Cardiff is a very well connected Capital city, with excellent access from east, west, north & south of the UK, and plenty of flight and ferry options for those looking to venture to Sŵn from afar.
The M4 runs all the way from London to Carmarthen, with folks from Reading, Bath, Swindon, Bristol, Swansea and many other large towns best served by going directly to Cardiff. For the city centre –
- Travelling east on the M4. Leave the motorway at Junction 32, follow the A470, signposted City Centre.
- Travelling west on the M4. Leave the motorway at Junction 29, follow the A48(M)/A48, signposted Cardiff East and South, to the A470. Follow the A470, signposted City Centre.
For other parts of Cardiff, Westbound J 29 serves Cardiff East & South, J30 for East and J32 for Cardiff North. From Midlands, North England and Scotland it is a straightforward drive via the M6, M5 and M50/M4. From the South West, the M5/M4 is your best shout. All people travelling these routes should remember the Severn Bridge into Wales has a toll for all road vehicles (it’s worth it, we promise) – payable by card or cash. For cars, it’s currently £6.60, but for up-to-date prices, visit the website here. Those travelling from North Wales and Chester can use the scenic route along the A470, which starts near the North-West Coast at Llandudno and works it’s way towards the Brecon Beacons. From Chester and Wrexham, connect to the A470 off the A483 outside Builth Wells.
National Express and Megabus both operate regular services to Cardiff city centre at reasonable prices from most major UK cities, including direct services from Swansea, London, Bristol and Birmingham. Megabus also has services direct from Carmarthen, Manchester, Leeds and and routes from Newcastle.
At Sŵn we are committed to making the festival as green as possible and ask you all to consider your environment and the effect your travel has on it. As such, we encourage as many of you as possible to share car journeys by offering lifts. Just click here and add your journey, whether you are driving or looking for a lift, and they will match you with someone going the same way.
There are several car parks in Cardiff city centre, including 24 hour car parks either side of Bute Park, in Sophia Gardens and along North road. In addition, St David’s 2, the large new shopping centre in town has a 24 hour car park which is accessible by Mary Ann St, near the Motorpoint arena. Also in the city centre, there is car parking 24 hours at Knox rd NCP, behind Queen St train station and Dumfries Place NCP, just at the intersection of Stuttgarter Strasse and Newport Rd (end of Queen’s St). There are many pay and display stations, including many spaces around the University area on Park Place where charges don’t apply after 6pm (5pm Sundays). There are also spaces on the street on Churchill way and behind Cardiff Students’ Union.
Cardiff is served well by regular train services – First Great Western’s service runs from London Paddington and takes just over 2 hours, with stops at Swindon, Reading and Bristol. From the South, direct services go from Portsmouth and Exeter, as well as plenty of routes changing at Bristol Temple Meads. Similarly from the North and Midlands, services generally change at Bristol for Cardiff. Arriva Trains Wales go from Wrexham General direct to Cardiff as well as Holyhead and Llandudno. From West Wales, there are regular direct trains along the route from Pembroke Dock and Milford Haven. National Rail is the place to go for up-to-date details and to book, and often has good links to deals. If you’re under 25, don’t forget a Young Person’s Railcard will save you 1/3rd on all train travel (Only £30 for a year). Trainsplit can be useful for bringing down the cost of travelling from further afield.
Flights go to Cardiff International Airport from Glasgow, Newcastle, Belfast, Edinburgh and Dublin and can be got from as little as £25. It’s served by a rail service which connects it to Cardiff Central as well as Taxi’s and Buses. Otherwise, Bristol is an even busier airport and serves Inverness, Guernsey, Aberdeen, Knock and Isle of Man on top of dozens of major international locations such as Frankfurt, Barcelona, Paris and Hamburg.
Getting around Cardiff to and from venues is a mostly walkable effort, with many venues in the city centre within 5/10 minutes. However, there are venues in Grangetown, to the West of the city centre and Cathays, to the East that can be accessed by regular bus services or Taxi. Singles are currently £1.80 and an unlimited day pass is £3.60. Have the right money ready as Cardiff Bus won’t give you change! For more info on the Bus services, visit Cardiff Bus’s website, which has a detailed service list and a handy network map. With venues close to Queens St station, you may also want to jump on the train at Cardiff Central.
Uber has just started running in Cardiff, taking the inconvenience out of getting a taxi during busy periods. The service is improving all the time as more drivers join but has had mixed reviews in the city so far. If you don’t like the idea of getting an Uber, as with most city centres, there are dozens of Taxi companies ready to take people around town. There are taxi ranks near almost all venues there are two ranks on St Mary’s St, Central Station, Mill Lane and Churchill Way (near Gwdihw). Rates go up on Saturday nights, so you might want to pre-arrange a fee if you’re getting a cab post-festival. Find a full list of Taxi companies in Cardiff here.
VENUES IN CARDIFF
Once you’re here, there will be lots of friendly volunteers to help you find your way. If you like to be prepared, here’s a map of the venues for the festival.