Southern Wales is such a diverse area, rugged coastline, lively Capital City, vales and valleys we have it all.
Cardiff is a modern and cosmopolitan Capital city. What’s really great about Cardiff is its size; it’s compact; almost everything you want to see is within walking distance or a short drive away so you won’t be wasting your time getting around. Listed below are some suggested places to visit, so mix and match as time and preferences allow.
The Civic Centre is often referred to as The Washington D C of Europe, thanks to its White Portland Stone Buildings. This is where the National Museum can be found that tells the story of Wales from earliest times and is unique among British museums and galleries for its range of art and science displays. It houses the finest collection of impressionist buildings outside Paris, including Monet’s, Manat’s and Renoir’s paintings.
Cardiff Castle is located in the heart of the city and enjoys a history spanning nearly 2000 years. The highlight at the castle is a guided tour of the spectacular castle apartments. They were created in the 19th century by eccentric architect William Burges for the very rich Third Marquess of Bute. Designed as a medieval fairytale home, the rooms are filled with ornate fireplaces, gilded ceilings, intricate stained glass and carved and painted animals throughout.
Principality Stadium (formerly known as Millennium Stadium) was built for the 1999 Rugby World Cup and is now a major sporting and concert arena. A behind the scene tour is a great introduction to the Welsh love of rugby and to find more out about the stadium.
The St Davids 2 Shopping Mall opened in 2009 and has elevated Cardiff to 6th in the UK shopping league. There’s the largest John Lewis Dept Store outside London that sells many of the global designer labels as well as the other high street stores. Nearby is a maze of the Victorian Arcades that house many of Cardiff’s individual and unique shops.
Situated in the heart of Cardiff Bay, is the vibrant waterfront area. The Wales Millennium Centre has already established its reputation as a unique and lively performing arts centre. More than just a theatre, visitors come from all over the world to enjoy performances ranging from blockbuster West End musicals, Welsh National Operas, Ballet and stand up comedy, book before your visit to see tonight’s performance or take a behind the scenes tour of the centre.
Or why not try The Doctor Who Experience the first ever interactive Doctor Who exhibition that invites visitors to star in their very own Doctor Who adventure.
Tonight there’s a choice for dining, enjoy a Cardiff Castle Banquet, take a boat ride to Cardiff Bay and sample one of the many restaurants by the waterside or check out one of the city centre restaurants.
Overnight – Cardiff
Visit St Fagans is one of Europe's leading open–air museums and Wales' most popular heritage attraction. It stands in the grounds of the magnificent St Fagans Castle, a late 16th-century manor house donated to the people of Wales by the Earl of Plymouth. Surrounding it are over 40 buildings that have been reconstructed from sites all around Wales.
Drive Northwards towards Merthyr Tydfil and take a steam train ride on the Brecon Mountain Railway. It’s one of the ‘Great Little Trains of Wales’ that travels through the Southern Brecon Beacons National Park and along the full length of the Taf Fechan Reservoir.
Either visit the Penderyn Distillery Tour - Penderyn Distillery opened its doors to visitors in June 2008 with the launch of its new purpose designed and built Visitor Centre. The distillery is the only one in Wales and the first to legally distill whisky spirit in the country for more than 100 years.
Meet the distillery team for a tour that will take you on a journey through the history of single malt whisky making in Wales, and understand the distilling and bottling process at first hand.
Or continue to Abergavenny, and take afternoon tea at The Angel Hotel, it has been awarded the best place for afternoon tea outside London.
Overnight Cardiff and chose another evening option as detailed in day 1.
Approximate distance : 34 miles / 54.2km
Approximate travelling time : 55mins
Visit Chepstow Castle. It is a Norman castle perched high above the banks of the River Wye in southeast Wales. Construction began in 1067, less than a year after William the Conqueror was crowned King of England. It is one of the earliest stone-built castles in Britain. The castle was modified and developed in successive stages throughout the Middle Ages and saw further action during and after the Civil War.
If time permits, visit the Wye Valley, it’s an ‘Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty’ and visit the village of Tintern. There are lots of gifts and craft shops to buy Welsh souvenirs and also visit the ruins of Tintern Abbey, before the onward journey.
You may choose to stay longer and combine a North Wales and South Wales itinerary. Don't forget that you can fly from Cardiff to Anglesey and vice versa in just over an hour with City Wing Airline www.citywing.com Please note that there are no services on weekends or bank holidays.