North Wales is unfortunately rather lacking in public transport infrastructure…
…getting around will always be much easier if you’re able to drive.
However you can get to most places with a combination of bus and train!
The Isle of Anglesey actually has its own airport – unluckily for those living in the North West of England, it only flies to Cardiff. Great for the residents, but not so great for those needing to get to Liverpool. The closest airport otherwise is Hawarden near Flintshire, also known as Chester Airport (despite the fact that it isn’t in Chester, or even England), although it ceased to run commercial flights in the seventies.
Which leaves you with the nearest large commercial airports – Liverpool John Lennon and Manchester.
Getting to Snowdonia from Liverpool John Lennon Airport
By car it couldn’t be easier – simply take the M56 from Speke Boulevard, followed by the A553 and A557. Continue along the M56 and then take the North Wales Expressway (A55) to the A5 in Gwynedd. Take exit 11, and at the Llys Gwynt Interchange you take the first exist onto the A5 – and you’re pretty much there!
By public transport it may be a bit of a journey! Take the 86 from the airport into Liverpool City Centre and head for Liverpool Central station. Take the Merseyrail train to Chester, then transfer to an Arriva train to Llandudno (about an hour). At this point you’re very close to the top end of the National Park, although you may need to take a few more buses to get where you need to be.
Getting to Snowdonia from Manchester Airport
By car, leave the airport to get onto the M56 and then follow it to the A5 in Gwynedd. Then take exit 11 from the A55 and at the Llys y Gwynt Interchange, take the first exit on the A5.
By public transport simply take the train from Manchester Airport directly to Crewe, from Crewe to Chester and then from Chester to Bangor via Arriva. Get the bus from the station into Bangor bus station, and then the 67A to Bethesda, getting off at Glanffrydlas.
Getting to The Isle of Anglesey from Liverpool John Lennon Airport
By car it can take as little as two hours. Simply get onto the M56 from Speke Boulevard, then the A533, followed by the A558 and A56 (Chester Rd). Follow the M56 to Holyhead rd and then the A55 to the Isle of Anglesey. After taking the A5 exit from theA55, jump on the A5114 and you’ve arrived.
Again, you’re facing a long journey by public transport. Take the bus from LJLA to Liverpool Central (the 500, 82 or 86 buses will suffice) and once again get the Merseyrail to Chester. Make the change to an Arriva train to Holyhead and get off in Bangor after around 70 minutes. The X4 to Holyhed will then take you straight to the middle of the island.
Getting to the Isle of Anglesey from Manchester Airport
By car the journey should take less than two hours. Get onto the M56 and follow it to Holyhead Rd A5. Then take the A5 exit, and jump on the A5114 direct to the centre of Anglesey.
Follow a similar route as getting to Snowdonia by travelling to Crewe, then Chester, then taking the Arriva train. Instead of getting off at Bangor, stay on till Llanfairpwll, then it’s just a short bus journey on the 4A to the centre of the Isle of Anglesey.
Getting to the Llyn Peninsula from Liverpool John Lennon Airport
You may be looking at a two and a half hour journey to get from the Airport to the Llyn Peninsula! Jump onto the M56 from Speke Boulevard, then onto the A533, the A558 and Chester Rd the A56. Follow the M56 and North Wales Expressway and then take the A487 and A499 to reach the Llyn Peninsula!
By public transport it’s going to be quote a slog – at least five hours but it could be significantly more.
Take the 81A and then the X1 to end up at Runcorn East, then catch the Arriva train to Holyhead, getting off at Bangor. Then take the TrawsCymru T2 train to Aberystwyth, getting off at Market Square, from where you can get some local buses to various places in the Llyn Peninsula.
Getting to the Llyn Peninsula from Manchester Airport
By car the journey will take around two and a half hours. Get onto the M56, follow it and the A55 to Gwynedd, and then take exit ten from the A55. Take the A487, then A499, and you’ll be there!
By public transport you will need to take train from Manchester Airport to Crewe, and then take the Virgin train to Bangor, getting off at Colwyn Bay. Get the National Express bus 545 to Pwllheli, followed by the number 8 bus to Groesffordd, getting off at Y Groes and finally taking the 8A toward Pwllheli but getting off the bus at Rhydycafdy. And you’ve arrived!
Travelling to Conwy & Llandudno from Liverpool John Lennon Airport
By car you can easily get to the best of the area, including Colwyn Bay, Conwy and Llandudno. Get on the M56 from Speke Voulevard, then the A533 and A558, followed by the A56. Continue along the M56 and then take the North Wales Expressway to the A470 to arrive in Conwy. From there you can easily take the A470 to Llandudno!
This is comparatively easy by public transport! For Conwy, simply take the bus to the centre of Liverpool and get the Merseyrail train from Liverpool Central to Chester. At Chester, change to the Arriva train to Holyhead – this goes straight through Colwyn Bay and on to Conwy. If you’re heading to Llandudno simply stay on the train past Conwy and you’ll reach Llandudno.
Travelling to Conwy & Llandudno from Manchester Airport
By car you get started on the M56, following it to the A470 in Conwy. Take exit 19 from the A55 and follow the A470 to Llandudno. To get to Conwy, take exit 18 instead, and then continue on the A546, followed by the A547. For Colwyn Bay turn off at exit 21 and take the B5113 and then A547.
From Manchester Airport, jump straight on the Northern rail to Crewe, then a Virgin train to Chester, and finally an Arriva train toward Holyhead. This journey goes through Colwyn Bay, Conwy and Llandudno. Alternatively, there are services running directly between Manchester and Llandudno station.
Travelling to the Borderlands from Liverpool John Lennon Airport
As we’re so close to the border on both sides, this journey is a breeze!
For Llangollen: Take the A561 Speke Boulevard, then the M56, M53 and A55, followed by the A483 to Ruabon and then take exit 1. Follow the A439, and you’ll reach Llangollen.
For Mold: this journey takes less than an hour! Take the M56, then the A533, A558 and Chester rd A56. Continue down the M56 to Flintshire, then taking exist 33B from the A494. Follow the A494 to High St 5444 in Mold.
For Denbigh: M56 from Speke Boulevard, the A533, then A558 and A56. Follow down the M56 toward Denbighshire, then take the A525 and A543 to get to Denbigh.
And by public transport…
For Llangollen: Get the bus to Liverpool city centre, then the Merseyrail to Chester. From there take the Arriva train to Maesteg, getting off at Ruabon, then getting the number five bus to Llangollen.
For Mold: Get the bus to the city centre and catch a Merseyrail train from Liverpool James St to West Kirby. Get off at Bidston and take the Arriva train to Wrexham Central but get off at Hawarden. You can then take theX4 bus to Mold bus station!
For Denbigh: Take a bus to the centre of Liverpool, and then Merseyrail to Chester. Once in Chester, get the Arriva train to Llandudno, getting off at Rhyl and then get the X52 to Denbigh, taking around forty minutes.
Travelling to the Borderlands from Manchester Airport
For Llangollen: Only an hour’s drive, simply take the M56 to Chester and then follow the North Wales Expressway, the A483 and the A539.
For Mold: Less than an hour – take the M56 to Chester, follow the A55 anf the A949 to the B5444 in Mold.
For Denbigh: This is a slightly lengthier journey, taking the M56 and A55 toward Denbighshire; then the A525 and A543 over to Maes Mathonwy in Denbigh.
For Llangollen: Take the Northern train to Crewe, a Virgin train to Chester and then an Arriva train to Ruabon. The number 5 bus takes you straight into Llangollen.
For Mold: Taking about two hours, the National Express straight to Chester and then the number 3 bus into Mold is the most straightforward. Alternatively you can take the usual train route via Crewe and Chester, getting the number 4 bus to Mold from Chester station.
For Denbigh: Finally by train you would take the route via Crewe and then Chester, getting on the Arriva train in Chester toward Holyhead and getting off at Rhyl. Then you’ll need to take the X52, a 40 minute bus service which goes straight into Denbigh!
- Liverpool Airport
- Manchester Airport
- Parking for Liverpool Airport
- Parking for Manchester Airport
- Northern Railway
(Here are some of the resources mentioned in the article.)