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2023 Summer Travel Series – Your journey to... South Wales

2023 Summer Travel Series – Your journey to... South Wales

So, you’ve decided to ditch the sun cream, airport check-ins and warm sandy beaches for a relaxing holiday in South Wales. 

Perhaps you’ve planned a visit to Cardiff Castle, a stroll through the gentle hills and wild moorland of the Brecon Beacons National Park, or you’ve booked a Gavin & Stacey themed tour of Barry Island (Yes, this really does exist – tickets here). 

Whatever your plans in South Wales this summer, we’ve got every stop you’ll need to make the journey one to remember.  

Best routes and top destinations 

London to South Wales 

Guildford Castle 

If you’re heading to South Wales from London, one stop you’ll want to make is a visit to Guildford Castle. Thought to have been constructed by William the Conqueror after the 1066 invasion of England, this formidable structure is a must-see on your journey. The grounds of the castle were opened to the public in 1888 to celebrate Queen Victoria’s Golden Jubilee. 

Stonehenge 

This unexplained, prehistoric ring of vertical sandstones each weighing around 25 tons has only been seen by less than half of Britons. If you’ve never explored this Neolithic wonder, why not make it a stop on your journey to South Wales? 

You can visit on foot for free or tickets to the visitor centre and exhibition can be booked on the English Heritage website. Tickets for adults can be purchased from £23.60 and £14.50 for children aged 5-17. 

Thermae Bath Spa, Bath 

The Thermae Bath Spa is Britain’s only natural thermal spa. The warm, mineral-rich watered found in this modern bath, uses the same hot natural springs once enjoyed by the Romans over 2,000 years ago. 

Bookings can be made via their website with prices starting at £40 Monday to Friday and £45 Saturday to Sunday. 

Birmingham to South Wales 

If you’re driving the 115-mile journey from Birmingham to Cardiff there are lots of must-see attractions along the M5. 

Greyfriars' House and Garden 

This late-medieval merchant's house found in Worcester city centre was rescued from demolition and restored in the mid-20th century. A truly historic building, the structure has had many extensions and interior changes to accommodate the families who have lived there in its long history. 

Entry to the house is by guided tour from Tuesday to Saturday. Adults can enter from £9.50 and children from £3.75. Tickets are purchased on arrival and entry to the garden is free between 10:00 and 16:00. 

Visit the city of Gloucester 

Located near the Cotswolds rural area, this former industrial city is well-known for its impressive 11th century cathedral. The Romanesque and Gothic structure houses the tomb of King Edward II. 

The nearby Gloucester Docks are the perfact place for a family day out, exploring restored Victorian dock buildings, fascinating museums, independent cafes and even some designer outlet shops. 

More information on what to do in Gloucester can be found here

Best service station 

According to Which? Gloucester Services (M5) are amongst the top-rated motorway stop-offs in the country. With a customer score of 86%, these incredible services boast 5-star scores across five categories - Range of Shops and Food Outlets, Prices, Cleanliness, Convenience and Accessibility. One reviewer described the services as ‘the future of how all services should be built’. 

This impressive services has a grass-carpeted roof and floor-to-ceiling windows constructed around a relaxing duck pond. Homecooked meals such as fish and chips and steak and ale pie are served to order and local produce including home-baked bread and regional cheeses can be bought from the on-site farm shop. Dogs are allowed in the foyer areas of the the main buildings and parking is free for three hours. 

Best alternative to a service station 

If you’re taking the 3-hour long route from London to Cardiff, you may want a more extended stop-off for a bite to eat. Below are some of the top-rated eateries you might want to sample along the way. 

Warminster 

The friendly market town of Warminster has a variety of independent shops and cafes to enjoy. The Taste Deli, located on Warmister High Street has a range of home-made soups, fresh salads and indulgent slices of cake. 

Bristol 

Situated in the hills of South West England, Bristol is known for its fiercely independent identity and is home to lots of 5-star street food vendors. 

Matina

Serving Middle Eastern grilled meats, vegetables & naan breads served at a marketplace walk-up spot, Matina is the top rated placed to visit for lunch on Trip Advisor. But be prepared to wait as, according to some reviews, the queues can get very long! 

Eatchu @ St Nicks Market 

Japanese street food seller Eatchu offers dine-in or takeaway gyozas and rice boxes that are said to be ‘drenched in Japanese curry sauce’. 

MUSE Brasserie 

If you fancy a sit-down feast of the fusion kind, why not try this French fusion dining experience? Serving traditional European and Asian cuisine, top dishes include Malabar Prawn Curry, Coconut Rice and Kerala Paratha, Cornfed Chicken Breast with Potato Gnocchi, and Simmer Vegetable Risotto, Parmesan, and Truffle Oil. 

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