Cardiff: The heart of Wales…
Welcome to the Welsh capital! And what a glorious city, where old and new blend together perfectly in a hubbub of vibrant urban life; shops, pubs, bars and restaurants a-plenty, museums and galleries, gorgeous Victorian and Edwardian arcades, parred-back, bang-on-trend industrial warehouses given a new lease of life. There’s something a little eclectic about Cardiff which is what makes it unique; right in the heart of the city you’ll notice several examples of stunning modern architecture, for example Radisson Blue Cardiff or Mercure Cardiff Holland House rubbing shoulders with historic buildings like the elegant Angel Hotel and the grand Victorian façade of Jurys Inn.
Right in the middle of it all is Cardiff Castle, standing huge and majestic like something straight out of the pages of a fairytale story; an oasis of calm amidst the hustle and bustle. The city has several other green open spaces; Bute Park & Arboretum is probably the most well known.
Cardiff is where the River Taff meets the Severn estuary and the Waterfront is one of the liveliest parts of the city, as it always has been – after all, Cardiff Bay was once the world’s biggest coal exporting. A great way to take it in is on a boat trip (think corporate hospitality!), so you can sit back and see the sights; one thing you can’t miss is the striking voco™ St David's Cardiff; inspired by the city’s maritime history, you could easily mistake it for some magnificent ship floating on the water.
There’s a huge wetlands reserve, a stark contrast to the upbeat cosmopolitan atmosphere of Mermaid Quay, packed with funky bars and amusements. A little further from the city centre the suburb of Penarth retains an air of charm and a slower pace of life, with steeply climbing hills, pretty streets, and a Victorian pier.
Cardiff is of course, well known for its sporting associations; Cardiff City Stadium is home to Cardiff FC, the Principality Stadium hosts the FA Cup Final, Rugby World Cup and scores of musical concerts throughout the year. Set within gorgeous parkland is Sophia Gardens Cardiff Stadium, home of Glamorgan County Cricket Club. The city also has a reputation for playing host to some of the top names in the music world – Shirley Bassey, Tom Jones, Kylie Minogue, Iron Maiden and Stereophonics are among the stars who have performed at the Motorpoint Arena, whilst the Wales Millennium Centre is one of the biggest venues in the UK for musicals, opera, dance and circus.
And we’ll tell you what else is good about Cardiff; it’s easy to get to. London is just two hours away by road or rail and Cardiff airport is within 30 minutes of the city centre. It’s a winner.