Travelling to Wales 

Wales is well connected by air and sea. It’s easy to get here from overseas, either direct or via one of the UK’s major hubs. You can fly to Cardiff from several European cities or cross to North or West Wales by ferry from Ireland. And we’re not far from the main London airports either.

By air

Cardiff Airport is situated on the outskirts of the capital and has over 50 direct routes and more than 900 connecting destinations worldwide through hubs including Amsterdam Schiphol, Dublin, Barcelona and Doha via Qatar Airways. There are direct, scheduled flights to Cardiff Airport, from Dusseldorf, Munich, Milan, Verona, Paris, Dublin, Glasgow, Edinburgh, Faro and Jersey with Flybe, from Dublin with Aer Lingus, from Amsterdam with KLM, from Barcelona, Malaga, Alicante and Palma Majorca with Vueling Airlines and from Madrid with the Iberia Express

Alternatively, you could fly to London or one of the UK's regional international airports, continuing your journey by road or rail. London Heathrow Airport and London Gatwick Airport are less than three hours from Wales by car, coach or train. Liverpool John Lennon Airport, Manchester Airport and Birmingham Airport are all very handy for North and Mid Wales. Bristol Airport is around an hour and a half from Cardiff by bus and train or by car.

If you have arrived at Heathrow or Gatwick airport, you can travel to Wales via rail on the London services mentioned below.

There are direct flights to Cardiff Airport from Aberdeen, Birmingham, Newcastle, Belfast, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Norwich and Jersey. In summer, you can fly to Anglesey Airport from Belfast and the Isle of Man.

UK airports that offer easy access to Wales are:

Birmingham International Airport

Bristol Airport

Liverpool John Lennon Airport

London Gatwick Airport

London Heathrow Airport

London Luton Airport

London Stanstead Airport

Manchester Airport

By rail 

The Eurostar links Amsterdam, Paris, Lille and Brussels with London St Pancras. From London St Pancras you can travel to the south of the country via the London Paddington services. For North and Mid Wales depart from London Euston.

In the UK, fast and frequent rail services run between London Paddington, Reading, Bath and Bristol to Newport and Cardiff, taking just over two hours. There is a half-hourly departure to Cardiff Central, with an hourly continuation to Swansea and onward connections to West Wales including Carmarthenshire and Pembrokeshire.

There are also direct trains from London Euston and Manchester to Llandudno, Bangor and Holyhead; from Birmingham, Shrewsbury and Crewe to the North Wales coast and the Llŷn Peninsula; from Manchester and Shrewsbury to Newport; and from Portsmouth, Southampton and Salisbury to Cardiff. 

From London Heathrow Airport, there’s a fast, direct rail service to Paddington, where you can change onto a direct train to Wales. From London Gatwick Airport, you can travel direct to London Victoria, then take the tube to Paddington or Euston to continue your journey. For general rail enquiries visit:

National Rail Enquiries


You may also find it useful to read the 'Travel around Wales' section. 

By ferry 

There are several ferry crossings from Ireland to Wales each day, taking less time than you might expect.
Ferry crossings from Ireland to Wales:

Irish Ferries

Dublin Port to Holyhead

Journey time: 1hr 49mins (Fast ferry)

Journey time: 3hrs 15mins (Cruise ferry)

Rosslare to Pembroke

Journey time: 4hrs (Cruise ferry)   

Stena Line

Dublin Port to Holyhead

Journey time: 3hrs 15mins (Superferry)

Rosslare to Fishguard

Journey time: 3hrs 30mins (Superferry)

Ferry crossings from mainland Europe to Great Britain:

Brittany Ferries

Condor Ferries

DFDS Seaways

LD Lines


Stena Line

By cruise ship

Cruise ships dock at the Port of Holyhead on Anglesey almost every week between May and September. Cruise lines calling in include Crystal, Hapag Lloyd, Oceania, P&O, Silversea, Swan Hellenic, Thomson, Tui, Voyages of Discovery and Windstar.

Find out more at Cruise Wales.

By Road

You can travel to Wales quickly and easily by road from anywhere in the UK. We’re within three hours drive of London. From the major UK cities Birmingham, Manchester or Liverpool, each with international airport links, you can be here in just a couple of hours. 

By coach

The National Express coach network links major towns and cities in the UK. Direct routes to Wales include:

London Victoria Coach Station > Cardiff, Swansea, Pembrokeshire

London Victoria Coach Station, Birmingham > Wrexham, Llangollen, Newtown, Aberystwyth

London Gatwick Airport, London Heathrow Airport, Bristol > Cardiff, Swansea

Hull, Nottingham, Leicester, Birmingham > Cardiff, Swansea, Pembrokeshire

Newcastle-upon-Tyne, York, Leeds, Manchester, Liverpool, Chester > North Wales

Megabus provides low cost intercity travel in the UK, with a coach service running from London and Bristol to Newport, Cardiff, Swansea, Carmarthen and Pembroke Dock.

By car

Driving to Wales gives you maximum flexibility. The fastest routes are via the M4, M5, M6 and M56. As of 1 January 2013, the toll for crossing from England to Wales via the M4 and M48 Severn Bridges is £6.50 per car. There’s no toll for eastbound traffic.

Mileage and journey times by car

Birmingham > Aberystwyth         122            2hrs 41mins

Canterbury > Cardiff                     220            3hrs 52mins

Coventry > Barmouth                   137            3hrs 00mins

Exeter > Swansea                          150            2hrs 35mins

Leeds > Llandudno                        126            2hrs 21mins

London > Cardiff                           150            3hrs 00mins

London > Tenby                            238            4hrs 32mins

Manchester > Caernarfon               104            2hrs 04mins

Nottingham > Swansea                 196            3hrs 37mins

Peterborough > Aberystwyth      207            4hrs 11mins

Newcastle > Llandudno                227            4hrs 08mins

Reading > Carmarthen                  172            3hrs 02mins

York to Welshpool                         152            3hrs 06mins

(Mileage and times supplied by

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