Getting to Wales is easy, both from elsewhere in the UK and from further afield. Here’s the essential travel information.
Cardiff Airport is located just outside our capital, and there are regular bus and rail links to the city centre and other parts of South Wales – such as Swansea, Newport and Pontypridd, where university campuses are situated.
Around 80 minutes in the air takes you to European hubs such as Amsterdam and Paris, and there are frequent services to UK destinations including Newcastle, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Aberdeen and Belfast. You can also take a 50-minute flight to Anglesey, with unparalleled views over the most scenic parts of Wales.
Since May 2018, a daily Qatar Airways flight has operated between Cardiff and Doha. It provides a Welsh connection to more than 150 destinations across six continents, including key routes to and from Australia, Japan, Thailand, India, South Africa, Hong Kong and China.
Although Cardiff is by far the largest airport within Wales, the country is easily accessible from nearby airports in England. Liverpool John Lennon Airport and Manchester Airport are both well placed for North Wales and its two universities, Bangor and Glyndŵr – Liverpool is only around 60km or 40 miles from Wrexham.
Birmingham Airport is well placed for Aberystwyth University. It’s around one-and-a-half hours from Welshpool in Mid Wales, as well as Monmouth in South East Wales. Bristol Airport is around 90 minutes away from Cardiff by road, and served by direct coach services from Cardiff. London Heathrow Airport is within easy reach of the M4 motorway and fast railway services to South Wales via Paddington or Reading.
There are three main road links between Wales and England. The M4 is the motorway from London to South Wales, stretching as far as Pont Abraham in Carmarthenshire, West Wales. As you enter Wales, you’ll pass over one of the two spectacular Severn Bridges – which since 2018, no longer charge tolls.
The M50 connects Monmouthshire and Mid Wales with the M5 north-south route, for access to the Midlands, the West Country and beyond. The M6 and M56 provide the quickest way to North Wales from Manchester and the North of England, linking up to the A55 that stretches across North Wales.
The South Wales Main Line connects London to Newport, Cardiff, Swansea and other destinations in South and West Wales. When works to electrify part of the line are complete, the journey time between London Paddington and Cardiff will be around one hour and 45 minutes.
For those travelling to Wales from overseas, Paddington is a short hop by London Underground from St Pancras International Station, where Eurostar services from Paris, Brussels and other destinations in mainland Europe terminate.
Passengers arriving in the UK from Heathrow, Gatwick, Stansted, Luton or London City Airports can travel by rail to other London terminals, and easily transfer to Paddington by Underground for a train to South Wales.
Cardiff Central is Wales’ busiest station. As well as the London service, it has regular trains from destinations including Bristol, Birmingham, Portsmouth, Southampton, Manchester and Shrewsbury. It’s also the hub of a regional network that serves the South Wales Valleys.
Other parts of Wales can be reached from England via their own routes. There are direct trains from London Euston and Manchester to Llandudno, Bangor and Holyhead; and from Birmingham, Shrewsbury and Crewe to the North Wales coast and the Llŷn Peninsula.
National Rail Enquiries is a source of information for all passenger rail services in the UK.
Ferry services operate between the west coast of Wales and the Republic of Ireland (Fishguard or Pembroke to Rosslare, and Holyhead to Dublin). The quickest ferries make the crossing in just two hours.