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Holyhead immigration experience

We are traveling via ferry from Dublin to Holyhead and then taking a train to London. We had a miserable experience when taking the Eurostar from Paris to London and are hoping that our experience between Dublin and Holyhead will be easier. I want to make sure we have enough time to catch our train. How long does it take to goes though immigration at Holyhead?

Thank you!

Posted by
4051 posts

Ireland and Wales (the UK) are part of what is called the Common Travel Area. Thus there is no "immigration" to undertake. Strictly speaking it is no different to crossing a state line in the United States. In practice it is fairly likely that a police officer (NOT Border Force) will ask to see your ID- passport is best but a driving licence will do.
They have no strict legal right to do so, and you cannot be stopped for having no ID on you. They can ask, not oblige.

It will take longer for you to be bussed to the terminal from the remote berth the ship uses than to go past the police check post.
The standard advice is to allow 30 minutes ship to train, and certain trains are scheduled like that to be boat train connections.

Posted by
368 posts

Personally I'd be hoping to miss the train to London so I could head up for a visit to South Stack.

Posted by
31513 posts

Curious how the Eurostar experience was miserable?

Posted by
32 posts

We had a delightful experience on the ferry between Holyhead and Dublin a few years ago. The weather was grand that day and it was easy to walk about the ferry, get snacks, etc.
Hope you have as good an experience as we did.

On another note- the weather was horrible returning Larne to Scotland 2 weeks later, Never felt the least in danger but it was a miserable bumpy rough crossing. (The ferry captain announced prior to departure, it was going to be rough seas. )
And after 15-20” on land - it was all good.

Posted by
495 posts

I'm curious about the miserable Eurostar experience also. Others might benefit from hearing what happened!

My only bad experience was a train cancellation, but there were others available that I could easily re-book. Cancellation was due to rail strikes in the UK on the lines used by Eurostar trains, not a strike by Eurostar itself.

Posted by
3 posts

As for the Eurostar experience from Paris to London - 1) we arrived well before our train to clear immigration and go through security. It took over an hour and a half to reach the immigration process. There were electronic passport readers which functioned poorly. My husband was pulled from the line and put in another line for manual review of his passport. My passport read and I proceeded through the process. I waited for nearly an hour after security for him to appear. The officials "forgot" him and he finally pestered someone who sent him to another line. I finally called him because I was afraid we were going to miss our train. We made the train because it was late as were all the trains leaving for London. Brexit at its worst. We've taken the Eurostar between Paris and London pre-Brexit several times without issue, so even with a warning to get to the station early, we were fortunate to make our train. Pretty sad.

Thanks everyone for help on the Dublin Hollyhead crossing. We took the ferry from Liverpool to Dublin (I don't remember where we landed) in 1977. We thought it would be fun to cross between Ireland and Wales and then travel via train instead of messing with flying,