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THE WILLIAM MARSHAL IN

WALES TOUR

MAY 9 – 20, 2018 | 12 DAYS / 11 NIGHTS

JOIN OUR SPECIAL GUEST

ELIZABETH CHADWICK

on an exciting journey celebrating William Marshal’s life in Chepstow, Wales!

Elizabeth Chadwick

Elizabeth Chadwick is an award-winning author of historical fiction. Her novel about William Marshal, The Greatest Knight, is a New York Times Bestseller. Its sequel, The Scarlet Lion, was nominated by Richard Lee, founder of the Historical Novel Society as one of his top 10 novels of the decade. She has been studying the Marshal family both for her work as a writer, and out of personal interest for more than a decade and occasionally lectures on the subject at conferences and historical venues. She is a member of the Royal Historical Society.

Join New York Times best-selling author

ELIZABETH CHADWICK

on an exciting journey celebrating William Marshal’s life in Chepstow, Wales!

Elizabeth Chadwick

Elizabeth Chadwick is an award-winning author of historical fiction. Her novel about William Marshal, The Greatest Knight, is a New York Times Bestseller. Its sequel, The Scarlet Lion, was nominated by Richard Lee, founder of the Historical Novel Society as one of his top 10 novels of the decade. She has been studying the Marshal family both for her work as a writer, and out of personal interest for more than a decade and occasionally lectures on the subject at conferences and historical venues. She is a member of the Royal Historical Society.

A JOURNEY TO THE MEDIEVAL PAST

William Marshal was one of the greatest knights who ever lived.

A JOURNEY TO THE MEDIEVAL PAST

This unique history tour explores William & Isabel Marshal’s family life in Wales. We’ll spend some time in the capital city of Cardiff before heading to the countryside for an extended visit in Chepstow. Author Elizabeth Chadwick will join us again as our VIP guest during the William Marshal Tournament weekend at Chepstow Castle. We’ll pay our respects to the Marshal family at Tintern Abbey, Pembroke Castle & St. David’s Cathedral. Along the way you’ll absorb the rich Welsh history and culture of this rugged land the Marshals called hearth & home for so many years.

YEAR OF LEGENDS In 2017 Wales is celebrating our epic past, present and future. This is our Year of Legends. Yes, Wales is an ancient landscape, with thousands of years of history and myth. It’s a land of majestic mountains and mighty skies, fringed with an impressive coastline. But it’s also an epic land of thinking and high adventure. Everywhere you go, there are innovative ideas, in ancient places. Above all, Wales is a great place to enjoy here and now. There’s great food and drink, unique places to stay, and a legendary welcome. This year we’re creating new legends. Want to come and find yours? Welcome to our Epic Land.

William Marshal Tours is very pleased to partner with Year of Legends. The William Marshal in Wales Tour will immerse you in Welsh history, culture and cuisine and pay homage to the following Year of Legends themes: “Sacred & Spiritual,” “Rebels,” “Weird & Wonderful Wales,” “Folklore & Tradition,” “Ghosts,” and “Battles.”

PRICE DETAILS

$4,995 USD PP

Shared Room Package

(Two Guests, One or Two Beds)

$5,995 USD PP

Private Room Package

(One Guest, One Bed)

BOOKING DETAILS

 

  • Tour is limited to 16 guests
  • A deposit of $595 per person is required to reserve your spot
  • Flexible payment options are available
  • Final payment is due 60 days prior to departure
  • We accept all major credit cards for deposit and final payment

William Marshal Tours is not responsible for any charges levied by third parties and/or financial institutions and payable by the client as a result of credit card or other payment transactions in connection with the tour purchase. William Marshal Tours will not refund or return any fees charged by such third parties in connection with payments made by guests.

TOUR PACKAGES INCLUDES

  • Group transfers to/from Cardiff Airport
  • Deluxe sightseeing motor coach
  • Experienced local driver guide
  • Dedicated tour director
  • Luxury hotel accommodations for eleven nights
  • Welsh breakfast (B) for eleven days
  • Welcome reception & dinner (D)
  • Medieval farewell dinner (D)
  • Four (4) group dinners (D)
  • Two (2) group lunches (L)
  • Two (2) Welsh tea services
  • Five (5) private local guides
  • Admission fees to all heritage sites
  • Special tribute to the Marshals at Tintern Abbey
  • Exclusive Mother’s Day garden party
  • Hotel porterage for one (1) suitcase per person
  • All local taxes and gratuities for group meals
  • All driver & guide expenses (except gratuities)
  • Travel insurance

NOT INCLUDED IN THE TOUR PACKAGE

  • Flights to/from Cardiff Airport (we can assist you with flight arrangements, see resources)
  • Gratuities for driver guide (at your discretion)
  • Gratuities for tour director (at your discretion)
  • Gratuities for local tour guides (at your discretion)
  • Meals not specified in the itinerary
  • Optional excursions, personal items, souvenirs, incidental purchases, etc.

TERMS & CONDITIONS

  • Prices quoted are per person
  • Prices quoted are in US Dollars and include service charges where applicable and all taxes
  • All prices quoted are based on seasonal rates for a specific number of persons traveling, shared accommodations and current availability
  • Minimum number of guests is 10, maximum number is 16 guests
  • Should the number of participants increase or decrease, William Marshal Tours reserves the right to re-cost the tour based on the new number of participants
  • Where no specific contract is submitted, the general terms and conditions apply
  • View full terms and conditions here

DETAILED TOUR ITINERARY

Cardiff Wales Bristol Channel

Cardiff © Crown copyright 2017 (Visit Wales)

WEDNESDAY | MAY 9 | CARDIFF (R, D)

Welcome to Cardiff! After landing at Cardiff Airport, complete the required customs and immigration formalities, then meet your fellow guests at the designated meeting point. Afterwards, your Tour Director will welcome you to Wales and escort you and your luggage to the motor coach. You’ll also meet your Driver Guide who will introduce us to Wales during the drive to our luxury hotel, The Hilton Cardiff. Once you’ve checked into the hotel, you’ll have some time to relax and freshen up. That evening enjoy cocktails before a lovely welcome dinner with your fellow Marshal fans. Overnight at the Hilton Cardiff in Cardiff City Centre.

DETAILED TOUR ITINERARY

Norman Keep Cardiff Castle

Cardiff Castle © Crown copyright 2017 (Visit Wales)

THURSDAY | MAY 10 | CARDIFF CASTLE (B, T)

Today we’ll enjoy a guided tour of the bustling neighborhood known as Cardiff City Centre. Then we head to Cardiff Castle, the main attraction of the day, for our private tour with the Castle Curator. Cardiff Castle dates back to the 11th century and was extensively rebuilt in the 1860s with elaborate decorations throughout. There is much to see — the Roman Wall, Norman Keep, Castle Apartments, and Clock Tower. Our afternoon ends with a delightful spot of tea, coffee and Welsh cakes with the Castle Curator. You’ll have the remainder of the day free to sight-see, shop and dine on your own. Overnight at the Hilton Cardiff in Cardiff City Centre.

DETAILED TOUR ITINERARY

 

wales dragonWelsh Dragon © Crown copyright 2017 (Visit Wales)

FRIDAY | MAY 11 | CAERPHILLY CASTLE (B, D)

After a good night’s rest, we’ll depart Cardiff and head to Caerphilly Castle, considered to be the second largest castle in Great Britain. We’ll tour the castle and grounds with our private guide. If we’re lucky, the famous Welsh Dragons might be on display! You’ll have some free time to grab a bite to eat and explore the castle and town on your own. We’ll continue our journey to the hearth and home of the Marshal family, Striguil or Chepstow, in southeastern Wales where we’ll reside for several days. After checking into our hotel, The Marriott St. Pierre Hotel & Country Club, you’ll have an opportunity to relax and freshen up before our group dinner at the hotel with your fellow travelers. Overnight at the Marriott St. Pierre Hotel & Country Club in Chepstow.

DETAILED TOUR ITINERARY

chepstow castle river

Chepstow Castle © Alamy

SATURDAY | MAY 12 | CHEPSTOW CASTLE (B, L)

Our exciting day begins with a leisurely tour of Chepstow, a quaint medieval town in Monmouthshire Wales. The highlight of the day is a visit to Chepstow Castle, the heart and soul of William and Isabel Marshal’s home life. We’re fortunate to welcome author Elizabeth Chadwick as our VIP guest during the William Marshal Tournament weekend. Our private guide for the day is history buff, actor, writer & filmmaker Kevin Hicks of The History Sqaud. Kevin will show us the famous wooden castle doors commissioned by William Marshal, a medieval surgery, and demonstrate his archery skills. Afterwards, enjoy a catered picnic lunch on castle grounds before joining the William Marshal Tournament festivities. At day’s end, we’ll return to the hotel and enjoy the evening and dinner at our leisure. Overnight at the Marriott St. Pierre Hotel & Country Club in Chepstow.

DETAILED TOUR ITINERARY

Tintern Abbey Wales

Tintern Abbey © Crown copyright 2017 (Visit Wales)

SUNDAY | MAY 13 | TINTERN ABBEY (B, R)

After breakfast we’ll enjoy a full day of touring in the stunning Wye Valley. We’ll begin with a very special visit to one of the greatest monastic ruins in Wales, Tintern Abbey. Our guide for the day is local historian, Les Shepperd, who will greet us dressed as a Cistercian monk! Some of the Marshals are believed to be buried in the Nave. We’ll pay our respects to the family with a wreath-laying ceremony. Next we’ll head to Abbey Mill & Wye Valley Centre for an independent lunch and some leisure time with local Wye Valley artisans and craftsmen. Our day concludes with a private tour of the magnificent Wye Valley Sculpture Garden and a special Mother’s Day garden reception. That evening you are free to dine at your leisure. Overnight at the Marriott St. Pierre Hotel & Country Club in Chepstow.

DETAILED TOUR ITINERARY

Hay on Wye Literary Festival

Hay-on-Wye © Crown copyright 2017 (Visit Wales)

MONDAY | MAY 14 | HAY-ON-WYE (B)

We’ll conclude our time in the region with a sunrise hot air balloon ride over the stunning Wye Valley. Later, we invite you to take a break from the rigors of learning and touring to enjoy a leisurely, relaxed day. Choose from a variety of optional activities such as walking, hiking, biking, picnicking, horseback riding, archery, and spa treatments at our host hotel. Or you may join some of your fellow travelers for an excursion into Hay-on-Wye, known for its great variety and number of bookshops — perfect for booklovers! We’ll return to Chepstow for dinner at your leisure at the Marriott St. Pierre Hotel & Country Club. Overnight at the Marriott St. Pierre Hotel & Country Club.

DETAILED TOUR ITINERARY

Blue Lagoon Abereiddi Pembrokeshire

Pembrokeshire © Crown copyright 2017 (Visit Wales)

TUESDAY | MAY 15 | PEMBROKESHIRE (B, L, D)

This morning we leave our beloved Chepstow behind and drive to the family-owned and -run Apple County Cider Company. We’ll enjoy a guided tour followed by a picnic lunch of local cheeses, charcuterie, bread and chilled cider on the orchard grounds. Next, we’ll head southwest to Saundersfoot in Pembrokeshire, known throughout the region for its legendary coastal scenery. We’ll check into the St. Brides Spa Hotel and you’ll have some free time to relax and freshen up before our group dinner with your fellow travelers. Overnight at St. Brides Spa Hotel.

DETAILED TOUR ITINERARY

Pembroke Castle wales

Pembroke Castle © Crown copyright 2017 (Visit Wales)

WEDNESDAY | MAY 16 | PEMBROKE CASTLE (B)

Today we explore the symbol of Norman power and strength in Wales, Pembroke Castle, an imposing 12th century fortress with a labyrinth of passageways. The castle was given to William Marshal by King Richard I in 1189 upon William’s marriage to Isabel de Clare. The Marshal rebuilt the wood and earthen fortress into an impressive Norman stone castle. You’ll have an opportunity to explore the prehistoric and medieval areas and take panoramic photos of the castle. Lunch is at your leisure in the Castle or in Pembroke Village. In the afternoon we’ll visit the Pembroke Town Hall Murals before returning to our hotel. The evening is at your leisure for dinner and individual pursuits. Overnight at St. Brides Spa Hotel.

DETAILED TOUR ITINERARY

St. David's Cathedral Wales

St. David’s Cathedral © Crown copyright 2017 (Visit Wales)

THURSDAY | MAY 17 | ST. DAVID’S CATHEDRAL (B)

Or day starts with a tour of the magnificent St. David’s Cathedral in Pembrokeshire which was established between the 5th and 6th century by St. David, patron saint of Wales. Some believe that Isabel Marshal’s heart was buried in the Cathedral — you’re welcome to explore this theory during our visit. Enjoy some free time to shop in the extensive gift shop and grab a bite to eat in the Refectory. Next we’ll travel to Manorbier Castle, birthplace of Welsh historian Gerald of Wales. Visit the Great Hall, Chapel and Turrets before having a tea and coffee break in their cosy cafe. We’ll return to our hotel and enjoy the evening and dinner at our leisure. Overnight at St. Brides Spa Hotel.

DETAILED TOUR ITINERARY

Tenby Harbour Pembrokeshire

Tenby Harbor © Crown copyright 2017 (Visit Wales)

FRIDAY | MAY 18 | CALDEY ISLAND (B)

Our adventurous day begins with a visit to the picturesque seaside town of Tenby. You’ll have a couple of hours to walk along its cobbled streets exploring the quaint shops, cafes, and pubs, or perhaps take a stroll along the harbor and beach. Next, we’ll take a boat ride to Caldey Island, one of England’s holy islands. Caldey Abbey dates back to the 12th century, and modern-day Cistercian monks continue their vocation of prayer, study and work. You may stroll around the island — be sure to visit the perfume shop and the chocolate factory before returning to the mainland. That evening you’re free to enjoy dinner and other pursuits at your leisure. Overnight at St. Brides Spa Hotel.

DETAILED TOUR ITINERARY

castle coch wales

Castle Coch © Crown copyright 2017 (Visit Wales)

SATURDAY | MAY 19 | COCH CASTLE (B, D)

Sadly, this is our last day in William Marshal lands. After breakfast we’ll visit the ruins of Kidwelly Castle and take photos for our scrapbooks. Take a walk around the grounds, admire its beauty and walk past the gatehouse to view the memorial to Princess Gwenllian, daughter of Gruffydd, who perished in battle at Kidwelly during the Great Revolt of 1136. Next we’ll stop at Castle Coch, a fairy-tale castle based on the fertile imagination of the Marquess of Bute. Afterwards, we’ll return to Cardiff and check into the Hilton Cardiff, where you can relax and refresh before dinner. Join us for fun and feasting at a medieval banquet served in the spirit of the Middle Ages at Cardiff Castle. Overnight at the Hilton Cardiff in Cardiff City Centre.

DETAILED TOUR ITINERARY

Millennium Centre Cardiff Wales

Millennium Centre © Crown copyright 2017 (Visit Wales)

SUNDAY | MAY 20 | CARDIFF (B)

All too soon, our time together has come to an end. Depending on your flight, you may have time for some last-minute shopping before heading to the airport. Otherwise, we’ll say our fond farewells and you’ll transfer to Cardiff Airport in plenty of time to catch your flight. Bon voyage!

DAY

ACCOMMODATIONS

William Marshal Tours enjoys special partnerships with locally managed and centrally located four-star hotels. These small, luxury establishments are known for their beautifully designed rooms, incredibly comfortable beds, and luxe details everywhere you turn. Everything they do is with your overall comfort in mind. After a busy day of touring, there’s nothing more soothing than taking a hot bath or relaxing shower in a private marble bathroom, or sinking into a plush, linen-draped bed. We invite you to enjoy the hustle & bustle of Cardiff, steep yourself in the cultural heritage of Chepstow, and soak up the coastal views in Pembrokeshire, knowing all the while that your private sanctuary awaits at the end of the day.

The Hilton Cardiff
CARDIFF, WALES

The Marriott St. Pierre
CHEPSTOW, WALES

St. Bride Spa Hotel
SAUNDERSFOOT, WALES

TOUR BIOGRAPHIES

Elizabeth Chadwick

© Elizabeth Chadwick

ELIZABETH CHADWICK, AUTHOR

Elizabeth Chadwick is an award-winning author of historical fiction. Her novel about William Marshal, The Greatest Knight, is a New York Times Bestseller. Its sequel, The Scarlet Lion, was nominated by Richard Lee, founder of the Historical Novel Society as one of his top 10 novels of the decade. She has been studying the Marshal family both for her work as a writer, and out of personal interest for more than a decade and occasionally lectures on the subject at conferences and historical venues. She is a member of the Royal Historical Society.

Elizabeth will join us during the William Marshal Tournament weekend in Chepstow as our VIP guest. She is happy to interact with guests, talk about William Marshal, and answer any questions we may have. We’re very lucky to have someone with her breadth of knowledge and insights on tour with us!

TOUR BIOGRAPHIES

Kevin Hicks

© Kevin Hicks

KEVIN HICKS, ACTOR & FILMMAKER

Kevin Hicks has an amazing talent for inspiring people with his uncanny knack of making history fun, fascinating and relevant.

For more than 10 years Kevin was the resident bowman at Warwick Castle then went on to write and perform “The Road to Bosworth” and “Agincourt” at the University of Colorado in Denver as well as Australia and Germany. TV Appearances include Battle Castle for Discovery Channel; Instruments of Death for Sky Atlantic; A Bloody Crown on DVD and Blood & Guts for the BBC.

More recently Kevin has been inspiring school children with engaging workshops and presentations and he has created the popular 60 second histories film series, available online at Squaducation.

TOUR BIOGRAPHIES

Les Shepperd

© Les Shepperd

LES SHEPPERD, HISTORIAN

I am a previously long term serving Police Officer, working in the field of firearms, then Psychotherapist and Counsellor. I have a passion for history and in particular, bringing characters back to ‘life’ through re-enactment and talks. I have two Master’s degrees and am now a Military Historian, currently starting my second year of a PhD.

My connection with Tintern Abbey is due to a love of the place, and the people who created it, hence the recreation of ‘Brother Thomas’ in an attempt to tell the human story. I play the role of a monk in costume, Brother Thomas, who is the Cellarer — one who looks after the food and drink (!), and so the tour is more about the day of the monk related to the various parts of the Abbey than about bricks and mortar; there is a brief and informal history ‘lesson’ at the start for purposes of context.

TOUR PARTNERS