I have been dying to visit Cardiff!
I really don’t know why but it’s been somewhere I wanted to tick off my list. In my head I thought it was hours away but it’s only around 3.5. That’s nothing in comparison to the hours we normally sit in a car for a trip!
As I’ve said many times, I don’t like driving South. It’s not an enjoyable drive. Always smaller lanes through the million sets of roadworks and ultra congested. But in saying all that, once you’d got quite a way past Birmingham, I’d say 2 hours in, the other two hours were quite a pleasant drive.
There are two toll roads, the M6 by Birmingham which costs just under £6 for a car but this fluctuates. I do recommend this toll but it can be avoided. The other toll which is a similar price is when you cross over this glorious piece of architecture! ‘The Severn Bridge’, also known as the ‘Prince of Wales Bridge’.
Once we got into Cardiff, it was a pretty easy route to the hotel. We’d been lucky enough to get a hotel which was 10 minutes walk from the centre and 15 minutes walk to the Bay so it was great to be in the middle. Both walks were very nice and safe walks too. If you see my previous blog you can see where we stayed.
So we unpacked as quickly as possible and went out. There’s no time to lose on a city break! We walked down to Cardiff Bay, Mermaid Quay.
The weather was glorious and you really did feel like you were abroad. It was busy and there were lots of people taking boat cruises. The water looked great!
Here’s one of the tour operators but there are multiple:
Also by the waterfront was something I personally found quite peculiar. ‘Ianto’s Shrine’, based on the tv series Torchwood I believe. From the makers of Doctor Who. You can read more on it here:
Right beside here you find ‘The Millennium Centre’ which is some piece of work! All the letters light up at night and there’s fountains around it.
We had a drink in a great restaurant/bar that had live opera music on. If you weren’t feeling like you were abroad already then once you sat at this outdoor area, you definitely did!
Cocktails overlooking the sea, yes please!
We ate our tea at a Brazilian restaurant at the Bay. There were lots of restaurants to choose from.
As it started to get late we called at the little Sainsbury’s on the marina and got goodies and supplies for our room.
We then walked back and all watched a movie through our chrome cast which we’d took. We bought a new movie through our google play. We always take our chrome cast away with us. We own lots of movies on google play but it’s great to rent new ones too. It just plugs into the side of the tv and hey presto, you have movies! We bought ours from Tesco a few years ago. I think it was £25 but you got £20 free credit with it. Bargain! You can buy them here on offer from Argos. Just such a handy thing to take away with you, especially when you have children and tend to go to your room earlier:
The next day after breakfast in the hotel, we all got showered and ready and decided to explore the city centre. There was a nice city vibe to it all.
Once in, I really wanted to find the historic indoor market. We saw some great places on the way over.
Cardiff Market was great and I wish I lived there so I could have bought goodies to cook!
From here we then gave the children some spends to go round the shops. There is a huge shopping centre that goes right across, in and out!
There are multiple shopping centres to choose from.
We’d worked up an appetite by now so we went to Carluccio’s, the famous chef who sadly passed away not too long away. His restaurants got sold off but I really do like the food there. They do ACE unique breakfasts.
Next stop was the castle! The approach to this castle really reminded me of my visit to Milan last year. The castle is right in the centre and what a beauty!
You can get your tickets here:Cardiff Castle
By this point I wanted a cocktail! There’s plenty classy cocktail bars in Cardiff but I know this one is very child friendly. We only stayed for a couple. It was just to have a rest really and let the children look at what they’d bought.
All feeling slightly tired from all the walking, all 10 miles of it! We walked back to the hotel. We’d had such a great day in the city and we decided that we’d go back to the little square for our tea.
All showered and changed, we took the short route back into the city. We decided to eat at Jamie’s Italian. I love the food here. Usually I try and find unique restaurants when I visit cities but we were happy this time to go to these well known restaurants. I’ve never been able to fault Jamie’s restaurants. Fantastic food, friendly staff and children’s menus are great! We had a couple of drinks in the bar opposite the restaurant whilst we waited for our table to be ready. All very child friendly.
The evening was lovely. We didn’t want to walk back in the dark but we did feel very safe at all times. I just couldn’t shift this feeling of abroad. The building and everything just had this feel about them. The lighting too even added to this and the sea breeze in the air!
So back to the hotel for more fun, movies, nattering and feeling like a big camp out!
That was it, the end of our little adventure. We had to be out by 11am the next day so after breakfast, we packed up and off we went!
I will be back to this beautiful City. I’d like to come back for date night and try the nightlife. We did not come across any rude people, just all so lovely. We loved hearing the Welsh accent and I love how this Country refuses to lose its culture. I wish Scotland kept their original language as much as the welsh do. I’ve been to quite a few places in Wales and they never disappoint.
Have a look for yourself at what’s on and where to go.
That wasn’t the end of our trip though. You pass the Cotswolds to go to Cardiff so we decided to call here on our way back up to Lancashire. This is my mums favourite place where she has treasured memories with my dad who sadly no longer is here so it was great to go back with her to her favourite place. She gets really excited! I’ll fill you in on this in my next blog.
Ciao for now…