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Public transport from Glastonbury to Port Isaac and back through Salisbury

My two friends and I, all retired teachers, will be flying from Venice to London on April 24, spending three nights in London, two in Stratford-upon-Avon, and two in Glastonbury. I know that trains are few in the west of England and that we will be taking buses a lot of the time. We will go from Glastonbury to Port Isaac (two nights, with taxi up to Tintagel for a day), then back to Salisbury and Stonehenge (2 nights) and train back to London.

Has anyone else made the trip out to Port Isaac via public transportation? We do not want to bother with renting a car.

Sally (tribble)

Posted by
16683 posts

Yes. Four of us went to Port Isaac last May by public transport. We were coming from Wales. We took the train to Bodmin Parkway (changed at Newport and Bristor Temple Mead). I booked a local taxi in advance to take us to Port Isaac. He was waiting at the station when we arrived. The drive to Port Isaac took about 35 minutes and the cost, arranged in advance, was £30 for four plus our luggage. The driver had a little trouble finding our B and B ( Orien House) (GPS was wrong) but he was patient and persistent and got us there. New booked the same company for the return to Bodmin Parkway. There are direct trains from Bodmin Parkway to London Paddington, but I believe we were a bit north of Salisbury. I am sure it would be an easy transfer to get there.

Posted by
16683 posts

I just checked the trains from Bodmin Parkway to Salisbury. You have one change, at Exeter St. David's. Total journey time is 3 hours 41 minutes.

There is bus service from Port Isaac to Tintagel. We were going to take the bus there and walk back, but it was Sunday and the bus did not run that day.

Posted by
4148 posts

I want to begin by saying that I could be wrong about my assessment of your plan and will happily stand corrected in that case , but I don't think you are aware of how complicated and impractical a trip from Glastonbury to Port Issac actually is . I made this trip several weeks ago with a car , and your post aroused my curiosity and thus , my response . There is no rail service from Glastonbury , only a bus to Bristol ( temple meads ) then bus to Exeter , then bus to Port Issac , nearly five hours with perfect connections ( unlikely ) . Keep in mind that the bus at Port Issac will drop you at the high end of the village leaving you ( and your luggage ) to hike a considerable distance into the village . You might want to reconsider the practicality of renting a car .

Posted by
4148 posts

Evidently , I was posting concurrently with Lola and having read her post will happily defer to her judgement .

Posted by
619 posts

For complex and challenging journeys by public transport in England, it is best to use Traveline ( This will calculate the best journey times by all available public transport options. In the case of Glastonbury to Port Isaac, it advises taking the bus from Glastonbury to Taunton and then offers various options using a combination of train and bus from there.

Personally, I think that a pre-booked taxi from Bodmin Parkway is a good idea, but Traveline may give you ideas you had not otherwise considered. Going via Bristol would be a long way round, but you might consider a taxi from Glastonbury to Castle Cary, and the go by train from there.

Posted by
2445 posts

I think that Glastonbury is simply not worth bothering with - especially as it has no railway and the roads in the area are slow going - for buses & cars. The first thing that I would do is get familiar with the map of railways in Britain as they will be the quickest way to travel. Look at this diagrammatic map and you will see the main routes are shown by thick lines. On these lines, you can expect trains roughly every 30 minutes often travelling at 100mph - 125mph.

I would consider landing at Heathrow - take shuttle bus to Woking and then train to Salisbury (for 2 nights). Then train to Bodmin Parkway for your Cornish break. To be honest, Cornwall has far more than just Port Isaac and Tintagel.

Getting to Stratford-upon-Avon (skipping Glastonbury) by train is rather awkward as no direct line comes up from the south. You could consider going from Cornwall to Bath (2-3 nights?) by train (easy). From Bath, you should be able to use local buses to reach historic Wells & nearby Glastonbury. Services 173 Bath > Wells & 377 Wells > Glastonbury.

A day trip by train is also possible from Bath to the Welsh capital - Cardiff (1 hour).
Tours from Bath >

Alternatively, go by train from Cornwall to Cardiff for a stay - advised to use the expresses to Bristol Temple Meads (& change) rather than slow stopping services.
This place is a 20 minute bus ride W from Cardiff center>
This castle is 7 miles N of Cardiff:>

Trains > (Advance purchase longer distance fares to save money). Check if split tickets are cheaper -
You may wish to get railcards to reduce the fares.

Posted by
1826 posts

Wells is very close to Glastonbury. Maybe you could stay in Wells (should it have good public transport links, I leave that for you to check !) and hire a taxi to take you to Glastonbury for a few hours which is all you really need to see the Abbey and maybe hike up the Tor if it isn't raining.