In some parts of the principality, the Welsh seem to be good users of buses generally and that ensures a none too shabby set of useful services. There are a few local services collected here but there are many more than this so I have got some more collecting to be doing. As well as additions, I also hope to keep what’s here as up to date as I can. If there are any oversights, please do send me a message and I’ll be happy to fix them.
1F: Caernarfon – Cesarea – Carmel – Penygroes
1N: Caernarfon – Groeslon – Penygroes – Talysarn – Nantlle
Each of these services has a use for exploring the hills west of Betws Garmon such as Mynydd Mawr, Mynydd Tryfan and the Nantlle ridge. Only the 1N is a seven day service while 1F operates from Monday to Saturday. Near two hourly service frequencies are offered with these so you check timetables before you go travelling.
5: Wrexham – Llangollen ( – Corwen)
Now deprived of a connection to the National Rail network, a regular bus service is what performs sterling service in getting folk between Wrexham and the alluring place that is Llangollen. Seeing a weekday service level of up to every 15 minutes does make you wonder if it was a hasty folly to have removed that railway in the first place, especially with a heritage railway extending west from Llangollen as well. In fact, I have heard some rumblings regarding the restoration of a link with the national rail network too so it is best never to discount what folk might be thinking and planning. In the meantime, this bus service does much of the needful for public transport users.
6: Bangor – Mynnydd Llandygai – Bethesda
6A: Bangor – Tregarth – Bethesda
67/67A/67B/67C/67L/X67: Bangor – Tregarth – Rachub – Bethesda – Gerlan
It may look down at heel in parts and there is a quarry in its vicinity but Bethesda is another good and less than obvious access point for Welsh hills. It is also well connected to nearby Bangor by bus for those arriving by train, even if there is a ten minute trot required to get you from train station to bus station.
12: Pwllheli – Trefor – Caernarfon
14: Tudweiliog – Trefor – Pwllheli
These services will get you near some hills on the Llŷn peninsula that are worth walking and that is why they are listed here. It is service 12 that is the more frequent with a near hourly Monday to Saturday frequency and four afternoon journeys on a Sunday. The irregular service 14 is Monday to Saturday only and adds a few extra journeys and that is enough to get it listed here.
19: Llandudno – Llanrwst – Betws-y-Coed
X19: Llandudno – Llanrwst – Betws-y-Coed – Blaenau Ffestiniog
The lower Conwy Valley may not strike you as place from which to enter open hill country but you’d be very wrong. Places like Dolgarrog and Tal-y-Bont are useful starting points for hikes towards the Carneddau and other hills, once you haul yourself up the steep wooded slopes for the first 200 metres or so of height. Being able to catch these buses from Llandudno Junction station means that train travellers can use them too. All that’s needed is keeping an timetables for any eccentricities.
44: Llandrindod Wells – Builth Wells
Given how irregular rail services are on the Heart of Wales railway line and that it only passes within a few miles of Builth Wells (the town lost its own station as a result of Beeching’s cuts in the 1960’s) anyway, this service has a use in spite of its erratic coverage of the daytime hours. In this, journeys from Builth Wells do better than those from Llandrindod Wells. As is typical in this area of Wales, there are no Sunday journeys on this service at all.
48: Builth Wells – Llangammarch Wells – Llanwrtyd Wells
Three of the four former spa towns in this part of Wales are served by this Monday to Saturday bus service. Connections with service 44 get you to the fourth, Llandrindod Wells. Brecon becomes a possible with the T4 and both its timings and those of the 44 are summarised in this timetable. Daytime service frequency is around two hourly with an early evening finish so you need to keep an eye on those bus times when travelling around.
53: Bangor – Beaumaris – Llandona
56: Bangor – Llansadwrn – Llandona – Beaumaris
57: Bangor – Beaumaris – Glanrafon
58: Bangor – Beaumaris – Glanrafon
The Gwynedd Council timetable may be confusing for some (even if creating a single timetable to the four routes will have its uses) so I have added links to the Arriva timetables in the interest of added simplicity. The combined set of routes provide a reasonable service level over the course of the day though the frequency is lower on Sundays.
69: Chepstow – Tintern – Monmouth
Exploring the lower reaches of the Wye Valley has taken my fancy and this might be a useful bus service for doing just that. Service frequencies are around two hourly on Saturdays and Sundays but are hourly on other days of the week. The times of first and last journeys vary too so it is best to consult timetables carefully if you are not to get stranded, especially if a longer day walk is planned.
83: Abergavenny – Raglan – Monmouth
Here is what might become another useful bus service if I want to wander along the lower reaches of the Welsh River Wye. Service frequencies are around two hourly on all days of the week and the times of first and last journeys vary too so it is best to consult timetables carefully if you fancy spending a longer day exploring these parts.
85: Llanberis – Deiniolen – Ysbyty Gwynedd – Bangor
86: Llanberis – Deiniolen – Ysbyty Gwynedd – Bangor
It is service 85 that is the main one of these with only some weekday journeys operated as service 86. Express Motors operate both and there is something close to an hourly frequency available on every day of the week apart from Sunday. Even with the reduced Sunday service, this has its uses for hill country lovers since it is possible for travel from outside Bangor’s train station to Llanberis without a change of bus in Caernarfon. After that, adventures can commence.
88: Caernarfon – Llanrug – Llanberis
Express Motors operate this service seven days a week and the Sunday service level is at least two hourly while two buses an hour run for much of the day on other days of the week. Another curiosity is that there are later journeys between Llanberis and Caernarfon than there are in the other direction with a last departure of the day not long after 18:00. Nevertheless, the service is useful for what it is and that is just as well with Llanberis being at the foot of Snowdon (or Yr Wyddfa in Welsh).
525: Llanidloes – Llangurig – Ponterwyd – Aberystwyth
One of the uses of this service is for getting near Pumlumon for a spot of hill walking in remote Welsh countryside. It will not do that on Sundays or on bank holidays so it will be sometime from Monday to Saturday that you will need to pick. The Ponterwyd to Aberystwyth portion is best served since it nearly has a two hourly frequency. Otherwise, the timings are less regular so you will need to watch your times for the full route. Nevertheless, the early morning to early evening coverage allows a chance for a decent day out so long as you keep your route length in check.
X1: Llandudno – Blaenau Ffestiniog
This Monday-Saturday service performs an invaluable function as it makes its way up and down the Conwy valley. Its frequency is next to hourly, a very useful thing when you miss the infrequent trains that run the same way, and it calls at Llandudno Junction train station too. Both of those features make getting to Blaenau Ffestiniog or Dolwyddelan for some walking so much easier.
X47: Llanidloes – Rhayader – Llandrindod Wells
Rhayader’s proximity to the man-altered Elan Valley was what first drew my attention to the place and, given my liking for wilder spots, that may appear strange but some of some of mankind’s constructions can blend with the landscape. Its proximity to Llandrindod Wells on the Cambrian railway line makes a visit possible with the help of this bus service. Like many in the area, it is a Monday to Saturday affair and offers a largely two hourly timetable between Rhayader and Llandrindod Wells. After that, it is a little less regular for Llanidloes and there quizzically are journeys that start and end in Aberystwyth by following the route of service 525, with which it connects at other times. The X75 is another service that overlaps and connects with the X47 so things can look a little confused in the timetable. Nevertheless, it offers a good way of getting about from early morning to early evening and that has its uses.
X51: Wrexham – Coedpoeth – Llandegla – Ruthin – Denbigh
This service gives a decent travel option for anyone wishing to get around northeast Wales. Frequencies on Sundays and bank holidays may be very much less than those on other days of the week but they remain useful with a largely hourly daytime service. What interests me about the route is the access that they could offer to quality walking country. For instance, Llandegla is on the Offa’s Dyke Path national trail and I would like to walk north from there into the Clwydian Range sometime.