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What is there to do in Cardiff?

(19 Posts)
StuntBottom Mon 08-Jun-15 20:59:43

Planning a trip to Cardiff to see the Dr Who Experience and was wondering what else there is to do in the area. Also, is it better to stay in Cardiff or somewhere close by?


Lolimax Mon 08-Jun-15 21:03:33

Cardiff is a fab city! The bay is great for food and a boat trip. The castle is lovely and you can't beat an open top bus trip. Techniquest also in the Bay is great for kids. Shopping in the city centre is awesome. Stay in the centre, good public transport links.

Hassled Mon 08-Jun-15 21:06:56

Loads - we went recently and loved it. The castle is great, there's something called Techniquest Science, you can look round the Welsh Assembly building which is beautiful, you can catch a boat taxi thing from Mermaid Quay to near the castle, shops are good. Useful website is

ageingdisgracefully Mon 08-Jun-15 21:10:47

With dc? Barry beach, loads of parks, castle, picnics by river, the river boat, and Parc, a kind of semi-indoor park. There's Boulders and the dreaded Jump in Llanishen, and the Pool. I suppose it depends if you want to "do things" or just want to chill out.

StuntBottom Mon 08-Jun-15 21:15:06

DC aged 11 and 12. Boat trips and bus trips sound great, as does the castle, and the Techniquest sounds worth looking into.

What is Cardiff like for driving and parking? Not sure whether to drive or go on the train.

AlwaysDancing1234 Mon 08-Jun-15 21:23:19

Love Cardiff!Right here goes!

-Roath Park has beautiful Rose Gardens, large playground for kids and a boating lake. Also has a hothouse with exotic plants and ponds full of koi and terrapins and whistling ducks to feed.

-Cardiff castle is lovely and they often have events for kids.

- Castle Coch is lovely too, nestled in a wood on side of a hill, looks like Rapunzles Castle from fairytales! Smaller and quieter than Cardiff castle

-St Fagans Museum of Welsh Life is free entry (they have boxes for donations) but you need good weather as mostly outdoors.
They have real houses, shops and buildings from all over the valleys painstakingly restored and recreated inside to look exactly as they would have in years gone by. My son loves the tractor rides too!

-For shopping St David's Centre is near Cardiff Castle or if you've got a car Culverhouse Cross or Talbot Green are just off the M4 lots of big outlets.

-Porthcawl beaches are lovely and there's a big funfair called Coney Beach

-Techniquest is a Science Museum near Dr Who in Cardiff Bay and the Millennium Centre often has free events and workshops

Whatever you end up doing hope you enjoy yourselves! smile

AlwaysDancing1234 Mon 08-Jun-15 21:27:37

We drive as more scope to explore, just 15 minutes on the motorway can get you to lots of nice places. There are a several car parks by the bay at Mermaid Quay

armsandtheman Mon 08-Jun-15 21:28:32

Will you have a car? There's loads to do in cardiff.

In the bay:
Fab walk across barrage to penarth
Wales millennium centre - even the tour is good
Depending on time of year city beach/food fairs etc
Great restaurants
Shuttle train to town every 12 mins
Cinema, bowling
Welsh senedd ( assembly building)
Best place for evening drink
Swimming pool in athletics village

Crazy golf on 3rd floor of st David's 2 shopping
Good shops
Soft play (can leave kids there for a couple of hrs)
Bute park with animal bridge and Pettigrews tea room (around castle)
Motorpoint arena
Swales cricket ground

Out of town:
Loads of parks - roath pk and Victoria pk are great
If you're in roath pk, up the hill is the lovely discovery pub that does fab food - they have a twitter account that shows their daily menu
Pontypridd lido
Discount shopping centre off motorway near Bridgend
Mountain view on Caerphilly mountain (Segway, play park, gruff old and fairy woods, climbing and loads more - you can buy food there or bring picnic)
St Fagans outdoor museum and castle
Castell coch

There's a bus tour I assume visits a lot of these.

Ps. If you like Mexican food, try wahacas - fresh Mexican street food and if your in cardiff in June, look up street food circus and try to get to bianco show on same site. Amazing show. Its in city centre.

Enjoy your stay!

MyBlackCat Mon 08-Jun-15 21:36:49

Went back to Cardiff for first time in years recently - love the city after being at uni there.

Tip: Parking in city centre was very expensive, drove in and out of one car park £18 for 4-6 hours or something very similar. Did park and ride instead for £3.50 per car.

Have a great time grin

StuntBottom Tue 09-Jun-15 08:05:36

Thank you for all the advice. I think we may well do three or four days as it sounds like there is loads to do. Does anyone have any tips for anywhere to stay? Something cheap and cheerful like a Travelodge would be fine. I think I'd prefer to either stay outside town and do park and ride every day, or be in town but leave the car at the hotel and use public transport.

armsandtheman Tue 09-Jun-15 09:41:34

Cardiff East park and ride is £3 and close to premier inn cardiff north.

Train from town to bay runs from queen st station.

With boys those ages, I'd do dr who, lunch in cardiff bay (I've heard boat museum is nice for lunch, just near there, possibly walk over barrage (sea views and skate park, fab for bikes).

If you've got a car I'd head to st Fagans. You have to pay to park but entrance is free and you can bring a picnic. If it's raining, maybe bowling and cinema in bay or shopping, museum or crazy golf in town.

notsogoldenoldie Tue 09-Jun-15 09:43:41

The Village at Coryton perhaps? Right on the outskirts, and has a health club too. Drive to one of the stations to get to Town (Llandaff North/ Whitchurch has a park and ride) and the very frequent trains can get you to Barry/Penarth/ to Valleys for new Lido at Ponty. Seemples!

AlwaysDancing1234 Tue 09-Jun-15 13:05:51

Premier Inn Llantrisant is lovely and right next to a Beefeater which does huge buffet breakfasts grin

StuntBottom Tue 09-Jun-15 15:12:43

Some great advice. Thank you all! I'm definitely going to book. Very excited now!

CMOTDibbler Tue 09-Jun-15 15:18:50

You can also play 'identify the dr Who' episode at St Fagans - quite a few of the buildings there have been used, though most of Cardiff seems to feature at one point or another.

The museum is worth a visit for free, and the castle is really good imo.

Can't wait to be down there at the weekend, though I (and 14000 other cyclists) am going to be a bit tired!

notsogoldenoldie Tue 09-Jun-15 15:35:59

That's not the naked bike ride, is it, CMOTgrin

CMOTDibbler Tue 09-Jun-15 15:42:53

I hope not - theres going to be a lot of chafing going on on the 120km route if so.

Dowser Wed 10-Jun-15 11:27:56

There's an ibis in the centre that's reasonable but parking may not be.

I love, love love Cardiff. I visit 4 times a year. I'm English by birth, Irish and Scottish by descent and welsh by adoption. The only reason we have a welsh arm inthe family is because my great aunt had the good fortune to marry a Welshman so had lots of lovely holidays there as a child.

We stay out by Barry now as that is where the family is settled. We like to drive up the valleys as. We love the scenery. The big pit at blaenavon is free and a must do . Also there are some caves inthe brecon beacons. They had closed by the time wegotthere but enjoyed the standing stones outside, the very odd looking sheep and the llamas.

If you are down the bay have a quick look at the norwegian church. Roald Dahl was from Cardiff .

Shopping is great in the centre . Lots of lovely little arcades to poke around as well as the market and all the new modern stuff. The Cardiff story in the centre is free and you can always at eat at red hot which is superb . Its a buffet that is beautifully presented or if you you are down the bay there is Cosmo another buffet again which is very nicely done. Lat time we were in wagamamas inthe bay Charlotte church was in there with her kids and fiancé.

Cosmeston lakes down by Sully and Lavernock is lovely. They also have some old buildings you can mooch around but it's not on the scale of st Fagans . Don't forget Cardiff museum is very good and also free.

Barry island where Gavin and Stacey was filmed is also great on a nice day.

There's so much free stuff to do down there I'd be inclined todo that first and get a good feel for the place and then plan a later trip if you really want to see the dr who exhibition.

Have you read the trip advisor reviews. They seem very mixed ( my grandson is a big fan) and it sounded very expensive for a family.

I'm not back till august. I fell in love with the place when I was 8 andmy ten year old grandson has as well.

Dowser Wed 10-Jun-15 11:32:30

A link to the caves I mentioned

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