The main direct rail route to Wales is the fast and frequent service from London Paddington, Reading, Bath and Bristol to Newport and Cardiff, with easy connections to Swansea, 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.
The fastest trains from London to Cardiff take 1 hour 42 minutes. From Manchester to Llandudno Junction, it’s about 2 hours.
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 hop on the tube to Paddington or Euston to continue your journey.
Train travel accessibility
Travellers to Wales who require extra assistance, including a wheelchair space, can take advantage of the national Passenger Assist service.This service allows you to request support from rail staff, whether navigating the station, boarding or changing trains, to ensure you travel safely, in comfort and with dignity.
Assistance may be requested via:
- The Passenger Assistance by Transport app
- By calling free on 0800 0223720 or text 60083
- Textphone/minicom: 0845 60 50 600.
Further details on the National Rail Website.
Tips for travellers with additional requirements
- If you can, travel outside of peak times
- Call ahead to arrange any access and assistance requirements
- Take advantage of reduced fares for disabled travellers and their personal assistants
Timetables and tickets
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 > 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.
Coach travel accessibility
Driving to Wales gives you maximum flexibility. The fastest routes are via the M4, M5, M6 and M56.
There's a list of available public toilets, including details on accessibility, baby changing facilities and Changing Places toilets on the Welsh Government website.
Please also refer to the National Key Scheme website to get hold of a Radar key that provides independent access to over 9,000 accessible toilets in the UK.
Mileage and journey times by car
- Birmingham > Aberystwyth - 123m 2hrs 41mins
- Canterbury > Cardiff - 215m 3hrs 46mins
- Coventry > Barmouth - 130m 2hrs 47mins
- Exeter > Swansea - 157m 2hrs 43mins
- Leeds > Llandudno - 127m 2hrs 19mins
- London > Cardiff - 153m 2hrs 52mins
- London > Tenby - 239m 4hrs 19mins
- Manchester > Caernarfon - 104m 2hrs 04mins
- Nottingham > Swansea - 196m 3hrs 37mins
- Peterborough > Aberystwyth - 207m 4hrs 11mins
- Newcastle > Llandudno - 227m 4hrs 08mins
- Reading > Carmarthen - 173m 2hrs 56mins
- York to Welshpool - 152m 2hrs 53mins
(Mileage and times supplied by www.theaa.com)
Accessible air travel to Wales
Cardiff Airport offers special assistance, with an experienced and dedicated team available to help individual requirements. Assistance must be pre-booked through your airline or travel agent at least 48 hours before travel. The airport operates a Sunflower Lanyard scheme for passengers with hidden disabilities, and airport familiarisation tours may be pre-arranged.
For any advice and guidance, travellers are asked to call the airport’s 24 hour service on 01446 729329 or email PRMDesk@cwl.aero.
Useful links for accessible travel to Wales
- The charity Tourism For All is the voice of accessible tourism and travel in the UK, offering a range of services.
- Transport for Wales: Accessible Rail Travel provides information on planning journeys, booking assistance, and the operator’s plans for enhancing accessibility.
- National Rail: Plan Assistance gives details on Passenger Assist, allowing passengers to request assistance from rail staff to ensure everyone can travel by train safely, in comfort and with dignity.
- Traveline Cymru, the public transport route planner service in Wales, offers a range of guidance on accessible travel.
- The National Key Scheme gives you access to a Radar key that allows independent access to over 9,000 accessible toilets in the UK.
- Welsh Government’s national toilet map shows toilets identified by local authorities as available for public use.
- Cardiff Airport Special Assistance illustrates the accessibility support that is available at Wales’ international airport.
If you're an international visitor, the UK Government's Visa and Immigration guidance provides information for travellers requiring a visa to come to the UK to visit, study or work.