Wales is located on the west coast of Britain and is separated from England by a land border. It’s well connected to the rest of the UK, Ireland and Europe by air, road, ferry and public transport.

By air

You can fly direct to Cardiff Airport from many cities in Europe and beyond. But depending on where you're travelling from, you may have more options if you fly into London, Manchester or other major UK cities, and then transfer to Wales via train or coach.

By train

Train travel in Wales is convenient and affordable. Plus, it has a lower carbon cost. Below are some of the most popular train routes to Wales:

  • London Paddington to Cardiff: stopping at Reading, Bath, Bristol, Newport and Cardiff From Cardiff, you can transfer to Swansea, Carmarthenshire and Pembrokeshire.
  • London Euston/Manchester to Holyhead: stopping at Llandudno, Bangor and Holyhead
  • Birmingham/Shrewsbury/Crewe to Llŷn Peninsula in Gwynedd: stopping at Dovey Junction and Aberystwyth.

Visit the National Rail’s website for more information on routes, times and fares.

If you’re coming from Europe, you can take the Eurostar via the Channel Tunnel line which connects Kent, England with Cocquelles, France. From Kent, jump on the train from London Euston or Paddington stations.

By coach

Similar to train travel, the coach is comfortable, affordable and better for the environment. Coach companies like the National Express and Megabus operate services between major cities in Wales and the rest of the UK. Popular routes with National Express include:

  • London Victoria Coach Station > Cardiff, Swansea, Pembrokeshire 
  • London Victoria Coach Station, Birmingham > Newton Aberystwyth 
  • London Gatwick Airport, London Heathrow Airport, Bristol > Cardiff Swansea
  • Hull, Nottingham, Leicester, Birmingham > Cardiff, Swansea, Pembrokeshire 

Self-driving

If you’re driving from England or Scotland, crossing the Welsh border is straightforward. There are two main roads to Wales: the M4 motorway in the south and the A55 expressway in the north.

If time is on your side, you could take a scenic route through picturesque valleys and towns, including the A4069 Black Mountain Pass (also known as the ‘Top Gear Road’), the Abergwesyn Pass, and the Snowden Lap.

Below are approximate driving times to Cardiff from major UK cities:

  • London: 3 hours 
  • Bristol: 1.5 hours 
  • Manchester: 4 hours 
  • Liverpool: 3.5 hours 
  • Birmingham: 5.5 hours 
  • Glasgow: 6.5 hours 

By ferry

If you’re coming from Ireland, you can take a ferry to Pembroke or Fishguard from Rosslare, or to Holyhead from Dublin. The main ferry companies are Irish Ferries and Stenaline.

There are also cross-channel ferry services to Weymouth, Portsmouth and Dover from a number of destinations in France. You can sail between France and England with Brittany Ferries, DFDS, P&O Ferries, Condor Ferries and Irish Ferries.

Joining a Wales tour

If you'd rather hand over the logistical reins so you can sit back and enjoy everything Wales has to offer, why not join one of our Wales tours.

Return to Wales FAQs

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