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Quick overnight in Wales

by keliza Online Now Apr 22, 2012 at 10:03 AM

I'm from Canada and staying in Reading for a short visit and want to take the train to Wales, staying for one night. I'd assumed a visit to Cardiff would be the ticket but it seems to be a modern city (albeit with a castle) and I would like to have a bit more of a real Welsh experience. Is this possible in just 2 days? Any suggestions on where to go or what to do? I will come back again hopefully one day to get other regions but don't have lots of time this visit. My interests are history & culture and not pubbing & outdoor adventure. Thanks to anyone who can offer suggestions.

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8 Answers
  • KakapoTheParrot's Profile Photo

    Re: Quick overnight in Wales

    by KakapoTheParrot Online Now Apr 22, 2012 at 10:50 AM

    I'd suggest you stay on the train at Cardiff and go on to Swansea. From there get the train to Pembroke. On the way back, you could stop at Swansea or Cardiff. If you can do it, Saint David's is the place to aim for but in a 2 day trip it's probably a bit far and hard to get to.

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  • leics's Profile Photo

    Re: Quick overnight in Wales

    by leics Online Now Apr 22, 2012 at 11:07 AM

    I suggest you visit Gwynedd in North Wales, which to the visitor is perhaps more obviously 'Welsh', with the majority of people using Welsh as their first language.

    Take the train to Bangor, which has a lovely 16th-century cathedral (on a much older site) and North Wales' first university built with the aid of 'the quarrymen's pennies'.

    You can easily take a bus from Bangor to Caernarvon (Caernarfon), a walled town with a magnificent Norman castle in very good repair:

    castlewales.com/caernarf.htm...

    My Bangor and Caernarfon pages have more info on what to see & do.

    Train times, details and fares on www.nationalrail.co.uk

    You can get a return for 82.70GBP, or two singles for 64GBP (these will fix you to a particular departure time.

    Bangor>Caernarfon bus timetable:

    arrivabus.co.uk/uploadedfile...

    Alternatively, you could get off the train earlier in North Wales and visit Conwy with its castle (almost as good as Caernarfon, although not quite). Conwy is a seaside resort, thus not quite as 'Welsh' as Bangor.

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  • ranger49's Profile Photo

    Re: Quick overnight in Wales

    by ranger49 Online Now Apr 22, 2012 at 11:40 AM

    I have lived in Wales ever since I came here as a student at Cardiff University - many years ago.
    There is a lot more history in Cardiff than most people know - but I now live in a market town 35 minutes away, on the edge of the Brecon Beacons and am surrounded by history and culture - the Roman remains at Caerleon and Caerwent, Norman castle remains and a Norman church in my home town of Abergavenny, Raglan Castle 5 minutes away.
    We recently hosted a young German VT member who wished to explore this area and would be very pleased to show you what we can offer if dates work out.
    Feel free to email me.

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  • Re: Quick overnight in Wales

    by philip.coates50 Online Now Apr 22, 2012 at 1:40 PM

    I think your time limit is too short, you would spend alot of time traveling on trains, my suggestion would be to visit St Fagans museum look it up on the internet,huge place and gives you a insight how wales used to be,not far from Cardiff.Take a look you will see what i mean.

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  • ranger49's Profile Photo

    Re: Quick overnight in Wales

    by ranger49 Online Now Apr 22, 2012 at 1:49 PM

    St Fagans is certainly a great place to spend a whole day when time is limited to one day only.(I never tire of going there with our visitors)

    But I believe in two days it is possible to see more and to get a much broader picture of what Wales has to offer by venturing further afield..

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  • Re: Quick overnight in Wales

    by keliza Online Now Apr 22, 2012 at 2:30 PM

    Thank you all so much for your advice. I would love to visit North Wales but have ruled it out for this visit due to time considerations. I don't want to spend 5-6 hrs each way on the train. Next time!

    What is there to do or see in Pembroke? I have heard of Tenby but not Pembroke.
    Thanks!

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  • ranger49's Profile Photo

    Re: Quick overnight in Wales

    by ranger49 Online Now Apr 22, 2012 at 2:46 PM

    Tenby is a popular seaside resort with good beaches. It also has the 500 years old Tudor Merchant's House- a property owned and managed by the National Trust.
    Pembroke is not far from Tenby and has the remains of an impressive Norman Castle
    The Pembrokeshire Coastal National Park is an area of outstanding natural beauty with miles of coastal path enjoyed by walkers.
    See -
    visitpembrokeshire.com/conte...

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  • aaaarrgh's Profile Photo

    Re: Quick overnight in Wales

    by aaaarrgh Online Now Apr 24, 2012 at 8:13 PM

    Chepstow might be a good option, it is in the southeast of Wales and only 20 minutes by rail from Newport. It has a tremendous castle perched over the River Wye and the town itself is very picturesque, with old town walls, colourful streets, impressive bridges and a pleasant church.

    As someone has mentioned, the National Museum at St Fagans near Cardiff is easily reached by bus and has all sorts of buildings from all corners of Wales. It is a good 'Welsh' experience, Welsh-speaking staff and Welsh cakes being baked in the Bakery!

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