3 – 7 July 2021
Roman Wales, Castles and Snowdonia


Snowdonia is perhaps the most beautiful part of Wales. At the foot of Mount Snowdon, the Romans built a well-preserved fort at Segontium, just outside Caernarfon. Edward I conquered Wales and he built a string of magnificent castles, his ‘ring of steel’, all now UNESCO World Heritage sites.


We base ourselves in the pretty Victorian seaside town of Llandudno, with stunning views over the Great Orme headland. There is history is everywhere and we visit Conway and Caernarfon for Edward’s castles and pretty medieval towns, enjoy a tour of the Great Orme Bronze Age Copper Mines, as well as boat-trips, rides on the Great Orme Tramway and the Blaenau Ffestiniog narrow-gauge steam train.


Our trip is designed to take in the best of these sites and stunning scenery – Edwardian castles, pretty medieval towns, Roman forts, prehistoric mines, boat trips and steam trains, all within sight of Mount Snowdon in Snowdonia National Park. There is also time to relax and enjoy the sites and scenery in good company over good food.



Other Details



We stay in the pretty family-owned St Kilda’s Hotel, on the sea front and within sight of the Great Orme.

Bed and half board in twin-share room with private facilities.  Good Welsh breakfasts and three-course home-cooked dinners in hotel each evening.


Course Cost

£485   inclusive of tuition, accommodation, breakfast and dinner each evening – full Welsh breakfast of choice and good, home-cooked, three course dinners.


Single Room Supplement

£20 per night!


Sites visits

Edwardian castles are CADW, so free to holders of English Heritage Cards.  Segontium is a free site. There is a charge of about £10 for Great Orme Copper Mines.



Out:  Cathy is planning to travel on the 9.10 train out of London Euston, changing at Llandudno Junction and due in Llandudno about 12.45.

You can book yourself onto the same train (costs ca. £100 return – book early for cheaper fares, reductions for railcard holders), or meet her at directly at St Kilda’s Hotel in Llandudno (you may of course be travelling in your own car).


Back:  After a morning of sight-seeing, Cathy is planning to take the 14.08 train to London Euston, changing at Llandudno Junction and due in London Euston due at 17.37.


Local Transport

Local travel and sites entrances are at own expense – about £80.


 Group Size

Ca. 18 people



Cathy Mercer, MA, is an experienced teacher, lecturer and tour manager.  She has taught in London schools and for the Open University, Birkbeck College, LRAC, City Lit and the WEA.   She has led numerous study tours to Italy, Holland, France, Germany, Spain, Portugal, Tunisia, Turkey and in the UK.




Related OU Courses

General Interest/A340 Roman Empire, A229 Introduction to the Classical World, A276 Classical Latin and A329, Making of Welsh History


Itinerary / Study Programme


Day 1, Saturday, 3 July 2021

pm   arrival in Llandudno and short walk to hotel – home-baked scones and tea on arrival at hotel

pm  – trip on rack railway up the Great Orme for stunning views to Snowdonia and over the Irish Sea as far as Anglesey and even the Isle of Man – on a good day

Note:  Cathy is planning to travel on the 9.10 train out of London Euston, due in Llandudno about 12.45


Day 2, Sunday, 4 July 2021

am  mini-bus from hotel to medieval town of Conway (Conwy)

pm free time in Conway to explore the pretty town, medieval castle (CADW, UNESCO World Heritage Site) and walk the city walls. There is a stunning medieval merchant’s house (NT)  the middle of Conway, with great murals and a very entertaining audio guide. We’ll also enjoy a boat trip on the river – views over Snowdonia and Puffin Island – time of sailing depends on tides.

pm late afternoon return to Llandudno by mini-bus

Several cafes and pubs to choose from for supper


Day 3, Monday 5 July 2021

am  mini-bus from hotel to medieval town of Caernarfon for Roman fort of Segontium, then a short walk to the medieval town of Caernarfon and its magnificent castle (CADW, UNESCO World Heritage Site), where Prince Charles was invested in 1969. Time to explore castle and town and enjoy coastal walk for views over the Menai Straits to Anglesey

pm  late afternoon return to Llandudno by mini-bus, supper in hotel in Llandudno


Day 4, Tuesday 6 July 2021

am   mid-morning train up the pretty Conway Valley to the old slate town of Blaenau Ffestiniog, in the heart of Snowdonia. Here we change for the famous narrow-gauge Blaenau Ffestiniog steam train to pretty Victorian seaside town of Porthmadog – beautiful scenery and good views over Mount Snowdon, weather permitting, of course! Time to explore Porthmadog or visit Portmeirion – it has its own station .

pm   mid-afternoon steam train back to Blaenau, then Conway Valley train to Llandudno for supper in hotel


Day 5, Wednesday 7 July 2021

am   morning trip on Great Orme tramway for tour of  Bronze Age Copper Mines

pm  lunch and departure

Note:  Cathy is planning to take the 14.08 train to London Euston, due at 17.37


This itinerary and study programme is provisional and may be subject to change in response to local conditions