On this tour we will explore the capital city of Wales, Cardiff. We will arrive about midday and start with a tour of Cardiff Bay which includes the Pierhead Museum, Millennium Centre and National Assembly of Wales.
In the afternoon we will do the main walking tour of Cardiff city centre which includes Cardiff Castle, Bute Park with a "mini Stonehenge", Civic area with impressive buildings such as the National Museum and you will also see the Millennium Stadium, one of the largest in the UK. In your free time you will have the chance to visit the Castle (extra charge) or Museum (free) or do some shopping in the many arcades.
Wales is a separate country that forms part of the United Kingdom. Wales has a population of three million with a long coastline of 1,200 km, it’s a largely mountainous region to the north and its main centres of population are in the South with its capital Cardiff. Wales was an independent country until the late 13thcentury, it still holds on to a strong separate identity from England with its own language and its national sports. During the 19th century South Wales was one of the most industrial and productive places on earth with its vast coal mines, iron works and other associated industries. Modern Wales has been transformed from its industrial past in to a forward looking and vibrant region; Cardiff has had hundreds of millions of pounds spent on rebuilding and is home to the Welsh Assembly as well as its main shopping hubs and national museums.
The castle has along and interesting history with different parts of it being built in different ages. The original castle dates back to the Romans, parts of the present castle walls incorporates part of the Roman fort. The next stage was the stone keep built by the Normans in the 11th century, the castle was extended over the next few centuries and the fishing village grew up around it. As Cardiff became a major export centre of coal the city grew quickly and the castle came to be owned by the Earl of Bute who transformed it in to a gothic revival home that you can see today. The castle is a major tourist attraction with a museum as well as being able to see all of the rooms the castle has to offer.
Pierhead is the old headquarters of the Cardiff Railway Company that transported most of the coal from the pits to the dockyard. Today the building is officially part of the National Assembly of Wales and is now open to the public as a Welsh history museum and exhibition. There are films and exhibits tracking the history of famous Welsh people as well as documenting the history of Wales and the Cardiff Bay area. Next door is the National Assembly Building or Senedd.
National Museum of Wales:
Discover art, archaeology and the geological evolution of Wales. With a busy programme of exhibitions and events, there is something to amaze everyone, whatever your interest – and admission is free!
The stadium is the Welsh national stadium and is home to the Welsh rugby team, also some football matches are played there. The stadium was built in 1999 and has a capacity of 75,000, because of its size it has also played host to concerts by people including Madonna, The Rolling Stones, Paul McCartney and U2. It is the second largest stadium in the world with a closing roof. Tours of the stadium are available.
Cardiff has become one of the UK’s tourist hotspots due to its cultural heritage and also its many shopping opportunities. Next door to the National Museum is the City Hall, this is the site of local government. All around the museum and City Hall you will find one of the most beautiful civic centres in the world surrounding Alexandra Gardens. Nicknamed the City of Arcades, Cardiff is great place for shopping in style and the Victorian arcades are worth a visit in themselves. Queen St, St Marys Street and The Hayes are the major pedestrianised shopping streets which all branch off the castle, so it is easy to walk from shop to shop without fear of traffic, here you will find the massive St David’s shopping centre, all around there a great number of places to eat.
(All times are approximate and may vary on the day depending on circumstances and are given as a guideline. The order of seeing Cardiff Bay and Cardiff Centre may change during Summer).
Cardiff Bay arrival: 11:30
Cardiff City arrival: 13:00
Walking tour until 14:00
Free time until departure at 16:45
Return to Oxford 19:30
Return to Bournemouth or London 20:30
This information shows example itineraries to use as a guideline, please note that the order we visit various attractions may change depending on circumstances or time of year.
Please follow the advice of your tour manager and make sure that you are at the various pick up points and departures at the correct times.
What Is Included In Tour Price
- Return travel
- Free map
- Free guided walking tour of Cardiff