Destinations / City Breaks / Cardiff
A sports fan's dream, doubtless, Cardiff will ever and amen be associated with rugby. However, the city is also a huge venue for football, cricket, boxing and ice hockey. The wonderful Millennium Stadium (home of Wales National Rugby Union and Wales National football team) has hosted the World Rally Championship, so motorsports and indoor athletic events are major here too. The renowned Cardiff Arms Park is home of Cardiff Rugby Club, but the Millennium Stadium will see at least 8 football matches of Summer Olympics 2012 played here and will proudly host the Games Opening Event.
Cardiff is the capital and largest city in Wales and the county town of Glamorgan and, with the river Taff running through the centre, the city also has extensive parkland and a green heart. Some of the loveliest parks, Bute Park, Llandaff Fields and Roath Park are beautifully tended and ideal for early evening strolls if shopping and sightseeing prove just too much! St. David's Centre, one of the largest shopping centres in all England is located in the city and Queen Street, St. Mary Street and High Street are the other shopping meccas. The city has one of the highest concentrations of castles of almost any city in the world, so Cardiff Castle, Castle Coch and St. Fagan's Castle are just a few fine examples with further landmarks Pierhead Building, St. David's hall and Llandaff Cathedral well worth visiting. The new waterfront area at Cardiff Bay has been recently developed and contains the Sendd Building (home to the Wales Assembly) and the Wales Millennium Centre arts complex.
One of the best ways to appreciate the delights of Cardiff is to take a Centenary Walk, which is a 3.7 km walk through the city passing many landmarks and historic treasures. These days, Cardiff is home to the Welsh media and is the UK's largest TV, film and multimedia sector outside London. An extremely vibrant city, nightlife in Cardiff is lively and varied and the Brewery Quarter is the new chic and trendy area for bars and clubs, whilst the Cafe Quarter at Mill Lane is restaurant heaven.
As one might expect with a Welsh city, Cardiff has a wonderful musical heritage. Home to Shirley Bassey, Charlotte Church and Shakin' Stevens, the city also hosted the National Eisteddfod (most recently in 2008). Family friendly too, there are brilliant attractions to keep the kids occupied and entertained. Techniquest is a children's science centre with Planetarium and is a hands on centre for fun and learning. The Red Dragon Centre is a moden entertainment complex with Odeon Cinema and Hollywood Bowl and it has several child friendly eateries. For interactive family fun, the Cardiff Story Museum gives a succinct history of the city from its small market town origins in the 1300's to its thriving and cosmopolitan image today.
Wales would not be Wales without a mention of coal and Cardiff was one of the world's largest and busiest coal ports in its heyday. Following a period of decline, the port has experienced a rejuvenation. A few days exploration in Cardiff will uncover a city that is friendly, warm, interesting and fun. Just a short hop across the Irish Sea too, Cardiff is a brilliant venue for a short break.