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

Trials bikes at Ogmore by Sea

Trials bikes on the rocks at Ogmore by SeaA couple of weeks ago we walked from Ogmore by Sea to Southerndown.  It’s a great walk along the coastal path with great views across the Bristol Channel.

As we passed one of the bays I spotted these Trials bikes practising on the limestone slabs.  Click on the photo for a better view.

It looked like a lot of fun and the guys were pretty skilled. Pretty impressive 🙂

Update 26th January 2010: it seems one of the riders was Dave Kerr – both guys are top of their sport in the UK

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.

Mumbles and Mumbles Pier

Mumbles Pier

Mumbles Pier

We’ve recently had a few days in Mumbles staying at the excellent Patrick’s With Rooms hotel.  Mumbles is a great place to visit – it’s right on the seafront with fantastic views right round Swansea Bay.  You can promenade around the Bay for several miles if you wish.

Mumbles Village is great for just spending a few hours – it has lots of little shops, quite a few pubs and great cafés and restaurants.  There’s a good children’s playground and crazy golf (just opposite Patrick’s) and the kids will love the beach at Bracelet Bay and rock-pools when the tide is out.  Note: when the tide is in there’s no beach at all and be warned – the tide comes in quickly here. Check the tides here before you visit. read more

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

BlueBell Valley

Bluebells in the woods

Bluebells in the woods

Just a reminder that the next few weeks are a good time to visit “BlueBell Valley” at Castle-upon-Alun near Ewenny.

Well worth a visit on a nice sunny day.

See my previous post from last year for more information.

Rest Bay, Porthcawl

Rest Bay PorthcawlWe went to Rest Bay in Porthcawl yesterday. It’s a great beach with lots of clear sand when the tide is out. There’s also a large new carpark nearby so access is easy by car.

It’s only a 10 or 15 minute walk from the centre of Porthcawl so well worth a visit if you are looking for a slightly quieter beach.

Click here for a map.

Langland Bay Surfing – Watch out!

Langland Bay Surfing - Scared surferI took this picture down in Langland Bay last summer.  It’s a favourite spot for surfers in the Gower and the wind was really strong on this day so the surf was up.

I got some good action shots using a long lens.

This guy was quite a way out and I took the picture hand-held so it’s a bit unsharp but the you can see the fear on the guy’s face!  Much better than I can do though!

Click on the photo for a better view.

Pennard Castle and Three Cliffs Bay, Gower

View across Three Cliffs Bay, GowerOver the Christmas holiday period we had a trip to Pennard on the Gower.  We walked across the Pennard Golf Course to the ruins of Pennard Castle. The ruins date from the 13th century.

If you fancy the walk to the castle then park in Linkside Drive (marked on this map). Park near the village shop.

As you walk across the golf course and the sand dunes then you get a great view across to the headland at Oxwich.

As you walk a bit further then you come to the castle itself. It’s an impressive ruin and is doing well for itself considering that it’s over 700 years old! read more

Sigginstone Plane Crash March 12th 1950

The village of Sigginstone (or Sigingstone) near Cowbridge is famous for two things – the Victoria Inn pub and the Llandow Plane Crash.

On Sunday March 12th 1950 an Avro Tudor V was returning from Dublin with 78 rugby supporters on board.  The previous day Wales had won the coverted Triple Crown in Belfast.  75 passengers and all 5 crew were killed. read more

Cardiff Bay Sunset

The light was pretty amazing in Cardiff Bay today especially at sunset.  I wandered out in front of the Senydd and took a few shots of the sky and the setting sun.

The clouds had some pretty amazing shapes and the St David’s Hotel and the surrounding apartment blocks looked great in silhouette. read more