It’s easy to get caught up in thinking you need to travel far from home to have a new experience – but the truth is that some of the most beautiful countryside that’s perfect for exploring is right on our own doorstep! This month the Team from Vitora is making the 44-mile road trip from Bristol, over the bridge and through some stunning Welsh landscape to Cardiff – the perfect location for your next day off work or weekend adventure. With this amazing part of our world so close to home, why not get your vehicle and those Vitora tyres at the ready, buckle up – and let’s hit the road!
A few directions
Wherever you happen to be in Bristol, make your way to the M4 motorway, over the bridge and follow the signs (or Google Maps if you’d prefer)! Before you know it, you’ll find yourself on the home stretch, on the A48 into Cardiff. Off-peak it should only take about an hour and 15 minutes, giving you the rest of the day (or weekend) to enjoy and explore your wonderful destination at leisure!
A bit about our destination
The capital of Wales, Cardiff (or Caerdydd in Welsh), is in the county of South Glamorgan. Steeped in history from Roman, Normans and Viking times, it has many layers to delve into and explore. As well as being a cultural and sporting centre, it’s got an abundance of green spaces, glorious parks and gardens, castles, monuments, and of course, a picturesque waterfront. Plus, there’s no shortage of shopping opportunities and an eclectic mix of eateries serving delicious Welsh fare, traditional teas and international food – not to mention accommodation in every style and for all budgets.
What to do
When it comes to deciding how to spend your day or weekend in Cardiff, you’ll be absolutely spoilt for choice. Being such an attractive city, when the weather is good just taking a walk amongst its historic buildings or sitting in a café or tea room soaking up the marina views may be enough to get you feeling you’re on holiday and a million miles from home. Here are the few of the landmarks to put on your “to do list” and get you started:
- Cardiff Castle: It makes perfect sense that this imposing castle is one of Cardiff’s leading attractions and landmarks. Right in the heart of the city, surrounded by serene parklands it’s a historical masterpiece dating back 2000 years.
- Cardiff Bay: Once the docklands, and now known as Cardiff Bay, this is a destination in itself, offering many attractions, restaurants and water activities.
- Wales Millennium Centre: An iconic building in Cardiff’s Bay area, this is a centre for the Performing Arts and artistic creativity. Renowned as a top entertainment venue – just viewing it from the outside may be enough to take your breath away! Book in for a West End show, a backstage tour, take in an art exhibition – even do a workshop. It’s also an acoustics masterpiece and always a hive of activity with no end of inspiration for all members of the family.
- St Fagans National Museum of History: Situated in the grounds of the St Fagans Castle and surrounded by beautiful gardens, this is a “must” destination to get to know the history of Wales. A number of historic buildings set up on the site give an insight into the working lives of people from times past.
- Castell Coch: To the west of Cardiff, this castle is sometimes referred as the Fairy Tale Castle, for its enchanting fairy tale looks, winding staircases and air of intrigue!
- Bute Park: You’re never far away from a serene park, woodlands or expansive gardens, even in the middle of Cardiff. Right in the city centre and not far from the castle, Bute Park offers an amazing 56 hectares of parkland, trees and birds – with the River Taff running through. Take your own picnic or visit one of the cafes or tea rooms, make use of the fitness trail, visit the education centre, or just take a walk, breathe and enjoy!
- Cardiff Central Market: For fresh fruit and produce, unique Celtic gifts and a whole lot more, take a browse through this bustling two-floor market place. A Finalist in the Great British Market Awards 2019, it’s open Monday to Saturday, so make sure a visit here is part of your plan!
- Llandaff Cathedral: A hidden treasure, but worth the walk to discover it – this awe-inspiring cathedral with its history going back to Norman and medieval times, is situated in a quiet conservation area of Cardiff.
- Techiquest: For the inquisitive at heart, Techniquest is a cutting-edge science and discovery centre with a range of exhibits and interactive experiences.
- Roath Park: Another beautiful Cardiff park, complete with lake, children’s playground – the perfect spot to kick back, read and relax.
- Principality (Millennium) Stadium: And if sport (particularly rugby) is your thing – don’t pass up the opportunity to visit this impressive stadium, which is home to the Wales National Rugby Union team. The third largest stadium in Britain (with 74,500 seats) – it has a fully retractable glass roof. When not in use for rugby matches, it’s the venue for a range of other events – so see what’s on and book ahead or take a behind-the-scenes tour!
Anything else you need to know
Cardiff’s hospitality, character and wealth of sights and exciting places to visit make it somewhere we’re sure will be a winner, however short your visit! And equally, if what you’re really longing for is a quiet, lazy weekend, you’ll just as easily find a perfect spot to relax, put your feet up and soak up a summer’s afternoon, have a cosy dinner or enjoy a show. So now it’s over to you to make some new memories….. Set a date and safe travels, or as they say in Welsh, “Cael taith ddiogel”.