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THE LITTLE GUIDE TO CARDIFF
Hello! Welcome to Cardiff! Whether you are here on a short visit to see some sport, or go fishing, or go disco dancing - We Are Cardiff would like to wish you a warm welcome from the capital of Wales. Actually, we should probably make it clear that whatever your reasons for visiting the city, you’re welcome. Perhaps you just fell asleep on the train and accidentally ended up here ... or maybe you crash-landed in an alien spacecraft from another planet. Whoever you are, wherever you’re from. Hello! In case you’re interested to find out more about things to do while you’re here, we’ve pulled together some links where you can find more information about what’s going on. Cardiff is a friendly and sociable city nestled between blue coast and green mountains. Whatever your interests, there’s bound to be something here for you. As for us - we should introduce ourselves. We Are Cardiff is a website where people who live in Cardiff share their stories about living in the city. If you want to find out about what it’s like to live in Cardiff today, dip into the archives on the blog.You can also search by neighbourhood (though we haven’t quite covered them all yet).Visit the website for more: www.wearecardiff.co.uk We hope you enjoy this little guide to our lovely little city We Are Cardiff x
To help you navigate your way around the city, we’ve organised this mini-guide into the following sections:
THE BIG GUNS (star attractions) ARTS AND CULTURE (galleries, theatres) SPORTS (watching and participating) SHOPPING (high street / independents) BARS, PUBS, CLUBS (for a local flavour) FOR PARENTS (family friendly tips) USEFUL LINKS
We’ve also included links where we thought they’d be useful. They’re in this blue colour. Click on those to go to the related websites.
THE BIG GUNS
Cardiff’s got some pretty major attractions. Let’s get those out of the way first, shall we? Cardiff Castle was built nearly 2000 years ago. The grounds are right in the city centre and well worth a visit. And just down the road is the Millennium Stadium, which can seat over 70,000 spectators and is host to just about everything from sports to gigs to monster truck rallies. We’ve also got the National Museum of Wales, where you can find art, archeology, natural history and geology exhibits (remember it’s closed Mondays). Head south from the centre towards Cardiff Bay and you’ll find the newest addition to Cardiff’s list of things to do in the form of the Dr Who Experience - an interactive journey through time and space... If you manage to escape the TARDIS and get back to Cardiff Bay, there’s also the family-friendly Techniquest (coolest science centre in the UK) and the Wales Millennium Centre (equally family friendly, a huge and lively performing arts centre with bars and cafes).
ARTS AND CULTURE
As well as the aforementioned National Museum and Millennium Centre, Cardiff has a whole host of arts and art venues. In the city centre, be sure to visit St David’s Hall and the Cardiff Story - a recently opened museum dedicated to the Cardiff’s history and to telling the stories of its current residents. Theatre lovers should check what’s on at the New Theatre, and there’s also the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama, which has a stunning new building on the edge of Bute Park. If you want alternative arts venues, then you’ll need to head out of town. In Canton there’s Chapter Arts Centre - a multi-purpose cinema, theatre, and art gallery. There’s also Llanover Hall and The Printhaus, which regularly hosts workshops and gigs. Roath is well known for being the artistic heart of Cardiff, and it’s here that you’ll find Milgi, Sho Gallery, g39, Milkwood Gallery, The Gate Arts Centre, and the newly revamped Sherman Theatre. And if you’re down in Cardiff Bay, be sure to visit the highly recommended Third Floor Gallery.
Considering all the lovely countryside and scenery that’s around, it’s not surprising that there’s a lot of sports that go on in Cardiff. But you might be suprised at some of them. Did you know Cardiff is also home to Wales ‘ most successful roller derby, the Tiger Bay Brawlers, and we have a pretty healthy ice hockey team in the Cardiff Devils? You may also see the Welsh Bockers knocking around Cardiff Bay. If you’re into the more traditional sports, then there’s Cardiff City FC, in their new home just outside the city centre. And the Cardiff Blues too. You’ll also find Glamorgan Cricket club in their ground in Sophia Gardens, which is in Bute Park. If participating is more your thing, then there’s a white water rafting centre, or a rather large swimming pool if you’re feeling like a swim. For runners, there’s a 5k parkrun every Saturday morning that takes in the scenery of Bute Park and the Taff Trail. It’s nice and flat, too. Bike lovers can get their fix by hiring cycles from Pedal Power (Cardiff Bay or Cardiff Caravan site Pontcanna), or taking a tour of Cardiff by bike with Cardiff Cycle Tours. It’s a great way to see the city.
Ah, the important part. Shopping! Although you might know Cardiff’s reputation for having the occasional bout of inclement weather, luckily for us, we’ve got plenty of undercover shopping, so you can keep dampness to a minimum. There are Edwardian and Victorian arcades that run throughout the city centre, housing everything from boutiques and independent shops to delis and shops selling Welsh lovespoons. If you’re into high street brands and designers, there’s plenty for you along Queen Street, in the Capitol Centre and in St David’s Shopping Centre. If markets are more your style, then head to the lively street market on St Mary Street on Saturdays, and the farmers market on Fitzhammon Embankment (opposite the stadium) on Sundays. PICKS: Be sure to visit: Cardiff Market, open six days a week (for fresh produce, Welsh memorabilia, pots and pans and hot welshcakes); Spillers Records, the oldest record store in the world (yes, really!); and Jacob’s Antiques, great for nosing around and finding hidden gems.
BARS, PUBS, CLUBS
If there’s one thing we know how to do in Cardiff, it’s have a good time. Did you know we were recently voted the UK’s most sociable city? For alternative music, gigs, and a flavour of the local scene, seek out the dancefloors in The Bunkhouse, Clwb Ifor Bach, Buffalo, Gwdihw, Ten Feet Tall, Undertone, Dempseys, and The Full Moon (and The Moon). There are some nice traditional pubs in town for local tipple Brains – try The City Arms, The Cottage, or The Old Arcade. If you’re looking for a place near the Millennium Stadium, there’s microbrewery Zero Degrees, Pica Pica, and Greenwood & Brown. Out of the city centre, there’s a number of decent venues, pubs, bars and eateries in nearby Roath (City Road, Albany Road or Crwys Road) including Milgi and The Albany. If you’re in Canton, Chapter Arts Centre has a great (and very family friendly) cafe that’s open early til late. If you’re after chain bars, then head to St Mary Street, where you’ll find them in plentiful numbers.
If you’ve come to Cardiff with your family in tow, then it’s your lucky day. Cardiff is a super family-friendly city, with plenty to keep you all busy. Canton’s Chapter Arts Centre boasts a large cafe (with plenty of room for buggies and pushchairs), and have classic family friendly feature films every week (including Carry on Screaming screenings). The National Museum of Wales also has plenty for youngsters to do, including a dedicated activity room and family trails. Techniquest provides stimulation and science in a safe environment for kids of all ages. If you’ve got time to head out of Cardiff, make sure to visit St Fagans castle and gardens - 100 acres of land and a 16th century manor house, voted as one of the UK’s top ten free attractions by TripAdvisor.
YourCardiff The Penny Post Visit Cardiff Radio Cardiff (98.7FM) Cardiff Bus Cardiff Council - transport page Cardiff Festival (for events taking place across the city) Pint of 45 (reviews of Cardiff pubs) Cardiff Arcades Project (an indepth look at Cardiff’s arcades) Swn Festival (Cardiff’s city-wide music takeover) Made In Roath (local arts festival) CITY TIPS MUSIC: want to find out about local bands or DJs? Pop into Spillers Records or Catapult - both sell tickets for events and staff have a wealth of knowledge about what’s on and what’s worth seeing. PARKING: park after 5pm for just £2 at the St Davids 2 car park. Great if you plan to be in town for the evening.
This guide was put together by We Are Cardiff, a voluntary project that seeks to unite the residents of Cardiff with their true feelings about our lovely city. If you live in Cardiff and are interested in being featured on the site, please contact us on email@example.com You can also find us in the following places: - Twitter - @wearecardiff - facebook.com/wearecardiff - www.wearecardiff.co.uk
Thanks to Anna Garton and Cardiff and Co. Photography by Helia Phoenix, Simon Ayre and Adam Chard
ONE LAST THING
It does sometimes rain here. So you might want to bring a waterproof jacket. And possibly an umbrella. x
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