Considering a trip to North Wales for your next holiday? Read on to find out where you can go and what fun activities you can do. And, of course, we’ll explore how you can get from London to Wales by train.
Planning a trip to Wales from London
Whether you want a city break, outdoor adventure, family-friendly destinations or a relaxing seaside holiday, there’s something for everyone with a visit to North Wales. The first thing to do is figure out what exactly you want from the trip.
Do you want to cover as much ground as possible? Do you want to explore the rugged beauty of Wales’s mountains and coastline? Or would you prefer to focus on a specific area like Llandudno or Prestatyn?
If you simply can’t decide, consider basing yourself near Bangor. It’s close to Snowdonia National park and from there, you can quickly reach Holyhead, Colwyn Bay and Llandudno. This makes it the perfect central location for exploring North Wales’s many offerings.
How far is Wales from London?
You can get a train to Wales from London in just a few short hours. The major cities in South Wales are easily reachable via a train from London Paddington. These services are run by Great Western Railway. Journey times vary depending on train services, but it’s possible to reach Cardiff, Wales from London in around two hours.
The same train line covers other Welsh destinations including Newport and Swansea. London Paddington to Newport is a slightly shorter journey whereas London to Swansea by train can take around three and a half hours.
Some trains on this line will terminate at Cardiff Central, whereas others will continue towards Swansea. So, when booking train tickets from London to South Wales, it’s important to double-check where the train terminates.
If you do visit Cardiff, then Cardiff Bay (the birthplace of Shirley Bassey!) is worth the 30-minute walk from the station. It can take between two and a half hours and four hours to get from London to North Wales. This can vary depending on the destination, train route, and train times you choose. For example, Flint is close to the Wales/England border and can be reached in around two and a half hours by train. Holyhead on the other hand is on the west side of Anglesey and can take between three and a half and four hours.
But don’t be put off by the extra hour or so. The majority of the journey from Flint to Holyhead hugs the coastline so you can sit back, relax, and enjoy the view.
Travelling to Wales from London
The most convenient, and least stressful way to travel from London to Wales is by train.
All Avanti trains to North Wales depart from Euston Station. You can get to Euston by tube via the Victoria line or Northern line. Euston Station is also accessible by the Euston to Watford Junction London Overground service and several buses.
London to Wales train route
If you’re looking to sit back and do nothing for the entire journey from London to Wales, we have a service that departs from London Euston to Holyhead.
This train from London covers Flint, Prestatyn, Rhyl, Colwyn Bay, Llandudno Junction, Bangor, and Holyhead. For football and/or Ryan Reynolds fans, there is also a service that terminates at Wrexham General.
Depending on the date and time of day you want to travel, you may be able to reduce your travel time by switching trains on the way. Most Avanti West Coast trains travel from Euston to Crewe and changing lines here can sometimes be the fastest option.
Fun things to do in Wales
It’s possible to get to most major areas in North Wales by train. But, if you’re keen on exploring the plethora of hiking trails and outdoor adventures on offer, you may want to consider hiring a car for a day or two once you arrive.
Whether you go by train or car, there are so many options for fun activities and sightseeing in Wales.
Explore breathtaking Welsh beaches
Wales has over 150 beaches and more than 100 of those are in the northern part of the country. From Abersoch and Porthdinllaen to Porth Padrig and Llandudno, there are plenty of beautiful beaches in North Wales.
So, if you’re looking for a beach break this summer but don’t want to jet off to the Mediterranean, you can take your pick from dozens of amazing coastal hubs. You can even head to the Italian-inspired village of Portmeirion and pretend that you’re actually in the Mediterranean.
Visit historic castles
From Castell Conwy and Castell Harlech to Castell Biwmares and Castell Caernarfon, there are several impressive castles still standing in North Wales. So if you’re a history buff with time to spare, it’s worth heading to some of these historic structures.
For I’m a Celebrity… Get Me Out of Here! fans, Castell Gwrych is situated in Abergele (a mere five miles from Rhyl station).
Get active in Eryri National Park
Eryri (or Snowdonia) is home to a wide variety of landscapes. From mountain biking forests to zip-lining through quarries, Eryri is a playground for thrill-seekers and outdoor adventurers.
If you love water sports, you should try rafting in the National White Water Centre in Bala. You can also try surfing and paddle boarding on man-made waves in Adventure Parc Snowdonia. And if fancy a bit of zip-lining followed by some underground trampolining, head to Zip World Llechwedd for an action-packed day.
For those who just can’t resist conquering the highest British mountain outside Scotland, Eryri is also home to Snowdon. This mountain offers various paths for different levels of ability.
More experienced mountaineers may want a challenge. If you’re one of them, the Crib Goch route involves steep climbing and scrambling sections. Although the climb isn’t particularly technical, it can be a dangerous one, and should be tackled with great care.
And for people who want a more gradual climb to the peak of Wales, the Llanberis Path is a great option. But if you want to get to the top but aren’t up for a sweaty hike, there is also a small train that can take you to a cafe at the top of the mountain.
It’s worth knowing that Snowdon’s original name is Yr Wyddfa (pronounced ur with-va). Although everyone will know what you mean when you call it Snowdon, locals will appreciate the effort to use the proper Welsh name.
Some useful Welsh phrases to get by (and impress the locals)
Welsh is the native tongue of many people in North Wales. And while they can converse with you perfectly in English, they will appreciate your effort to learn a few key phrases in Welsh. So, to help you prepare for your next trip to Wales, here are a few useful words:
- Bore da (bore-reh-dah) - Good morning
- Su’mae (sih-my) - How are you / how’s it going?
- Diolch (dee-olch) - Thank you
- Noswaith dda (noss-withe-thah) - Good evening
- Hwyl fawr (hooel-vaoor) - Goodbye
- Eryri (err-ruh-ree) - Snowdonia
- Yr Wyddfa (ur with-va) - Snowdon
There’s no need to stress about perfecting these words, a little effort will go a long way. If you only have space in your brain for a couple of Welsh words – ‘su’mae’ and ‘diolch’ are good ones to master.
Plan your trip from London to Wales now!
Whether you love the sound of trampolining underground and tackling the white waters of Bala, or prefer taking in the history and culture of Wales one castle at a time, get your train tickets online today.
Find the best routes from London to Wales by train using our handy journey planner.