Is the idea of chilling in a park, visiting some castles, reading in a café, eating by the bay and shopping in an arcades sound like a good weekend? If so, then Cardiff might be your place.
Cardiff is a big city with modern buildings, lively waterfront, blended with Victorian architectures, old shopping arcades and decorated by big parks. You should spend a proper weekend there. It’s pretty sweet! However, for this post, I want to share with you how I spent a Spring day in Cardiff on my own, walking on foot, exploring.
I arrived at Cardiff Coach Station in Sophia Gardens late evening and from there I walked for about 30 minutes to Nomad Backpacker at Howard Gardens. Along the way, I got to admire the sight of the lit-up Cardiff Castle and experienced the busy Queen Street.
After a good sleep, I woke up quite early, grabbed something to eat at Sainsbury’s, and headed off to my first stop, the Llandaff Cathedral. It took me about an hour to get there. I was stunned by how nice this place is. It’s slightly ruined, with magnificent architecture. The surrounding was peaceful and the Cathedral itself is quite charming. I also spent sometime relaxing by the Llandaff Meadow, along River Taff as well.
After a good rest by the river, I took off and aimed for Bute Park, using Feeder Canal Trail, walking through Gorsedd Gardens for about half an hour, then stopping at Cardiff National Museum, City Hall and Crown Court.
After a couple of snaps, I kept walking a bit further and ended up at the Cardiff Castle. The castle is massive and it’s beautifully decorated by towers, giving the place a classy edge.
When I was satisfied exploring the massive castle, I was just walking around until I came across the Cathays Cemetery. Then, I followed all the dogs and their owners into Roath Park, got myself an ice-cream and relaxed by the massive lake. I was entertained by a little boy, who was constantly throwing tennis ball into the lake for his dog to swim and pick it up. The park was packed with couples, children, dogs and runners. It was a lively day filled with energy. 🙌
After I finally managed to get my lazy arse off the ground, I made my way toward the city centre. The first stop I made was at the YHA Cardiff Central, because that’s where I spent my night. So, I was just dropping off my stuff.
With lighter feet, I walked to Bute East Dock, stopped for few pictures of the reflected houses above the water, continued my journey toward the bay and made another stop at Wales Millennium Centre. The architecture of this arts centre is quite artsy but the interior is amazing! It’s so glamorous and classy.
I also spent sometime walking around the area, exploring places like Merchant Place, Roald Dahl Plass, Senedd and Pierhead. I decided that I’d stop for food at the Mermaid Quay, so that’s how I walk around, finding a place to eat. 🍔
After a big meal, I kept walking, sticking to the right until I found the Cardiff Bay Wetlands Reserve. It’s a wetlands reserve in the middle of the city centre and it’s very green! They have done an amazing job looking after this place. I was very impressed.
My next destination of the day was Penarth Marina, so from the wetlands reserve, I kept walking and crossed the bridge twice until I found the Dolly Steps, which is the entrance to the Alexandra Park. I enjoyed walking through this park a lot because there weren’t many people and it’s beautifully decorated with smaller gardens and the Penarth War Memorial. I took the exit to the Bridgeman Road and found the stunning Penarth Pier.
I spent a lot of time walking along the esplanade and had my early dinner by the pier. Once I was ready, I headed to the left of the pier on Beach Road, continued to Windsor Road and took one right onto Harbour View Road, High Street and finally stopped at the Paget Road.
At the Paget Road, I was stunned by the sight of Cardiff Bay under the golden sunset skies, with the elegance marina. It’s a perfect lookout point, because of the distance and the height. The view that you’ll be rewarded is amazing. It’s honestly my favorite spot of this Cardiff trip. I was a bit unfortunate that my phone was out of battery, otherwise I could show you the picture. Though, you should definitely check it out if you are gonna be exploring Penarth.
Because I saw the lit-up Cardiff Bay in front of me, so that’s where I headed to next. I crossed Cardiff Bay Barrage, with the bay on my left and the channel on my right. On the Tardis Walk, I walked toward the Doctor Who Experience, which was closed by the time I arrived, but still, it’s better than nothing. 😂
I founded the Norwegian Church Arts Centre at the Britania Park and tried to figure my way back to the hostel. I was a bit tired. Because my phone was out of battery and I had no map on me, it took me an hour to get back to my accommodation when it should only take about half an hour. Though, It was great fun and I enjoyed it a lot.
The next morning, I made few more stops before going to catch the bus to my next destination. The first stop was for some quick breakfast, then to St Mary Church, the Parish of Saint Paula Grangetown and finally the Principality Stadium.
From the stadium, I walked the Millennium Walk by the river, then crossed the bridge into Sophia Gardens and the National Express Coach Station was my final stop.
Even though I didn’t spend that much time in Cardiff, it’s still one of the very memorable trip for me, especially the view of Cardiff Bay from Paget Road during the sunset.