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Heart of Wales

Hi friends,

I am taking a train from Conwy to Abergavenny and I wondered if taking the much longer Heart of Wales route is worth it. It would take most of the day, How great is this route? Is there a place you would recommend getting out at for a break/meal?

Posted by
2399 posts

It is not worth taking the Heart of Wales Line and just not viable for the route you wish to take. The trains on this line are old with no air con.

On the Conwy to Abergavenny route the following places are worth hopping off for and then taking a later train:> Chester, Shrewsbury, Ludlow. When going east from Conwy, the train goes along a not particularly attractive section of the Welsh coast.
From Chester to Wrexham it is relatively flat farming country. Once south of Wrexham the scenery is more interesting. You pass through the Shropshire hills once south of Shrewsbury as you approach Ludlow. Then rolling farmlands down to Hereford. Between Hereford & Abergavenny you will see the foothills of the Black Mountains on your R and then Skirrid Mountain on your L.

Hereford might be worth a look but it is a good 16 minute walk to the centre/cathedral from the station. Ludlow does not look up to much on arrival. Walk towards the Tesco supermarket (where perhaps they will look after your baggage). Go to the street on the west side & turn L. After the Feathers Hotel (VERY OLD) - take next R for the centre & castle. Best view of castle is from the other side of the river on W side.

If you pre-book an Advance specific train ticket - note that you can’t hop off and back on a later train(s).

It might be worth you getting this pass which would be valid as far south as Shrewsbury.

Other passes/rovers exist - it depends on what your intentions are and the number of days. Here is the full list of passes/rovers for Transport for Wales:>

Compare that with just buying tickets.

Posted by
5703 posts

If you wanted to take the Heart of Wales route to see more of the countryside you could get off at Llandrindod Wells then use the Traws Cymru bus to Abergavenny- the T4 to Brecon, then the X43 Brecon to Abergavenny. The T4 is a very long route from Newtown to Cardiff. Yours is a much shorter section of the route.
The connections between a number of services to all points in South and Central Wales at Brecon are designed to work, so it is not something to worry about.
Llandrindod Wells is a nice compact former spa town.
The difference is- do you just want to get from point a to b as fast as possible, or to experience the countryside and see as much as you can?

The other thing you could do is to get off at Hereford, explore the city then take the bus #23 (headed for Newport) from the Country Bus Station (the city quaintly has separate city and country bus stations) down to Abergavenny- the benefit over the train being that you arrive in the centre of town and don't have to go back to the station.