Cardiff

Cardiff lies at the centre of three river systems, the Taff, the Ely and the Rhymney. Its location allowed the first residents to control trade and movement along these rivers, giving them power over a large area.

The historical Cardiff Castle standing in the heart of the city reveals more than 2000 years of the city‘s history as a Roman Garrison, a Norman stronghold and in Victorian times, a gothic fairytale castle for the third marquis of Bute. Choose from guided tours of spectacular Victorian apartments designed by William Burges or climb to the top of the 12th Century Norman Keep for spectacular views of the city. For an alternative night out, book a traditional Welsh Banquet. This is a relaxed and fun evening of Welsh food, wine and music, in the 15th Century medieval hall. For details visit www.cardiffcastle.com

The construction of the Millennium Stadium in the city centre to host the Rugby World Cup in 1998 helped transform Cardiff into a true European capital city. In 2005 Cardiff celebrated its centenary as a city and 50 years as capital of Wales. For details on guided tours of the stadium visit www.millenniumstadium.com

Glamorgan cricket‘s brand new ground is situated on the banks of the Taff and hosted one of the Ashes tests in 2009. For tour details and fixtures visit www.glamorgancricket.co.uk

Standing amongst the impressive Edwardian buildings of the Civic Centre is the National Museum and Gallery home to the best collection of French impressionist paintings outside Paris, featuring works by Monet, Picasso and Rodin. The museum hosts the bi-annual Artes Mundi competition, the largest contemporary arts prize in the U.K. For further information visitwww.museumwales.ac.uk

Cardiff is ranked as the 6th best shopping destination in the U.K. The new 1.4 million square foot St. Davids, with the largest John Lewis store outside London, links to Queen Street, the traditional heart of Cardiff shopping. For character and charm, visit the Edwardian and Victorian arcades where shops are individual and quirky. For further information visitwww.shopincardiff.com

Cardiff market has plenty of local produce on offer. The market has been home to the fishmongers Ashtons for over 90 years; here you will find an amazing range of fresh fish and traditional laverbread.

Riverside Market, held next to the Millennium Stadium on the banks of the Taff takes place every Sunday and was voted the 5th best Farmers market in the U.K. by the Times newspaper.

Annually in September Cardiff Castle plays host to the Great British Cheese Festival, with hundreds of cheeses to try and buy.

The City Sightseeing Open Topped Buses tour the City Centre and the Bay with 10 stops including Cardiff Castle and Mermaid Quay in the Bay. For times visit www.city-sightseeing.com

An alternative method of travel between the City Centre and the Bay is the Water Bus which travels down the River Taff and past the Millennium Stadium. For a timetable visitwww.cardiffwaterbus.com

The pickup point in the City Centre is in Bute Park, the beautiful grounds of Cardiff Castle which were designed by the eminent Capability Brown.

Wander through the Brewery Quarter (formerly Brain‘s Brewery), Mill Lane and St. Mary Street where you can linger and relax in great pubs, friendly wine bars and top class restaurants and soak up the Cosmopolitan atmosphere of the City.

Cardiff‘s principal Tourist Information Centre is cited in the Old Library Building on the Hayes in the heart of the City Centre. Tel: 0870 121 1258 or e-mail visitor@cardiff.co.uk

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