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My husband & I will be traveling to Wales in October to visit friends. We will arrive at Heathrow and overnight in Oxford. Need information on rail passes. Should we buy a rail pass or only train tickets?
We will spend four nights with our friends in Aberystwyth and then five days traveling through Wales.
In my research, if I am correct, there are two types of rail passes, discount fares with a pass or unlimited train travel. Which type is recommended? We are both seniors, is first class recommended?, thank you

Posted by
846 posts

I feel like Wales is one of those places that it is easier to have a car to see what you really want to see. My sister and I had a car and drove to Conwy from Bath with a stop at Tintern Abbey (beautiful!) and from Conwy drove to see Caernarvon, Bodnant Gardens, and Trefrew Woolen Mill before heading to Hadrian's Wall. We had no trouble using google maps finding parking and getting around. We dropped the car in York.

Posted by
2919 posts

jlkelman is correct with regard to it being easier to drive Wales rather than taking trains. No problem if you want to take a train, but it may limit what you get to see. If 1st class isn’t much more expensive, that’s what I’d recommend. Before purchasing any type ticket or pass, check to ensure there is rail service to the places you want to visit. That might dictate whether a pass or individual tickets makes more sense. We had a rental car. Glad you have friends in Aberystwyth, since there isn’t much to see there (just my opinion), although the beach promenade is nice.

Posted by
6047 posts

Where are you planning to visit in Wales?
This info will help us give you a useful answer although it is generally true that Wales is much easier to “do” with a car.

Posted by
1834 posts

Note that most of the trains in Wales do not have 1st class. You can make massive savings - (like halve the price) - by splitting the ticket and pre-booking specific trains around 11 weeks ahead for your Oxford to Aberystwyth journey. You will probably have to change trains once en-route. will tell you how to do this.

As has been said, a car is the best way of getting around Wales.

Posted by
16809 posts

The full-coverage BritRail Passes pay off better for longer journeys but you might be taking relatively shorter and cheaper train rides. If you do decide to get this type of pass, then consider purchasing before July 29 to get an extra travel day included (e.g. 5 travel days within a month instead of 4 for $236 per Senior in 2nd class. Otherwise, the Two-Together TravelCard gives you discounts even when purchasing regular tickets on short notice.