New Norwich link to Cardiff – Things to do in the Welsh capitalPosted: February 3, 2015
It seems strange that a place with such a vivid past is best known as Europe’s youngest capital city. But that’s just one of the unexpected things about Cardiff that makes a visit essential.
The art collection alone at the National Museum draws visitors from all over the world, with a broad range, including world-renowned impressionist and post-impressionist work, 1930s surrealism and 20th century art from Wales. With natural history, archaeology and geology exhibitions too, best clear the diary for the rest of the day.
You won’t need to ask for directions to the striking slate and steel structure of The Millennium Centre in Cardiff Bay. It’s nicknamed The Armadillo due to its copper-coloured dome. The centre hosts a huge range of concerts and performances in one main theatre and two smaller halls. It also features a number of cafes and restaurants, with regular free events creating a vibrant atmosphere.
Established in 1971 through various fund-raising projects (including a concert by Pink Floyd), Chapter is a vibrant space hosting a large amount of events every year in three theatres, two cinemas and a gallery. Entrance is free and with two bars and a café, it creates a relaxed and sociable environment.
The foundations of the castle date back to 50AD, and the imposing building walled with elaborate gargoyles is a 19th century gothic fantasy. It was created by renowned architect William Burges for the third Marquis of Bute, who was reputedly the richest man in the world at the time. It’s a monument to eccentricity that should be on your must-see list.
Cardiff has more green space than any other city in Europe, per head of population. The Taff Trail makes the most of former rail routes, towpaths and tramways, allowing you to walk or cycle from Cardiff Bay through 2000 acres of parkland, all the way to the moorland of the Brecon Beacons, if you really need some extra miles to work off that Sunday lunch.
The rise of Wales as a paradise for food lovers is reflected by the growth in popularity of farmers’ markets in the Welsh capital city. There are four regular markets in Cardiff, showcasing the rich variety of small businesses in Wales producing their own food and drink. Anyone for bison?
Very few international sports arenas occupy a plot of land in a city centre, but this remarkable stadium really is a sight to behold both inside and out. International rugby and football is played here, as well as a variety of the other sports events and major live music concerts.
You won’t go short of action-packed watersports activities in rural Wales. The white water experience, on the other hand, is located in Cardiff Bay, near two of Wales’ most famous urban landmarks. Not that you’ll be able to appreciate the finest architectural points of the National Assembly Building and the Wales Millennium Centre as you go crashing through the rapids in a canoe or on a white water raft.
Located in a pretty village on the outskirts of the city, the remarkable National History Museum is one of the city’s most popular attractions for visitors. Over 40 buildings, from an Iron Age Celtic village to a row of ironworkers’ houses have been painstakingly rebuilt in 60 acres of beautiful gardens, with many traditional crafts and activities taking place in front of your eyes. Don’t miss the opportunity to bag a loaf of bara brith, a delicious fruitcake from the Derwen Bake House.
Cardiff: The Movie would be a blockbuster. This ancient settlement became the biggest supplier of steel and coal to the world through its docks. People from all over the world settled here, adding a wealth of diversity and character that remains to this day. Appropriately enough, The Cardiff Story is housed in the heart of the city at the imposing Old Library on The Hayes.
Sourced by Visit Wales