Cardiff Castle

The lioness watches over Cardiff Castle

Keeping watch over Cardiff – Darren Waters

Cardiff Castle was featured prominently in the news recently. It was the host venue of a dinner at the 2014 NATO Summit held in South Wales in September 2014. It’s a great castle situated right in the centre of the city. The castle has a long history of development from a Roman fort to a Norman castle through to the modern Marquess of Bute incarnation. It has imposing stone walls and a wonderful shell keep in the centre.

Of great interest and held in great affection by the locals is the Animal Wall which was designed by William Burges and built in 1890. The photo shows the lioness which is one of 15 animals that stretch along the wall from the castle tower to the River Taff.

The Castle is well worth a visit and you can even visit the animals for free as you walk along the pavement towards the river. Entrance to Cardiff Castle is quite expensive at £12 for adults. If you do visit make sure you pay the small extra charge for a tour of the Castle itself. It’s well worth it to see some amazing rooms! The tour takes about 50 minutes.

Thanks to Darren Waters for the photo from his Flickr collection. Click on the photo for a better view.

Cardiff Castle is located right in the centre of Cardiff at the west end of the main shopping street of Queen St.

Cardiff Armed Forces Day 2010

HMS Kent in the Roath Basin

This weekend Cardiff Bay is buzzing with visitors to the Cardiff Armed Forces Day with a large number of activities planned for the day on Saturday 26th June 2010.

The day is focused around the Roald Dahl basin and the area in front of the Senedd in the Bay.

There will be various displays, shows and static stands.

HMS Kent is also moored in the Roath Basin alongside the Atradius building and it will be possible to have tours around this Type 23 frigate.

Well worth a visit. read more

Railings on the Taff

Stuart Herbert’s Photo Diary

Railings on the Taff

Railings on the Taff – © Stuart Herbert

I recently discovered Stuart Herbert’s Photo Diary.

Stuart is an excellent amateur photographer who concentrates on landscapes and Post-Industrial South Wales.

He’s currently documenting the Merthyr Road – the legacy of the industrialisation of the South Wales Valleys from Merthyr Tydfil to Cardiff Docks.

Stuart is great at capturing the essence of the industrial South Wales valleys and his photos are well worth a look.

You can find Stuart’s photo diary here – http://blog.stuartherbert.com/photography/ and more of his photos on Flickr here – http://www.flickr.com/photos/stuartherbert/

St. Augustine’s Church, Penarth

We visited St Augustine’s Church in Penarth last week.  The church is set high up on the headland between Cardiff Bay and the Bristol Channel.  Its prominent position means that it’s clearly visible for miles around.

I see the church almost every day but have never visited it before.  It has stunning views back across the Bay towards the Pierhead building, Mermaid Quay and the city centre, and then on to the hills and mountains north of Cardiff.

The church is pretty impressive, though the graveyard needs a bit of love and attention.
read more

Cardiff Bay Barrage Art Illusion

A walk across the Cardiff Bay Barrage is a great way to spend a few hours in Cardiff. If you’re in a car then access the barrage from the Penarth end where there’s a large carpark.  If you’re on foot then either walk from the Cardiff Bay visitor centre near the Norwegian Church, or catch a boat across the Bay from Mermaid Quay near the National Assembly Senedd building.

There’s lots to see, there are 3 boat locks between the Bay and the sea that operate every 30 minutes.  From the sea-ward side of the barrage there’s a great view in clear conditions across to Penarth pier, Flat Holm and Steep Holm and the English coast across the Severn. read more

Cardiff International Whitewater Centre, Cardiff Bay

We visited the new Cardiff International Whitewater Centre in Cardiff Bay yesterday.  This is part of the Sports village that is being developed on the west side of the Bay.  Nearby is the Cardiff Arena Ice Rink and the Cardiff International swimming pool.

The pumped river is about 250m long.  It looks lots of fun, you can either try the kayaks or go white water rafting as a group.  Each white water raft has a “captain” on board who ensures that everyone is safe.  It’s not cheap, between £250 and £300 for 6 people but you’re on the water for about 2 hours which is about as long as most people can last for!  It’s pretty tiring!! read more

St David’s 2 Shopping Centre, Cardiff

View of the St David's 2 shopping centre

St David's 2

St David’s 2 is a prestigious new shopping centre in the centre of Cardiff. It builds on the existing St David’s shopping centre that houses Marks and Spencer, Debenhams and Boots.

With the opening of the new shopping centre in November 2009 it is now possible to shop totally under cover from Cardiff’s main shopping street Queen St. right through to the Cardiff Marriott Hotel on Mill Lane.

Building on Cardiff’s shopping arcade history the centrepiece is a large 2 storey glass-topped arcade that runs from Debenhams through to a massive new John Lewis store. read more

Nice view of Cardiff Bay

Cardiff Bay

Cardiff Bay

We had a nice walk around Cardiff Bay last weekend just as the sun was setting.  The light was really nice though it was a bit cold for me!

You can see the Pierhead Building to the left, the Senedd next to it and the Atradius building with the sloping roof to the right.

It’s well worth a walk around the Bay and now that the pathway across the Barrage is open you can now walk all the way across to Penarth.

Be warned though that the path gates are closed at 8pm so make sure you are back before then.

Click on the picture for a larger version.

WRC Rally of Great Britain hits Cardiff Bay

Sébastien Loeb's Citroen Rally carThe WRC Rally of Great Britain hits Cardiff again this weekend.  The focal point in the City has moved from Cathays Park in the centre down to the Oval Basin in Cardiff Bay.

The service park will be located in the Bay with a spectators village in the Oval Basin (Roald Dahl Plass).

The Bay is currently a hive of activity as tents, cars and stalls are being set up.

The picture shows Sébastien Loeb’s car outside the Citroen stand this afternoon. Click on the photo for a closer view.

Welsh Language Translation Fail – Take 2

Language Translation FailWales seems to be the favourite place for translation fails in road signs.

Last year Swansea made a big mess-up when it came to translation of English text into the Welsh language.

Now it’s Cardiff’s turn.

This roadsign was spotted in St Mary St. in the centre of Cardiff’s busy shopping area.

The BBC reports that the sign says “pedestrians look left” in English, but that the Welsh “cerddwyr edrychwch i’r dde” translates back as “pedestrians look right”.

Maybe trying to catch the tourists out?  🙂

Cardiff Bay Wetlands Reserve

St David's Hotel, Cardiff Bay from across the Cardiff Bay Wetlands ReserveThe Cardiff Bay Wetlands Reserve is an area of piece and quiet right in the middle of Cardiff Bay.   It was formed from the salt marshes and mud flats on the edge of the Bay in front of Windsor Esplanade after the bay was permanently flooded.

There was some concern that when the Cardiff Bay barrage was built that the wildlife would all leave but the Wetlands Reserve has proved to be a popular area.

Although totally man-made it has become a haven for birds in the Bay.

It also provides a quiet place to walk or cycle just away from the hustle and bustle of the Bay. read more

New Cardiff Bay Restaurants Website

Cardiff Bay Restaurants websiteI’ve been busy setting up my new Cardiff Bay Restaurants websitehttp://www.cardiff-bay-restaurants.uk/.

It’s still a work in progress, as all websites are, but it’s well under way.  There’s a lot of interest on where to eat in Cardiff Bay and it was clear that a specific site was needed. There are lots of sites listing Cardiff Bay restaurants, but it’s obvious that not many (if any) are based on up-to-date personal experience.

I work in the Bay and eat out quite a bit so a personal view of the best restaurants is quite easy to do.

Hope you find my new site useful.