Cardiff, Wales in 6 Hours
Less than a two hour train ride from London, and you're transported to a quaint, little town bookended by a cool breeze from the Bristol Channel and a towering structure from the gothic castles. There's something about sipping a cup of tea in a coffee shop with a view of a rainy windowsill framing archaic buildings that feels like you're living inside a novel, and I'm here for it.
Best things to do in Cardiff, Wales:
Note: all of the things on this list are walkable from each other and the Cardiff Central Train Station—making for a perfect UK day trip.
Coffee Barker—Tucked away in one of Cardiff's several Arcades (an arcade, in this context, is a covered, outdoor hallway that connect several shops), Coffee Barker is a must-stop if you're in need of a pick-me-up.
Pettigrew Tea—Right next to the Cardiff Castle, Pettigrew is a fabulous afternoon stop. It was £40 for afternoon tea for two, and we each got four little sandwich slices, a biscuit (I substituted mine for a Welsch cake), some fruit, a slice of cake (your choice from anything in the case) and a pot of tea—and everything was amazing.
Gin & Juice—Another arcade find, Gin & Juice is very close to coffee barker and has nearly every gin you could imagine—not to mention, they turn your drink into a work of art. I had no idea what I wanted, asked the bartender for help and she said "do you like passion fruit?" to which I replied "yes" and viola, she handed me that beauty.
Cardiff Castle—A Cardiff staple, the castle grounds are free for the public to roam, but the museums require tickets, which can be purchased here. They also have a stand located on the grounds that you can learn about your family's coat of arms and history, just by giving your last name!
Cardiff Market—Located in the city center, Cardiff Market is open Monday through Sunday from 8 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. It's the perfect place to stroll, snack or grab lunch! I was mesmerized watching a group of women make Welsch cakes right there in the middle of market, so even if you're not hungry, you should swing by to experience the culture!
Arcades—Cardiff has six traditional Victorian arcades (two pictured above), and they make for the most immaculate way to stroll from street to street and peruse local shops and cafes. I've never been to a European city that entertained me so much in a matter of a couple of streets, and it was all made possible by the beautiful arcades.