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10 days in Wales solo by public transport?

Brisbane, Australia
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10 days in Wales solo by public transport?

I am a fit and active, well-travelled 60 year old woman who is hoping to travel solo through Wales using public transport only. I am in the very early stages of planning, as I’m seeking advice as to whether it is doable. I will be travelling in September and will have about 10-12 days to cover as much of Wales as I possibly can (I’m happy with long days). I enjoy history, scenery and pretty towns. My wish list of things/places to see includes - St Fagans History Museum, Brecon Beacons, Tintern Abbey, Hay-on-Wye, Pembrokeshire coast, Tenby, St Davids, Portmeiron, Llandudno, Pontcysyllte aqueduct, a rail journey (either Ffestiniog or Snowdonia). Have I left any must sees out??? I also have listed the following castles as the “best” to see, but know, of course, that it will be impossible to see all, so am also looking for opinions to whittle the list down to “the best of the best” and those easiest to get to - Caernarfon, Harlech, Conwy, Beaumaris, Caerphilly, Pembroke, Raglan, Carreg Cennon, Criccieth, Chepstowe. Any suggestions of places to base myself with the best transport links to get to as much of my wish list as possible is appreciated. Also advice as to which ones involve too onerous a journey would also be great.

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Wales
Wales
United Kingdom
Tintern Abbey
Tintern Abbey
1,356 Reviews
Chepstow, UK
Hay-on-Wye
Hay-on-Wye
Powys, UK
Tenby
Tenby
Pembrokeshire, UK
St Davids
St Davids
St Davids Peninsula, UK
Llandudno
Llandudno
Conwy County, UK
Pontcysyllte Aqueduct
Pontcysyllte Aqueduct
1,355 Reviews
Wrexham, UK
Caernarfon
Caernarfon
Gwynedd, UK
Harlech
Harlech
Snowdonia National Park, UK
Conwy
Conwy
Conwy County, UK
Beaumaris
Beaumaris
Island of Anglesey, UK
Caerphilly
Caerphilly
Caerphilly County, UK
Pembroke
Pembroke
Pembrokeshire, UK
Raglan
Raglan
Monmouthshire, UK
Criccieth
Criccieth
Gwynedd, UK
12 replies to this topic
Wales, United...
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1. Re: 10 days in Wales solo by public transport?

I don't think you have enough time to see everything that you've listed. I think it would be a struggle in a car, to be honest, and more difficult when relying on trains and buses.

The good news is that castles like Pembroke, Harlech, Conwy, Criccieth, Caerphilly and Chepstow is that they are all on railway lines. The less good news is that they are all in different parts of Wales. The even worse news is that Carreg Cennen is very difficult to reach without a vehicle so you'll probably need a taxi from Llandeilo. That would be one to leave out for me, purely on the grounds of accessibility, but having been to the castle many times, I think that would be a shame. It's a stunning location!

Caernarfon and Beaumaris can be visited by bus, and are not too far apart. Similarly, Criccieth and Harlech are on the same train line. Porthmadog might be a good base for that corner of Wales, not least because it's the home of the Festiniog Railway, as well as having trains to Harlech/Criccieth, and buses to Caernarfon.

What I'd do is to concentrate on Snowdonia/north west Wales and either south west Wales (Pemrokeshire) or south east Wales (Tintern, the Brecon Beacons and the Wye Valley).

You'll have to leave quite a few things out, but I honestly can't see any way at all to do everything on your wish list, sorry.

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Pembroke
Pembroke
Pembrokeshire, UK
Harlech
Harlech
Snowdonia National Park, UK
Conwy
Conwy
Conwy County, UK
Criccieth
Criccieth
Gwynedd, UK
Caerphilly
Caerphilly
Caerphilly County, UK
Chepstow
Chepstow
Monmouthshire, UK
Wales
Wales
United Kingdom
Llandeilo
Llandeilo
Carmarthenshire, UK
Caernarfon
Caernarfon
Gwynedd, UK
Beaumaris
Beaumaris
Island of Anglesey, UK
Porthmadog
Porthmadog
Gwynedd, UK
Tintern
Tintern
Monmouthshire, UK
London, United...
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2. Re: 10 days in Wales solo by public transport?

You dont need to see all the castles. Its a bit like wanting to se all Monet's waterlilies. Nice, but not strictly neccesary. In the north, choose one of the big castles. Agreed, a stay at Porthmadog (or Caernarfon) would allow you to tick several things off your list without going crazy.

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Porthmadog
Porthmadog
Gwynedd, UK
Caernarfon
Caernarfon
Gwynedd, UK
Stirling, United...
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3. Re: 10 days in Wales solo by public transport?

Railway map of Wales (zoomable, all stations shown)

nationalrail.co.uk/static/documents/content/…

and all public transport info can be got from Traveline Cymru website.

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Wales
Wales
United Kingdom
L M
London, United...
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4. Re: 10 days in Wales solo by public transport?

I am a solo female traveller too, I have had a few weekend trips staying in Cardiff and taking multiple day trips by train. Recently I managed a day trip incorporating Chepstow and Abergavenny. Another day trip I did Tenby, it's a long day trip but Tenby is stunning, a must see. Another day trip I went to Caerphilly Castle - a stunning castle. On a separate trip I went to Conwy in the North which I think is a must see, lovely castle, stunning city walls and there is a Tudor house too. Moreover Llandudno is a short bus ride away which is very nice seaside town. Conway has a YHA hostel if you are on a budget and there is a great view from there.

I can't advise on the Brecons area as I've always found it hard to get there by public transpor so I have never been.

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Cardiff
Cardiff
Southern Wales, UK
Chepstow
Chepstow
Monmouthshire, UK
Abergavenny
Abergavenny
Monmouthshire, UK
Tenby
Tenby
Pembrokeshire, UK
Caerphilly Castle
Caerphilly Castle
1,595 Reviews
Caerphilly, UK
Conwy
Conwy
Conwy County, UK
Llandudno
Llandudno
Conwy County, UK
Peachtree City...
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5. Re: 10 days in Wales solo by public transport?

I can’t speak for Central/South Wales, but I took a solo North Wales trip a couple of years ago using only public transit. Not many trains in the area but the bus system is great and the Traveline app is essential to get around.

I was there for essentially 3.5 days and did things on an accelerated timeline - I could easily have stretched my time and added some of the places you are interested in.

I used Caernarfon as my base - I would personally recommend this location over Porthmadog for a public transit trip, as it’s a more central hub and has a bit more atmosphere than Porthmadog which got pretty quiet when the evening came.

I wrote a trip report of my time which may or may not provide any assistance. Forgive the first few days: https://www.tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic-g18643…

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North Wales
North Wales
Wales, UK
Caernarfon
Caernarfon
Gwynedd, UK
Porthmadog
Porthmadog
Gwynedd, UK
Brisbane, Australia
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6. Re: 10 days in Wales solo by public transport?

Thanks for all these tips. So greatly appreciated. The planning begins in earnest.

Brisbane, Australia
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7. Re: 10 days in Wales solo by public transport?

Wonderful, Scott W. Have just finished reading your Welsh report. This will be a great help. Also the Liverpool post as I plan to visit there also on my way to Wales. Just as well my trip will be 2019 as I have a LOT of planning to do. How much luggage did you have with you when travelling from one overnight stay to another?

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Wales
Wales
United Kingdom
Lot
Lot
Occitanie, France
Peachtree City...
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8. Re: 10 days in Wales solo by public transport?

I actually subsisted with a lone rucksack for my trip, since I wanted to keep my hands free and did not want to haul things around. That might or might not be practical for you.

St. Dogmaels...
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9. Re: 10 days in Wales solo by public transport?

It took my Great Aunt 13 days to go round Wales on bus …blogspot.co.uk/2010/02/part-2-day-one.html if that helps? I would fly to Cardiff (St Fagans, museum and Castle) train to Tenby, Tenby then to Fishguard, bus to Cardigan/St Dogmaels (dolphin watch and Pembrokeshire & Ceredigion coast path walking), bus up to Dolgellau (Snowdon) and then up to Caernarfon or Conway and across to Manchester to fly out. There are firms that move your luggage for you if say you wanted to catch a bus to Fishguard or newport from St David's and walk to your next accommodation.

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Wales
Wales
United Kingdom
Cardiff
Cardiff
Southern Wales, UK
Tenby
Tenby
Pembrokeshire, UK
Fishguard
Fishguard
Pembrokeshire, UK
Cardigan
Cardigan
Ceredigion, UK
St. Dogmaels
St. Dogmaels
Pembrokeshire, UK
Dolgellau
Dolgellau
Snowdonia National Park, UK
Snowdon
Snowdon
2,211 Reviews
Snowdonia National Park, UK
Caernarfon
Caernarfon
Gwynedd, UK
Manchester
Manchester
Greater Manchester, UK
The St. David's Hotel
The St. David's Hotel
4,228 Reviews
Cardiff, UK
St. Dogmaels...
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10. Re: 10 days in Wales solo by public transport?

As mentioned above, use this site to plan your journey

https://www.traveline.cymru/ for flying into Cardiff enter your destination as RHOOSE RAIL STATION, RHOOSE as the site doesn't recognise Cardiff Airport fro some reason and will give you a weird route.

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Cardiff
Cardiff
Southern Wales, UK
Rhoose
Rhoose
Vale of Glamorgan, UK
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