Every year over a million visitors from outside of the UK arrive in London and head onto one of the many sightseeing tours of Stonehenge and yet don’t venture further afield to Scotland, Ireland or even Wales that is within an easy train ride of London. Its approx only a 2 hour train ride from London to Cardiff and you will certainly notice a difference in the type of person in Wales versus what you will meet in central London – the people are extremely friendly and hospitable!
With the development of its ample media complex (now relocated to Cardiff Bay), the National Assembly, Millennium Stadium hosting international events (including Olymics Football) and a victorious Six Nations Rugby team, things seem to be looking good for Wales, and capital city Cardiff.
Great Culture and Shopping
The riverside city has developed significantly in the last fifteen years, with plexiglass shopping centres and the totally overhauled Cardiff Bay project transforming the docks and former working heart of this industrial city. In many ways, Cardiff is a Welsh Liverpool – great culture, cool waterside setting, great people, fascinating history.
Great Places To Stay and See
And there is plenty to explore. Nowadays there are myriad Cardiff hotels worth getting excited about. Our tip for enjoying a lovely weekend is to actually get a spot just outside the city centre- such as the Copthorne Caerdydd from Millennium Hotels- so that you can also gain access to the south Wales coast to the West of the city, as well as the lovely farms and walks in the area. But your first day should be spent around the city centre. Follow the river, is our tip. Start off with a gawp at the Millennium Stadium, opposite the Central bus and train station.
Cardiff Central Market
Then,go to Cardiff Central Market, a beautiful old structure over a century old in the city centre, off St Mary Street. Head upstairs for a traditional cooked breakfast if you can stomach it! Then move just a few hundred metres along St Mary Street to Cardiff Castle (tip: the outdoor views and gardens are better than the indoor rooms and tour).
Pop out and join the river by wandering through Bute Park and up the Taff Trail, following the river. A lovely walk to get the digestion going…You can then take the river taxi from the bottom of Bute Park to Cardiff Bay, where you could catch a show at the Millennium Centre, or enjoy a meal in it’s revered restaurant ffresh.
Sunday is a locals’ day – head north and a little east to the quiet, leafy neighbourhood of Roath where you’ll find the lovely Roath Park and lake – take a boat out and get an ice cream! You can wander down and around Albany Road’s coffee shops, or even take a yoga class there at Rogue Yoga…finish things off with amazing veggie food at the Canteen on Clifton Street.