London to Cardiff by Train, Bus and Car

How to Get From London to Cardiff

••• Richard Szwejkowski / Flickr / CC BY-SA 2.0

Cardiff is 151 miles west of London but good road and rail connections make it very easy to get to. With its Millennium Stadium attracting thousands of international rugby and football fans and the Wales Millennium Centre now Wales's number one visitor attraction, the capital of Wales is one of the UK's top 10 destinations for foreign visitors.

This university city has experienced something of a style and entertainment renaissance in recent years.

And you can be there by train in about two hours.  So what are you waiting for?  Here's how - 

Read more about Cardiff.

How to Get There

By Train

Great Western Railway operates direct trains to Cardiff Central Station from Paddington Station in London on their Swansea line. Trains leave every half hour during the busiest times of the day. The journey takes a little over 2 hours.Fares start at about £48.00 if purchased in advance as two single or one-way tickets (checked in December 2016 for January travel). The more flexible you are about your travel time, the more you can save. Do be careful to request "single" or one-way tickets because round trip tickets for this journey can cost more than £100.

UK Travel Tip The cheapest train fares are those designated "Advance" - how far in advance depends upon the journey as most rail companies offer advance fares on a first come first served basis. Advance tickets are usually sold as one-way or "single" tickets. Whether or not you buy advance tickets, always compare the "single" ticket price to the round trip or "return" price as it is often cheaper to buy two single tickets rather than one round trip ticket. The difference on a trip between London and Cardiff is dramatic with standard fares being as much as two or three times the advance fares.

By Bus

Buses from London to Cardiff take between 3h30 and 3h45 hours. Advance fares cost between £10 and £20 round trip when purchased as two, one-way tickets - though if you are willing to book several months in advance and travel relatively unsociable hours, you could do this trip for an astonishing £3 round trip.

  National Express operates a regular bus service between Victoria Coach Station in London and Cardiff Bus Station. Last minute tickets for this trip cost about twice as much. There is also direct bus service to Cardiff Airport and Cardiff University. Bus tickets can be purchased online. 

UK Travel Tip National Express offers a limited number of "funfare" promotional tickets that are very cheap (£1.50 for London to Cardiff as compared to £19.50 for example, when checked in December 2016 for mid January travel). These can only be purchased online and they are usually posted on the website a month to a few weeks before the trip. It is worth checking the website to see if "funfare" tickets are available for your chosen journey. Go to the National Express homepage and look for a box that says "Online exclusives" and "Use our fare finder". If cheap fares are available for your trip, that's where you'll find them.  It helps if you can be flexible about dates.

By Car

Cardiff is 151 miles west of London via the M4 and M48 motorways. It takes about 3 hours to drive in perfect conditions but the M4 can become congested near London, Reading and the exit to the M25 which can add to your travel time.

Keep in mind also that gasoline, called petrol in the UK, is sold by the liter (a little more than a quart) and the price is usually between $1.25 and $1.50 a quart. In December 2016, for example, the average price for a US gallon of gasoline was $5.50


Read guest reviews and find best value Cardiff hotels on TripAdvisor.