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A summer’s day in Cardiff Castle

7 July 2014

Cardiff CastleIt is one of the most distinctive landmarks of Cardiff and, best of all; it is free for residents to visit. For a summer day out, Cardiff Castle is an excellent choice to explore.

Prominently positioned in the centre of the city and with towering walls, you’d struggle to miss this medieval fortress. As you enter through the imposing archway you look up towards the keep ahead of you and simply take in the scale of the castle. As a resident of Cardiff you can apply for a key to the castle. Beyond the novelty of owning a key to a castle, this grants you free entry to roam the walls, explore the keep and also 10% discount in the new cafe and shop.

Exploring the castle grounds and buildings explains the 2,000 year history of the site – from its beginnings as a Roman Garrison, then as a Norman stronghold, all the way through to Second World War tunnels and the present day. Accompanied by either a personal audio guide or joining a guided tour, the castle promises to show a different side to Cardiff than you may have been used to.

View over Bute Park
View over Bute Park

Arguably the highlight of the visit lies in the centre of the grounds. Having crossed the moat and climbed the stone steps, you reach the keep. An impressive construction which, despite missing its roof, you find yourself trying to imagine how it would have looked all those centuries ago. Fortunately some of the rooms have remained, and when you step out onto the roof of the keep you are afforded some of the best views over Cardiff. Looking to the north, Bute Park stretches out before you, whilst to the south you are given a unique perspective

View over Cardiff
View over Cardiff

over the modern day city centre that we all know.

Whilst the tour is a great opportunity to explore the castle, special events are also organised within the grounds. Events this summer include Grand Medieval Melees, Ghost Tours, a Cheese festival and music concerts. More details of these events can be found here.

A further surprise lies just beyond the walls of the castle, overlooking Bute Park. Here a variety of fifteen animals, including an anteater, hyena, lioness and seal are carved atop the Animal Wall. A small but well worthwhile addition to your visit! A visit to Cardiff Castle is an excellent break from a summer of dissertation writing and offers truly unique views over the capital. So, round up your housemates, enjoy the sun and take a trip to Cardiff Castle!