south wales

The lioness watches over Cardiff Castle

Cardiff Castle

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.

Eisteddfod Pink Pavilion

Eisteddfod 2012

Last week we went to the National Eisteddfod of Wales in Llandow, in the Vale of Glamorgan. We were invited as guests of the Principality Building Society which was very nice. 🙂   The Principality is Wales’ largest mutual building society and is the main sponsor of the National Eisteddfod choral competitions.

The Eisteddfod is a cultural festival and is held annually in Wales. Its location alternates each year between north and south Wales and is normally held at a new site each time. This year Llandow between Cowbridge and Llantwit Major was chosen.

The Eisteddfod is held on the ‘Maes’ which is home to a big pink Pavilion and up to three hundred stands and exhibits. The Pavilion is the focus of competing and ceremonies during the week long event. The whole festival takes place in the Welsh language but it welcomes visitors from all nations and speaking all languages.

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Path approaching St Illtud's Church, Llantrithyd

Llantrithyd Church and Manor House

We stopped off today at Llantrithyd Church. It’s situated in the centre of the rural Vale of Glamorgan half way between Cardiff and Cowbridge. It’s off the beaten track along a small lane that runs from Bonvilston through the countryside eventually ending up in Llantwit Major.

The church appears to date from the 1500s and is a beautiful place. The inside of the church is well worth a visit when it’s open – “Here is a massive 16th century family altar tomb dominating the tiny interior. It retains its colourful paint and gilded detailing and shows a man in armour laying next to his wife, both with their hands together in prayer.” – Wales Online

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View of the southern graveyard and stone cross covered in snow

UK Snow Map

I get a few people visiting this site looking for snow and traffic advice in the winter.

You may find this previous post on Wales snow helpful.

I also find the UK Snow Map (http://uksnowmap.com/) site useful and fun. This is a mashup that monitors tweets in realtime and overlays the location and intensity over a Google map. You can see exactly where it is over the UK and how heavy it is. The website also gives you instructions on how you can format your own tweet so that snow in your area is picked up. It’s well worth looking at even for a bit of fun to see where the worst of the weather is.

You can see all the tweets that mention #uksnow here.

Well worth a look.

View of inside Illtud's restaurant

Illtud’s 216 Restaurant Review

It’s a few years since we last visited Illtud’s 216 restaurant in Llantwit Major but we popped along on the spur of the moment for my birthday last week.

Even though it’s been 3 years the restaurant hasn’t appeared to change much. Although fairly non-descript on the outside the inside has a medieval feel to it (click on the photo for a better view). Even though it has a high roof in the main part of the restaurant the use of drapes and banners gives a warm cosy feel. The front of the restaurant has a wood burning stove which enhances the ambience – especially when the owner Georg Fuchs managed to fill the room with smoke!Read full post…

Ogmore Beach and the view across to Porthcawl

Things to do and where to go in South Wales

One of the most popular pages on this site is my Things to do and where to go in South Wales
page.

South Wales has loads of great places to visit and this page lists just a few places that you may find interesting and entertaining. It’s constantly being updated and checked so it’s worth coming back to again in the future if you’re looking for fresh ideas.

If you want to suggest somewhere else for the page please contact me.  My contact details can be found on the About page.

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