I must admit that the only reason we ended up in Cardiff was to visit the Dr. Who Experience. In planning our exploration of Great Britain, I booked a flight into Cardiff airport. The half hour drive into the city center was quite beautiful. We had originally planned just a few hours in the city, but ended up doing a lot more exploring. There was much more worth experiencing in this cosmopolitan city and I’m glad we got a taste of Wales.
Cardiff on Foot
We decided to get acquainted with Cardiff by Foot, a walking tour with Cardiff Walks. Our guide Paul, was wonderful- flexible, full of knowledge and passion about his city. Through this experience, we were able to get a taste of what this city had to offer in just a few short hours. It seems to be a city in transition that is coming into a renaissance.
The city is located on a pretty bay. This bay had the greatest difference in high and low tide in the world, which caused problems in the past. The bay was dammed and the area is named after the great Cardiff-born author. There is vibrant art scene, with many art installations along the water.
Wales Millennium Centre
The Dr. Who Experience
The Dr Who Experience was, in fact, my 11-year old son’s favorite part of his European experience, along with the London Eye. He loved the museum with all the costumes since the 1960s. There was also an interactive activity that brings you into an episode. I had read on Trip Advisor that it only takes 2 hours, but my son could have happily doubled that.
The Science Creamery
Being a scientist who adores ice cream, I had to experience the Science Creamery. You can read about it in Where Science and Yumminess Meet.
We spent the afternoon in the centerpiece of the city, the 2000 year old Cardiff Castle. This is a large castle in all senses. It is a good example of all the parts of a defensive castle and has a tour guide for the house and an audio tour for the grounds. Unlike other castles we experienced in Great Britain, it stays focused on history and away from feeling like an amusement park.
My third grader had just been studying castles and it was the perfect way to show him all the parts in real life. I really appreciated the decor in the castle’s living quarters, especially the stained glass in the clock tower and the intricate tiling in the Arab Room.
Also interesting are the tunnels which were used as air-raid shelters in World War 2. It was my favorite of the castles we visited on our trip through Great Britain.
Where to stay
We found the Hilton Cardiff to be the ideal place to stay in this city. The price is very modest, but the rooms are nice. It has the perfect location overlooking the Cardiff Castle and was a short walk to most Cardiff attractions. To get to Cardiff Bay, we took a short cab ride.
After our day in Cardiff, we started our road trip through the English countryside. I am glad to have experienced this country. I think I only knew of it by the fact that it was part of William’s title. Now I know it is a country of incredible natural beauty and a strong culture. I would love to return and see more of it, especially to explore its countryside.
Have you traveled to Wales? What did you think of it? Please let me know in the comments and remember to pin it for later.