Galway Bay (photo © James Byard /

Route 5: West to Europe's Celtic fringe

A chance to travel the Heart of Wales line

Route introduction

One of the great things about Galway is that the Irish city doesn’t have a working airport. It closed in 2011, and since then visitors have been forced to travel to Galway by road or rail. It’s perfectly possible to travel from London to Galway
in a day by the rail-sea route via Holyhead. But Route 5 is the way to do it if you want to see some of the finest scenery in England, Wales and Ireland along the way. It’s a chance to savour a journey for its own sake.

Countries covered
England Wales Ireland

MAP Double click on the map (or double tap on mobile) to zoom in. You can connect onto other routes in places shown in red. Change to a layer showing a more familiar road map view by clicking on the menu at the top right of the map. Get back to the original view by clicking on the house icon shown in the top left menu on the map.

Europe by Rail: The Definitive Guide

Whether you are making a long grand tour or just planning a couple of weekend breaks, Europe by Rail is the perfect guide. The book describes over 50 key routes in detail. Together, they span mainland Europe and – brand new for this 16th edition – now also the British Isles. Find out more about the guidebook below.

This 16th edition of the definitive guide to exploring Europe by rail was first published in mid-October 2019. The most recent reprint was in February 2021. With tips on ticketing, fares and accommodation, Europe by Rail has become the definitive guide to exploring Europe by train.
Europe by Rail contains all that's necessary to plan your rail journey through Europe: over 50 route descriptions, a country gazetteer, rail connections, information on Eurail and Interrail passes and more.
The 16th edition of Europe by Rail: The Definitive Guide was published in mid-October 2019 and reprinted in January 2020. You can get hold of a copy in any good bookshop. Here, we list a few additional places where you can buy the book.