What a difference a bay makes.
The old Cardiff docklands have been redeveloped in the last decade to create Cardiff Bay, home to a large freshwater lake for sailing and water sports; the stylish five star St David’s Hotel and Spa, Mermaid Quay – a restaurant hotspot with everything from Italian to Turkish cuisine and the home for Welsh National Opera – the Wales Millennium Centre.
One hundred years ago the docklands were the hub of the world’s coal industry, transporting millions of tonnes of coal across the globe. The docks were left to decay after the decline of the coal industry, but have now been reborn into a popular tourist attraction. Some of the highlights of a visit to Cardiff Bay are listed below.
Cuisine from around the world is on offer in dozens of restaurants, bars and cafes in Mermaid Quay, as well as the popular comedy club, the Glee Club – all on the waterfront of Cardiff Bay.
The Norwegian church was first established in Cardiff Bay to serve the large community of Norwegian sailors working in the docks. Its main claim to fame is as the church where author Roald Dahl was christened – today, however, it has been converted into a café and art gallery.
Y Senedd/ Pierhead Building
The Welsh Assembly Government’s debating chamber, Y Senedd, was opened by the Queen in March 2006. Visitors can explore the building, have coffee and Welsh cakes in the café or watch Assembly debates from the public viewing gallery. Next door to the Senedd is the historic Pierhead Building, which contains an interactive exhibition on the role of the National Assembly.
Cardiff Bay Barrage
Take a ride on the Road Train through the docks to the Cardiff Bay Barrage and learn more about one of Europe’s most ambitious engineering projects. Watch boats pass through the locks, keep an eye out for fish using the innovative fish pass, and enjoy a drink at the Barrage Café.
World of Boats
A new venue, right next to the Doctor Who Experience on the south side of Cardiff Bay. Come and see the Exhibitions that feature over 40 historic and rare boats from around the globe, plus Galleon Restoration Workshop. The location on the bayside is ideal to watch many of the great events held on the bay. The Look Out Café and Bar is fully licensed and a welcoming place to stop off and relax during your tour of the bay.
Craft in the Bay
Discover a showcase of jewellery, ceramics, textiles, metal work and bespoke furniture exclusively made in Wales by members of The Makers Guild in Wales. Come and visit the light and spacious gallery in the heart of the cultural Cardiff Bay. You can browse and buy individually selected, quality craft work at your leisure, meet the maker members and relax in the fabulous café. You can also explore exhibitions of contemporary craft and applied art and take part in weekend hands-on workshops.
The Red Dragon Centre
The Red Dragon Centre is the City’s ultimate entertainment destination, boasting everything you need to eat, drink and play under one roof. What we do is what we do best! Inside you’ll find a 12 screen cinema which boasts the only digital IMAX in Wales, a 26-lane bowling alley, casino, gym, and hit music station Capital FM. We’re also all about eating! Whatever your choice in food you’ll find it here with plenty of restaurants, bars, and cafés to suit all tastes.