When I moved to London, often I heard, that I should one day go to Wales. In a weekend of February together with friends from Oxford we decided to make the 8 persons city break to Cardiff, which is the capital of Wales. It was one of my better weekends in England. Cardiff is an ideal place to combine relaxation with the night partying and sightseeing. Find out from the text how to spend time in Cardiff and what to visit in the surrounding area.
Cardiff, which is the capital and the largest city of Wales, is located three hours from London and two hours by car from Oxford. It was established as a Roman settlement from I-II century, later expanded by the Normans. Its current modern and industrial look has because of many investments taking place at the end of the twentieth century, when was closed most of the local coal mine.
We arrived in Cardiff on Saturday around 1pm and we immediately went to our hostel YHA Cardiff Central (East Tyndall Street) to leave things. I must admit that our hostel has nicely surprised us. Not only that, it had a good location (about 15 minutes walk to the center), but also its standard was definitely closer to the hotel and it’s only 37 pounds.
It was lovely and sunny. It’s going to be a beautiful day. After long reflection, we decided instead to go to the center in the direction of Cardiff Bay. Cardiff is situated on the River Taff, at the mouth of the Bristol Channel. We were hungry, and lunch by the sea is always a good idea.
We left the car and started walking step towards Cardiff Bay. We pass by the various industrial and residential buildings until we come to the center of the Wales Millennium Centre, where is held various events and concerts.
Around the bay they are located in the buildings such as St. David’s Hotel, the building of red brick Pierhead Building (now a museum dedicated to Welsh parliamentary system, once debated here Members of the General Assembly), the Senedd (Welsh seat of parliament) and the famous Mermaid Quay with its numerous restaurants and eateries serving regional cuisine.
A little further is the BBC studios, white Norwegian church and the pavilion exhibition of Doctor Who Experience, which is an exhibition devoted to the British TV series Doctor Who science finction. The series was produced by the BBC since 1963 and permanently inscribed in towards British culture. The series tells the adventures of the Time Lords (the title Doctor) traveling through time and space humanoid alien in his TARDIS – living spaceship that looks like a blue police box. Dr. measured enemies, rescues civilizations, helping people and corrects errors. The telephone box has become a kind of symbol of the show and a favorite object of shooting in Cardiff (hovering over the water).
Our attention attracted located on the terrace an Italian restaurant Signor Valentino. Upon entering, it did not do on us best impression because of little sympathetic waiter, but served here food has compensated it. I can recommend this place with a clear conscience. The food is very tasty, the portions big enough for England and at a decent price. For lunch consisting of a starter, main course and a drink we paid 16 pounds per person. The most profitable is of course lunch menu, which includes, among others lasagna for 9 pounds, spaghetti Coze for 8 pounds. You can also go to the food to the center e.g. the restaurant Clink in prison.
Just coffee in Costa and we head towards the center, passing through the picturesque streets full of small shops and cafes. Previously, however, my attention was drawn by full of posters and pictures on the wall of the bridge under the stairs. It turned out that this is a memorial dedicated to Ianto Jones, fictional hero Torchwood (PInn-off series “Doctor Who”). I must admit that much shocked me this place. Located on the wall numerous photographs letters and cards were full of so many emotions related to the death of a hero, that you could get the impression that Ianto was a true liberator of humanity and authority, and not just a fictional character.
After 30 minutes of walking we arrived at the modern library Central Library, where we enter the top floor to see the city skyline. Unfortunately, the roof is no longer available to the public, so on courtesy of the library staff we were able to see the city through the glass though. You see, among others, well-modern Millennium Stadium, which is the second largest stadium in the world with a closed roof and the third built in Europe, which had this type of roof.
After leaving the library we go down the main street from which go towards the arcade castle. There are lots of cozy cafés, restaurants and shops. On the way we pass on the left halls Cardiff Central Market and on the right the church of St. John. It is worth to go inside to see the distinctive architecture.
At the end was castle, which ultimately we only watched from the outside. The castle was built on the ruins of a Roman fort. In it he lived a well-deserved for the city Marquess of Bute. One of the central points of the castle is the twelfth-century Norman tower, which offers a magnificent view of the city. The castle is comprised of numerous towers: the Clock Tower, Tank Tower, Guest Tower, Herbert Tower and the Beauchamp Tower. If you have more time, it is necessary to go inside. The interiors of the castle are full of beautiful scenery and splendor.
I also recommend a walkto the oldest of Cardiff arcades where you can find interesting boutiques, cozy cafes and restaurants.
It’s getting dark. It’s time to take a short break for a drink. Basing on the recommendation of a friend from Cardiff after 30 minutes of wandering we get to the bar of The Dead Canary (60 Charles Street). It is a very strange place in a building that does not encourage input. The exterior is only a plaque with the inscription fire exit. The place of the so-called category. secret bars, which they know only the local residents. To enter, you need to press the bell on the door. After entering you will be positively surprise with decoration and offer drinks (average 8.50£).
For dinner, I recommend you the Thai restaurant Thai House (3-5 Guildford Crescent), where you can e.g. eat duck or pad thai. For a starter, main course and wine we paid 24£ per person.
The next day morning we started with brunch at Cote Brasserie (10-11 Mill Lane), where you can enjoy a delicious breakfast set Formula for a 9.95£ . I think the place is worth recommendation. Our next point of visits were waterfalls
At the beginning we went to the complex of waterfalls Henrhyd Falls & the Nant Lllech Waterfalls. It was a really great idea, because walk among the greenery and then shower under a waterfall is the best relaxation. Henrhyd (90 ft high) is the largest waterfall in South Wales. Along the way you will pass several smaller equally charming. By met lady we were instructed to visit the next complex, in which apparently is even more waterfalls.
In this way we got to the Brecon Beacons National Park. There is the largest concentration of waterfalls and cascades in Wales. You can choose between different hiking routes, but unfortunately we did not have such time for. The shortest tour was 2 hours. We limited ourselves to see a waterfall located near the parking lot.
We decided to go to the beautifully located on Lake Norman Caerphily Castle. It is located in the town of Caerphilly in South Wales and I have to admit that it really impressed us especially at sunset. It is the largest castle in Wales and the second largest after the Castle of Windsor in the UK.
It was a really great weekend. Time to eat dinner and go home. The most recommended place near was a restaurant Red Kite (Beddau Rd Carphilly), in which in the familiar environment you can eat for 11£ a burger with fries or salad. After adventurous trip is the perfect place for calorific dinner.