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Wales

Good evening!
I'm planning to visit Wales for ten days in August.
I was thinking of staying 5 days in Conwy and 5 days in Betws-y-coed so as to visit as much as possible the North Wales. Is it easy to move around by trains or buses as we don't intend to rent a car?We are flying from Athens, Greece so what is the closest airport and way to arrive there?
Thank you in advance!

Posted by
16581 posts

Conwy is picturesque but rather small. Betws-y-Coed is tiny. I cannot imagine spending 5 nights in either one, but I am biased against basing myself in tiny towns in general. I chose to stay in Chester, which did entail some extra time taking trains back and forth. I didn't rent a car. Unfortunately, I am not familiar enough with that area to know whether there are locations in Wales that would be more convenient bases than Conwy and Betws-y-Coed.

Rick has some information about using public transportation in that area in his guide to Great Britain. I took the historic (narrow-gauge?) trains he describes, and I also visited Bodnant Gardens, whose website may give you a start on researching public-transportation options in the area. You can find the Arriva bus schedules on the company website. Pay particular attention to the timing of the last buses back to your proposed bases from places you'd like to visit that don't have rail service; those could potentially really limit the reach of your day-trips.

I believe there's some sort of transportation pass available for that area. It might be of benefit to you.

Posted by
3940 posts

Much of north Wales is rural and therefore has limited public transport, so your trip would be significantly enhanced by hiring a car. Fly into Manchester or Liverpool airport.

Posted by
5817 posts

You can fly into Liverpool, Manchester or Birmingham.
I really would reconsider hiring a car. It will make your trip much easier and give you a lot more flexibility. North Wales isn’t big and with a car you can easily get to anywhere for the day. If you want to use public transport to get around I would look at staying in either Caernarfon or Bangor. Neither are particularly attractive towns but they serve as hubs to travel in the area, so it will make travel a lot easier.
Be aware that August is peak holiday season in north Wales, it will be busy. Both Conwy and Betws are small but very busy tourist towns. 5 days in either at that time of the year would drive me mad. If you do decide to use a car, even for just part of your trip, look at staying on a farm. You can really appreciate the country side and it should be a bit quieter.
Don’t miss a visit to Chester for its Roman/medieval history.

Posted by
2626 posts

I can’t imagine trying to get around Wales without a rental/hire car. Many sights are on small, narrow, rural roads and not regularly served by public transportation. Anglesey has many nice places to see if you get a chance to get there..

Posted by
36 posts

I really enjoyed Conwy, spent 3 nights there and wouldn't have minded an extra day or two. My second base was Porthmadog which I found helpful for getting around the Snowdonia area. I had tried to map out public transportation but ended up renting (hiring) a car because I didn't want to lose too much time waiting for public transport but I was also only doing 5 days total in the north.

Posted by
4053 posts

5 nights there is serious overkill. You can do Conwy in one full day. Of course, there are other places to visit in N. Wales, but even 10 days seems like a lot.

We loved N. Wales, but years later, we did South Wales and loved it. Actually, we loved South Wales more.
Tenby, Wales is great and good for a couple of days, also St. David's is a must see.
Many castles to see in the Cardiff area.