Gothic Castles to French Impressionism

2 nights starting from
£379

  • Specialist guided tour of Cardiff Castle
  • Dyffryn House and its exceptional gardens

  • The Davies Sisters’ collection at the National Museum of Wales

  • Llandaff Cathedral and its impressive stained-glass windows

It was a love of Gothic Revivalism that bought the 3rd Marquess of Bute together with architect William Burges to sumptuously remodel Cardiff Castle and create the Neo-Gothic fairytale Castell Coch in the late 1800s. It wasn't until the mid-20th century that the Davies sisters contributed their magnificent art collection, one of the most important private collections in Britain, to the National Museum of Wales, drastically transforming its collection. This tour brings these fascinating gems of the Cardiff region together with expert, Matthew Williams Williams ex-curator of Cardiff Castle and Prof. Anne Anderson, who will help you delve deeper into this fascinating artistic heritage. 

Available Departures

From

18 - May - 2020 £ 379.00 Travel Info Book Now

Provisional Timings

18 - August - 2020 £ 379.00 Travel Info Book Now

Provisional Timings

ITINERARY

Day 1: Arrive independently at the Holiday Inn Cardiff City Centre from 15.00. This evening there will be a welcome reception, private dinner with wine and an introductory talk by Matthew Williams, ex-curator of Cardiff Castle – ‘Cardiff Castle – building a Victorian Camelot’.

Day 2: Castell Coch and Cardiff Castle.
This morning we visit Castell Coch. Built in the 19th century Gothic Revival style, it perfectly complements the work done at Cardiff Castle with an impressive medieval exterior and sumptuous Neo Gothic interior.  After lunch (not included) we visit we visit Cardiff Castle, a medieval castle keep and Victorian Gothic revival mansion in the heart of the city. The 3rd Marquess of Bute hired William Burges in 1868 to remodel the castle in the medieval Gothic Revival style. Thanks to the Marquess’ huge financial resources he was able to do this on a magnificent scale. This evening there will be a lecture by Prof. Anne Anderson – ‘The Davies Sisters: Modern Art comes to Wales’ and dinner in the hotel restaurant.

Day 3: National Museum of Wales and Dyffryn House.
We spend this morning at the National Museum of Wales, where Prof. Anne Anderson will guide us through the Davis Sisters Collection. Gwendoline and Margaret Davies amassed a fantastic art collection and became the most influential collectors of Impressionist and 20th century art in Wales. They bequeathed the 260 works of their private collection, including modern artists Josef Herman, Oskar Kokoschka and Stanley Spencer, to the museum in 1951 and 1963. This afternoon we’ll visit Llandaff Cathedral, restored by John Prichard in the mid-1800s, where we’ll find a triptych by Dante Gabriel-Rossetto and stained-glass windows by Edward Burne-Jones and Ford Madox Brown. This will be followed by the grand Victorian mansion, Dyffryn House and Gardens, which was constructed by John Cory in 1893, with its exceptional Edwardian garden. Return to the hotel for approximately 17.30.

NB: Exact order of excursions may vary according to local conditions and tour manager's discretion.

Please note: Post tour extra nights are available at a supplement

Please note the maximum group size on this tour is 48 passengers.

INCLUDED

  • Two nights' bed and breakfast at the Holiday Inn Cardiff City Centre Hotel, based on shared occupancy of a twin/double room 
  • Welcome reception 
  • First night private three-course dinner with wine 
  • Second night dinner in the hotel restaurant 
  • All talks, guided tours and admissions 
  • Coach transfers and tour manager throughout 

NOT INCLUDED

  • Transport to the hotel is not included
  • Double for Sole Use supplement 
  • Extra nights on bed and breakfast basis 
  • Holiday insurance 
  • Meals other than those stated 
  • Items of a personal nature such as drinks, laundry, telephone calls etc 
  • Porterage and gratuities 

HOTEL

Holiday Inn Cardiff City Centre
Located centrally in the Welsh capital, the Holiday Inn Cardiff City Centre is situated next to the Millennium Stadium, and a convenient 10 minute walk from Cardiff train station. Bedrooms are comfortable with en-suite bathrooms, TV, telephone, hairdryer and tea/coffee making facilities. Car parking is available at the hotel costing £10 per night, payable directly to the hotel. 

Holiday Inn Cardiff City Centre Website

MORE INFO 

Please note that all our UK tours start and finish at the relevant hotel.  

You can normally check in from 3pm onwards but hotels will always be happy to store your luggage if you arrive earlier in the day. 

For full details of how to get to the hotel, directions and the nearest train station, please click on the hotel website or call our office for details. These will also be sent automatically with your confirmation. 

The welcome reception and first evening dinner / talk will commence at about 7pm - full details will be sent with your joining instructions about 10 days prior to the arrival date.

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Review by Anonymous who travelled 06-August-2019


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There were 47 people on our tour, this is definitely too many. The brochure should emphasise how much walking as some people did not realise that "5 steps" was the most strenuous!!

Review by South who travelled 06-August-2019


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The tour of Cardiff Castle which directly followed the Castel Coch tour was, such that for participants of my age and that of my partner, was tiring. We felt awkward having to cut short the complete itinerary. I am 88, my partner 85. If it could be explained more clearly beforehand the places where people who are getting tired could end their tours it would have been helpful. By contrast, my heartfelt thanks go to Scott, our tour manager, who managed to arrange for the recovery of my small sketch book which had slipped, un-noticed, out of a bag on our coach.

Review by Langlands who travelled 06-August-2019


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The tour was excellent. The venues we visited were very well chosen and, without a doubt, the best part was the lecturers, Ann Anderson, in particular was outstanding, her knowledge of her subject, the clarity of her delivery, her sense of humour throughout - all made for a most enjoyable and enlightening never-to-be-forgotten few days. Thank you all..

Review by Cavanagh who travelled 06-August-2019


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Hotel very well placed in centre of Cardiff. We were all put to the test with the number of steps involved in the visit to Cardiff Castle. The visit was quite exhausting (3 hours) as we had to wait around a lot, being divided into 2 groups. Guide excellent. Cardiff Museum very interesting with regards to the Davies' Collection. Duffryn Gardens lovely.

Review by Anonymous who travelled 06-August-2019


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The above tour was very good and Anne and Scott were excellent as always. The reason I have said "satisfactory" to brochure description is because although it had walking 5 feet it needed to explain that most of it was vertical!!! There were many spiral staircases and more than 100 steps in both castles - which many of the participants found they couldn't manage including myself so we were not able to see everything. If you suffer with knee etc problems also vertigo and claustraphobia this was not good. Myself and many others missed some of the rooms which was a great shame. I still enjoyed the tour but it marred it somewhat.

Review by Bardell who travelled 06-August-2019


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A very good tour, well organised and excellent guides. Good hotel in excellent location with car parking at a discount. We think the number of participants is a bit too large and it would be helpful to have individual audio systems.

Review by Anonymous who travelled 06-August-2019


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I liked everything very much and found the whole tour highly interesting though I would have preferred a smaller group. I am now looking forward very much to my next tour with you in September to the Languedoc. Liane Bierau

Review by Anonymous who travelled 06-August-2019


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I thoroughly enjoyed this visit. The tour guide made it even more enjoyable and absorbing.

Review by Lambert who travelled 28-August-2018


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Very knowledgeable tour leader ; in depth visits

Review by who travelled 28-August-2018


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Our Tour Manager, Matthew Williams, did an absolute excellent job stepping in as a replacement. His knowledge and expertease greatly enhanced the enjoyment of our holiday and we learnt and saw so much. We also appreciated his friendliness and just what a lovely chap he is; as he has a great personality and was very kind and attentive and looked after the group so well.

Review by Cousins who travelled 28-August-2018


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Excellent guide in Matthew Williams, he really new his stuff, and was extremely informative about the whole of our two days, Excellent. Clare Jones-Davies

Review by Jones-Davies who travelled 28-August-2018


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I thoroughly enjoyed the trip. Matthew Williams was very informative about the Butes and again about the Davies sisters. Everything with the trip worked well.

Review by Lambert who travelled 28-August-2018


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Review by Allan who travelled 28-August-2018


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the overall tour was very good, well organised and very informative. The Holiday Inn was better than I had anticipated, however, the evening meals there were pretty poor

Review by Rowan who travelled 29-May-2018


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This was an excellent tour. Prof Anne Anderso, and Scot Anderson were brilliant.Anne's lecture about the Davies sisters was very good. Also Matthew Williams who gave us a lecture and took us around Cardiff Castle with his assistant was excellent. I really enjoyed this tour; my second with Anne Anderson (that is why I decided to come)

Review by who travelled 29-May-2018


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Review by who travelled 29-May-2018


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Review by who travelled 29-August-2017


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Both guest speakers were excellent communicators (knowledgeable, witty and concise) and proved excellent tour guides. My highlight was the "behind the scenes" tour of Cardiff castle which allowed us to see magnificent rooms not normally open to the public.

Review by Moore who travelled 29-August-2017


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The highlight was the talk by Matthew Williams and the visit to Cardiff Castle. Matthew pitched the talk at just the right level: it was scholarly without being above our heads. He was amusing too. Anne and Scott Anderson were excellent too.

Review by Lorimer who travelled 29-August-2017


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Review by who travelled 29-August-2017


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Excellent organisation and a very enriching experience. Tour Director and Speakers/guides were knowledgable and stimulating. i will definitely book another holiday - please send me 2017 British Heritage brochure asap.

Review by Ms Merville Spiers who travelled 04-August-2016


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We got fined for inadvertently driving in a bus lane! Perhaps you should warn future participants.

Review by Mr John Colvin who travelled 04-August-2016


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Review by who travelled 04-August-2016


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We loved this trip. The only thing that let it down was the very poor quality of the two evening meals- they really were disappointing. The menus were unimaginative and the food itself was bland and unappetising. Breakfast however was good.

Review by Mr William Graham who travelled 04-August-2016


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Overall highly delighted with trip - group leaders are excellent communicators who obviously have scholarly knowledge of their subjects. However we felt that, perhaps too much was squeezed into the second day. Though Dyffryn House was interesting - particularly the gardens (we were lucky the weather was perfect!) we felt that it might have been better to spend more time at the Cathedral and devote the rest of the day to the Museum.

Review by Mr Tony Tammar who travelled 04-August-2016


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Review by Mrs Pam Painter who travelled 04-August-2016


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Review by Mr Terry Kirkhope who travelled 04-August-2016


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My Holiday inn room was scruffy with a spotty carpet and scuffed paintwork though the view was great. The food was quickly served by pleasant staff but overcooked especially the vegetables. Breakfast was excellent. Our tour manager, Scott, was kind, helpful and efficient and calm especially when the coach driver took us to the wrong location in the opposite direction! The staff of Cardiff Castle were exceptionally well informed and pleasant - quite a highlight!

Review by Mrs Susan Raymond who travelled 04-August-2016


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Anne was an outstanding tour guide - interesting lively talks.

Review by Ms Patricia Somerset who travelled 04-August-2016


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Review by Mrs Pat Tiller who travelled 04-August-2016


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Review by who travelled 04-August-2016


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Up to your usual standard of educational short breaks. Cardiff Castle particularly special.We valued the "extra" trip to the Cardiff Bay regeneration area, and the helpful local coach driver who negotiated the post-match rugby crowds. Location of hotel could not be faulted, though we felt the rooms could do with an upddate.

Review by Mr Tony Hine who travelled 06-August-2015


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Yes everything I expected from a travel editions tour especially with Ann and Scott Anderson at the helm.

Review by Mrs Helen Mears who travelled 06-August-2015


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We have been on a number of other tours and this was judged to be one of the most varied and interesting. I am looking for another tour in October/Nov 2015,could be abroad, any ideas ?

Review by Mrs Maureen Cole who travelled 06-August-2015


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Excellent talks prior to tours each day, backed up with clear written information Not too tiring . I hope to come on tours in the future.

Review by Mrs Penelope Cooper who travelled 06-August-2015


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Interesting and enjoyable tour with excellent visits and talks

Review by Ms Sonia Richardson who travelled 06-August-2015


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Review by Ms Wendy Roberts who travelled 30-April-2015


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Matthew Williams was excellent, both in his talk on Thursday evening, and his guiding round the castle on Friday. He is knowledgeable, enthusiastic, and conveys the material extremely well.

Review by Mr Ian Stuart who travelled 30-April-2015


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Review by Mr John Herrington who travelled 30-April-2015


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The Holiday Inn Hotel would have been rated as excellent; however, Saturday evening & night were spoilt by a rowdy hen party taking over the bar completely, & then at night heavy pounding (running?) feet on floor 5, above our room.

Review by Mr Bryan Marshall who travelled 30-April-2015


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The reason why accommodation was poor was not the location nor the food which were both good. The room was a single with a double bed put in which made it very difficult to move around. Economy taken one stage too far!!

Review by Mr Raymond Sedman who travelled 25-September-2014


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Review by who travelled 25-September-2014


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Excellent tour very well led and organised. Hotel Ok but suffered from lack of extracter fan in bathroom and over hot bedrooms with little opportunity for cooling. Excellent breakfasts but dinners not so good: very tough chicken one night and pizzas soaked in excess oil. Some of us stayed over on the Friday night as its a long drive home. This should haveFbeen offered as an optional extra for the tour. full marks to the Andersons who coped admirably with unexpected logistics problems resulting from change of hotel.We got a tour of Cardiff Bay and saw the Opera House as a result.

Review by Mr Laurence Jones who travelled 25-September-2014


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Review by Miss Alison Thaw who travelled 25-September-2014


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Review by Mr Edward Hodgson who travelled 12-June-2014


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Review by Miss Valerie Watkins who travelled 12-June-2014


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Hilton staff untrained, food quality poor, service poor. Both lectures excellent. Would have liked coffee break in morning built into schedule. Appreciated drop off at railway station.

Review by Mrs Kathleen Brennan who travelled 12-June-2014

Travel Editions feedback:

Thank you for your comments and we will be taking up the food quality and service issues directly with the hotel, as it is obviously an important apart of the weekend but were happy you enjoyed the experience overall.


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