Introducing Cardiff (Caerdydd)
The roar that went up from Cardiff’s Millennium Stadium when Wales clinched victory in the 2005 Six Nations rugby championship – their first grand slam since 1978 – seems to still echo around the city today. The Welsh team’s return to form gave a massive boost to national confidence, a feeling reflected in the optimistic buzz that makes Cardiff such an appealing place to visit.
Cardiff was shaped in the 19th century by the world’s richest man – John Patrick Crichton-Stuart, third marquess of Bute – whose architectural legacy ranges from the colourful kitsch of Cardiff Castle to the neoclassical elegance of the Civic Centre. But the 21st century is making its presence felt as the sprawling docks that generated the Bute fortune continue their transformation into the glitzy waterfront development of Cardiff Bay, centred on the futuristic flourishes of the Wales Millennium Centre and the Welsh Assembly Building.
There’s plenty to explore in the city itself, but one of Cardiff’s great attractions is the ease with which you can escape the urban clamour: vast acres of parkland stretch north from the castle’s doorstep to the bucolic setting of Llandaff Cathedral, and the Taff Trail cycle route follows a leafy river bank to the fairy-tale setting of Castell Coch.
A short day trip by bus or train will take you to the old-fashioned seaside suburb of Penarth, the gritty industrial heritage of a rapidly regenerating Newport, or the magnificent medieval fortress and cheese capital of Caerphilly.
Last updated: Feb 17, 2009
Tips & articles
20 June 2012
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