Activities Destinations: Wales

12 Unique Things to Do in Cardiff

The Welsh capital has a fame for raucous nightlife – and it’s nicely deserved. But there’s much more to this vibrant metropolis than nocturnal excessive jinks. It’s a massively common brief break vacation spot with visitors from both Britain and beyond, thanks to the mixture of high-energy city life, and tranquil countryside and coastal surroundings.

A bustling road in Cardiff City Centre (Photograph: Owen Lucas by way of Flickr)

Confident and cosmopolitan, the town centre is a hubbub of activity, a lot of which is focussed across the iconic Cardiff Fort. Elsewhere, Cardiff Bay, beforehand the world’s largest coal exporting port, is now one among Europe’s largest waterfront developments, with a wealth of leisure activities and places to eat and drink. For fans of theatre, sport and purchasing, there’s a lot to see and do.

Cardiff is just over three hours from London by rail or street and only two and a half hour’s drive from Heathrow Airport, nevertheless it additionally has its personal airport and that of Bristol close by across the Severn Estuary. Even when the climate doesn’t comply with plans, there’s all the time lots to see and do indoors in and around Cardiff. Listed here are a few of the city’s most original experiences.

Watch a performance by NoFit State Circus

For most individuals, family trips to the circus are some of the enduring reminiscences of childhood, bringing to life the vivid colors and fantastical characters we had only beforehand recognized by way of books and television. Immediately it stays a massively fashionable activity and none-more-so than in Cardiff thanks to the NoFit State Circus, the town’s personal native circus company. Founded in the town in 1986, it as we speak places on intimate and immersive exhibits. Probably the greatest things concerning the NoFit State workforce is their capacity to make each spectator feel part of the action. With the performers swirling all around you, it looks like only a matter of seconds earlier than one among them whisks you up into the air. It is really a magical expertise and one that each visitor to Cardiff should make time for.

Four Elms Street

No-Fit State Circus

(Photograph: NoFit State Circus)

Encounter centuries of history at Cardiff Fort

There usually are not many historic fortresses so tightly packed into a contemporary city centre as Cardiff Fort, and it’s this quirky juxtaposition of previous and new that types part of the enduring attraction of this iconic landmark. One moment you might be having fun with some excessive road buying and the subsequent immersing your self in 2,000 years of historical past. Whether or not you’ve acquired 10 minutes to spare or a whole afternoon at your disposal, there’s a wealth of detail to take pleasure in both inside and out of doors the former stronghold, from its pristine grounds to the nooks and crannies of its interior areas. For these keen to achieve an in-depth insight into the citadel’s fascinating history, there are guides obtainable for house tours. Alternatively, should you time your go to properly, you may additionally take pleasure in one of the myriad events that take place at the citadel, including over 200 Welsh banquets annually, the place visitors can take pleasure in conventional Welsh food and entertainment.

Fort Road

Cardiff Castle

Cardiff Fort with the Millennium Stadium behind (Photograph: Cardiff Citadel)

Comply with in the footsteps of Doctor Who

Much of the long-lasting BBC collection, Doctor Who, is filmed in the studios at Cardiff. When the studios aren’t sufficient although, the manufacturing staff have gone out and about into the streets of the town and although you won’t instantly recognise them from the present, locations like the National Museum of Wales has been used many occasions in numerous episodes. A good way to get nearer to Physician Who in Cardiff is to take the specialised strolling tour of the town that visits 20 totally different filming places used in the episodes filmed around the city since 2005. If you need to discover out more info, or make a booking, please visit this hyperlink.

Browse the antiques on sale at Jacob’s Market

Pottering around an antiques market has all the time carried a robust attraction with vacationers. It’s exhausting to put your finger on why, but there seems to be no extra reliable means of delving beneath the skin of a metropolis and understanding its idiosyncrasies. In Cardiff, the stand-out providing for vintage bric-a-brac and curios could be found at Jacob’s Market. Housed in a four-floor, red-brick building in the guts of the town, it is likely one of the oldest antique emporiums in Wales, boasting greater than 50 stalls selling second-hand and antique furniture, vintage garments, books, army memorabilia, tribal art, coins, financial institution notes, stamps, and far more. When you’ve exhausted your antique searching, there’s a café on the 1st flooring to chill and admire your new purchases. On the top flooring is a up to date artwork gallery and a roof terrace offering excellent views over the Cardiff skyline.

West Canal Wharf

Jacob's Market

Antiques at Jacob’s Market (Photograph: Jacob’s Market)

Take a guided tour of the Welsh Nationwide Meeting

Recognized in Wales as the Senedd, the Nationwide Meeting for Wales is the location where the democratically elected body of 60 members convenes to be certain that the Welsh Government remains accountable to the individuals. This takes place alongside different duties that embrace setting native taxation rates and making laws for Wales that are not already set by wider UK regulation, as part of the continued means of devolution. The building is a public one, so anyone is free to stroll inside. There’s a cafe and gallery area within that holds momentary exhibitions. Sometimes there are performances staged in the area as nicely. Excursions of the Senedd can be found for small teams, families and people – at 11am Mon-Fri – and groups of up to 40 individuals. Booking in advance is really helpful.

Pierhead Road

Hunt for discount curios at Cardiff Indoor Flea Market

Cardiff’s retail landscape is presented some added allure with the Cardiff Indoor Flea Market. Tucked away in an industrial property near the town centre, the market is housed in a huge restored constructing and plays host to round 60 everlasting stalls selling a various combination of antiques, retro items and basic objective products. You’ll find vintage furnishings, retro radios, watches, chiming clocks, jewellery, army items, glassware, crockery, smoking pipes, stitching machines, sort writers, guitars and rather more. But equally notable are the individuals, and especially the common stall holders whose familiarity assist to create a vibrant, friendly environment that permeates the venue. In a nutshell, this can be a great selection for guests in search of an pleasant method to while away an hour or so in Cardiff. And with such a powerful number of gadgets on sale, you could end up leaving with more than you bargained for.

2 Clydesmuir Industrial Estate

Cardiff Indoor Flea Market

Bric-a-brac on the indoor flea market (Photograph: Cardiff Indoor Flea Market)

Get musical at Spillers Data

Not your average document store, Spillers Data was established in 1894, and whereas their claim of being the oldest document store in the world isn’t simply verified, it have to be up there among the oldest (Edison invented the phonograph in 1877). The neat little retailer sells LPs, which are rising in reputation once more due to their sound quality, as well as merch and music in different types. One other bonus of a trip to Spillers is the events, with album signings and intimate reside periods with a variety of artists from the locality and additional afield. Additionally they have weekly launch lists and supply nice recommendations of music to take a look at on their social media platforms.

27 Morgan Arcade

Visit a cultural centre inside a Norwegian Church

The links between Norway and Cardiff will not be notably well known, but there’s one landmark in the Welsh capital that serves as a salient historical past lesson for us all. Nestled inside the Port of Cardiff is a quaint former church established in 1868 to provide spiritual and social care to Norway’s fleet of merchant sailors. This is additionally where revered writer Roald Dahl was christened. In the ensuing years, it turned world famous as a meeting place for Scandinavian sailors and remained the oldest surviving church in Britain to be based by the Norwegian Seamen’s Mission till its closure. Right now it has been reworked right into a renowned cultural venue, offering a diverse programme of arts exhibitions, live shows, hospitality and events. For a lesser recognized glimpse into Cardiff’s previous, it makes for an interesting go to and is very beneficial, not least for the constructing’s distinctive architecture and design.

Waterfront Park

Norwegian Church

The distinctive Norwegian Church (Photograph: Norwegian Church)

Discover the town’s spiritual history at Llandaff Cathedral

You’ll be able to step again into Cardiff’s medieval previous by visiting certainly one of its most impressive historic landmarks, Llandaff Cathedral. Built in 1107, the Anglican cathedral is a bona fide historic treasure, sitting on one of the oldest Christian websites in Britain and boasting a few of the most necessary examples of medieval structure anyplace in Wales. It underwent its most vital ‘modern’ restoration in 1869, when lots of its current options have been added, together with the Welch Regiment Memorial Chapel and – most strikingly – a strengthened concrete arch which stands between the nave and the choir. Surrounded on all sides by urbanised Cardiff, it retains a serene and secluded allure, making it an in style selection for visitors eager to escape the hubbub of the town centre. Whether or not you’re an architecture buff, a scholar of church historical past or simply take pleasure in a relaxed stroll by means of a picturesque churchyard, that is one among Cardiff’s best points of interest.

Cathedral Shut

Llandaff Cathderal

The grounds and constructing of Llandaff Cathedral (Photograph: Llandaff Cathderal)

Eat a meal prepared and served by inmates at The Clink

Set in the shadow of a jail and staffed solely by serving prisoners, it might not sound just like the setting for a fine-dining restaurant, and positively not a romantic one, however The Clink is without question probably the most distinctive place to eat in Cardiff. The 96-cover venue, which creates seasonal dishes with regionally sourced elements, is a part of a wider network of comparable tasks aiming at providing inmates with expertise and training that may benefit them on the surface, while concurrently working to change attitudes in the direction of the incarcerated. Around 30 prisoners from HMP Cardiff and HMP Prescoed work a 40-hour week both in the kitchen, gardens or restaurant on the metropolis centre prison training in the direction of nationally-recognised City and Guilds NVQs earlier than returning to the jail on the end of every working day.

HMP Cardiff, Knox Street

See Cardiff from the water on a ship tour

Cardiff Bay used to be a serious coal port, however now it’s a fantastic, well-developed area of water that’s sheltered by the Cardiff Barrage providing views of a characterful skyline punctuated by an eclectic range of buildings like the fashionable Senedd to the red-brick, 19th-century Pierhead constructing. There are various ways you’ll be able to experience the town from the bay, but a ship tour is the best choice, and Aquabus supply one of the simplest ways to explore the world. Their Cardiff Bay Cruises run for 45 minutes and embrace a commentary including context to what you see as you move by, together with the Cardiff Bay Wetlands Reserve and the Barrage. Their boats seat up to 100 individuals and have bogs and an open air viewing deck Other nice choices of exploring the bay with Aquabus embrace the superb worth waterbus service connecting to Mermaid Quay in the town centre, and a personal constitution boat service for bigger teams and occasions, seating up to 57 individuals.

One of the Aquabus boats leaving Mermaid Quay (Photograph: courtesy of Aquabus)

Go to a rave in a former bank vault

For clubbing fans, The Vaults is a very unique venue situated in the buzzing Cardiff Bay area. It’s a actual bank vault beneath a flowery previous building and is cut up into a fundamental Techno room, a Funky Home room and – in the previous financial institution itself above the vaults – a huge cartoon cinema sit back room. The sound system rocks, the lasers ship an intense visible expertise and, most necessary of all, the those that attend are fun and friendly. Events using the area may be considerably sporadic so it’s greatest to examine forward earlier than planning your night time out round it.

Portland Home, 113-116 Bute Road

About the author