Thursday, December 1, 2011

Top things to do in Cardiff

By Andrew Lawson

When visiting Wales a trip to its capital Cardiff is a must. Situated on the south coast of the country the city is steeped in history and legend. Today's Cardiff however is a wonderful blend of the historic and modern with every conceivable attraction available to the visitor. Stay at one of the excellent Cardiff hotels to experience a welcome that will stay in your heart for ever.

The history of this city is palpable and never more so than in its fortified heritage. Cardiff Castle itself has 2000 years of history lock behind its walls and is one of the top visitor attractions in Wales. The nearby Caerphilly castle holds the title of second largest in Britain and its unique grandeur is a sight to behold.

Coal mining was for many centuries the life blood of the Welsh people and no more so than in its capital Cardiff. Sadly no longer a feature of this proud nation its history has been preserved at the Rhonda Heritage Park. A visit to this working museum will give you an idea of what life was like for coal miners of a bygone age. St Fagan's Outdoor Museum will further give you an insight into the Wales of yester-year.

If shopping is your thing then look no further than the shopaholic's paradise that is Cardiff city centre. Stay in the Ibis Hotel Cardiff Gate or any one of the main Cardiff hotels and you will be in striking distance of a whole host of retail treats. From old fashioned shopping arcades through crowded markets to the latest in modern retail experiences Cardiff city centre has it all. So browse for as long as you like through every form of conceivable merchandise from traditional crafts to designer wear.

This city is not all about history and shopping; oh no! If you are the active type and especially the type that likes to take their activity with a spot of water then Cardiff is the city for you. Water sports abound in Cardiff Bay from sailing to windsurfing, canoeing to diving all can be done with the dramatic backdrop of the city. If dry land beneath your feet is more appealing then there are many trails within and just outside the city, not forgetting the glorious Brecon Beacons a short car journey away.

Sports fans don't think you have been left out by this city. The home of Welsh rugby is of course the New Millennium Stadium, the home also to Glamorgan Cricket Club. Not far outside town is the Celtic Manor Resort home to the last Ryder Cup and the Whitewater Centre is a world class canoeing venue. A stay at any of the Cardiff hotels will give you great access to the sport of your choice.

The eternal gastronome is not forgotten either. Cardiff has a long history of immigration due to the docks and every form of international food has found its way to this melting pot of cultures that is modern Cardiff. If traditional is what you are after however, then Welsh cakes, cheese and whisky can all be sampled in the city.

There's a magnificent standard of theatres and concert halls in Cardiff, from the renowned Millennium Centre to St David's Hall, with world-class productions to suit all tastes. Make sure you've got a handy place to stay, such as the Ibis Hotel Cardiff Gate and you can make a night of it. Alternatively, if you fancy partying through the night, then the rapid expansion in nightclubs and casinos in the area mean you'll be spoiled for choice.

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