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Llanfairpwll by train

Llanfairpwll by train

26 May 2020

Known as Llanfairpwll for short, take a train to the tiny town in Wales with the longest name.

Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch is a small town in Wales with 58 letters making up its name. It may be the longest Welsh town name, and also in the UK as a whole, but it is in a small but beautiful location: the Welsh Isle of Anglesey, just over the Menai Strait from Bangor on the mainland and easily accessible by train. Anglesey is one of those British islands which, once discovered, becomes a regular wild wanderlust spot to escape to for many UK travellers. If you are visiting the UK from abroad, don’t go there just to get a photo of the famous train station sign, but for many other Welsh wonders on its doorstep. 

History of Llanfairpwll train and station

The English translation of Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch, shortened to Llanfairpwll or Llanfair. P.G. is St Mary’s Church in the Hollow of the White Hazel Near to the Rapid Whirlpool of Llantysilio of the Red Cave. When the railway line between the English border town of Chester and the Anglesey port of Holyhead was built to cater for journeys between England, Wales and Ireland, word has it that residents wanted to find a clever way to get tourists to stop and visit their part of the world en route, and came up with this mouthful of a moniker. This is still a popular route in fact, with bargain UK to Ireland rail and sail packages available to buy on our site. 

Construction of this train track began in 1845, and the station at Llanfairpwll opened three years later. Tragically, a fire destroyed the Britannia railway bridge which connects the Welsh mainland with Anglesey in 1966, but it was rebuilt less than two years later. Then they added an extra tier for road traffic in 1980, elevating it to high levels of engineering excellence. In 1995, the original Victorian Llanfairpwll station was also restored to its full, former glory. The bridge should not be confused with Telford’s Menai Bridge, further down the Strait, which is equally impressive and is used for cars and foot traffic. 

Best things to do in Llanfairpwll

You can walk across both the Britannia and Menai bridges and, even better there is a beautiful 5.5km circular walk which takes in both of them. Although not Welsh, there is a James Pringle Weavers outlet, of Scottish fame of course, in the town which has plenty of Welsh crafts and gifts but also a plethora of tartans and tweeds, as well as an ancestry centre. The shop is one of Llanfairpwll’s main tourist attractions. 

Anglesey is also included on the northern section Lôn Las Cymru trail, Wales’ long-distance cycling route, which is translated rather beautifully as Wales’ Green Lane. It is one of the UK’s finest cycling trails, for sure.

How to get to Llanfairpwll by train

If you are travelling from London, there’s an hourly train service from London to Chester, then just take one connection here to Llanfairpwll, with a total journey time of 3 hrs 35 mins. Note that stations on Anglesey are rather unique in that they are request stops, so the train won’t automatically stop there. You have to tell the conductor that you will want to get off there. On the way back, you have to put your hand out while standing on the platform to let the driver know to stop. 

Photo credits top to bottom: Anglesey with Snowdonia in the background iStock ©JohnDavies49, Menai Bridge Anglesey iStock ©elgol, Britannia Bridge at sunrise iStock ©Rob Bickerstaffe

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