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Car Rental or Public Transport to and from Conwy

Hello fellow travelers,

In June, myself and some family will be staying at a B&B in Conwy for 5 nights. It looks like there are lots of public transportation choices there, so that we could get around to see the sights in Northern Wales. What is the general consensus about public transportation vs car rental. And if we go with the public transportation, what do you recommend? Lyfte, Bus, Train? Other choices I'm not aware of?

I know that you will say it depends on where you want to go, but we haven't planned our days that specifically yet. Any advice would be helpful. I'm sooo looking forward to experiencing Wales.
Thanks in advance,
Sage

Posted by
1832 posts

Although Conwy is easy to reach by train from England, it is rather more difficult to get around the Snowdonia National Park without a car - and you will want to stop to take photos. So, I would consider hiring a car - at least for the north Wales part of your vacation. The nearest place on the railway to Conwy where you might be able to hire a car is Llandudno Junction (1 mile east of Conwy). Also consider travelling to the English border city of Chester by train - have a walk around this historic small city and then hire a car for the drive to Conwy - which is about 1 hour away along the A55 expressway.

If you do want to use transport in Wales - try > http://www.traveline.cymru
If travelling by train from say London (Euston) - you should pre-book your tickets to get the cheapest fares. (These are loaded about 11 weeks ahead so it looks like you have already missed the cheapest deals). www.nationalrail.co.uk

Pleas note that the railway that goes inland from Llandudno Junction to Blaenau Ffestiniog has been destroyed by floods and is being repaired - which will take months.

Posted by
23256 posts

Are you planning for this month or next year?

How many in the group? Any mobility issues?

Posted by
5817 posts

North Wales is nuch easier with a car. There is public transport but it won't necessarily get you to all the sights you want to visit when you want to visit.

You don't say where you will be coming in from bur the suggestion to hire a car in Chester is a good one. You will likely have more choice of cars and the A55 is an OK road to get used to driving on, rather than the slightly more winding routes around Conwy and Llandudno.

One thing to check is whether your B&B has parking?

Posted by
6 posts

Thank you all. We will be there the June of this year - in a couple of weeks. No one has mobility issues. It sounds like we should consider renting a car. I thought there was a car rental place in Conwy, or close by.

Posted by
5 posts

A friend and I spent three nights in Conwy last fall and used public transportation. We arrived by train from Manchester. The closest manned station is at Llandudno Junction, about a mile from Conwy. If you want the train to stop in Conwy you have to let the conductor know ahead of time. Worked for us. Leaving Conwy on train you have to be on the platform and wave the train down. I was nervous about this, but it worked! There are taxis at the Llandudno station which we used several times (cash only). They are also often parked at the town square in Conwy. With five of you that might be economical for short trips, say to the town of Llandudno or Bodnant Gardens.
It's too bad the Conwy Valley railroad is out of commission. We enjoyed a ride up the valley to the slate mining town of Blaenau Flestiniog. Many people got off there and on to another small railroad which took them deeper into Snowdonia. I would guess there are buses that could get you there. I believe it is possible to make a circular trip that would get you back to Conwy. There are many ideas on the Trip Advisor forum. We rode the train back down to Betws-y-Coed and walked around the town, hiked some trails, and lunched at the Royal Oak Hotel. It's a beautiful area, especially if you venture away from the railroad station.
Another possibility is hiring a tour guide for the day. I couldn't find any group tours to join, but received several responses to the individual guides for a day trip. With only two of us it wasn't economical, but with five a van tour might work. They will go wherever you want to go after picking you up.
A car rental offers you lots of flexibility, we just didn't want the stress. We really enjoyed our time in Wales, and found lots to do in Conwy. Good luck pronouncing the names!

Posted by
279 posts

Taxis or “private hire” vehicles is another alternative. The price can be pretty reasonable and you can usually arrange to dropped of and then picked up at a later time.