How to visit your mates in… London, Liverpool, Birmingham, Bristol, Cardiff

So its fresher’s week and you’ve just arrived in Aberystwyth for the first time. It’s lovely, it’s by the sea and you are finally independent and at University. But perhaps your best mate is studying in Birmingham. You are in the wilds of Wales now, how do you get places cheaply? Have no fear, the Student newspaper has the solutions and top tips to see you arrive on time for that party.

London

London

Tower Bridge

Train: Aberystwyth to London Euston (via Shrewsbury, one change at Birmingham)

Off peak train fare from Aber to London costs around £43 return with a 16-25 railcard, £65 without, and takes just under 5 hours.

Top tip: get a railcard! If you make more than one trip home by train this year the £25 is worth it.

Best bit: The high speed virgin train from Birmingham to Euston. It has seating like an airplane, it usually only stops twice and has power points for charging your laptop.

 

Bus: Aber Uni to London Victoria coach station.

Source: National Express.

This journey takes 7 hours and costs roughly £48 return. So if you hate trains then this is the transport for you!

 

Driving: If you are lucky enough to have a car at Uni why not drive? Usually only takes 4 hours and costs £35 in petrol.

Top tip: don’t go through Brecon beacons, go via Swansea instead and get straight on the M4.

 

Liverpool

Liverpool skyline

Train: Aberystwyth to Liverpool central (two changes at Shrewsbury and Chester)    

Off peak train fare from Aber to Liverpool central is £31 return with a railcard takes and 4 hours

Why go? Liverpool has great shopping, good night life and has been the European Capital of Culture(2008)

 

Bus: National Express coaches take over 8 hours and cost around £48 without a bus card.

Note: If you are going to use National express more than twice then you could get their 16-25 bus card for £10 for a year, which gives you 30% off.

 

Car: Should only cost around £20 in petrol and takes 2.5 hours to drive. Not a bad drive through Snowdonia either.

 

Birmingham

Train: Aberystwyth to Birmingham New Street

Off peak train fare from Aber to Birmingham is £26 return and takes around 3 hours

Best Bit: Although it takes 3 hours to get to nearest city by train, it’s not a bad journey. The mountains make it nice and scenic and if you get bored, there are always other Aber students to get chatting to.  

 

Bus: National Express coaches cost £36 without their bus card and takes just under 4 hours

 

Car: Takes 3 hours and costs around £20 in petrol.

 

Bristol

Train: Aberystwyth to Bristol Temple Meads (one change at Wolverhampton)

Off peak train fare from Aber to Bristol £45 return with railcard and takes 4.5 hours

Side Note: Bath is quite close, so if it’s there you want to visit feel free, but it’s pretty complicated and more expensive via public transport.

 

Bus: Takes 6.5 hours and costs £58 return  

 

Driving: Takes around 3 hours and costs £25 in petrol.

Cardiff

Train: Aberystwyth to Cardiff central (via Shrewsbury)

It takes 4 hours and costs £34 return with a railcard.

 

Bus: The bus is by far the easiest, quickest and cheapest way to visit either Cardiff or Swansea. As somewhere along the way the people laying the train tracks, decided that making north / south routes wasn’t a good idea!

National express via Birmingham, £60 return, takes 7 hours. Or get a

local bus from Aber for around £15.

The X40 runs from Aber to Cardiff via Swansea and takes 2 hours.

Look out! With the change in AHA bus cards for Arriva that price might rise! Watch out for news on local buses and cards on the guild website: aberguild.co.uk

 

Car: Driving takes about 2.5 hours and costs around £20 in petrol.

 

Please note that all these costs and fares have been worked out based on next day travel, so if you were to book in advance you could save a lot more money! Another way to save money is to keep an eye out for the national rail’s discounted routes, often Birmingham to London can be less than £7 if you don’t mind when you go.