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Brilliant Tours are experts at creating tailor-made travel itineraries with a real wow factor.

I'm a Celebrity Get me Out of Here - Gwrych Castle

This year ITV have chosen Gwrych Castle in North Wales as the jungle venue for the show 'I'm a Celebrity Get Me Out of Here' hosted by Ant & Dec who will announce the contestants on Sunday 8th November with the main programme due to start on 15th November 2020.

The production crew are set to "rough it" in a holiday park called "Golden Sands" which last year was evacuated on a windy winters day with exceptionally high tides, lets hope they dont experience too much "Golden Rain!"

It's more likely that Ant & Dec might find rather more luxury at Bodysgallen Hotel, a 5 star National Trust property in nearby Llandudno (which is our usual hotel for our luxury clients on our multi-day UK tours)

Only 1 hours' drive from Liverpool we took some clients on a private guided tour of North Wales as we visited LLandullas and Abergele to find out what might be in store for the contestants!

Gwrych Castle

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    But let's start by asking, How do you pronounce Gwrych Castle

    The welsh alphabet technically has 29 letters. Although in practice it is 20 letters as there is no J, K, Q, V, X or Z as some sounds, for example, the "Kicking K" are formed by an Ll. You will see this Ll spelling in lots of welsh names, Llangollen, Llandudno, Llanrwst.
    The Ch sound is best explained if you put it at the end of a mountain ridge for example Crib Goch on Mount Snowdon and that sounds like Crib Gock.
    The W in Gwrych is silent so its pronounced Gree-ick

    Why has ITV chosen Gwrych Castle?

    This year has been challenging for everyone with the Covid-19 outbreak, so clearly it's not possible for the contestants, crew or Ant & Dec to travel to Australia and the ruins of Gwrych Castle and their remote location will be a fresh outlook on this popular TV show.

    The Castle which is a "Folly" and not one of the Edwardian Castles like Caernarfon or nearby Conwy castles was constructed in 1810, so it is late Georgian into Regency Period.

    There are parts of the Castle which exist from 1485, very late medieval remains which might be best explained as an outlook post across the Irish Sea and guarding the entrance to the Menai Strait.

    The area has always been rich in minerals and although it is remote the Lloyd-Hesketh family occupied this thin coastal strip in Llandullas, and it was that family who had settled in Llandullas since the 16th century built the Castle and associated buildings and walled gardens.

    Winfred Cochrane took over the estate until 1924 when on her death she left the Castle to King George V (leaving large country houses and castles usually means leaving the death duty and inheritance tax too!). Still, the gift was not accepted, and by 1997 the Castle was closed and was rapidly becoming a ruin.

    It was opened to the public, and there were guided tours around the Castle and the estate and private guided tours with a brilliant tour guide.

    This is not the first time that Gwrych Castle has been used for TV and film production. In 1996 it was used in the film Prince Valiant, starring Edward Fox, Joanna Lumley and Katherine Heigl.

    In 2018 there was an episode of the BBC programme Great British Railway Journeys with Michael Portillo which contains a superb interview with Mark Baker and a look around the Castle and the grounds as well as content from nearby Liverpool.


    Mark Baker, who is a renowned welsh historian and professor championed the cause establishing a Gwrych Castle Trust, and after being purchased by an American for around £850,000 in 2006 it was repurchased by Conwy Council.

    It was then sold in 2007 to Clayton Hotels who planned a luxury hotel development and now perhaps the use of the location on the ITV show will kick-start the regeneration of the site which would be great news for the area. 

    In the meantime, we are sure there is no such 5-star luxury insight of the contestants, nor for their families who also usually enjoy warm luxury holidays in Australia as part of the programme!

    Rhyl beach

    Let's hope the families all enjoy a late summer vacation perhaps at Rhyl after the show with its wonderful beaches. In the 60's & 70's Rhyl and nearby Prestatyn were very popular for days out and holidays from Liverpool and Manchester, so let's hope the publicity from the show will raise the profile of this beautiful coastal area and bring some much-needed investment and help North Wales build on the recent Staycation boom.

    Traditional Welsh food includes Bara Brith a "fruit and currant cake" or Welsh Drop Scones and we can just begin to imagine the "Tasty" alternatives to the currents or sultanas on some of the "Bushtucker Trials"

    So this year who will be the contestants and who will be crowned King or Queen of the Jungle or will it be "King or Queen of the Castle"

    It might be a case of I'm a Celebrity Get me Out of Here, however, Brilliant Tours are offering private guided days out to North Wales for up to 6 guests including the opportunity to drive past the Gwrych Castle Estate and to learn more about the programme and its production.

    Private guided days out to North Wales

    Brilliant Tours at Gwrych Castle

    Once the show is finished with the sun setting over the Irish Sea then Brilliant Tours will be able to arrange guided tours of the Castle and grounds and for guests to learn more about this incredible location and we really hope that it will then be a case of "I'm not a celebrity but get me in to here!"

    Sunset over Irish Sea from North Wales

    • Luxury, private guided tours of the UK
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    • Luxury, private guided tours of the UK

      All of our luxury vehicles are driven by licensed driver guides and include complimentary water, maps, guidebooks, iPad’s and WiFi

      Our tours are usually bespoke and are designed to deliver exceptional single and multi-day experiences.

    • Multilingual, qualified tour guides

      Our Tour Guides are local, some hold the Blue Badge Tourist Guide qualification which is the UK’s top guiding qualification requiring 2 years training and those guides are members of the Guild of British Tourist Guides. All our guides are fun and the tours are designed to be light-hearted and informative.

      We also have qualified Tourist Guides & Tour Managers in German, French, Spanish, Italian & English All of our staff are professionals in their own right, former Police Chief Inspectors, Translators, Company Directors & Senior Managers.

    • Genealogy & Ancestry tours

      Ancestry tours are great fun and we work with a professional Genealogist in the USA with over 40 years of tracing Ancestry using DNA & extremely sound research.

      We can then establish where our clients descendants lived and include those areas as a small part or as a dedicated day within their holiday.

      The Merseyside Maritime Museum is also useful to trace millions of people who have migrated into the UK and left the UK seeking opportunities in the New World.

    • School and Educational Tours

      We offer a range of curriculum-based days out in the north of England for schools, colleges and Universities including summer courses for students learning English.

      These are often themes like Victorian Life, or the Industrial age and we have delivered many Geography based “People, Places and changing spaces tours” looking at regeneration, inequality & rebranding.

      We create fun days out for schools using enough guides to make the tours safe, personal, include food with a choice of menus and drinks.

    • Shore Excursions – Liverpool & Holyhead

      Brilliant Tours offer a range of unique, shared and private Shore Excursions of Liverpool, North Wales & Chester from the Ports of Liverpool & Holyhead.

      Our shore excursions are far more personal & we visit many places that you will not see on the ships own tours. Our tours have been designed to avoid queues or attractions that are not fully accessible and we never guide in large groups to ensure a very personal experience. Tours finish at the cruise terminal at least one hour before “all aboard”..

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    The unique feature of the UK, is it’s comparatively small size with extremely diverse countryside, mountains & coastline which can easily be linked on a multi-day tour.

    Brilliant Tours are experts at creating a tailor-made itinerary with a real wow factor. Using our many years of experience we will listen to your interests and understand what you most want from your trip and then our qualified tour guides & tour managers will bring your holiday to life.

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