Welcome to Cardiff,The Capital city of Wales
Cardiff, Wales’ Capital city, offers a startling range of unique attractions, top class entertainment and quality shopping with a difference – all within walking distance. Innovative architecture sits alongside historic buildings and Cardiff Bay offers entertainment for everyone.
Rich in ancient history, sporting excitement, romantic ambience, eclectic culture and ‘out of this world’ activities, Cardiff is the perfect holiday destination for families, couples and groups. Cardiff is a thriving city, just 2 hours by train from London.
Cardiff is a city of attractions, sport, culture and entertainment. With brilliant attractions which draw people from all over the UK and abroad you’ll be spoilt for choice in Cardiff. Choose from historic houses and castles or wildlife and water sports.
You’ll find a lively entertainment scene in and around Cardiff, which features opera, ballet, musicals, and live music from top acts. Across the city, there are a range of theatres, galleries and arts and live music venues. You can explore French Impressionist paintings at the national museum, find out about Cardiff’s local history at the Cardiff Story Museum and Cardiff Bay’s maritime heritage at Y Pierhead. From the traditional to the ground-breakingly modern, from seating thousands to cosy intimate spaces, Cardiff can satisfy every taste.
The Castle you see today, in the heart of the capital city, is at once a Roman fort, an impressive castle and an extraordinary Victorian Gothic fantasy palace, created for one of the world’s richest men.
Piece together 2,000 years of history on your visit and discover the remains of a Roman wall, climb to the top of the medieval Keep, explore the atmospheric Wartime Shelters and be overwhelmed by the extraordinary decoration in the Castle Apartments. In the nineteenth century, art- architect William Burges created a medieval dream – world for the 3rd Marquess of Bute; the results are simply breath-taking with opulent interiors rich with gilding, elaborate wood carving, murals and stained glass.
Cardiff Castle, Castle Street, Cardiff, CF10 3RB Tel: 020 2087 8100
Big Pit National Coal Museum
Discover Wales’s rich mining heritage in this amazing, award winning interactive museum complete with an underground tour.
In its heyday Big Pit employed 1,300 workers, now you can follow in their footsteps through interactive exhibits and the world-famous underground tour. Led by a real miner, it will give you a living, breathing taste of what life was like for those who made their living at the coal face.
You can enjoy a virtual tour of a modern coal mine in the multi-media “King Coal: The Mining Experience”.
Big Pit National Coal Museum, Blaenafon, Torfaen, NP4 9XP Tel: 0300 111 2 333
One of our greatest monastic ruins, this is surely the best-preserved medieval abbey in Wales. Tintern, on the banks of the River Wye, was only the second Cistercian foundation to be built in Britain. An area of outstanding beauty complemented by this outstanding beauty in stone. If only the walls could talk! The chants of countless monks echo through the masonry here. Despite the shell of this grand structure being open to the skies, it remains the best-preserved medieval abbey in Wales. Although the abbey church was rebuilt under the patronage of Roger Bigod, lord of nearby Chepstow Castle, in the late 13th century, the monastery retains its original design.
Tintern was only the second Cistercian foundation in Britain, and the first in Wales. The present-day remains are a mixture of building works covering a 400-year period between 1131 and 1536. Very little remains of the first buildings but you will marvel at the vast windows and later decorative details displayed in the walls, doorways and soaring archways.
Tintern, Gwent, NP16 6SE Tel: 01291 689251
Brecon Mountain Railway
The line runs from Pant, 3 miles North of Merthyr Tydfil, to Torpantau following part of the route of the original Brecon & Merthyr Railway which closed in 1964.
Travel from our Main Station at Pant in one of our all-weather Observation Carriages, behind a vintage Steam Locomotive.
The journey takes you into the Brecon Beacons National Park, through Pontsticill and along the full length of the Taf Fechan Reservior before climbing to Torpantau high in the Brecon Beacons and the summit of the original line. At our main station in Pant you can visit our Licensed Tearooms for refreshments, gifts and souvenirs are available from our Shop. You can also visit our Workshop where the Steam Locomotives and Carriages are repaired.
All trains travel nonstop from Pant to Torpantau. All returning trains from Torpantau stop at our intermediate station in Pontsticill where you can visit our Lakeside Cafe, see our new Steam Museum, admire the view or go for walks alongside the reservoir, there is also a children's play area here.
Brecon Mountain Railway, Pant Station, Merthyr Tydfil, Mid Glamorgan, CF48 2DD
Tel: : 01685 722988
Caerphilly Castle is one of the great medieval castles of western Europe. Several factors give it this pre-eminence - its immense size (1.2h), making it the largest in Britain after Windsor, its large-scale use of water for defence and the fact that it is the first truly concentric castle in Britain. Of the time of its building in the late 13th century, it was a revolutionary masterpiece of military planning
Dominating an impressive 30 acre site, Caerphilly Castle is Wales' largest and Britain's second largest castle behind Windsor.
This medieval fortress was built mainly between 1268 and 1271 by Gilbert de Clare. Known as Gilbert 'The Red' because of his red hair, denoting his Norman heritage, he built the castle to take control of Glamorgan and to prevent the Welsh Prince Llewellyn ap Gruffudd from achieving his southward ambitions.
The design of the castle is based on a concentric ring of walls, something not seen in Britain before. It also has an extensive ring of water defences and huge gatehouses. This mammoth stronghold remains a striking testament to the Anglo-Norman domination of the area.
Though the focus of many Welsh attacks, Caerphilly Castle has remained a formidable fortress and perhaps one of the greatest strongholds of all-time. Even the efforts of Oliver Cromwell's roundheads failed to break the Castle's boundaries, though they did leave a rather remarkable scar - the famous leaning tower, which has leaned 3m out of the perpendicular since 1648.
Caerphilly, South Wales, ST 156 871 Tel: 029 2088 3143