Cardiff Castle

A trip to South Wales would not be complete without visiting Cardiff, the country’s capital. Our interest was Cardiff Castle. Since it’s the low season, the castle was not crowded at all. We found parking very easy and not far from the castle. Located in the heart of the capital city is Cardiff Castle, a truly remarkable site with a history that spans over 2000 years. Roman soldiers slept here, noble knights held court here, and the Bute family, with extraordinary wealth and vision, transformed the Castle into a romantic Victorian fantasy. The only odd thing is that right next to it they built the new Millennium Stadium. It’s very strange to see old and new so close together. It’s a great outing for families and single travelers alike. Kids can role play with different uniforms inside the Firing Line: Cardiff Castle Museum of the Welsh Soldier, located at the entrance of the castle. They offer hands-on art and craft activities, puppet theatre and child sized costumes, free audio guides and the possibility to go to the top of the Norman Keep in the middle of the courtyard. Be prepared to spend a few hours exploring this beautiful castle.

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Interior at Cardiff castle

The interior of castle is just incredible. You start the tour with the Arab Room, a small but extraordinary room. Beautiful blue walls and incredible ceiling. The craftsmanship is superb. The rest of the rooms open to the public are equally breathtaking, especially the Banqueting Hall. My favorite were the stain glass windows. Be prepared to spend some time inside it. If you are like me, you will not want to leave.

Try the Cawl

If you are getting hungry while visiting Cardiff castle, look no further than the lobby cafe. They serve a traditional, homemade, Welsh dish called Cawl made with lamb and locally grown vegetables served with a crusty bread roll and locally produced cheese. It’s so good, a very hearty meal, perfect for the cold outside. For desert I encourage you to get the homemade carrot cake. So yummy.

The Norman Keep

The Norman Keep was built in the early 12th Century by Robert Consul, Earl of Gloucester, replacing the timber defenses of Robert Fitzhamon, Norman Lord of Glamorgan. It was the prison for eight years of Duke Robert of Normandy, the eldest son of William the Conqueror, until his death in 1134 at the age of 80. Additions made in the 13th and 14th Century included a gatehouse with a stone staircase leading to the stone bridge which replaced the timber drawbridge across the moat. The gatehouse was removed during landscaping in the 18th Century.(wiki) Visiting with kids can be a challenge as the stairs to the top of the keep are really steep. Extra attention is needed. The top offers you great views of the castle’s courtyard. Not busy at all this time of year.

The Best Part Of Cardiff Castle

Angry beavers! They’re way up at the top, in a fountain on a tiled patio. One of the castle’s owners once led an effort to reintroduce the beaver to Wales, apparently.

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