Our family is traveling from Cleveland, Ohio to Kidwelly. What is the best way to get there? The 2nd part of our trip has us traveling to Stirling. We are visiting family in both cities. We are thinking about renting 2 vehicles for our large group of 12. Our twin toddler grandchildren are with us as well, so we want to make it as smooth as possible. Any tips, suggestions, and ideas you worldly travelers would advise?
Skyscanner shows a flight on KLM from Cleveland to Detroit to Amsterdam to Cardiff. Deutsche Bahn (www.bahn.com) shows trains departing from Cardiff airport to the center where you have to transfer to get to Kidwelly.
I would probably fly into LHR then take the train to Cardiff. You can either spend the night in London or go directly to Paddington and ride down jet lagged. Same day tickets are about 50P each though so would be pricey. Alternative would be to spend the night at LHR and then rent your vehicles at the airport the next morning. Have you driven in the UK before? We have always found renting a car in Wales is optimum for seeing the sights. My husband and I usually get advance tickets on rail for the day we arrive and spend the time on the train reading/talking/looking at the scenery....we then check into a hotel and get a good night's sleep and rent our car in the morning. That way we don't deal with the traffic right outside LHR. However we don't travel with toddlers (I assume that is tot) that have been on a plane for an extended period.
In UK terminology a "van" is for carrying goods. What need to be looking for are a people carrier or maybe a minibus.
Sorry if stating the obvious remember to hire one that is big enough for your luggage as well as people and can accomodate 2 car seats for the children.
I strongly suggest NOT trying to drive from Heathrow to Cardiff after a long flight. Especially in large vehicles you aren't used to driving. Look at travelling train or the coach would probably be easier and less stressful, if a bit slower
When Ann said 50P, It would have been better to either spell out Pounds or use £50 to avoid some confusion. 50p is 50 pence or about 65 cents. I agree with taking the train, or spending the first night by Heathrow then driving from there. The drive to Kidwelly will be about 3 hours, traffic and construction zone dependent. It’s 167 miles and the majority of the way, it’s interstate type driving. Once off the M4 the road will be 2-lane the rest of the way, much of that with no shoulders.
I take it that you mean Cleveland , Ohio and not England?
If flying into Cardiff Airport and wishing to go by train to Kidwelly, do not go into Cardiff; take the shuttle bus to Rhoose Rail station - 2 miles away and then go to the platform on the seaward side. The trains are 1 per hour (every other hour on Sundays - not advised) and take you to Bridgend from where you take the next westbound train which might go to Kidwelly - if not - to Swansea where you change. Of course, you may wish to arrange vehicle hire at Cardiff Airport BUT I would not do this after all that flying. You could check into a hotel near the Airport or go by bus into Cardiff and spend a night or 2. (Plenty to see in the Cardiff area including Cardiff Castle and Caerphilly Castle plus St. Fagans Castle (Manor House) on the western edge of the city.
If you want somewhere nice to go from Kidwelly, take the train (or drive) to Tenby. Also see The National Botanic Garden of Wales - best by own transport.
Why are you going to 2 places in Britain that are so far apart?
We found a lovely house in Kidwelly that is large enough for our big family group to stay comfortably. We are visiting family near Kidwelly and Stirling. Thank you for the transportation advise. It is very helpful to see the travel options available to us. We have a large group of 11 and want to plan carefully to make the trip as enjoyable as possible.
I thought that ‘family’ might have something to do with it.
So, you could drive from Kidwelly to Stirling but it is a hell of a way. (I would certainly not want to do it all in 1 day).You could go to Cardiff Airport & fly to Edinburgh or Glasgow. (Also check from Bristol Airport). See www.skyscanner.net
Alternatively, you could take the train. From Kidwelly or maybe Swansea/Cardiff - where you turn in your car rental, you take the train to Crewe. (The train is going to Manchester & they leave Kidwelly, Swansea & Cardiff hourly). At Crewe, you change to another train that will take you to Glasgow or Edinburgh. Because you are a large group, you should get a group discount by dealing direct with the train companies. The first leg =https://tfwrail.wales/homepage
Crewe to Glasgow or Edinburgh =https://www.avantiwestcoast.co.uk
The final bit in Scotland will be:>https://www.scotrail.co.uk
Also ask if one of these companies can do a deal for the group for the entire journey - including the other operators?
Check with this site to see how split tickets could save you money:>https://www.traintickets.com
(Some involve going via Manchester & using Trans Pennine Express instead of avanti west coast).
www.nationalrail.co.uk will give you the full list price without any splits or group discounts.
James, you have been most helpful! I will research all of the travel ideas you have laid out. Thank you so much for your help. Next I will be looking into sightseeing in the Kidwelly and Stirling areas.
Speaking from personal experience I would try and avoid Trans Pennine Express trains, they really aren’t great. They do tend to be cheaper than Avanti( previously Virgin) but I do think it is a case of you get what you pay for.
Ok thank you!
Emma - Trans Pennine are in the process of getting a new fleet:>https://www.railmagazine.com/news/network/tpe-welcome-its-first-class-802/2s
Places we enjoyed in that area: Tenby, St. Davids and the coastal walking path, Pembroke Castle, St. Bryanch’s church and the weeping yew in Nevern, Pentre Ifan burial chamber near Nevern, and the Neath Abbey ruin. Not knowing what your large group likes to do, there’s also Breacons Beacon national park. Please keep in mind as you make your plans that there are some very, very narrow rural roads. By that I mean, a two way road where only one car can fit and the bushes on both sides are brushing the sides of the car. If it’s not an A or B labeled road, it will more than likely be a narrow 2-lane road at best, with no lane markings or shoulder.
James, the trains weren’t that bad, no worse than other companies like Southern. It’s the poor level of service that I think is the problem TransPennine
Near Kidwelly the grandchildren would definitely enjoy Folly Farm.
Another option is to take the coach (either national express or mega bus) direct from LHR to Cardiff city centre, stay your first night there. Whilst there are trains from Cardiff to Kidwelly you will struggle with car rental to meet your needs outside of cities or airports.
It might be more cost effective to hire a small mini-bus complete with driver (who would need accommodation). Here is one such company based near Cardiff:>https://www.creigiautravel.co.uk/minibus