Take the Train to the Longest Town in Great Britain, Llanfairpwll…

Railway sign for Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch
Railway sign for Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch

Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious Has NOTHING on This Town’s Name

Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch is a city in Wales with 58 letters making up its name, it is the longest city in Great Britain. The English translation of the name is: St Mary’s Church in the Hollow of the White Hazel Near to the Rapid Whirlpool of Llantysilio of the Red Cave. Think spelling it is hard?  Try saying it! (Here’s a nice sound file to help you.)

Separated from the Welch mainland by the Menai Straits, Llanfairpwll (for short) is on the island of Anglesey (called Ynys Môn in Welsh). A world away, but easily accessible by Virgin Trains, you’ll find golf, wildlife tours, boating excursions, beaches and semi-wild Carneddau mountain ponies that graze the clifftops. More than 120,000 visitors come to Anglesey thanks to the ease of British train travel, no doubt in part to visit Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch.

Where Did this Wacky Name Come From?

The townspeople wanted a unique way to get tourists to come and visit Llanfair Pwllgwyngyll after a railway was built between Chester and Holyhead. A committee was formed, and it’s believed a cobbler from Menai Bridge came up with this mouthful of a moniker. This cobbler is credited for coming up with one of the best and most successful tourist marketing plans of all time.

History of the Railway Station

Construction began on the railway track in 1845, and the station at Llanfairpwll opened three years later. A fire destroyed the Brittania Bridge in 1966, but was rebuilt less than ten years later. In 1995, the station was restored to its full, former glory.

What’s There to do Around Town?

The famed James Pringle Weavers boasts Welsh crafts and gifts, cashmere sweaters, tweed ties, tartans and an ancestry center with a database containing more than 50,000 family names. The shop is one of Llanfairpwll’s main tourist attractions. Inside, find two steam locomotives built more than 65 years ago, as well as an area to have your passport stamped with the full Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch name (we think the font is either extremely small or the stamp takes up an entire page!)

Finish your visit to James Pringle Weavers with a stop at the Sidings Restaurant for bara brith, the famous Welsh speckled bread.

The village of Llanfairpwll is also famous for a great pillar of moelfre limestone that stands nearly 90 feet tall. Crafted in 1816, the Marquess of Anglesey’s Column is a tribute to Henry Paget who lost a leg at Waterloo. For a small fee you can climb the 115 steps where you’ll be rewarded with spectacular views of the beautiful Anglesey countryside.

How to Get to Llanfairpwll by Train

Reaching Llanfairpwll is fairly easy by train. There’s hourly train service from London to Chester on Virgin trains, offered in Economy (2nd) or Comfort (1st) class. From Chester you connect to Llanfairpwll on an Arriva Train Wales train, offered in just one class of service. The total journey is approximately 3.5 hours long.

Insider Tip: You MUST tell the conductor on-board what station you are getting off at. The train will NOT automatically stop at Llanfairpwll, it is a request stop only, about eight minutes past Bangor. If you cannot pronounce name of station, no worries, you can simply advise the conductor you are going to LPG.

Traveling to Llanfairpwll with Train Tickets

Train tickets for London – Llanfairpwll can be purchased online through Rail Europe. These tickets are offered as e-tickets that you print at the station using a self-service kiosk. You can find detailed information on printing your e-tickets on our Rail Help pages.

The price for this route starts at $67 in Economy and goes up from there. The pricing our the site reflects a mixed class of service since the Chester – Llanfairpwll route is only offered in one class of service. Train tickets for British trains can be purchased 60-days in advance of the date you wish to travel.

How to Travel with a BritRail Pass to Llanfairpwll

If you are visiting more than three cities, a rail pass typically works out be best for you. You can use a valid BritRail Pass for travel between London and Llanfairpwll. Reservations are not required to travel on these trains with a rail pass, you can simply hop on-board and find an empty seat. Reservations can be obtained locally at the station for an additional fee, if you choose to have a dedicated seat on the train.

Virgin Trains - © RMB
Virgin Trains – © RMB

What to Expect On-Board High-Speed Virgin Trains

Traveling second-class aboard the Virgin train, doesn’t mean traveling second fiddle. Economy travel provides generous legroom in a comfy seat with in-seat audio, an on-board shop offering a wide range of hot, cold and alcoholic drinks as well as tasty sandwiches and snacks, magazines and more for purchase. Wifi is available for a small fee.

First class coaches provide plenty of room to work or relax. First class travelers will enjoy complimentary food served at their seat Monday- Friday, enhanced mobile phone reception, power outlets, complimentary WiFi, a QuietZone, restrooms at the end of most cars and an on-board shop.

On all Virgin trains You’ll find baby-changing areas, disabled travelers and wheelchair facilities and luggage storage in each coach with overhead space for additional bags.

Traveling with your family? Children ages  3-6 receive a VKids bag including books, games, activity sheets, crayons, a fun magazine, and a traveler’s log to record favorite memories of seeing Britain by rail. The VKids bags can be picked up at the on-board shop.

If you’re the traveler who seeks the wonderful and wacky, this is a must stop on any UK itinerary. Now get practicing how to say Great Britain’s longest town name. Llan…

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>