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Trip to Wales

San Antonio, Texas
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Trip to Wales

Our daughter will be going to the University in Swansea in the fall. We want to visit her either in late November or late December (Christmas). We would rather visit in December, but if the weather is much nicer in November we could come then. We will be traveling from Texas (USA) and this will be our first time in the UK. Also, if we allow 7-10 days do you think we should try to visit England, Wales and Ireland in one trip? Thanks for any suggestions!

london
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1. Re: Trip to Wales

Hi, I also went to Swansea University and had a fabulous time there. I hope that your daughter enjoys her time there.

The weather in both November and December in Swansea is likely to be cold and wet. December may be a lttle busier and there may be more on for students in terms of essay deadlines and parties!

Unfortunately at that time of year you won't be able to make the most of the wonderful Gower coastline and the other beautiful countryside around Swansea. In 7-10 days it is plenty of time to visit Ireland and parts of England. Bath isn't far away and it is very easy to get from Swansea to Stratford Upon Avon and Warwick by car.

Welshlass

Watford
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for London
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2. Re: Trip to Wales

In November & December you really wouldn't have time to see all that our country offers in that period of time. It starts to get dark around 4.00pm and the weather can be pretty ropey. The further west you are, the later is stays light.

Depending on how long you want to stay with your daughter I would consider three options:

1) Hire a car and take some day and/or overnight trips visiting places such as Cardiff, Pembroke, Bath and even The Cotswolds where you should find some Bed & Brekafast bargins at that time of the year.

2) Take the train to London and spend 3 or 4 nights visiting the capital. Have a look at the London Forum for some ideas. There are a lot of hotels around Paddington, where the train arrives. They vary enormously in quality. Again the London hotels section of tripadvisor is very useful.

3) If you really wanted to see Ireland, there are budget flights from Cardiff to Dublin with Ryanair and to Cork with BMI Baby.

www.ryanair.com

www.bmibaby.com

Hope that helps and please do ask more questions.

Adam C

adamhornets@yahoo.com

Conwy.North Wales
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3. Re: Trip to Wales

How are you planning to tour, are you hiring a car ???

Phila Pa
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4. Re: Trip to Wales

Hi, I studied at the Uni in Swansea (I'm from Pennsylvania) and it was the best time of my life. It is a beautiful place...If you enjoy hiking explore the Gower as much as possible, get a bus pass and it will take you all along the Gower. Also London is a must see. I don't think you can also do Ireland in that short of time, it depends how much of each part of the UK you wish to absorb and appreciate! If you have any questions please ask....and I had great weather for the entire fall semester...but the locals did say that was rare.

Good luck to your daughter...if she has any questions about the University just ask!

And try to take 10 days...whenever I go to the UK I go for 10 days since you loose two days flying!

San Antonio, Texas
10 posts
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5. Re: Trip to Wales

Thank you for your comments and suggestions. Everyone has been so very helpful. We are still trying to figure out what to plan. If we fly into London, I don't know if we should hire (we say "rent") a car or if we should take the train. We will also be taking our son (19yrs) on this trip. It sounds like there is lots to see and do in England and Wales without going to Ireland. I always try to do to much, it drives my family crazy. My daughter will be coming home to San Antonio, Texas for the summer. She has been attending LSU in Baton Rouge, Louisiana (about 1 hour from New Orleans). She will be going to the Uni in Swansea for the fall semester only. She is so excited and has so many questions. She has never been to Wales. I was also wondering if there are hotels that accomodate 3 people in a room. In the US most hotels offer 2

double beds. We would need something like that (or get 2 rooms) to travel with our son. Thanks again for all the suggestions!

Howdy from Texas,

Terry

london
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6. Re: Trip to Wales

Most of the hotels would probably only accommodate 2 adults. If you visit www.visitswanseabay.com they have a list of hotels and guesthouses and their e-mail addresses so you could make a few enquiries.

If you are arriving at Heathrow and hiring a car there, it will probably take around three hours to drive to Swansea. It is a very straightforward drive but you will have to cross the severn bridge which costs around ��5.80 and they only take cash. A car will give you a lot more freedom while you are in Swansea.

If you wish to take a train then check out www.nationalrail.co.uk. I would avoid taking the coach as it is a very very long coach ride from Heathrow!

If you have any questions about the university I'd be happy to help. The climate will be a little different from Louisiana but I'm sure she will have a great time at Swansea!

Conwy.North Wales
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7. Re: Trip to Wales

www.premiertravelinn.com

check out this website for rooms they have family rooms they have inn's all over the UK, rooms are from around 45 pounds per room.

North Wales has some great places to visit lots of great Castles little villages.

Beddgelert and the Snowdon Nation Park area is good if you want to see North Wales

If you would like to stay in South Wales Pembrokshire is a nice area to explore.

In England you could visit Bath Oxford, Cambridge, many of these places have a park and ride, you park you car on the carpark and a bus takes you into the city this is well worth it parking in the cities can be hard to find, and cost a small fortune, look for the roads signs for Park & Ride.

Bristol, United...
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8. Re: Trip to Wales

Following on from the previous 2 posts for accomodation family rooms in these 2 chains are about 45 GB Pounds (GBP) You will be in one room with double bed and single/sofa bed, travellodge.co.uk or premiertravelinn.com.

Hiring a car is relatively cheap and a good way to get around as 3x train and coach fares can be expensive, with all the flexibility you need. However, petrol will be a shock we pay about $6 a gallon with a general consumption of 40 mpg on a small hire car. The severn bridge toll is 4.8GBP to get into wales on the M4 its free to come back to england! The trains are quite expensive over here as is national express - for coaches , but they go direct from Heathrow / Gatwick airports to swansea about 30GBP return. Another option is megabus.com that provide very cheap coach travel if you book ahead return fares can be got for under 10GBP - $15, ADDITIONALLY THEY go direct to swansea university from london victoria coach station everyday at 0800 arrives uni at 1245, return swansea uni 1300 into london 1745, they can be quicker if the traffic is quiet, there are other journeys to swansea in the day.

Depending on your interests there are many historic sights in south wales / south west england see english-heritage.org.uk or cadw.wales.gov.uk, Bristol is another local city to visit. I wouldn't get too excited about Oxford its a fairly bog standard UK city with some old university buildings, Cambridge is far more interesting if you must see one of the famous uni towns. Bath is worth a visit, see the roman baths the georgian architecture etc.........if you need any more info do post

Conwy.North Wales
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9. Re: Trip to Wales

ashcan

Oxford is a great city full of history, both Oxford and Cambridge are similar, but I would not say that it is a bog city.

Although we all have our own opinions

Phila Pa
7 posts
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10. Re: Trip to Wales

On a recent trip back to Wales my husband, myself and his sister stayed at the Glenview Guest House (they have a website) we all stayed in a suite and had a wonderful breakfast every day. It is right near a bus stop in Mumbles, near Swansea...beautiful area. They had upgraded us for the cost of a 2 person bedroom for free...great people.

I agree that Bath is a must see....

I have driven from London with a friend to Wales, and have taken the rail. The rail takes about 3 hours from Paddington station...it's a pretty ride through the Welsh countryside. The car trip was faster, but I beleive gas is very expensive in the UK.

I also studied just for fall semester at the University...by November or December your daugther will certainly know how to get around and what to see and do!

Haha, if she's a partier (even if she's not!) she can't miss the Mumbles Mile...a mile of pubs that leads out to a lighthouse, it's great fun...some of the pubs are quaint and have fisherman dogs lying by the fireplaces, and others are clubs, it's so unique....and it's all by the bay, very pretty! Can you tell I'm excited for her!!??