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IT’S NOT CALLED THE GREAT OUTDOORS FOR NOTHING!
Reasons why you should get outside around Cardiff…
It’s a pretty well established fact that being outside is beneficial for both our mental and physical health. After life in lockdown, a lot of us have maybe come to appreciate this a little more than we did before. While Cardiff may be a city, there are still plenty of really great ways to get out and enjoy yourself in the open air. Whether you prefer adventurous and energetic activities, or a more calm and relaxing day out, there will be something suitable nearby.
1. GREAT OPEN AIR ACTIVITIES & ATTRACTIONS
Cardiff Bay is an amazing waterfront area and we also have two sizeable rivers, so there’s plenty of opportunity to get active out on the water. Cardiff International White Water is the only facility of its kind in south Wales with great courses for rafting, tubing and stand up paddle boarding, as well as an air trail and climbing wall. Cardiff Bay Water Activity Centre offers lessons in sailing, windsurfing, rowing and sculling, plus they also offer archery and Laserblast. Did you know that Cardiff even has its own island? Flatholm Island is an off shore nature reserve with some amazing history as well, the first ever telegram was sent over water to the island by Marconi in 1897.
While Cardiff itself may be an urban metropolis, we’re very lucky to be surrounded by beautiful Welsh countryside and so are some of our best tourist attractions. If you’re looking for something different, try the crazy world of Welsh Games and embrace the Welsh countryside with a range of side-splitting activities. Cardiff Castle has been the city’s historic heart for nearly 2000 years, we highly recommend a full visit but the lovely grounds, café and gift shop are all open to the public free of charge. St Fagans National Museum of History stands in the grounds of St Fagans Castle, where over fifty original buildings from different locations and historical periods have been re-built in the 100-acre parkland. Even if you’re on a flying visit to the city centre, make sure you visit our famous Animal Wall.
2. GREAT WALKING & CYCLING TRAILS
If you’re looking to get out and about while seeing some more of the city, the best ways are either walking or by hopping on a bike. Here in Cardiff we’re very lucky to have an abundance of green spaces to explore (more on those below) and a fabulous coastal area around the Bay. We highly recommend the circular walk from Cardiff Bay, across the Barrage to Penarth Marina and back around, nothing better on a sunny day. If cycling is more your thing the the Taff Trail is really a must, this beautiful route follows the river Taff from the Bay through the city centre and beyond, all the way to Brecon if you’re feeling really energetic!
To help you on your way, here are some maps with handy routes laid out for walkers and cyclists, they cover the city centre and Cardiff Bay, as well as the lovely areas around Pontcanna and Roath Park.
3. GREAT PARK & GARDENS
Cardiff might be a (comparatively) small city but, when it comes to green spaces, we really do go big. Bute Park, right next to Cardiff Castle, is probably the most well known and currently boasts 41 champion UK trees among its many points of interest. Roath Park was one of the city’s first public parks and is famous for its 30 acre boating lake and Scott memorial, in the form of a lighthouse. Victoria Park is well loved, especially in the summer months, for it’s Splashpad children’s play area and cast iron bandstand. There is a surprisingly large selection of public parks, playing fields and nature reserves to choose from, so there’s really no excuse not to head outside when the weather allows.
If you'd like more information on how to enjoy Cardiff while getting a delighful dose of fresh air, then make sure you check out the Outdoor Cardiff website.
STAND UP PADDLEBOARDING
An increasingly popular activity that has been taking the UK by storm, Cardiff has built up as a reputation as a home for this water sport which is a combination of surfing and canoeing or kayaking.