Bristol (Bath), England, United Kingdom
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Approximately 5 Hours
The coast of South Wales has been settled for many centuries -- the Romans established a major base here and the Normans built many castles.
Depart the port and travel across road bridge spanning the River Severn. Crossing the river, which has one of the largest tidal ranges in the world, you will enter South Wales immediately to the west of the English border.
Chepstow, in the Wye Valley, sits on the banks of the Wye River. Its twisting medieval streets lie within the 13th-century walls and your guide will take you on a short visit to the ruins of the Chepstow Castle which stands on a limestone cliff at the water's edge. The mighty fortress of Chepstow has guarded the route from England into South Wales for more than nine centuries. Its origins date from the Norman Conquest and subsequent additions have extended the fortress. Few castles in all of Britain illustrate the history and development of fortification better than Chepstow. As you view this well-preserved stronghold, you will see the great gatehouse, baileys and towers, as well as the more domestic side of Chepstow in its restored 13th-century hall and kitchen block.
Lunch is served at a local restaurant en route.
Continuing northwards, you will be enchanted by the steep and wooded Wye Valley and by the majestic ruins of Tintern Abbey. You'll visit this great church -- once Britain's wealthiest medieval monastery and today the best-preserved abbey in Wales. An outstanding example of elaborate gothic architecture, Tintern Abbey remains almost complete to roof level, from the magnificent west front to its great east window. Many surviving details testify to the skill of masons and stone-carvers, and recall how richly the interior was decorated. It undoubtedly ranks among Britain's most beautiful historic sites. From there you will retrace the outward route, cross the Severn Bridge before arriving back at Avonmouth.