Happy New Year!
Last month, me and #JasperBean spent our first time away from home alone in Cardiff City Centre. We travelled by Great Western Railway from London Paddington and couldn’t have asked for a smoother journey! Especially when the little one fell asleep half an hour into the ride. It was then 1.5 hours of quiet bliss for mummy!
Why we chose Cardiff
Cardiff is well known for its vibrant nightlife, busy bay and increasing culinary experiences. Fondly nicknamed as the “Gateway to Wales”, Cardiff is situated on the south coast of Wales. With excellent transport links with the rest of the country, it has a generous multicultural student population. Additionally, throw in a dash of traditional Welsh charm and it’s easy to see why this is among one of the friendliest cities in the world.
Along with being voted the third best capital city in Europe in 2016, we were also here to visit my dear friend and fellow multi-talented illustrator mummy, Asuka Tanaka. She’s a dab hand at drawing and teaching manga/anime drawings! So give her a shout if you’re interested!
Where we stayed
We chose to stay in the city centre because it is very easy to navigate on foot. The hotel was roughly 1-2 minutes walk to Cardiff Central Railway Station (Caerdydd Canolog) and a stones throw from shopping centres and most of the places we visited and recommend below. Although if you fancy a break, the city is also well connected with buses and trains. Taxis are relatively inexpensive too, just don’t skip on the comfy shoes.
Places to go in Cardiff (with or without a Toddler)
Here are some of the places we visited during our trip and recommend, esepcially if you have children in tow as well. Timing can be a bit awkward at this time of year as well as most places of interest closed around 4pm. However, Cardiff Market and the Christmas Market in the city centre was bustling with things to do and see, so we didn’t feel like we were left twiddling our fingers. This is a great place to find fresh, local produce in the city. Everything from fresh seafood to juicy fruits and don’t forget to try the Welsh cakes as well. Just remember to bring an umbrella and raincoat (raincover) if you’re visiting during the winter months. The weather can be a bit unpredictable. We had mostly rainy weather during our visit with one sunny afternoon, but that did not dampen our moods!
- Cardiff Castle – Castle St, Cardiff CF10 3RB
- Cardiff Story Museum – The Old Library, The Hayes, CF10 1BH
- Techniquest – Stuart Street, Cardiff Bay, CF10 5BN
- Wales Millenium Centre – Bute Place, CF10 5AL
- Cardiff Market – St Mary Street, Cardiff CF10 1AU
- National Museum Cardiff – Cathays Park, Cardiff CF10 3NP
- Bute Parc – Curran Embankment, CF10 5DX
Massive park just behind Cardiff Castle where there is an arboretum, Victorian gardens, friary ruins and a cafe. It is very easy to spend a whole day here when the weather is nice. Bring a scooter, picnic mat and enjoy the peaceful chirping of nature. The kiddies will be so tired from running freely around this beautiful park that you’ll want to come back again and again!
- St Fagans National History Museum – St Fagans, Cardiff CF5 6XB
St Fagans is an open-air museum where you can learn about the historical lifestyle, culture, and architecture of the Welsh people.
Where to Eat
There is so much to choose from in terms of food. From fast food chains like Wagamama to Jamie’s Italian or quirky eats like The Potted Pig or The Clink. All of these are conveniently located in the city and we really recommend The Clink for gourmet dining with a twist. This is because the restaurant is just outside the walls of a prison and provides prisoners with a real opportunity to change their lives and reduce re-offending in the future.
Whatever you choose to eat, don’t forget the Welsh Cakes! You can get these in most places around Wales, but the best ones in Cardiff are from Fabulous Welshcakes on Castle Arcade (Opposite Cardiff Castle). We coulnd’t get enough of them!
We hope you get to visit this fantastic city and if you’ve been lucky enough to, let me know what you liked/disliked about your visit!
A quick shout out to the Fjallraven Splitpack in the image above! It was a complete lifesaver! Especially on such a short trip with a toddler. It’s basically a duffel bag that you can completely open flat in the middle and also carry as a backpack! It was comfortable walking around with whilst pushing a buggy and holding onto little hands. I found it extremely easy to find items without digging around forever and actually doesn’t look half bad. I really didn’t regret not using a wheeled luggage bag for this trip!
Thanks for reading and until next time…
Love, MsMamaBean x
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