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Cardiff to Heathrow

Need to get from Cardiff Central to Heathrow for a Sunday evening flight in July (returning to US). Wondering what my best options are--train? bus/shuttle? hiring a driver?

Posted by
2444 posts

Go to https://www.traintickets.com/?/ and put in for Cardiff Central to Heathrow. Click ‘Advanced Options’ and tick AVOID LONDON.
You should get a fare of £35 by advance booking a specific train. Note what it tells you to do to use this route avoiding London. If you choose to go into London (Paddington) & back out again, it will cost £54 with advance booking the trains.

Normally, this can be done by train in 2 hours 30 minutes. I tested it for a Sunday in July & got 3 hours 14 minutes. This suggests that the direct route via the Severn Tunnel is closed for maintenance and a longer route via Gloucester & the Cotswolds is being used.
Also factor in that rail strikes are possible.

That being so, you might like to consider -https://www.nationalexpress.com/en who have fares from £14 and take around 3 hours 45 minutes to do the trip.

Also check out:> https://uk.megabus.com

Posted by
15340 posts

The site mentioned above is a third party seller for train tickets. Most of us here use:

"http://www.nationalrail.co.uk"

It's the official rail site for UK rail companies. It will tell you what you need to know and then connect you directly to the rail company operating the line. You can buy a ticket from any rail company for no extra charge but I prefer to buy directly from the rail company operating that line.

Also be careful about buying "split tickets." This means buying two non-refundable, non-changeable tickets. So, if your first train is late and you miss your connection, you will have to buy a new ticket for the remainder of your journey. As someone who travel the UK rails a great deal, this has happened to me numerous times. Including yesterday.

There are two easy rail ways to get where you are going.

1) Train from Cardiff to London Paddington and then change for the Heathrow Express or Elizabeth line to Heathrow. (The Elizabeth line takes a bit longer but is much cheaper.)

2) Train from Cardiff Central to Reading. Then get a bus to Heathrow. (This way you don't have to London and then backtrack to Heathrow.

You can also catch a National Express bus from the Cardiff Coach station to Heathrow. It will take 3:30-3:45 depending on which terminal you need to go to.

Personally, I'd take the train but then I prefer trains to buses.

Posted by
5341 posts

You don't have to buy a new ticket if you are delayed travelling with two or more back-to-back Advance tickets and you miss a booked train along the way from a train delay or cancellation. Plus you also remain entitled to delay and repay compensation for the whole journey, although the automated processing of some train companies makes the claim more difficult.

Posted by
2444 posts

Marco is correct. If buying split tickets and the first train is delayed meaning you miss the second (or third) for onward travel, they are obligated to take you on the next available service at no penalty.

The national rail website is fine if buying a through ticket from a to b is the same price as doing splits. However, on many journeys, splits can work out cheaper - even where you stay on the same train at the split point.

You can also claim compensation for the journey if late. Another of the split ticket sites - Trainsplit - tells you more about this:> https://v3.trainsplit.com/blog/split-ticketing-delay-repay