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Wales to Scotland: fly or train?

I'm planning a journey from Brecon (actually 5 miles west) to Oban. Too early for bus or train timetables for late July, but a prelinary look on Rio2Rome.com leads me to consider:

  1. Bus into Brecon. Another bus to Cardiff. Another bus to Cardiff airport. Fly to Glasgow. Train to Oban
    Probably the fastest, but connecting buses in Wales can be tricky and the buses into and out of Cardiff go from differenct locations; so, it seems, do the bus from Glasgow airport and the train from Glasgow Queen St. to Oban. Timing of journey also tricky, to allow enough time for check-in at Cardiff airport and baggage collection* at Glasgow. Or,

  2. Bus into Brecon. Another bus to Abergavenny (does it now go the station? it used not to). Train to Crewe and another on to Glasgow. Bus from Glasgow Central to Glasgow Queen St. Train to Oban. (That's with Virgin West Coast.) Or,

  3. As 2. above to Abergavenny. Then train to Manchester Piccadilly and another on to Glasgow . Same transfer problem in Glasgow as 2. Seems to take an hour longer. Late arrival would probably mean staying a night in either Glasgow or Oban en route. My eventual destination is Mull, but will be collected from Oban.

  • would love to go hand-huggage only but I'll be away from Australia 6 weeks in all, with some smart concerts earlier in the trip plus clothes for cold/wet/windy in Wales and Scotland.

Should I post this in the Wales forum too? P.S. I don't drive.

Posted by
1337 posts

What a journey.

I would go Brecon to Abergavenny by bus; Abergavenny (via Crewe and Glasgow) to Oban by train.

An Anytime train ticket from Abergavenny to Oban is very expensive. To save money look at separate Advance tickets for the different segments i.e. Abergavenny to Crewe; Crewe to Glasgow; Glasgow to Oban.

(You could even take the sleeper train from Crewe to Dalmuir then another train to Oban.
http://www.nationalrail.co.uk/

According to the journey planners the Brecon – Abergavenny bus doesn’t drop off at the train station.

https://www.stagecoachbus.com/routes/south-wales/x43/abergavenny-brecon/xrax043.i

Posted by
4299 posts

I can’t comment on the specifics of this journey but why not look at booking a cab for part of the journey, for example getting to Brecon. It will cost more than the bus but it will be a hell of a lot easier and money well spent for a journey as long as this.
Personally I would also try and split it over 2 days. It’s a long way and if anything goes wrong you could get stuck. Maybe travel to Cardiff the night before a flight?

Posted by
367 posts

You've all been very helpful. Especially ramblin' on, as I hadn't heard of the night train.
I could go by bus from Brecon to Hereford and pick up the same train to Crewe to connect with the sleeper train. At Hereford,unlike Abergavenny, the bus from Brecon does go right to the train station. Still a gruelling journey overall, but fewer 'iffy' changes. From the invaluable Man in Seat 61, it seems the sleeper should be booked right now, and the connecting travel later when the advance fares become available.

Emma, I did look again at the air from Cardiff option, and find there's no flight to Glasgow on Saturday, and the Friday flight is fairly early in the day, so I'd lose a whole day in Wales. And the flight is operated by Flybe: I know Virgin have come to their rescue, but that makes future bookings uncertain as there could well be timetable changes. I don't want to risk that.

Now, what is the best route from Oban to Glasgow airport (for a flight to Dublin at the end of my stay)? The bus connection that Rome2Rio shows is far from optimal. Is there a better way?

Posted by
367 posts

Thanks for the links, ramblin' on. It seems that I choose whether to go all the way by bus, but with more limited timings, or by train - either changing at Dalmuir and ending up at Glsagow Central and on to Paisley and then a bus to the airport from there (seems too many changes) - or train direct from Oban to Glasgow Queen St. and then bus to the airport from near there. Or, I suppose - skip the Paisley bit and get the bus from whatever stop is nearest to Glasgow Central. I shall have luggage so prefer to minimize changes, but not knowing the distances from rail stations to airport bus stops makes the decision difficult. Can you advise?

I expect bus all the way would be cheaper, but with a Senior Railcard and Advance purchase ticket, rail could be not much more. Convenience is more important to me than cost in this case.

Posted by
367 posts

Excellent - exactly what I needed. Many thanks.

Posted by
367 posts

Ramblin' on: can I ask your help for another query on this journey?
I have booked on the sleeper from Crewe to Dalmuir (as it thought that was the nearest station to Oban on the sleeper route), but I've now read on a getting to Oban page that

During the main season the Caledonian Sleeper service offers a FREE coach connection between Crianlarich and Oban station . . .

Now that would be extremely convenient. Can you tell me what period counts as the "main season" - I'm travellong towards the end of July.
I did pay extra for a flexible ticket on the sleeper, so do you think it would be best to change the destination station, or cancel what I've booked and start again with Crianlarich as the destination?