Mwnt
Day 6: Snowdonia
Day 7: Barclodiad stone
Day 8: Holy well of St Cybi
Day 9: Fairy Glen
 
Spirit of Wales
Land of Myth and Magic
June 25th - July 3rd, 2018

Day One
We meet at London Heathrow airport where our private coach will drive us westwards to Wales. Winding up the beautiful Wye Valley, we will stop at the atmospheric ruins of Tintern Abbey, immortalized in William Wordsworth's famous poem. Afterwards we will arrive at our fine country hotel (which has its own church dedicated to St Bridget!) where we'll gather for introductions and an orientation, to prepare for our sacred journey around the mythic landscape.

Day Two
In the morning we'll visit a traditional healing well and some remarkable standing stones in the nearby village of Trellech. Then our journey takes us through the stunning Brecon Beacon hills to arrive at the twelfth century castle of Carreg Cennen, perched dramatically on a rock with spectacular views over the hills. After exploring the castle with its mysterious underground passage, we head west to the county of Pembrokeshire to arrive at the secluded country mansion retreat in the Teifi River valley, which will be our home in southwest Wales.

Day Three
Mara Freeman will be your special presenter for the day. We enter into the ritual landscape of the Preseli Hills, centred on Carn Ingli, "Angel Mountain," starting with a walk through a faery-haunted oakwood which conceals a Celtic hill-fort and Druid’s Cave. Nearby is Pentre Ifan, the most famous cromlech in Wales, overlooking Cardigan Bay, once known locally as the womb of Ceridwen. After a stop for lunch and time to wander in the attractive small town of Newport, we visit Castell Henllys, an authentically reconstructed Iron Age village. You will experience how the tribal Celts used to live and listen to storytelling around the fire. Our afternoon ends at the village of Nevern with its famous church and ogham stones, legendary bleeding yew trees, and one of the finest decorated high crosses in Britain.
       
 
Preseli, Pembrokeshire
       
Day Four
Today we travel down the coast to St David's Peninsula to visit the lovely old healing well and chapel of the Celtic holy woman, St. Non, perched on the rocky cliffs overlooking the waters of St Bride’s Bay. In the afternoon, you can visit the magnificent Norman cathedral of St David, and also take time for an individual wander around the shops and art galleries in this historic place. As we wend our way back up the coast, we will stop at other little-known, hidden places in this ancient landscape.

Day Five
Leaving West Wales, we travel northwards, first paying a visit to Mwnt, with its strange pyramid-shaped hill overlooking the sea, where pilgrims gathered at the little Celtic church before sailing over to Bardsey Island. Then we drive through the mountain scenery, lakes and villages of the Snowdonia National Park, stopping for a visit to a lovely hidden waterfall in a faery-haunted glen and lunch in the little town of Dolgellau, whose narrow streets and squares are steeped in history. In the late afternoon we will arrive at our fine country house hotel set on a lush plain between Snowdonia and the Isle of Anglesey, which will be home for the next four nights.

Day Six
We approach the stronghold of Dinas Emrys, the hill that is the scene of one of the most famous Merlin legends. Here we meet up with storyteller Eric Maddern, who will guide us on a walk up the hill where he will recount the dramatic story of Merlin’s prophesy at this very place. This will be followed by lunch in the nearby picturesque village of Beddgelert. A number of options will be presented for this afternoon's fare. Tonight you can listen to the myths and legends of North Wales as told by a local traditional storyteller.

 
Beddgelert
Day Seven
We cross the Menai Straits for a day on Anglesey, or Ynys Môn, the Isle of the Druids. This small island offers a panorama of Wales’ history laid out on the landscape, from Neolithic burial chambers and Bronze Age cromlechs, standing stones and Iron Age villages. We will spend time attuning to the energies within the chambered mounds of Bryn Celli Ddu and Barclodiad y Gawres, with its mysterious carved stones. In the afternoon we’ll visit the atmospheric Penmon Priory, with its decorated Celtic crosses, sheela-na-gig, and beautiful holy well, famed for its healing waters.

Day Eight
Today we embark upon a mythological odyssey down the Lleyn Peninsula, stopping at Dinas Dinlle (the "fortress of the god Lleu") which overlooks Caer Arianrhod, named for the goddess of the Silver Wheel. Then on to the sacred well of St Cybi, and down to the valley of Nantgwrtheyrn for lunch overlooking the sea. In the afternoon we visit the lovely old church at Pystyll, and walk up to the Iron Age hill-fort known as Carn Fadryn, the Mother Mountain, which affords spectacular views all over North Wales. This evening we will take an inner journey to explore the archetype of the goddess, Arianrhod.

Day Nine
We take a walk through the wooded river gorge known as the Fairy Glen, then on to the medieval town of Llangollen, steeped in myth and legend, for lunch and last-minute gifts. Then we bid farewell to Wales as we return to Heathrow airport and the journey home, with many memories of our journey through this enchanted land.
 
 
   
 
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