Who are you?
We are Colin and Tracy Williams, keen travel enthusiasts who love to tour all around beautiful Wales.
Why are you a local authority on Cardiff?
Tracy was born there and has lived in or near Cardiff for many years. We now live on the outskirts and visit often.
What do you love about it?
Cardiff, the capital of Wales since 1955, has a really vibrant multicultural population. The city is growing and developing rapidly, which provides for an eclectic mix of the historic and the new.
What’s your favourite place to visit in the city?
Cardiff has so much to offer visitors, from the magnificent castle, right in the centre of the city, to the stunning Principality (formerly Millennium Stadium) and the National Museum of Wales (home to numerous Monet paintings, among other great collections housed there).
Our favourite place has to be Cardiff Bay. It has received a massive facelift which has transformed the former docks, including Tiger Bay, into a modern and vibrant entertainment quarter. Here you’ll find the wonderful Millennium Centre (described by Andrew Lloyd Webber as “the best theatre built in the world in the last 50 years”), home to the renowned Welsh National Opera; the Send building (Welsh Parliament); a former Norwegian church; a nod to Cardiff as the birthplace of author Roald Dahl, and a multitude of restaurants, cafés and bars, all wrapped up in a fine waterside promenade.
Aquabus runs an hourly waters service between Cardiff Castle and Mermaid Quay, in the bay. The boat is suitable for passengers with wheelchairs, pushchairs and bikes. Cardiff Boat operates the Princess Katharine, a covered 90-seat waters that also provides a regular service and can take group bookings.
Which local campsite would you recommend?
Cardiff Caravan and Camping Park, which few city campsites can match for the easy access it provides to the centre of Cardiff. It is situated within 300 acres of parkland, close to Sophia Gardens, home to Glamorgan Cricket Club and one of England’s Test Match venues.
There is a flat walk into the city centre, alongside the castle. Bikes are available for hire from the on-site cycling charity. For cyclists, there is also easy access to the Taff Trail, a popular route that runs for 55 miles between Cardiff Bay and Brecon.
Tell us somewhere great to eat!
Our particular favourites are Barker Tea House, in the High Street Arcade, and Côte Brasserie, a French restaurant in Cardiff Bay (this is also the place where I proposed to Tracy!).
The latter provides fine views across Roald Dahl Plaza to the Millennium Centre, making it ideal for a pleasant post-theatre meal. But wherever you ago, when you stop for a cuppa, do try the Welsh cakes – they are delicious.
Where can you get spare kit?
Cardiff has a GO Outdoors, Mountain Warehouse, Cotswold Outdoor and Blacks, which can provide for any of your camping requirements.
Where can I find the cheapest petrol/diesel in the area?
All of the major supermarkets are within easy reach. There is an Asda on J32, and the Moto service area at J33 is always competitively priced.
Where should you avoid when visiting the area?
It’s probably best to steer clear of the city centre when there is a big concert in the Principality Stadium, which can result in the M4 and the Brynglas Tunnels outside Newport becoming a slow-moving traffic jam.
Share a highlight only a local would know!
For those visitors to the city who don’t mind being in among the crowds and are sports fans, there is no place in the entire world like Cardiff on the day of a Wales Rugby International. The unique atmosphere is hectic but friendly.
If you can get your hands on a ticket, don’t miss this great opportunity.
If you can’t get a ticket, don’t worry – much of Cardiff city centre is closed to traffic for the whole day and you can watch the game in one of the hundreds (yes, there really are hundreds to choose from!) of lively bars and restaurants that you’ll find within the kick of a rugby ball from the stadium.
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