If you clients are travelling to Wales from outside of the UK they may need a UK visa.
Here you will find information on how to get to Wales by land, sea or air.
Getting to Wales is easy:-
- 2hr by train from London. Connectivity to the national rail network and major cities;
- 3hr by motorway from central London;
- 1hr by road from Liverpool, Manchester, Bristol and Birmingham;
- the Lake District is a 2hr drive from North Wales;
- Bath and the Cotswolds is a 1hr 10min drive from Cardiff;
- Cardiff Airport has direct flights across Europe and global links with KLM via Amsterdam Schiphol airport;
- Wales is also easily served by Bristol (BRS), Birmingham (BHX), Manchester (MAN) and Liverpool (LPL) airports;
- Direct ferry links from Irish ports.
Wales has good air links. Your clients can fly to Cardiff Airport, which has many direct routes flown by low-cost carriers and full service airlines, and is also connected to numerous destinations worldwide via the Amsterdam Schiphol hub.
Car hire is available at the airport and there is also a bus service, train and taxi option. Journey time by car to the centre of Cardiff is approximately 30min, depending on the time of day. Allow longer at peak times. For more information on getting to and from Cardiff airport, visit their website.
Your clients can fly to London, Manchester, Liverpool, Birmingham and Bristol airports and continue their journey by well-connected rail or road links to Wales.
- London Heathrow and London Gatwick airports are less than 3hr by road by car. There are also coach and train connections to Wales;
- North Wales is easily accessible from Liverpool and Manchester airports;
- Birmingham Airport is convenient for Mid Wales;
- Bristol Airport is easily accessible to South Wales.
Check route planners and timetables for specific journey times.
Wales has excellent daily ferry crossings from Ireland to Wales:
Dublin Port to Holyhead
Journey time: 1hr 49min (Fast ferry)
Journey time: 3hr 15min (Cruise ferry)
Rosslare to Pembroke
Journey time: 4hr (Cruise ferry)
Dublin Port to Holyhead
Journey time: 3hr 15min (Superferry)
Rosslare to Fishguard
Journey time: 3hr 30min (Superferry)
There are also ferry crossings from mainland Europe to the UK, with easy road and rail journeys to Wales:-
The Eurostar links Britain with many European cities such as Paris, Lille, Amsterdam and Brussels via London St Pancras International. London St Pancras International has connecting services via The London Underground to London Paddington and London Euston which offer direct trains to North and South Wales and Mid Wales via connecting travel. For Eurostar group travel information visit their website.
Wales has frequent direct train services from the all over UK. National Rail Enquiries is a source of information for all passenger rail services and fares in the UK.
Trainline provides rail information, timetables and sells tickets.
Traveline Cymru is a useful website for planning rail and bus journeys in Wales.
Some train companies offer additional benefits for groups:
Avanti West Coast offer discounted group train fairs and have staff available to help with any large group booking enquiries.
Avanti VIP is a bespoke package where you can hire a private carriage for a group.
Great Western Railway (GWR) and Transport for Wales both offer special rates for group travel. Transport for Wales also offer an Explore Wales Pass, enabling your clients to explore Wales by train and selected bus routes at a discounted rate, valid for four days within an eight day period. Unlimited travel for an entire day is also available with a Rover or Ranger ticket.
Great Western Railway run direct services from London Paddington to Newport, Cardiff and Swansea and Transport for Wales run onwards services along the South Wales coast calling at main stations to Pembrokeshire.
Avanti West Coast run services from London Euston to Holyhead in North Wales stopping along the North Wales coast, Bangor and Holyhead.
From other areas:
Transport for Wales operates the following services:
- from Manchester, Crewe and Chester along the North Wales Coast including key stations Llandudno, Bangor and Holyhead;
- from Birmingham International and Shrewsbury to Newtown, Machynlleth, Pwllheli and Aberystwyth;
- run services between Cardiff and Holyhead via Shrewsbury stations including Abergavenny, Chirk and Wrexham and stations along the North Wales coast.
There are also services along The Heart of Wales Line, a scenic rural route between Swansea and Shrewsbury.
Avanti West Coast run from Edinburgh, Glasgow, Birmingham, Manchester and Liverpool with connecting services to Holyhead.
Great Western Railway operate services that have connections to South Wales from destinations such as Bristol, Devon, Cornwall, Plymouth, Exeter, Bath and the Cotswolds.
More information is available for clients travelling within Wales by train on our Explore Wales by train fact sheet, which includes mainline services and steam trains.
The three main roads in to Wales are:
M56 – enters in to North Wales
M54 – enters in to Mid Wales
M4 – enters in to South Wales
The M4 is the main motorway between London and South Wales and the A55, a main dual carriageway route through North Wales. The A470 is the main road which goes through the middle of Wales connecting the south and north – a 186 mile or 250km scenic route between Cardiff and Llandudno. This is also the route for The Cambrian Way. For itinerary ideas for this route see our sample itineraries.
Car hire companies are available in many towns and cities.
The National Express coach service links major cities and towns in the UK. Direct routes to Wales include:
- London Victoria Coach Station > Newport, Cardiff, Swansea, Pembrokeshire;
- London Victoria Coach Station and Birmingham > Wrexham, Llangollen, Newtown, Aberystwyth;
- London Gatwick Airport, London Heathrow Airport and Bristol > Cardiff, Swansea;
- Hull, Nottingham, Leicester and Birmingham > Cardiff, Swansea, Pembrokeshire;
- Newcastle-upon-Tyne, York, Leeds, Manchester, Liverpool and Chester > North Wales.
Megabus also run services to South and West Wales including Cardiff, Cwmbran and Swansea from key cities in the UK such as Birmingham, Bristol, London, Heathrow Airport, Manchester, Leeds and Newcastle.
Local bus services operate in most places and there is a north-south TrawsCymru service. If your clients are travelling around the National parks there are the following bus services: