Nature and Castles: From the Vicinity of London to Brecon Beacons – Road.Travel

Nature and Castles: From the Vicinity of London to Brecon Beacons

Road Trip Route. Visiting old castles, Strolling along the beach, Going up the mountain, Walking in the national park .

This scenario has been specially created for those who want to learn more about stunning English landscapes full of romance and to plunge into a centuries-long history, some moments of which remain a mystery even today. You will see the most beautiful castles with your eyes and will convince of uniqueness of each fortress. The trip to one of the most mystical places, which intended use is not certain in these days, awaits you. You definitely will be greatly impressed with the journey as it is impossible to stay indifferent to the views opening from the top of Sugar Loaf mountain and to the walks along the tracks under the powerful chestnuts. You will touch the sea world which captivates with its impetuousness by visiting a ship-museum and will experience the spirit of Roman Empire by watching the Roman baths.

Uninhabited Nature, History and Culture. From: London

Gvenet Bloom. Traveller.

Travel Itinerary and Road Trip Route

Day 1: Castles and Abbeys

The journey begins. The acquaintance with medieval castles and the walk in the ‘round dance of stones’ – the oldest of megalithic structures are waiting for you today. You will spend time in the open air in the park where more than 2.500 kinds of trees grow. Moreover, you will have dinner in the unique cafe.


Highclere Castle

We continue our journey to the places of historical heritage. Highclere, a castle built in the XVII century on the foundation of an older palace, the first information about which dates back to 749, draws attention even from far away. The fortress repeatedly served the cause of humanity. During the First World War a hospital for injured soldiers was organized here and during the Second World War the evacuee found home in the castle. You will learn about the earls of Carnarvon, whose family is closely related to this colossal architectural creation, during your visit. Don’t forget to walk on the adjoining territories.


The restaurant meets all the expectations connected to Italian cuisine: the best condiments, herbs and oils specially delivered from Italy. The menu includes a wide range of pizzas: with flavorous sweet basil, on the tomato base with crumbled goat cheese, with salami and ham, vegetarian and others. You can also enjoy a homemade pasta and after drink a cup of coffee or a glass of wine.


Following the itinerary, it is impossible to pass over Avebury, the Planet heritage which looks impressive in any season and in any weather. This megalithic construction remains a mystery even in this day and age. There is a saying that this place is for worshipping pagan deities. Some people think that it is an ancient observatory and others prefer to believe in the theory of aliens and that it is a landing field for the inhabitants of Andromeda nebulosity. Further information as well as stories and legends connected to this unbelievable place you will be able to find out in a small Barn Gallery museum which is located in the Avebury village.

Malmesbury Abbey

The beauty of XII century and the Church of XXI century – that is how Malmesbury Abbey in Wiltshire is described. Such treasures as the Bible of XV century and Henry the VII's cross are kept in the walls of this cultural heritage. Moreover, the king Athelstan’s tomb is situated here. Plunge into history going into the decorated in Norman style South entrance, which has become the symbol of Christian salvation.

Westonbirt, The National Arboretum

After travelling through the historical landmarks let's head to have a rest outdoors, under the tree crowns. Westonbirt Arboretum is an ambience for more than 2.500 kinds of trees from all over the world. It is a great place for escaping from the worldly vanity. There were hunting lands in the Victorian times here and now the territory is a modernized space with breathtaking views.

Mud Dock Cafe

The unique interior of cafe is the result of owner's sustainable efforts in combining incompatible things: bikes and food. Before the cafe was set up, the owners for a long time had cycled, watching different cafes and restaurants specialized in diverse cuisine to open and to close. The observation led to the creation of a good team and starting the business. The cafe is almost annually mentioned in the press in connection to different occasions. Besides, some historical events took place here. To illustrate, Paul McCartney held the presentation of the book at the venue. Further information can be found on the site of cafe.

Day 2: Knight's Nobility and Mountain Tops

The second day is the continuation of the first day, yet there are some interesting changes there. Firstly, you will dedicate time to deepening your knowledge on knights' places and religious abbeys. And later you will go up the mountains to see incredible views to the nearest crests.

Tintern Abbey

We start our day with going to Tintern Abbey, which was more than once mentioned in William Wordsworth’s poems. The half-ruined abbey makes even greater impression than its extant ‘brothers’. Imagination immediately draws all the missing details and transports you to the XII century. Until the dissolution of monasteries during Henry VIII’s reign, the abbey had been in possession of the Order of Cistercians, whom Walter de Clare, the founder of the abbey, belonged to.

Chepstow Castle

It is time to head for new discoveries: there is Chepstow Medieval castle, the tenement of knights’ valour, not far from Tintern Abbey. Chepstow is fully built from stone, which has already been silently witnessing a swift-flowing time for 600 years. During the period of its existence the fortress changed many noble owners: earl William FitzOsbern was the first possessor while earl Charles Somerset was the last one. Each owner brought something new to the appearance of the castle.

The Hardwick

The restaurant has a perfect reputation. The established customers say that the chef surprises them with new dishes along with unusual combinations of diverse ingredients in quite familiar plats all the time. For those who don’t want to have a heavy supper or want to order something additional to the main course, there is a menu of ‘small plates’. Moreover, there is a convenient lunch separation in the restaurant.

Sugar Loaf Mountain

The mountain Sugar Loaf is the most Southern top of the Black Mountains, its height is 1. 955 feet. The mountain was named so because of its similarity to sugar cone. A splendid view to the neighbourhood peaks opens from here. For the visitors’ convenience special paths were made. It makes the process of going up easier.

Brecon Beacons National Park

Less than in an hour of driving from the mountain Sugar Loaf an enormous national park is located, here you can take pleasure in nature by choosing one of comfortable routes. You definitely will experience the sense of freedom and pleasant excitement strolling along picturesque paths. One landscape changes another; every has its own inimitable features and leaves an indelible impression. The most popular destination is waterfalls, situated in the Southern part of the park. You can deepen your knowledge about the park by choosing one of audio trail. To find audio files, visit the site.

Miller & Carter

Each step of cooking a steak must be perfect by itself – such approach provided the restaurant with winning one of the most prestigious awards ‘Steak Master’. Here you can find meat suited to any taste: highly fried, medium, raw, gluten-free and even specially plated for dates. Make your choice!

Day 3: Earls’ Luxuriance

Today let's enjoy a wonderful heritage left for us by earls. This legacy has recently become open to general use. Stroll in the parks where king’s architects revealed their talents at its finest awaits you. Also, you will spend time on the beach and after being recharged by nature you will visit one more castle and get many positive emotions.

Dyffryn House and Gardens

Start with the Dyffryn Gardens that are included in the National Trust.

Llantwit Major Beach

Get satisfaction from walking along the beach, carefully watch the stones of bizarre form, spread your lungs and breathe freely. Go up to the surrounding hills and glance over the water surface.

The Bush Inn Cowbridge

A real Victorian atmosphere: comfortable armchairs and a fireplace. You may associate this place with Sherlock Holmes and doctor Watson as it were cosy armchairs in front of the fireplace where they liked to discuss currents events, according to Arthur Conan Doyle's novels. The interior bodes for relaxation and concentration on getting satisfaction from eating. The menu offers a good choice of dishes and drinks. Customers especially mark delicious beer.

Cathays Park

We continue to relish the places where a human and nature coalesce. The park is like a mini-town, where the buildings of Edwardian times and the constructions of early XXI century stand side by side. Initially, the territories of garden formed a part of Cardiff Castles lands, later Marquess of Bute became possessors of this place. Mostly it was John Patrick Crichton-Stuart, 3rd Marquess of Bute due to whom the garden acquired the current appearance. After long-term persuasions in 1898 the Cardiff Council bought these lands from the Marquess to open this wonderful place for public entrance. However, the Marquees left the certain instructions on the park future development.

Caldicot Castle

One more castle with an amazing history which began in 1100 when the Norman Earls of Hereford laid the first stone. This citadel witnessed three main periods: the construction under the control of mentioned above earls, the development under the king Edward III’s son, Thomas of Woodstock’s notice and the acquirement of new duty in the Victorian period. Of course, there were ups and downs in the history of fortress. The castle turned into the ruins and served as an ordinary farming acreage for some time but Joseph Richard Cobb bought the citadel in 1885. The Cobb family owned the castle till 1984, then these lands were acquired by the Chepstow Town Council. In 1965 a museum was opened in the castle.

Lona Restaurant - Grill House & Juice Bar

The restaurant of Middle East cuisine is a great opportunity to experience all the diversity of tastes in one dish. Don't look at the fact that the plating is not so ingenious as in the restaurants of European cuisine. When it comes to the East, the most important is to have more of all and all at the same time. A fantastically high-fried meat and a freshly-cooked flatbread are a real dainty.

Day 4: Roman Spirit

The final day promises to be really diverse and totally captivating. Firstly, we will head to an unusual park, where architectural constructions perfectly compliment natural landscape. Later, you will make one more leap to the past, to the times of Roman Empire. Then you will come back but not in our days but in the epoch of wind-driven ships. The highlight of the evening will be an unusual supper in the Korean restaurant.

Prior Park Landscape Garden

Let's get back to breathtaking natural views and spend time outdoors. If you are attentive enough during the walk in this park, you will reveal the secrets of Gregorian architecture and will get positive emotions from watching landscapes half touched by human's hand but still keeping their disobedient wildness.

The Roman Baths

Ancient Rome – what associations come to your mind when you hear this phrase? Luxuriance? Order? Roads? Wine? Caesar? Every person has their answer. Visiting the Roman Baths will help you to understand better what would you feel if you find yourself in Rome. This is one of few active pieces of architecture that survived to our days. Don’t forget to take water from curative reservoir or at least to take a few drops of water at the place.

Côte Brasserie

Getting back to more costumed European food. A cosy restaurant of French cuisine which reveals all the magnificence of national dishes. Ask a waiter for advice when choosing drinks which will perfectly match to the ordered plat. The guest of the restaurant say that it was staff’s pointing that appeared to be the best variant which complemented the food.

HMS Victory

In the oldest dock of Portsmouth there is a saucy ship on the board of which prominent admirals and supreme commanders of Royal Navy served. This ship took part in the Battle of Trafalgar and the admiral Nelson was mortally wounded here. Ordinary sailors lived an uncountable number of stories aboard. Today stepping on the deck of this museum gives you a wonderful opportunity to find out more about lives of people who connected themselves with sea. The doorways of a ship are low, so take care of your heads and let Poseidon bring us victory!


Experience entirely new edges of natural beauty. Take a walk to the Temple of Winds along the path which was beloved by Alfred Tennyson. Get acquainted with the shrub grown waste grounds and fenlands which have their own inimitable charm. One of the most fabulous views and the place for rest carved in stone awaits you at the end of the way. If you don’t like the first scenario, you can choose the second one: stroll to the vast-spread meadow along the road under the chestnut and beech tree canopies.


In the last evening of our road trip let’s try something absolutely unordinary. The restaurant of Korean cuisine is named after one of the most best-known dishes in Korea. Another title of this plat is the Korean barbecue. The process of Bulgogi preparation happens right in front of your eyes as all the tables are equipped with a special heater thanks to which a thinly sliced meat is fried. You can order another Korean dainty from the long list in the menu but don’t forget that the main appetizer in Korea is Kimchi. You should definitely taste it.