Wales is tucked away on the west coast of Britain and 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.
Getting to Wales by air
Cardiff Airport has direct and transit flights to many destinations around the world. However, if you’re travelling from outside of the UK, you might be better off flying into London, Manchester or one of the major UK airports as there might be more routes and flights to choose from. Once you’ve landed in the UK, you can transfer to Wales via train or coach in just a few hours.
Getting to Wales by train
Train travel in Wales is convenient and affordable. Plus, you’re doing your bit for the environment. Below are some of the most popular direct train routes into Wales. Visit the National Rail’s website for more information on routes, times and fares.
- 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.
If you’re coming from Europe, you can take the Eurostar via the Channel Tunnel line that connects Kent in England with Cocquelles in France. From Kent, you can transfer to Wales via train from London Euston or Paddington stations.
Getting to Wales by coach
Similar to train travel, taking a coach is comfortable, affordable and better for the environment. Coach companies including the National Express and Megabus operate services between major cities in Wales and the rest of the UK. Popular direct routes to Wales 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
Getting to Wales by road
If you’re driving from England or Scotland, crossing the border into Wales is straightforward. The two main roads into Wales are the M4 motorway in the south and the A55 expressway in the north. If you’d rather take a more scenic route, there are several smaller roads that go through picturesque valleys and towns. The only downside is that they’ll take you longer. But hey, if you’re not short on time, why not. Some of the most popular scenic roads in Wales include 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 some of the UK’s main cities:
- London: 3 hours
- Bristol: 1.5 hours
- Manchester: 4 hours
- Liverpool: 3.5 hours
- Birmingham: 5.5 hours
- Glasgow: 6.5 hours
Getting to Wales by ferry
If you’re coming from Ireland, you can take a ferry from Rosslare to Pembroke, Rosslare to Fishguard, or Dublin to Holyhead. The main ferry companies are Irish Ferries and Stenaline. There are also cross-channel ferry services from a number of destinations in France to Weymouth, Portsmouth and Dover. You can sail between France and England with Brittany Ferries, DFDS, P&O Ferries, Condor Ferries and Irish Ferries.
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