Travel in Wales for 23 days. What does the rail pass cover? Does a rail pass make sense?

My husband and I (both 60) are planning for 23 days in Wales in late July/early August. We will be flying from the US to either Cardiff or London. We have many places we want to see in Wales, from the North to South and along the coast. Do all the trains/busses in Wales accept the Rail Pass and how can we find out if all of the towns we will be in are accessible to the rail/bus? The rail pass makes sense for us, if we can access every place we want to see! Thank you!
1 person has
this question
+1
Reply
  • Jeff (Official Rep) February 17, 2016 18:00
    Hi Mary Ann,

    There is no rail pass just for Wales. The only rail pass that will cover trains all throughout Wales is the 'BritRail Pass', which also happens to cover England and Scotland.

    The BritRail Pass would be purchased here: https://www.raileurope.com/rail-tickets-passes/britrail-pass/index.html.

    You can view a map of the rail lines in Wales by clicking here: https://www.raileurope.com/europe-travel-guide/wales/map.html.

    The BritRail Pass covers trains operating on the rail lines shown, but it doesn't cover buses. Generally, a rail pass covers ticket costs for trains between different cities in the country or countries included on the pass. Therefore, the BritRail Pass covers the ticket costs for trains between different cities in Wales, England, and Scotland. In Wales, the only exceptions would be a collection of narrow-gauge steam trains called the 'Great Little Trains of Wales'.

    The 'Great Little Trains of Wales' are the following: Bala Lake Railway, Brecon Mountain Railway, Llanberis Lake Railway, Ffestiniog Railway, Snowdon Mountain Railway, Talyllyn Railway, the Vale of Rheidol Railway, Welsh Highland Railway, Welsh Highland Heritage Railway, Welshpool & Llanfair Railway, Fairbourne Steam Railway, and Gwili Steam Railway. These are generally short journeys of about an hour or two and located in scenic areas, mostly concentrated around Snowdonia National Park in Northwest Wales and Brecon Beacons National Park in South Wales. If you're interested in taking any of these specific rail lines during your time in Wales, I'd recommend that you search for them online.

    Since the BritRail Pass is also meant for England and Scotland, it may be more than you'll need. Your other option would just be to purchase regular tickets for each of your trips. For routes other than the 'Great Little Trains of Wales' routes I mentioned above, tickets would be purchased by clicking on 'Find Fares & Schedules' on our homepage (www.raileurope.com) and entering a route. Generally, trains in the United Kingdom can be booked once within 90 days of an intended departure date.
  • (some HTML allowed)
    How does this make you feel?
    Add Image
    I'm

    e.g. sad, anxious, confused, frustrated kidding, amused, unsure, silly indifferent, undecided, unconcerned happy, confident, thankful, excited

  • Thank you! I am a bit confused, though... when I went to the raileurope site that you posted, I checked the travel information between London and Cardiff and found that the price for the train ticket was $36/person when I had checked that we would have a Britrail pass. Is this cost in addition to the rail pass?
  • (some HTML allowed)
    How does this make you feel?
    Add Image
    I'm

    e.g. sad, anxious, confused, frustrated kidding, amused, unsure, silly indifferent, undecided, unconcerned happy, confident, thankful, excited

  • Jeff (Official Rep) February 22, 2016 20:34
    Hi Mary Ann,

    If you were to purchase the BritRail Pass, it would be all you'd need to take a train from London to Cardiff. A rail pass covers the ticket costs on trains between different cities in the country or countries included on a pass. With that being the case, it would be redundant to purchase a ticket in addition to a rail pass.

    It is possible to have seat reservations on a train from London to Cardiff, but passholder reservations (reservations for any passenger traveling with a rail pass) for trains in the UK are only able to be made locally. Also. passholder reservations are free on trains in the UK. That would not be the case throughout the rest of Europe, where reservations would almost always be a supplementary cost to any rail pass.
  • (some HTML allowed)
    How does this make you feel?
    Add Image
    I'm

    e.g. sad, anxious, confused, frustrated kidding, amused, unsure, silly indifferent, undecided, unconcerned happy, confident, thankful, excited