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Last updated : Nov 2009
Wales Getting Around - Internal Travel
Wales Internal Travel - Getting Around Wales - TravelPuppy.com
Air

Cardiff International Airport (CWL)
Telephone: (01446) 711 111. Fax: (01446) 711 675.
Web site: www.cardiffairportonline.com

Cardiff International Airport is located at Rhoose, 19km or 12 miles southwest of the city centre. As a regional airport, it is smaller than the major UK international hubs. It handles currently about 1.5 million passengers annually, with a capacity for three million.

Major airlines

Direct scheduled flights are provided by the national carrier, British Airways (telephone: (0845) 773 377 or (0845) 779 9977; web site: www.british-airways.com), to Aberdeen, Belfast, Brussels and Paris. Other airlines include KLM (web site: www.klmuk.com), which connections to Amsterdam, and British Midland subsidiary Bmibaby (web site: www.bmibaby.co.uk), serves Belfast, Edinburgh, Geneva, Glasgow, Jersey, Milan, Alicante, Faro and Malaga. Air Wales (web site: www.airwales.co.uk) connects Cardiff with Cork and Dublin, Ryanair (web site: www.ryanair.com) serves the Irish capital. A number of airlines run seasonal charter services to Europe and further afield.

Approximate flight times to Cardiff

From New York is 8 hours 45 mins; from Los Angeles is 12 hours 20 mins; from Toronto is 8 hours 50 mins and from Sydney is 24 hours 20 mins. Times include stopovers and transfers. There are no flights between London and Cardiff but London Heathrow is three hours away by rail and a little longer by road.

Airport facilities

Thomas Cook has 24-hour banking and exchange services daily between May and October. Other services: 24-hour information desk, ATM, duty-free shops, restaurants, cafés and pubs. There are facilities for disabled passengers, car parks and car hire (Europcar, Avis and Hertz).

Business facilities

There is no business centre in the airport. There is an executive lounge in the departures lounge.

Arrival/departure tax : Included in the airline ticket.

Transport to the city

Cardiff Bus (telephone: (029) 2066 6444; fax: (029) 2078 7742; email: enquiries@cardiffbus.com; web site: www.cardiffbus.com) runs hourly 06:30-18:30 Monday to Saturday (journey time about 35-40 minutes). Shamrock Coaches (telephone: (01443) 407 000; fax: (01443) 403 378; email: shamrockcoaches@aol.com; web site: www.shamrocktravel.co.uk) runs hourly 06:30-18:30 Monday to Saturday. On Monday to Saturday evenings, hourly between 19:36 and 22:36. First Cymru’s (telephone: (0845) 608 2608; web site: www.firstgroup.com) runs every two hours from Cardiff Airport to Cardiff coach station 08:45-21:35 on Sunday only. Cardiff Air Taxis (telephone: (01446) 710 693) charge approximately £20 for trips to and from the city centre (journey time about 20-30 minutes). The nearest railway station is eight kilometres or five miles away, at Barry, with connections from Cardiff.

Sea

Ferry services

There are no sea passenger services directly to or from Cardiff. However, Swansea Cork Ferries (telephone: (01792) 456 116; web site: www.swansea-cork.ie) operates services between Swansea and the Irish Republic from March to November. Stena Line (telephone: (08705) 707 070; web site: www.stenaline.com) operates from Fishguard to Rosslare and an Irish Ferries service (telephone: (0870) 517 1717; web site: www.irishferries.ie) links Pembroke with Rosslare.

Transport to the city

There are direct trains and buses between Cardiff and Swansea town centre. The train takes about one hour and the coach one hour and 20 minutes into Cardiff. It is necessary for those arriving at the Port of Swansea to take a taxi to the city centre, which costs about £5-6.

There are direct train and coach links from Pembroke Dock to Cardiff (journey time is approximately 3 hours 15 mins).

There are direct coach and rail links between Cardiff and Fishguard (journey time is approximately 2 hours 45 mins).

Rail

First Great Western (telephone: (08457) 484 950; web site: www.great-western-trains.co.uk) and Virgin Trains (telephone: (08457) 222 333; web site: www.virgintrains.co.uk). Express services are fast and comfortable, although the further west they go, the more frequent the stops and the slower the run. Local and regional routes are operated by Valley Lines (telephone: (029) 2044 9944) and Wales and Borders (telephone: (0845) 606 1660; web site: www.walesandborders.co.uk). Valley Lines routes, which can be noisy and rough-riding. National Rail Enquiries (telephone: (08457) 484 950) for all rail enquiries.

Cardiff Central
, Central Square, is the main rail station. The booking office is open Monday to Saturday 05:45-21:30 and Sunday 06:45-21:30. Facilities include a tourist information centre, ATMs, newsagent/bookseller and a fast-food outlet. Hertz has a car hire office outside the main building in Central Square.

Rail services

Hourly services to and from London Paddington are run by First Great Western via Reading, Swindon, Bristol Parkway and Newport (journey time about 2 hours). There are also rail connections between Cardiff, Swansea (journey time about 1 hour) and West Wales, as well as long distance cross-country services to cities such as Newcastle-upon-Tyne (journey time about 6 hours), York (journey time about 4 hours 40 minutes), Sheffield (journey time about 3 hours 30 minutes) and Birmingham (journey time about 2 hours), operated by Virgin Trains.

Transport to the city

Cardiff Central is southwest of the city centre, approximately a three-minute walk. The bus station and a taxi stand are located outside the station.

Road

Driving regulations in Wales are the same as for the rest of the UK. Main roads are designated by a letter, followed by up to four numbers: an ‘M’ indicates a motorway, ‘A’ a major trunk road and ‘B’ minor roads. Traffic drives on the left and overtakes on the right. The speed limits are 113kph or 70mph on motorways and dual carriageways, 97kph or 60mph on single-lane main roads and 48kph or 30mph in built-up areas, unless otherwise indicated. Seatbelts are compulsory for drivers and front-seat passengers and for rear-seat passengers, if fitted. Motorcyclists must wear helmets.

Mantais Cymru (Traffic Wales) provides traffic and road user information about Wales (telephone: (0845) 602 6020; web site: www.traffic-wales.com). Breakdown service and general motoring information is provided by the Automobile Association (telephone: (0870) 550 0600; web site: www.theaa.co.uk), the Royal Automobile Club – RAC (telephone: (0870) 572 2722; web site: www.rac.co.uk) and Green Flag (telephone: (0800) 001 371; web site: www.greenflag.co.uk).

Emergency breakdown services

AA (0800) 887 766 (toll free)
Green Flag (0800) 400 600 (toll free)
RAC (0800) 828 282 (toll free)

Approximate driving times to Cardiff

From Swansea is 1 hour; Birmingham is 2 hours 30 minutes; London is 3 hours.

Coach services

National Express (telephone: (0870) 580 8080; website: www.gobycoach.com) has direct services between Cardiff and most other major UK towns and cities. It also services Ireland via the Fishguard–Rosslare ferry. Eurolines (part of National Express) serves destinations on mainland Europe.

Cardiff’s coach and bus station is on Wood Street, outside the railway station. About a dozen different coach and bus operators have services around the city and further afield.
Useful travel links
AA route planner directions and maps within Wales.