Cariff is one of Europe's youngest and most vibrant capital cities, with an appealing blend of old and new that satisfies, and sometimes surprises, all who visit.
Attracting increasing numbers of tourists are its handsome, neoclassical Civic Centre, magnificent parklands, canopied shopping arcades, and a castle with abundant Victorian verve. These traditional sights stand alongside new landmarks, like the Millennium Stadium and Cardiff Bay, a one-time coal-exporting hub that has undergone a dazzling regeneration. A dam across the Taff and Ely rivers has created a freshwater lake edged by 13 kilometres of prime waterfront, an area of promenades, shops, restaurants, attractions, and exciting modern buildings, like the Wales Millennium Centre.
There is plenty to explore within the city centre itself, but one of the greatest merits of Cardiff is the ease with which you can avoid the urban congestion and explore the refreshing surrounds. There are numerous seaside towns lining the southern coastline, as well as dozens of castles and cute market towns just a short drive outside of the city bounds.
Bute Park is the green heart of Cardiff. The park is located in the perfect locale, flanked by the River Taff, Cardiff Castle and Sophia Gardens, and is 56 hectares in size making it one of the largest urban parks in Wales.
Originally created as a pleasure garden for the Bute family starting in 1873, the fifth Marquess of Bute presented it to the people of Cardiff in 1947. The park was laid out by the famous gardener and horticulturist Andrew Pettigrew.
The park has everything from historic landscapes and sports fields to urban woodlands and an arboretum. The park is home to numerous events throughout the year, but is ideal for a casual stroll to soak up the peaceful ambience.
The history of this amazing castle goes back almost 2000 years. It has been a Roman fort, a medieval castle, a gothic fantasy playground and a wartime shelter!
The first incarnation of the castle was as a Roman fort, built around AD55. It was probably occupied in various forms until around the end of the fourth century. The original castle was built in the late 11th century. The castle saw a lot of military use over the coming centuries including during the Wars of the Roses and The English Civil War. It finally came into the hands of the Marquess of Bute in the mid 18th century where it remained until the fifth Marquess of Bute presented to the people of Cardiff, along with Bute Park, in 1947.
The Castle is in the heart of the city and is a must-visit site in Cardiff. You can climb to the top of the medieval keep, explore the wartime shelters and be overwhelmed by the ornamentation of the castle apartments.
The Cardiff Market offers a unique shopping experience from the heart of the city. The market is a huge Victorian structure where you can find anything from kitchen utensils to milk, bread and music.
The market has been housed in this structure for over 100 years, and although you will no longer find livestock tethered outside you can still soak up the sights and smells by wandering around and getting lost among the shops and stalls.
The Infinity Experience
High Street at NightPixabay
Wales Millennium CentrePixabay