Christened after the 3rd Marquess of Bute, this gorgeous public park blankets the heart of Cardiff City in lush greenery. Straddling the unperturbed waters of River Taff, the green oasis offers a unique assemblage of features that manifest in the park's arboretum and flower gardens. Across the park's grounds is the famous Glamorgan County Cricket Club, the exuberant Sophia Gardens, and the influential Welsh Institute of Sport. The park's serene meadows have been annually hosting the widely-followed Royal Horticultural Society Show since the year 2005.
Blaenavon Pwll Mawr, or the Big Pit National Coal Museum, is one of the few places where you can experience life as a coal miner. Once a working colliery, this museum offers fascinating guided tours across the massive expanse of the mine and chronicles the workings as witnessed here. In the colliery buildings, one can find numerous interesting exhibitions that offer theoretical insight into its history. The on-site gift shop and cafeteria are worthy pit stops, offering delectable snacks and unmissable souvenirs.
Nestled next to the Bristol Channel, the St Donats Castle is a domineering landmark. This medieval castle has made the otherwise quaint Saint Donats village quite popular. Built in the 12th Century, the ownership of this castle has passed through several hands, but originally it belonged to the de Hawey family. The castle is open to visitors only once in a year and the opulent decor, huge dungeons and other antique stuff is certainly worth the wait. Ghost stories and tales about witches and sightings of executed pirates lend a mystic feel to this castle. Currently, it is home to the St Donat's Arts Centre and Atlantic College. For interesting insights, tales of the past and a vivid description of St Donats Castle, tourists can avail guided tours that are generally conducted in the month of August.
Wales Millennium Centre has established itself as one of the world's leading performing arts venues. It presents operas, ballets, contemporary dances and the best international musicals. The Donald Gordon Theatre (main auditorium) seats 1897 and the Studio theater can accommodate up to 250 people. The center also houses eight resident companies: BBC National Orchestra of Wales, Urdd Gobaith Cymru, Literature Wales, National Dance Company Wales, Tŷ Cerdd, Hijinx Theatre, Touch Trust, and Welsh National Opera. You will also find a wide range of shops and restaurants.
This open-air museum take visitors through centuries of Welsh history and culture from the Celtic age to the modern day. The museum brings together a cross section of Welsh architecture from around the country that have been recreated on the Fagan Castle grounds. Originally called the Welsh Folk Museum, the museum has evolved since its opening in 1948. From Welsh rural life to life experience by the upper classes, the historic buildings include rural farm houses, medieval courts, mills, schools, smithies, chapels, and castles. The museum is a hive of activity, and traditional crafts including clog making and weaving. Festivals and music events held regularly keep Welsh tradition alive and celebrate the richness of the local culture. The beautiful location and old-school ambiance has led to the museum being featured in popular TV series like Dr. Who and Poldark.
This old-style club is open to all Welsh speakers and learners and even holds Welsh study sessions during the day. The building is spans across three floors, a feature that is put to good effect by hosting a different 'scene' on each floor to cater to a variety of musical tastes. There are various new band and regular bands performing each night. An indication of its success is that several famous bands, including Catatonia and the Manic Street Preachers, have been spotted here.
The more adventurous among you might like to take a day trip at the Steep Holm Nature Reserve. Steep Holm is a small island which lies 8 kilometers (5 miles) offshore from Weston-super-Mare, and enjoys spectacular views in all directions. It is only recommended for people who are reasonably active however; there is a zigzag climb to the island's plateau, some 76 meters (250 feet) above sea level. Apart from rare plants and vegetation, there are colonies of seabirds and even a small herd of Muntjac deer that graze the island. A medieval priory was established here in the 12th century and the island was fortified in Victorian times with the barracks now used as a Visitor's Center. Sailings are determined by the tide but are made on most Saturdays throughout the year. There are also Wednesday sailings from June to August.
The South Wales canal system was once used to transport coal and iron from the Welsh valleys to the docks at Cardiff and Newport. No longer used for industrial purposes, it provides a relaxing setting for a lazy day afloat. Red Line Boats offer a variety of boats for day hire as well as longer breaks. Their largest boats can accommodate 12 people. Full instructions are given and the boats are easy enough for children to manage, so you don't need to be an expert.
Royal York Crescent is the longest terrace found in Europe. Located on the hillside, it can be seen from below the gorge and the harbor. It was built between 1791 and 1818 and seems stretched out in to the Clifton sky. The balconies are made of wrought iron and face the sun. The door of each home is open to the raised street. The basement and vaults are located below the street level. A majestic sight for those who love old buildings and architecture.
For a blockbuster fix while on holiday, book a seat at Blaenavon Theatre. With an exciting schedule of new releases, great sound and tech systems and menu of must-have refreshments, this is the place to go for fun time in the city. For tickets and more, call ahead.