Rabbie’s Tours: Heart of England and North Wales
Founded in Scotland, Rabbie’s Small Group Tours takes its name from the legendary Scottish poet Robert (or Rabbie) Burns. Accommodating no more than sixteen people, Rabbie’s guarantees its guests an enriching and memorable experience like no other. Venturing off the beaten track and journeying amidst serene landscapes, the staff are hugely passionate about showing how sensational Britain truly is.
Standing excitedly at London’s coach depot – along with the six other passengers – I was eager to get going. We piled aboard the mini-bus, all set to explore the historic heart of England and North Wales.
First stop… Shakespeare’s Country. Stratford-upon-Avon is a Mecca for lovers of the literary genius – including myself – where hundreds flock to his birthplace every year. Anne Hathaway’s charming sixteenth century thatched roof cottage is nearby, adorned with authentic furniture and a rich, romantic history.
Travelling through North Wales the next day, our tour guide, Pete, spoke of the valleys’ myths and legends, which kept us entertained until we reached our first destination – Conwy Castle. The 13th Century, dark-stoned fortress is truly magnificent, casting a medieval and authentic atmosphere over Conwy’s cobbled streets. The scent of freshly made Welsh cakes seemed all too enticing. Whilst indulging in the country’s delicacy, I sat by the glistening waterfront in awe of the spectacular views of the castle.
As we headed into Snowdonia National Park the sun shone brightly, reflecting over its astounding mountain range in the distance. Luck was with us! Pete stated that this was the first time he’d ever seen the peak of Mount Snowdon – it’s usually shrouded in mist.
Arriving into Chester for our second night’s stay, I got to experience the town in its full glory – the races had been on previously that day. Flocks of rather tipsy revellers filled the streets, enjoying the early evening sun against a backdrop of elegant black and white Victorian shops. As the sun began to set, the town’s bars and clubs came alive, with an assortment of music filling the air.
The next morning we ventured through the Peak District’s rolling hills, stopping by Buxton, a famous spa-town. Chatsworth House – one of Britain’s most cherished stately homes – was our final stop. Whilst I was unsuccessful in my search for Mr Darcy, roaming through Chatsworth House was breathtaking in itself.
The small size of the group (and the mini-bus) allows you to share your experiences with like-minded travellers and enjoy the intimate ambiance the tour supplies. All within the space of three days, they successfully managed to squeeze in some truly captivating attractions. After exploring the heart of England and North Wales with Rabbie’s Small Group Tours, I’ve grown a new-found fondness of Britain. I’ve already started eyeing up their brochure for my next trip!
For details of tours throughout Britain, visit: www.rabbies.com
By Rebecca Day