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train from glasgow to holyhead suggestions?

Hi all
My husband and I are visiting Scotland and Wales on this trip (May 25 - May 30). We plan on taking the train into Holyhead from Glasgow. My question is after that I really want to visit Pembrokeshire, St David's, Tenby and Gower Peninsula. I know it's a tall order especially without a car (neither of us wants to drive in UK). I thought we could take the bus from Holyhead to St. David's. I really wanted to see the countryside and I thought maybe the bus was the way to go. Anyone have any advice, help or suggestions. I am all ears!!!
Thanks,
Shawn Baker

Posted by
373 posts

Do you actually want to go to Holyhead? It's is possible to do all this by public transport but it won't be straight forward. My recommendation would be to fly from Glasgow to Cardiff. There's a regular shuttle bus into the city centre. Spend a day/night in Cardiff then take the train to Swansea. The bus station is unfortunately over the other side of town, perhaps a 15 minute walk, but you can get a bus to the Gower. You'll still have to walk the final mile or so to the beach. You'll need to back track to Swansea to then take a bus to Tenby. From Tenby you can get a bus to St Davids but I think you gave to change. Depending on where you are finishing your trip or going on to you may want to take the train. There are a limited number from Fishguard straight through to London, otherwise you'll need to change at Swansea if you're heading towards London. A number of these buses are very sparse, maybe only two a day that sort of thing so you will gave to plan well and be prepared to spend a night in each of your destinations.

Posted by
1759 posts

Holyhead itself is an unusual destination but I assume you have your reasons.

You can puzzle out trains from Glasgow here http://www.nationalrail.co.uk/

Travelling via public transport from Anglesey to Pembrokeshire is a tedious journey.

As well as the national rail site above you can use this journey planner https://www.traveline.cymru/

Too much for only 5 days methinks.

Posted by
7 posts

Thanks to ryanandgill and ramblin' on. I chose Holyhead because I wanted to visit the lighthouse at Stackhouse and when I checked the train schedule it read to me that the stop was in Holyhead and then take bus to Anglesey for the lighthouse. Maybe I am wrong. Is this not worth a stop? Should I just go right to Swansea and from there visit my other destinations?
thanks for the advice.

Posted by
5817 posts

I really wouldn't go that far out of your way to just to visit Southstack. It is no where near the other locations.
There are lots of good sights to visit in North Wales. which it would be a pity to miss.

Just to clarify are you trying to visit Scotland in that 5 day period, because that will be very rushed. You also need to be aware that you will be travelling over the bank holiday period when public transport links are often out of action. Sorry to say I think you willneed to rein in your ambitions.

Posted by
1834 posts

You won’t do all that in 5 days. Holyhead town is a dump. I have been to South Stack lighthouse and it is impressive but not worth the journey to such an out of way place. There are much better things to see which are more conveniently located.

Ryan & gill are wrong when they say there direct trains from Fishguard to London. A direct train does operate on summer Saturdays between Tenby & London. Swansea is not worth a visit as the city was bombed in the war and the re-build was not good. They talk about knocking it down and doing another re-build. I will believe it when I see it. That said, the Gower peninsula has wonderful beaches and cliffs - as does Pembrokeshire.

You could use these buses to get around - they are free on weekends (so far).http://www.trawscymru.info/routes/

Rail Map:>http://www.nationalrail.co.uk/static/images/structure/css/nationalrailnetworkmap.pdf

Posted by
7 posts

Thanks for all the great suggestions. @james The schedule are so helpful, I appreciate that. I will make sure I have these with me. I guess we will just do Pembrokeshire, Gower, St David's and Tenby. Does that sound reasonable? We planned on taking the train back to London from Cardiff so we did not want to make that our first stop coming in from Glasgow. We have 4 days in Scotland not including the five days in Wales. If we are going to stay in one place to see all the above towns I mentioned is there one place that is centrally located to travel to and fro?
thanks so much!!

Posted by
7 posts

@emma thanks for your helpful suggestions. We have 4 days in Scotland not including our 5 days in Wales. I know I am trying to see too many things in one visit. We will surely be back as our daughter lives in London so maybe we taper down a bit.

Posted by
1834 posts

You are coming down from Glasgow - it would really make sense to see NW Wales rather than SW Wales. I would pre-book an Advance ticket with www.virgintrains.co.uk from Glasgow Central to Conway (CNW). These can be had for as little as £35.50 and the journey will take 4 hours 48 minutes. However, you may wish to visit the City of Chester as you will be tasing through. That being so, buy an Advanced ticket from Glasgow to Chester - which can be had for as little as £16.50 if pre booked about 11 weeks ahead. (You will need to change trains once). This journey will take 3 hours 11 minutes. You could then have lunch and a walk around Chester before catching a train to Conwy (Conway) and paying £21 on the day for this 1 hour trip. www.nationalrail.co.uk for trains.

So, you could see Conway Castle and spend a night or 2 in the town. (2 if you want to see Bodnant Gardens and Llandudno). You could Llandudno Junction on the 10.28 or 13.30 train (current schedules) for Blaenau Ffestiniog (1 hour) where you transfer to the narrow gauge steam railway to Porthmadog on the coast.. (Check schedules match at BF - the usually do. See www.festrail.co.uk).
Check into a hotel in Porthmadog - or even Portmeirion if wealthy (Minfforrdd station and arrange a pick up). Stay 2 or 3 nights in Porthmadog. On one of days - visit Portmeirion and on the other take the Welsh Highland Railway to Caernarfon. (see Festrail).

You could leave Porthmadog by train for Cardiff via the slow but scenic Cambrian Line. Change at Shrewsbury (worth an hour or so) for a faster train down to Cardiff for the remaining time you have in Wales. A couple of companies offer mini bus tours out of Cardiff should you not wish to use public transport. St.Fagans Castle & Museum is easy to reach by Easyway bus 32A from Westgate Street. Caerphilly Castle is easy to reach by train.

If you really wish to go to Pembrokeshire, I suggest you head for Tenby. Get as far as Aberystwyth = Vale of Rheidol Steam Railway well worth a trip. Bus from Aberystwyth to Carmarthen and then train to Tenby. (You might like to break the journey for an hour
or so at the attractive harbour town of Aberaeron). Aberystwyth to Tenby takes 4 hours.
https://www.seewales.com
http://www.wherewhenwales.com/wales-day-tours/

If you do not wish to go to south Wales, take the train directly back to London from north / mid Wales. If you go to Tenby, it is possible to go by train to London but it takes around 3 hours to reach Cardiff and it is 2 hours from Cardiff to London. (The change of train is usually in Swansea).

Posted by
7 posts

James, thank you so much for all your suggestions. I may just do the Aberystwyth to Tenby to keep it simple. I will definitely take your helpful hints into consideration.

Posted by
1834 posts

If you just want to do Aberystwyth to Tenby - when you come down from Scotland by train - go from Glasgow to Crewe - where you change trains for Shrewsbury. (You may find it cheaper to pre-book from Glasgow to Crewe rather than Shrewsbury - check at www.nationalrail.co.uk - around 11 weeks ahead will have the cheapest prices).

From Shrewsbury, trains go direct through mid Wales to Aberystwyth. If staying in Aberystwyth for a couple nights, this railway is well worth a trip:>https://www.rheidolrailway.co.uk
https://www.visittenby.co.uk