Cardiff

Should you rent a car in CardiffUK>Cardiff

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  • Flexibility – As with any other city, a hire car will give you the flexibility to explore beyond the built-up areas in your own time.
  •  There are plenty of really superb scenic drives and walking opportunities which can be taken by heading into the valleys out of Cardiff.
  • Gower peninsular – in my opinion, the most attractive landscapes in southern Wales are around the spectacular Gower Peninsula which is just to the west of Swansea.
  • Although it is perfectly easy to cycle out to the Gower peninsula from Swansea, buses around this area are less regular. A car is certainly a much more versatile option.

Beyond Cardiff & South Wales

  • Welsh countryside – needless to say, beyond the valleys which are easy to reach from Cardiff is plenty of superb countryside.
  • For mid-wales, please see our Birmingham car hire advice page. For North Wales, we also have suggestions for public transport options from Liverpool.

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  • Valley Railways — the southern Welsh valleys can also be explored by train using the famous Valley lines. These provide ample access for walking and cycling in these areas. However, they are all fingers branching out from the centre of Cardiff. They don’t have the ‘up and over’ flexibility that a hire car will give you, unless you take the train up one valley and back down another.
  • Swansea, Newport and Bristol. It is easy to add on a visit to the cities of Swansea, Newport or Bristol by train from Cardiff.
  • See our Bristol car hire advice for more details about visiting the south-west of England with or without a car.

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There are numerous British cities where I think public transport provides a perfectly workable alternative to a hire car for getting around. Whilst the Welsh Valley railway lines might appeal to some, I really think it is much better to pick up a hire car so you have the flexibility to appreciate central Wales at its best.

  • Note for passengers taking flights to Cardiff: Although Cardiff airport does technically have a railway station in its name, services only operate once each hour. You still need to allow for transfer between the terminal building and the station platform.
  • You might find it just as easy to take a bus direct from the airport terminal into Cardiff city centre.
  • A much wider choice of flights is available into nearby Bristol Airport.
  • Cardiff is served by regular direct trains from London Paddington, with a typical journey time of around two hours.

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Author: Carometer

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