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Cardiff Castle

Visited February 2010

 

Location Central Cardiff
Entrance Fee Yes - check website
Railway Station        
Cardiff Central approx 1/4 mile
Parking Yes - subject to fee
Facilities Toilets, Shop, Cafe
Map

 


 

 


Review

 

As you would expect from a capital city, the castle at Cardiff is a grand affair, with an array of buildings from several different periods in history. The Romans built a fort on this site, and parts of the original Roman Wall can still be seen today. There is a magnificent Norman motte with a stone keep surrounded by an impressive moat. This was begun in 1091, like most Welsh castles it reflects the conflicts between the native Welsh and their conquerors. The keep is accessible via some fairly steep stone steps, we visited in February half term and were able to get up and down the steps without waiting but I imagine during busier times of the year there may well be a queue to get up to the keep. Once inside there are some even steeper steps up to the tower, essential to take in the view.

 


 

 


 

The castle more or less survived the Civil war intact but was left  to  decay until it was inherited by the Earls of Bute, who were responsible for most of what we see today. The Victorian part of the castle is a fairytale gothic building with its own clock tower. The castle apartments are open to the public and a children’s treasure trail is available, our children loved going from room to room spotting the animals mentioned in each of the clues.

 


 

 


 

There is also a lovely walk along the top of the battlements, linking the Entrance Tower to the North Tower, which can also be explored. It is also possible to walk in tunnels underneath the battlements, these were enclosed during WW2.

 


 

 


 

The realities of taking children to this castle are that they are well catered for with good toilets, a lovely café with  helpful staff and reasonably priced meals, plenty of things to amuse them, even in the wet weather. Above the café is a cinema with a short film on the history of the castle. It is told using two children as the main characters so our children could emphasise straight away and were absorbed by the film to the end (it is about 8-minutes long) The castle stewards deserve a special mention as when one of the children took a tumble and started crying, one came over straight away and asked if we needed the first–aider. It is good value as a day out, especially if you are taking under-5’s as they get in for free. If you don't feel like driving the castle is an easy ten minute walk away from the railway station.

 

 


 

 

 

 


 

 

More info:  Cardiff Castle

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