This 12-day tour begins with a full week exploring southern and western Wales. We'll see the beautiful Welsh countryside with its stunning landscape, hear timeless Welch legends, discover the creative side of Wales with its literature, poetry, and performing arts, and learn about the industrial heritage of the Valleys. Following our tour of Wales, we transfer to Bristol to attend the 9th Annual CrimeFest International Crime Fiction Convention, one of the best annual gatherings of international crime writers and fans of crime fiction anywhere! Authors for both the Wales tour and CrimeFest will be announces as they are confirmed.
Participants will be met at Heathrow Airport on the morning of Wednesday, May 11, and transferred to Wales for the start of a delightful week.
The tentative itinerary includes:
Cardiff. Here we experience highlights of the capital; the hub of Welsh culture, sports, and entertainment. Crime writers whose novels are set in Cardiff include Harry Bingham, whose series features Detective Constable Fiona Griffiths of the South Wales Police; Bill James, "a crime writer's crime writer", whose most recent series featuring David Craig is set around the Cardiff Docks; and John Williams, whose Cardiff Trilogy exposes Cardiff's dark side.
The South Wales Valleys. Britain's only mountainous coal mining area, the Valleys, has a strong industrial heritage set against the backdrop of the natural beauty of the area. Writer Roger Grandelli has several crime novels whose settings is the Valleys, and K.A.Watkins, who writes crime novels as K.A. John, has a historic series set in the Welsh Valleys in the period 1930-1950. Richard Llewellyn's 1939 novel How Green was My Valley tells the story of a family living and working in the gritty coal mining area of the Valleys.
South Wales and Gower Peninsula. Swansea in South Wales is a great literary center, and the Gower peninsula is an area of outstanding natural beauty used many times as setting and inspiration. Robert Lewis's noir crime novels take place in Swansea and Bristol, Dylan Thomas was born in Swansea, and it houses the Dylan Thomas Centre, Tŷ Llên (the house of literature). Thomas loved the Gower Peninsula and had a fondness of the Mumbles, a stunning village dear to the heart of the Welsh.
West Wales. Here we find more beautiful landscape in an area steeped in Welsh legends, including the Arthurian legend (See Geoffrey of Monmouth’s Historia Regum Britanniea, 1136, which contains the earliest known story of King Lear and introduced Welsh speakers to the legend of King Arthur). There are many literary and historical associations in this area, from pre-history onward. Crime writer Sally Spedding lives in Ammanford and sets Cold Remains in Carmarthenshire, where we find Merlin’s Hill. Mary Stewart’s Crystal Cave and Hollow Hill are set there as well. Dylan Thomas lived and wrote some of his major pieces in The Boathouse in Laugharne. Narbeth is prominent in Welsh mythology and is a key setting in the Mabigonion, the earliest known piece of prose literature in Britain.
Ø 12 nights’
Ø Blue Badge guide
Ø All breakfasts,
5 lunches, 7 dinners, morning coffees and afternoon teas (TBD)
Ø Transport from
and to Heathrow Airport, all entrance fees and transfers to sites
Ø Attendance at
CrimeFest in Bristol, including the Gala dinner
Ø Tips to hotels and restaurants, including porterage
for one bag each at hotels
Estimated cost: $3,899 based on double occupancy
Single supplement estimate: $740
Program Leader: Kathy Ackley, Professor Emerita of English, University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point
REGISTRATION, DEPOSITS AND PAYMENTS: Formal registration should be accompanied by an initial non-refundable deposit of $300. Early registration is strongly advised as the group size is limited. A payment schedule will be sent for the balance of the payment. Up to 120 days before departure, fees except the initial deposit will be refunded on withdrawal. After that, lodging and other cancellation charges will also be assessed. Price may fluctuate slightly due to currency exchange rates. Trip insurance is highly recommended.
Old World Treasures and New World Wonders:
UW-Stevens Point Continuing Education can coordinate custom international tours for your group;email Kim O'Flaherty for more information or call 715-346-2426.