Getting around Wales
Driving around Wales is fine, with nearly all roads of a decent standard, subject to the odd pothole and roadworks. Many of the smaller roads are slow, and in upland areas may become impassable during bad weather. The latest traffic information is available from Traffic Wales (www.traffic-wales.com).
Roads are generally of excellent quality, tarmacked and well signposted. Gravel paths are more common in more rural areas.
Classifications are the same as for England with motorways, A roads, B roads and smaller rural tracks.
Car hire can be arranged in most major towns and cities. Prices are usually cheaper when booked further in advance.
Taxis are usually available from ranks in city railway stations. Stick to reputable licenced minicabs. Outside cities, taxi journeys may be expensive if you are going long distances, and you usually need to pre-book. Youth hostels or hotels can usually supply you with the number for a reliable local taxi company.
Wales is excellent cycling country and whilst commuter cycling is not common, leisure cycling is a popular pursuit along the lanes and trails of the beautiful Welsh countryside. Bikes can be hired in most major towns and cities.
Speed limits are 48kph (30mph) in urban areas, 113kph (70mph) on motorways and dual carriageways, elsewhere 80kph (50mph) or 97kph (60mph) as marked. Seat belts must be worn by the driver and front seat passenger. Where rear seat belts have been fitted, they must also be worn. It is illegal to use a hand-held mobile phone while driving. The minimum driving age is 17.
All the main centres have local bus services. There is a good network of local train services radiating from Cardiff.
There are a large number of local steam railways, rescued by railway enthusiasts during the Beeching era, known collectively as The Great Little Trains of Wales (www.greatlittletrainsofwales.co.uk). The most famous of these is the one at Ffestiniog, Porthmadog in Snowdonia, which has lovingly restored locomotives and carriages from the last century.
Others include the Welshpool and Llanfair Railway (in north Powys), the Talyllyn Railway (near Barmouth in Cardigan Bay) and the Bala Lake Railway. Passport tickets are available, giving access to all the railways for the whole season.