Self Drive in UK : Cardiff in Wales

Bath to Cardiff City

From Bath to Cardiff only need slightly one hour plus, but we were lost in Bath and GPS has brought us to some really countryside road, really narrow.  I believe the road is only for horses so we wasted one hour in Bath to get to another decent road.

Severn Bridge

There is a beautiful motorway suspension bridge called Severn Bridge, once we saw the bridge, we knew we are not far from Cardiff. There is a toll to pay, GBP 6.7 for a sedan car.  The bridge is very long and you would enjoy the architecture of the bridge when crossing it.

Severn Bridge Toll

Cardiff City

Cardiff is the capital of Wales, about 300 km from London. And the major tourist attraction is the Cardiff Castle which is located in the city.  Our first destination is to Cardiff Castle.  And getting a car park in the city is not easy. This time we parked our rental car a bit far from the city as most spaces are full around city area.  We walked for about 20 mins to reach the Castle.

Walking to the direction of the Cardiff Castle, enjoy the beautiful houses along the road.

Cardiff City

Cardiff Castle

Cardiff Castle

Finally reached Cardiff Castle and we tried to find the entrance which is located at the busy main road.  You can choose to stay in Holiday Inn which is only opposite the Castle, that is where we choose to stay.  Holding tight to my hat as the wind was very strong that morning.

Cardiff Castle

We arrived at around 11 am and glad that it was a fine weather, at least no rain and a lot of sunshine.  The weather was warmer especially in the noon.  Not very long queue and not very crowded in the castle as it was a weekday.

Cardiff Castle

The main range seen from the gardens

Cardiff Castle

Cardiff Castle is one of Wales’ leading heritage attraction of 2,000 years of history.  Once you paid for your tickets, you also get your an audio guide.

Cardiff Castle

Castle Apartments

Cardiff Castle Apartment

We spent about 2 hours in the castle, exploring interior and exterior of the castle.  It is huge.  Below pictures show the castle apartments with a series of Victorian Gothic rooms which is also the highlight of the Castle.

Cardiff Castle

You can appreciate the intricate murals painted on the walls and ceiling, stained glass windows and wooden carving. You would see a lot a of knight armor as you entered the hall, but don’t worry, they won’t move.

Cardiff Castle Apartment

The little door behind me is the exit of the castle apartment.  Entrance and exit are separate way.  No additional fees to pay to visit the castle apartment, it is included in entrance ticket.  As the castle apartment is Cardiff Castle highlight, don’t miss out this important site, quite many to explore in the Castle Apartment.

Cardiff Castle

The Clock Tower

Cardiff Castle Tower

The Clock Tower is one of the most recognizable landmarks in Cardiff, cost additional GBP 4.25 per person in addition to the castle admission ticket.

The Norman Keep

The original castle was built in the late 11th century by Norman invaders on top of a 3rd-century Roman fort.

Cardiff Castle

The Norman Keep is also known as a ‘shell’ keep because its outer walls provided a shell for smaller buildings within it. I was lucky to have a running shoes to walk around the castle. Castle is big and there is a lot of walking, always have a comfy shoes! We climbed roughly 50 stone steps before reaching to the Keep entrance.

Cardiff Castle

Reaching the midway of viewing platform, still more to climb.

Cardiff Castle

You will be rewarded by panoramic view of the whole castle from the top.  The views from the open-air roof terrace of the castle and city skyline are simply breath-taking.

Cardiff Castle

More spiral and uneven steps above the castle top, quite challenging to climb up as the steps are quite small.  Only one person at a time. Not able to have both flow of the traffic so not sure how people can manage to get up and down during peak period.

Cardiff Castle

More view from the top.

Cardiff Castle

Roman Wall

Once you at the top of the castle you have a better view of the Roman Wall, built before the Norman invaded and took over the Castle.  Go up to the top, even the steps may look a bit challenging but I still see some elderly people who went up to the top!

Roman Wall at Cardiff Castle

Some announcement are made in Welsh so I believe a lot of people in Cardiff still speak Welsh.  It sounded totally different from English which I have no clue at all.

Cardiff Castle

This castle has a unique blend of different architectural styles, mostly Norman but still have some Roman parts to it, such as the Roman wall at the top of the castle.

Cardiff Castle

Wartime Shelter/DarkTunner

Tunnel Shelter at Cardiff Castle

Things we covered in the Cardiff Castle:

  1. Castle Apartment- Highlight
  2. Wartime Shelter
  3. Norman Keep
  4. The Roman Wall
  5. Castle Tower – we did not get in as we were too tired from climbing the steps.

Admission to Cardiff Castle:

  • Adult : GBP 12.5
  • Children (5-16) : GBP 9

Cardiff City

City center of Cardiff

Queens Arcade at Cardiff City

The population of Cardiff is about 341,000, the city is considered the 9th biggest in UK.  The city was not very crowded and not very quiet.  Just comfortable to live in.

Cardiff City

After we finished touring the Cardiff Castle, it was about noon and it was about time to find some lunch.

Cardiff City

Cardiff Indoor Market

The Welsh Dragon

We went into one of the the indoor arcade to search for food.  Things are selling at reasonable price here.  The red dragon is the well-known mascot of the Wales, you can see them throughout the whole city of Cardiff.

Welsh dragon

The arcade also selling cloth, can you believe it, nowadays people still making their own clothes?  Must be for some artwork or tailored costume.

Cardiff Market

Herbs and spice 

Cardiff Market

Take away lunch

We ended up eating some take away barbecue chicken and pork and pasta with cheese.  The barbecue chicken and pork was cold but luckily the seller heated the pasta with cheese so still quite yummy.

Cardiff Market

Giant Seagull in the park

We found a nearby park with seats and sat down to enjoy our lunch together with a giant seagull.  Not sure why seagulls in UK are so huge?  It is twice the size of the seagull I saw back home, seagulls back home are also tiny like me 🙂 Well, you can’t see how big the seagull in the below picture as there is no comparison but I can assure you it is quite huge.

After our lunch we walked back to pick up our car.  Below are few pictures showing the town of Cardiff.

Cardiff City

Commerce and Industry Cardiff

Cardiff City

We passed by some important government buildings with few important statues.

Cardiff City

Cardiff City

People were enjoying their lunch and warm weather in a clean park since it was a nice day.

Cardiff City

Cardiff University

Cardiff city is also a city full of students, over 100 languages are being spoken here.  We passed by one of the campus of Cardiff University – The Redwood building.  There are many university in UK, all the cities we passed by has a university.  When I saw Redwood building, I know our rental car is nearby, another 2 mins walk.  Yippee!

Redwood Cardiff University

Self Drive in UK : Cardiff – Wales

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