Reader V.M. writes:
If you found yourself in Cardiff, Wales and had two free days on your hands, what would you do?
BTW, I love corgis.
The Rapid Traveler has not been to Wales, though has previously waded through 700-pages of tongue-gyrating words in A History of Wales by John Davies.
Researching a city for a short trip, The Rapid Traveler typically separates the city into a three-layer concentric circle: city core, city surrounds (30-60 minutes by public transport or car) and day trip (1-3 hours). In two days he spends roughly half a day on the city core and the remainder on a mix of the outer two. This gives an efficient range of experience, rather than getting stuck for two days looking at every museum and church in the core.
The Cardiff Castle and the National Museum Wales (free) are the big draws. The castle is expensive and probably overrun with tourists so an alternative is to visit some of the castles outside Cardiff.
Family-friendly is a boat trip to Flat Holm Island.
Castles and museums a plenty to choose among:
- St. Fagans: National History Museum – open-air museum, family-friendly with lots of demonstrations.
- National Roman Legion Museum – The Rapid Traveler is always a sucker for Roman sites.
- Big Pit: National Coal Museum, part of the UNESCO site Blaenavon Industrial Landscape – fun for boys and boys at heart, and a slice of a an industry critical to Wales’ modern history. A bit far, a solid hour drive but works as a route first at the Roman Museum, then the Coal Museum, and continuing up to Brecon Beacons National Park.
- Brecon Beacons National Park looks like the standout, with hikes up to Wales’ highest peak, Pen-y-fan, the Vale of Ewyas, the border village Hay-on-Wye, home of the Hay Festival, and much more.
Readers, what are your Cardiff recommendations?