Day 880: Getting Around in Wales

Anyone who has tried to not spend a fortune on transport in the UK knows that this requires some research. Confusingly, there are several bus and train companies, everyone with their own system. When I lived in Bristol back in 2012, I relied solely on First because this was the main bus company. I had my day or week ticket and this worked fine.

However, it is a bit more complicated if you wandering around Wales and especially if you need a local bus ticket and maybe a train ride to another city from time to time. The thing is that Cardiff mostly uses a company called Cardiff Bus. It was perfect when I was staying in Penarth (September) because I could travel from there to Cardiff and around Cardiff as well. Buy a ticket in the app, scan on the bus. Easy. £3.30 per day if you buy three day tickets at a time (you don’t need to use them on consecutive days). In Cardiff, you can also travel on N.A.T. buses and several others. You could buy the Network Rider ticket for this purpose, this costs £8 per day and you can travel on buses of different companies with this one. Buy the ticket on the app or use cash or contactless on the bus.

When travelling between the major cities Newport-Cardiff-Swansea, you have several options. Use the Megabus or National Express coaches (note that not all go via Newport). There’s also X10 going between Cardiff and Swansea. This is part of the Cymru Clipper services by First, long distance buses. You can buy the Cymru Clipper day ticket, but oddly enough it does not include the X10. For this, you need a separate ticket.

If you need to travel around Swansea and maybe visit some of the places on the Gower peninsula (perfect for hiking, magnificent views), the Swansea Bay day ticket for £4 (on the app, £4.50 on the bus) will do. You can get as far as Pennard (starting point for the Three Cliffs Bay hike) with this or you could also visit Mumbles. If in doubt, check the ticket boundaries.

For me, the bus and rail ticket for First has done wonders. It includes Great Western Railway trains and First Cymru buses. It takes me from the small village of Tircoed to Swansea on the X13 and then to Cardiff on the train. £10 for one day. Would be much more expensive if I had to purchase the train ticket separately. This ticket can take you as far Newport or Carmarthen in the other direction. Only valid on certain trains. No Arriva Trains or Transport for Wales. You can buy this one in a train station of from your bus driver.

Progress Report

1. Own and live in a house.

Busy day with an uphill sprint workout, seminar in Cardiff, and thus lots of commuting. Obviously, I didn’t earn any money nor even think about it. My mind was on school stuff. But did continue loving the house and the spacious kitchen, especially the breakfast bar which is comfortable for sitting.

2. Write AND publish a book.

It was a workshop day, which meant that I had to give other people some feedback and also receive some. Yay, they liked my story of a food and health inspector. In the workshop, we had a soft fish on the table, filled with foam… the topic of the class was absurd and humor and we all wrote about that fish. Odd. I didn’t get very much on with it, ended up writing about a fish that swims through time. Obviously, been watching too much Doctor Who.

3. Win a major race.

Uphill sprints x12. Living in a forest village means that the forest trails are about a 100m away. Well, the proper path starts at 500m from the house, the first bit is awfully muddy. It’s Wales, it’s hilly, even too much. Had a hard time with the uphill training but eventually did it. In Cardiff, I was in a rush as usual and took one of the Nextbikes up the hill, arrived covered in sweat, and later ran back down, grabbed a bike halfway down and did catch the 20.25 train. Yes! Considering that my class ends around 19.55 or so and it is 5K, that’s pretty good. I would be faster with my running clothes and without a heavy backpack, but it will have to do because I need that laptop in the class.

Photo of the Day


It was our first day running here, so we went to check the paths before we actually went for a run. This part gets quite muddy when it rains.

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