Cardiff

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Cardiff  is the capital of Wales, United Kingdom.  It used to be an industrial city, but is now a lively and modern capital city and a tourism hot spot.

The city is friendly to pedestrians, and summer is by far the best time to visit, with large festivals, and outdoor dining and drinking. The city centre has been intensely developed n the 21st century, and is now considered to be one of the top ten shopping destinations in the United Kingdom. Cardiff is a green city, having the most green space per person in the UK, and this is complimented by Bute Park which sits in the heart of the city. It has a reputation as a city of castles, having 5 different castles within its surroundings. The city’s core population stands at roughly 341,000, with 861,000 living in the larger urban area.

Understand :  Cardiff is on the south coast of the south Wales plain, with a shoreline on the Bristol Channel. It lies at the mouth of three rivers: the Taff, the Ely and the Rhymney, with the Taff flowing through the city centre and all three reaching the sea at Cardiff Bay. Cardiff is quite a flat city, a characteristic that helped it become one of the world’s leading ports for the transport of coal from the rugged south Wales Valleys. Around 12% of the residents of Cardiff speak Welsh, and all public signs in the city are in both Welsh and English. However, as elsewhere in Wales, English is universally understood.

City :  Cardiff’s city centre is in the southern portion of the city just north of Cardiff Bay. It is traditionally centred at the castle, bounded to the north by the historic civic centre, large Bute park arboretum and university buildings, by the River Taff to the west, and by the Valleys and National rail lines to the east and south respectively. Growth is pushing the city centre beyond these boundaries, especially in regards to commercial office and residential provision. In particular, the area south of the original city centre towards and including Cardiff Bay has been almost completely redeveloped.

History :  Cardiff’s history follows its castle which has been occupied for over 2,000 years when the Romans created a fort on the river Taff (where the name may have come from ‘Caer’ = fort, on the ‘Taff’); the fort’s original walls can still be seen highlighted around the base of Cardiff Castle’s walls. In Medieval times the castle grew, and a small town spread from its south gate, the medieval street pattern can still be seen around High Street. In the 15th century the town was destroyed by the last great Welsh Prince Owain Glyndwr. Successive owners fortified the castle and the town timidly grew, until the industrial revolution when the 2nd Marquess of Bute built the Glamorganshire canal to transport coal from the Welsh valleys through Cardiff’s docks.

Combined with the later arrival of the railways, Cardiff’s population exploded and the docks grew to become the largest coal exporting port in the world. At its peak, the price of the world’s coal was determined at Cardiff’s Coal Exchange and the first ever £1,000,000 cheque was written here in 1901 (equivalent to £117,000,000 in 2017). Cardiff was the 3rd largest port of the British Empire, resulting in Edward VII granting Cardiff city status in 1905. With the rise of the city’s fortunes, the Marquis of Bute transformed Cardiff castle into a fairytale gothic palace. He also donated land to build the civic centre which contains the City Hall, National Museum, university and government buildings, all built in elaborate neo-classical Baroque styles out of white Portland stone.

The Marquis also commissioned the architect William Burges to design many public and residential buildings in a distinctive Gothic style – many are still visible in the city centre and the inner suburbs. Wales did not have a de jure capital until 1955, when Cardiff was chosen as the largest city. However, with the post-War decline of coal, the city’s docks became increasingly abandoned, and in the 1990s the city’s transformation began with the building of a barrage to stop the worlds second largest tidal range from revealing dirty mud flats, and creating what is today Europe’s largest waterfront regeneration project.

The Bay today is a mixture of apartments, sport, leisure and culture and its success has also seen a rejuvenation of the city centre, where large scale pedestrianisation and the recent massive St David’s redevelopment have created a vibrant city, combining the best of the old, sitting close to modern architecture and amenities. As for the Castle, it was handed over to the people of Cardiff, and is now a major tourist, corporate and cultural attraction, an indication of where the city’s future lies.

Profile :  Cardiff has a strong sporting and cultural presence given that it is the capital city, and therefore plays host to most Welsh sporting events, especially since the opening of the Millennium Stadium in the city centre. In fact one of the city’s charms is when it plays host to matches, the city centre atmosphere can be extraordinary, being swelled by 75,000 attendees and thousands of revellers.

Cardiff used to be quite a gritty city with the port and industry playing a huge role — Cardiff’s ports were once among the most important in the world. Notable milestones were when Cardiff Bay (sometimes called Tiger Bay) was the first area of modern Britain to be thought of as a multicultural area given the huge part immigrants played in the city’s ports. The area is still home to one of the oldest and largest expatriate Somali communities in the world. The world’s first ‘million pound’ deal was also signed at the Bay’s own Coal Exchange building.

The city has moved away from its industrial past, however, and has been transformed by developments such as Cardiff Bay, which now hosts famous and striking landmarks such as the National Assembly for Wales and the spectacular Wales Millennium Centre. Massive investments have also been made throughout other parts of the city, such as the opening of the Millennium Stadium and massive Saint David’s shopping centre.

When to go :  Cardiff is best to visit during late spring to early autumn as the warm weather adds to the city’s pleasures and allows maximum experience of all the sites and areas of the city. Although the city usually benefits from mild weather all year round, like much of Wales it also receives substantial rainfall, especially in winter.

Access : Coordinates: 51.483333, -3.183333 / By plane :  The main airport is 1 Cardiff Airport (CWL IATA). This is the only major airport in Wales and is situated some 12 miles to the south-west of the city adjacent to the town of Rhoose in the Vale of Glamorgan. The airport is served by a number of airlines including Flybe, KLM, Thomsonfly and Skybus. KLM provide worldwide links to Cardiff via Amsterdam Schiphol airport (AMS IATA). Domestic services operate daily to Anglesey, Belfast, Newcastle, Newquay, Jersey, Glasgow and Edinburgh. As for European routes, Amsterdam, Paris, Madrid, Dublin, and many other holiday routes such as Faro, Palma de Mallorca and Alicante, operate daily.

Increasingly, 2 Bristol Airport (BRS IATA) is used as well by residents and visitors of Cardiff. Prices can be lower, and it can be easily reached by car or public transport.

By train :  Cardiff Central railway station is a major hub for many services and is in an ideal location being very close to the main city centre attractions and is in close proximity to Cardiff Bay. Arriva Trains Wales operate the vast majority of intra-Wales services with regular departures from Cardiff Central to the South Wales Valleys, Swansea, and a frequent service to North Wales. They also operate regularly to Manchester and Birmingham making Cardiff ideal to visit via rail. All inter-city travel is via Cardiff Central while 4 Cardiff Queen Street station near the eastern end of the city centre is the hub for Cardiff’s Valley Lines services, connecting the centre of the city with the suburbs and commuter towns. Both stations are controlled by ticket barriers, so you will need a ticket to enter or leave the platforms. Ticket machines are in the entrance of the stations, and in Central station there are many maps that will help you plan your journey.

Cardiff Central is two hours from London Paddington by train, however some may take longer with more stops. Trains depart half hourly during the day and are operated by First Great Western. These services also continue hourly to Swansea. First Great Western run a service from Cardiff to Portsmouth Harbour via Newport, Bristol, Bath and Southampton.

Rail service provides quick and easy links to other interesting areas (such as the Vale of Glamorgan and West Wales), making Cardiff a pleasant and cheaper place to use as a home base while exploring the surrounding areas.

The city has around 22 train stations within its boundaries, with travel to North Cardiff especially accessible, Tourist attractions such as Cardiff Bay, Castell Coch and Barry Island can be easily and cost effectively reached by train or bus.

By car : From London and the South East of England, Cardiff is most swiftly reached by taking the M4 motorway west across the Severn Bridge and into Wales. Journey times from Central London to Cardiff are usually 3 hours, although visitors from Heathrow could shave up to an hour off this time. Don’t forget the bridge charges a toll to cross, although after years of accepting cash only, the bridge operators now accept major credit and debit cards. The M4 is also the main artery linking Cardiff with West Wales including Swansea, while the A470 road mainly links Cardiff with the South Wales Valleys, Mid Wales and North Wales. Travelling from North or Central England and Scotland the M50 links the M5 motorway with Wales and continues down to south Wales eventually linking with the M4. Cardiff’s junctions are 29 – 34 inclusive.

Within Cardiff, it is cheaper to find a train station and continue onto the city centre via train, as car parking within the city, although plentiful, can be expensive. Getting around the city by car is straightforward, even within the city centre, it is quite easy moving around; although, it’s best to restrict entering the city centre area during off-peak times, as congestion can occur at rush hour like. The city centre is pretty compact and its much easier and cheaper to move around on foot or bike. When major events (in particular international rugby matches) take place at the Millennium Stadium, most streets in the city centre are closed to vehicles, and even getting around of foot can be slow due to large crowds

By coach : National Express operate regular services to and from most other major cities in Britain. Buses arrive and depart from Sophia Gardens, just north of the city centre, whilst the central bus station is being moved and reconstructed. In addition, MegaBus offer a regular and very cheap service to London and departs from near Cardiff Castle. Cardiff is about 3 hours, depending on traffic, from London.

Get around : On foot : Cardiff, especially the central area, is pretty compact with the main attractions being quite close to each other making getting around on foot quite easy. Most sights are signposted to help you guide your way around the city centre and the bay.

By bike :  The city’s flatness makes cycling fairly painless, especially around the Bay and City Centre (including Bute Park). The Taff Trail and Ely Trail provide mainly off-road paths through the city and beyond, although on days with good weather these paths can be almost inaccessible for cyclists due to inconsiderate pedestrians filling up the paths. Most parts of the city provide pleasant cycling, although some areas are more difficult due to heavy traffic or no-cycling pedestrianised roads (such as Queen Street). The ‘Oy Bike’ scheme has now been cancelled but bike hire is available from ‘Pedal Power’ in the Pontcanna Fields Campsite and from ‘Cardiff Cycle Tours’ at NosDa backpackers hostel.

By bus : Cardiff Bus offer a comprehensive network of services across the city, to the nearby City of Newport and to destinations in the Vale of Glamorgan. Due to an ongoing relocation of the bus station, most buses are based in streets around the Central Station, most prominently on Westgate Street. Bus stops for specific destinations can be found on posters displayed at the Central Station. Fares are a straightforward £1.90 for any adult journey across the city, whereas £3.80 buys an all day ‘Day to Go’ pass to travel across the network (including Penarth, Dinas Powys, Llandough, Sully and Wenvoe) all. Another option is the ‘Network Dayrider’ ticket. This costs £7.00 for an adult ticket, but gives unlimited access to any bus travel in South East Wales. If you are sightseeing in Cardiff during the day and then going to Caerphilly and onto Newport, for example, this one ticket will cover all that travel.

Cardiff Bus also operate a frequent ‘Baycar’ service between the city centre and Cardiff Bay, which makes it easy to get between the main attractions and is good value if you don’t want to walk or take the train. This is covered by the regular fare system.

Stagecoach in South Wales, Veolia Transport Cymru and First Cymru also offer regular routes in and around Cardiff and South East Wales.

Open top sightseeing buses operate regularly during the summer season at a price of approximately £8.00/person.

There are also park and ride sites based at County Hall and Crown Way, see National Park and Ride Directory

By train :  It can be quite cost-effective, quick, and easy to visit areas with a local train station, such as Llandaff Cathedral or Penarth Pier as services leave from both Cardiff Central or Queen St stations so check on maps for train services, if you’d rather this than the bus. Cardiff Bay can also quickly be reached by a service from Queen St. The wider Cardiff metropolitan area (including Penarth, Taffs Well, Pontypridd and Dinas Powys) contains 26 stations, making train travel a viable alternative in many cases.

By taxi : Cardiff is not short of taxis. They can be flagged down on the street or booked in advance:  Capital, Delta, Celtic, Dragon Metro,
Although a lot of taxis in the city centre are black, they have no set colour. Licensed taxis have a yellow plate on the rear bumper of the vehicle. Uber also operates in the Cardiff area

By waterbus :  For a different experience, the River Taff Waterbus runs regularly during the summer season between the Millennium Stadium, Cardiff Bay and Penarth. Tickets cost around £4 and are available to buy online.

Highlights :

Landmarks

  •  Cardiff Castle (Welsh: Castell Caerdydd). Castle St. Cardiff Castle is a large castle whose foundations are based upon a Roman fort. In the nineteenth century, it was the one of the homes of the Marquis of Bute.  The craftsmanship is well worth a look. Admission is £12 for adults, £9 for children and £10.50 for students and seniors. Admission with a tour is £15 for adults, £11 for children, and £13 for students and seniors. There are family group discounts.
  •  The Millennium Stadium : Westgate Street, CF10 1NS. Also known as the Principality Stadium. A 74,200-seater stadium, opened for the 1999 Rugby World Cup, and now host to the Wales national rugby and football teams. . A must see for any sport lover, tours are available online or at the ticket desk. Tours cost £12.50 for adults.
  •  The Wales Millennium Centre (Welsh: Canolfan Mileniwm Cymru), An outstanding piece of modern architecture, opened in 2004 by the Queen, the futuristic Wales Millennium Centre is host to opera, dance and West End musicals throughout the year, making it a must see for those who like theatre. Entry is free throughout the year. While entrance to the theatre is charged, free live performances take place in the foyer every lunchtime at 13:00 and before shows in the evening. It hosts the exhibition about Cardiff Bays development that used to be house in ‘The Tube.
  • The National Assembly for Wales or the Senedd. Cardiff Bay. The seat of Wales’ national government and was opened on St David’s Day, 1 March 2006 by the Queen. Visitors have a chance to see public debates from the viewing gallery or a free tour around the building, which is made out of purely Welsh materials, and was designed by star architect Richard Rogers to be eco-friendly and as open as possible. Entry is free though expect security checks on entrance.
  • The Norwegian Church, Cardiff Bay (next to the Assembly). It was established in Cardiff Bay to serve the large community of Norwegian sailors working in the docks. The main claim to fame of its original location is as the place where the author Roald Dahl was christened. Today it is a cafe and art gallery.
  • Llandaff Cathedral (Welsh: Eglwys Gadeiriol Llandaf). In the ancient ‘city of Llandaff’, now incorporated into the north west of the city, and is one of the oldest religious sites in Europe. The cathedral dates from 1107 and features some spectacular architecture. After bomb damage in World War II it was very boldly restored the huge statue of Christ in Majesty by Jacob Epstein tends to divide opinion, but is well worth a look. The cathedral school was where the famed children’s author Roald Dahl was educated in the early part of his primary school life. The surrounding village is an interesting place to explore with a local coal magnate’s house (Insole Court) donated to the people of Cardiff and open for visitors. The Ghost Tour has really become the thing to do in the area, making it into the Guardian’s top 10 list of things to do in the UK.
  • Castell Coch (meaning the ‘Red Castle’ in Welsh). A fairytale castle nestled on a hill overlooking the main gateway into the valleys from Cardiff in the outskirts of the city. Imaginatively reconstruted from ruins for the 3rd Marquis of Bute, its interiors follow the same elaborate designs as Cardiff castle except on a more intimate scale and would not look out of place in Germany. Entry costs £6 for adults.
  • City Hall. The domed roof of City Hall topped by a dragon is one of the landmarks of Cardiff city centre. Dating from the start of the 20th century, it is built of beautiful white Portland stone and surmounted by many statues. Inside, the marble hall is dominated by statues of Welsh heroes, the main hall has large bronze chandeliers and the main debating chamber sits under the dome. Open to visitors, events may prevent you from seeing all the rooms but a must-see.
  • Cathays Park. Pronounced “kut-AYS, it is the prominent civic centre, comprising expensive white Portland stone buildings in a range of classical styles, all surrounding the formal gardens of Alexandra Gardens whose centre contains national war memorial of Wales.
  • Bute Park. More a collection of different parks that stretch continuously to the city’s edge from the rear of the castle. Bute Park proper is an arboretum and former private grounds of the Bute family who owned the castle.
  • Pierhead building (former headquarters of the railway and port authority), Cardiff Bay, CF99 1NA. Sits between the ultra modern Millennium centre and Senedd as a strong contrast and link to Cardiff’s glorious past. Covered in dragons and heraldry used for permanent and temporary exhibitions about Cardiff’s development, and that of the docks.
  • Caerau Castle Ringwork. A Norman ringwork castle within an older Iron Age hillfort (as at Caer Penrhos). Much of the site has been overgrown with vegetation.
  • The Point. A church-turned-popular music venue in Cardiff Bay. The Point is situated in the old merchant’s quarter of Mount Stuart Square. The square was named after Lord Mount Stuart, who represented Wales in Parliament during the Napoleonic period. The focal point of the square was St. Stephens, constructed around 1900, that would later be turned into The Point.

Museums and galleries

  •  St Fagans National History Museum. Free admission (£5 car park charge). Known universally as St Fagans (pronounced “FAG-uns”) after the village in which it is located, this was named the UK’s favourite visitor attraction by Which? magazine in 2011, and is easily Wales’s most popular. An open-air museum of buildings rebuilt, stone by stone, from all parts of Wales, built in the grounds of St Fagans Castle, an Elizabethan manor house which is also free to wander around. The Castle gardens, dating from the 19th century, are especially beautiful. You may not be able to see everything in a single visit due to the size of the grounds. Great for kids, the bus ride from/to central Cardiff is very pretty.
  • National Museum Cardiff. Free admission. Cathays Park. An excellent collection of paintings, archaeological finds and geological exhibits charting the history of Wales. The art collection is particularly noted for the collection of 19th-century French works assembled by Gwendoline and Margaret Davies, heiresses to a fortune made in exporting coal. This is of international importance and includes works by Rodin, Monet, Renoir and Van Gogh. Children love the dinosaurs and mammoths in the Evolution of Wales section. There is also archaeology from prehistory to the Middle Ages in the Origins section; there are daily volunteer-led tours of this and the art galleries. Buy parking vouchers here if needed. £6.50 charge for the museum car park.
  • Techniquest. Cardiff Bay, (near the Millennium Centre), Over 160 science and technology exhibits to entertain the whole family. There is also a Science Theatre and tours of the Universe in the Planetarium. A good opportunity for adults to be big kids. Entry: £7.50 Adults, £6 children with concessions available for groups.
  • The Cardiff Story. The Hayes. This is the museum of Cardiff’s history, located in the Old Library building, which it shares with the tourist information centre. Free admission.

Activities :

Relax in Bute Park or in the grounds of the castle, for a break from the hustle of the city centre.
Visit Cardiff Bay a truly cosmopolitan experience full of restaurants, bars and cafes. A good place for a ‘passeggiata’ on a Sunday afternoon. Boat rides in the Bay (permanently water-filled since the barrage was built), a few shops, and a children’s playground at the far end (near the historic Norwegian church) along with beautiful views across to Penarth.
Take a speed boat ride as it makes 360-degree turns in the water at 70 mph.
Walk along the bay from Mermaid quay to the barrage (near Penarth) to see for yourself how the water comes into the harbour from the sea. It is a 2 km walk with the harbour on one side of the path and the sea on the other. If you don’t feel like walking you can hire a bicycle (you will come across the rental company on the way) or take a ride on the road train.

Penarth pier, Flat Holm and Steep Holm islands
At near-by Penarth, cruise the Bristol channel during summer months to the likes of North Devon, Gower Peninsula and even occasionally Pembrokeshire on the paddle steamers Balmoral and Waverly. Penarth to Ilfracombe is particularly spectacular, taking in the massive cliffs of North Devon.
Next to Cardiff Airport, Barry is a port-town, which has a theme park, casino and heritage railway. With the closure of the docks, it has seen a renewed interest of recent times, thanks to a beautiful beach and a popular BBC series, called Gavin & Stacey. The amusement park on Barry Island contains several funrides.
Go on the Taff Trail, some of the sights close to the city centre are breathtaking and the tranquility offers a great contrast to the busy city centre.
Go to the Brecon Beacons. 40 minutes drive from Cardiff, this Welsh National Park is a scenic retreat from the hustle and bustle of the city, offering activities such as climbing, paragliding, sailing and many more.
Go for a pint of Cardiff-made Brains beer in one of the city centre pubs on a match day at the Millennium Stadium.
Canyoning Wales, Cardiff (Via A470). 9AM-9PM. Blue Ocean Activities & Adventure offer fantastic trips around Wales, whether up the mountains canyoning or gorge walking. Blue Ocean Adventure offer full safety gear, training and support.
1 Cardiff Cycle Tours, NosDa backpackers Hostel (Opposite the Wales Millennium Stadium in the centre of Cardiff.). 8:30AM to 6:30PM. Bike hire and guided tours available. From £10 for bike rental.
Sports
Watch International Rugby at Millennium Stadium, in city centre. Wales play several international games here each year. The most keenly followed are the Six Nations series against England, Scotland, Ireland, France and Italy, played in February and March each year: these usually sell out well in advance.
You can also watch Cardiff Blues play club rugby union at Cardiff Arms Park. They play in the “Pro14” group of Celtic clubs.
Watch football: Cardiff City play in the Premier League, the top tier of football in England & Wales. Their stadium is a mile west of city centre, near Ninian Park railway station.
Watch cricket at Sophia Gardens. This is home to Glamorgan County Cricket Club, one of the 18 “First Class Counties”, the top tier of what could otherwise be described as English cricket – they’re the only Welsh team of the 18. County matches normally last 3-4 days. The stadium also frequently hosts international or “Test Matches”, lasting up to five days. The stadium is in the park half a mile north of the castle.
Festivals and events
Cardiff’s festivals are increasingly contributing to its development as a major tourist attraction. As most of them are concentrated in the summer months, it is ideal to visit then to make sure that you experience all the attractions and the festivals as an added bonus. Unlike Edinburgh, Cardiff is still pretty cost effective during the summer months so its ideal for those who don’t want to go all out!

Cardiff Children’s Festival, held in the grounds of Cardiff Castle each year, and hosts a number of events, exhibitions and play areas for children. Entry is usually free.
Cardiff Mela, annual event usually held in Roald Dahl Plas, Cardiff Bay.
St David’s Day Parade, a parade held on St David’s Day the patron saint of Wales (March 1), every year. Something different so it’s worth a look.
The Welsh Proms, series of classical concerts takes place at St David’s Hall each July. The festival now includes ‘Fringe’ events, with genres of music from jazz and country to chamber music, folk and jazz.
Pride Cymru’s Big Weekend is held late summer, various locations. The next event is Fri 24 to Sun 26 Aug 2018.
Winter Wonderland, in Dec-Jan sees an outdoor ice-rink and funfair set up in front of City Hall, open early ’til late to the public.
Cardiff Singer of the World competition, St David’s Hall. Held every two years.
Cinemas and theatres
Cardiff has some of the best theatre and cinema in Wales and even across the UK, covering huge range including mainstream films, foreign and theatre.

2 The Coal Exchange (Y Gyfnewidfa Lo). Exceptionally important building in Cardiff’s history, it once saw 10,000 men scurrying around trading, dictating the world’s coal prices. It almost become home to the Welsh Assembly, it is converted to host mainly music gigs but drama and art shows too.
3 New Theatre (Theatr Newydd). West End shows. New Theatre,
4 Sherman Theatre. Independent theatre.
5 Chapter Arts Centre. Canton. Arthouse and alternative cinema.
6 Odeon, Hemingway Rd, Cardiff Bay, CF10 4JY. Mainstream multiplex cinema.
7 Vue, Stadium Plaza, Wood St, CF10 1LA (inside Millennium Plaza and next to Millennium Stadium),
8 Cineworld, Mary Ann St, CF10 2EN. Mainstream multiplex cinema, across the road from Motorpoint Arena Cardiff.
Concerts
Cardiff has a great number of show and gig venues throughout the city; check with Shows in Cardiff.

9 Motorpoint Arena Cardiff. Host to major bands and artists throughout the year.
10 Millennium Stadium. Look out for events at the Millennium Stadium too.
More ‘sedate’ concerts are frequently held at St Davids Hall and The Welsh Millennium Centre.

11 St. David’s Hall (Neuadd Dewi Sant), The Hayes, CF10 1AH (city centre). Symphony hall used for orchestral concerts, recitals and other live music and comedy, host the Cardiff singer of the world competition, the world’s premier singing competition.
12 Wales Millennium Centre (Canolfan Mileniwm Cymru), Bute Pl, Cardiff Bay, CF10 5AL. Opera and ballet, West End shows and musicals. The building is rather unique and recognisable due to its large inscription reading “in these stones horizons sing”.
Smaller gigs can be seen at many venues across the city including Callaghans, Clwb Ifor Bach, Cardiff Students Union, and Buffalo Bar

Go next :The Vale of Glamorgan, to the southwest of Cardiff contains the Victorian seaside towns of Penarth and Barry. Cowbridge is a picturesque town to the west. St Donat’s Castle is one such attraction, a well-preserved 15th C. fortified house, with additions over the centuries. Fonmon Castle is also impressive, while ruined Ogmore has a lovely setting. Comeston Lakes is another beautiful place, with a well maintained country park.
The superb Glamorgan Heritage Coast, around 10 mi west of Cardiff, stretching from Llantwit Major to Ogmore-by-Sea, the majestic liassic/carboniferous cliffs provide sparkling views across the Bristol channel, and the small little back roads (particularly the road to ogmore-by-sea) provide some of the most spectacular driving routes in Wales.
Penarth – A Victorian seaside resort, now a suburb south of Cardiff. Known as “the Garden by the Sea”, it has a beautiful, historic pier. And Cosmeston Medieval Village, a “living history” medieval village in nearby Lavernock.
The Brecon Beacons and the town of Brecon are to the north.
Try taking the train to Newport, and then a bus to Caerleon and visiting the Roman amphitheatre there. It is quite well preserved and gives a real feel for how the Romans would have used the space.
It is possible to visit Hereford as a day trip, using either train or auto

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