Cardiff (or Caerdydd in Welsh) is the proud capital of Wales. A city once noted for its industrial muscle, Cardiff is nowadays very important in the arts, culture and design. Wales looks after most of its own affairs, and Cardiff is the country’s political powerhouse – though the thrust for devolution has come mainly from the Welsh-speaking and rural areas well away from Cardiff.
Cardiff is an instantly likeable city. Leaving Cardiff Central station, you can’t miss the stadium which is the home of Welsh rugby. On the short walk north to Cardiff Castle, you’ll find some fine Edwardian-period shopping arcades. The castle is the historic heart of the city. Even if you are not inclined to pay to visit the castle itself, do wander through Bute Park (free entrance) which runs down to the banks of the River Taff.
Definitely make time to visit Cardiff Bay, about 4 km south of the city centre, where the rejuvenated waterfront with the Wales Millennium Centre rates as one of the boldest pieces of urban renewal in Europe. Among the showcase buildings at Cardiff Bay is the Senedd which houses Cynulliad Cenedlaethol Cymru – the Welsh National Assembly.
The principal railway station is Cardiff Central, which is the departure point for trains to Swansea and west Wales as well as for services to Chester and north Wales. There are hourly trains to Portsmouth, Birmingham and Manchester. Fast trains to London generally leave every 30 minutes. Cardiff Queen Street station, also in the city centre, has frequent local trains to communities across south-east Wales, including a useful shuttle service to Cardiff Bay.
Travel to Cardiff by train from anywhere in the UK or across Europe
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