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A different side to Cardiff

7 alternative things to take you off the beaten track

'...find space to reflect by exploring...'

There’s more to the Welsh capital than castles and rugby. Cardiff is a stunning city with loads to do, day or night.

Here’s some of our favourite alternative things to do here.

1. Take a walk on the canal side

Forest Farm is a nature reserve in Whitchurch set up in the ‘60s. It’s a hidden gem so hidden that even a lot of locals don’t know it’s here. It sits on what was the Cardiff Methyr canal, and on the only remaining stretch of water that’s fresh enough for wildlife like kingfishers and herons to hunt along.

Take a two-hour guided tour to delve into its history, or find space to reflect by exploring on your own.

Image credit: walesonline.com

2. Pipe up if want a pint!

Pipes Brewery make pure craft beer. They don’t put anything funky like preservatives or additives in their brews. But that doesn’t mean they don’t do funky things with their flavours.

Try their smoked lager or get an extra kick from their Baltic espresso porter. You can buy from a number of local pubs. Or go straight to source to their brewery, which opens the first Saturday of every month.

Image credit: walesonline.co.uk

3. Science is cool

Pig out at Science Cream – a seriously cool ice cream parlour.

From strawberry to stout; chocolate to chilli, they make their weird and wonderful ice cream fresh to order using liquid nitrogen. It takes seconds, and you can watch your chilly treat take shape before your eyes. With all the smoke (alright, vapour), it really is like magic.

Image credit: sciencecream.com

4. Bank on a good night

Cellar Door is known for its house and techno raves in an old bank vault. It’s a beautiful grade II listed building, which makes for a great atmosphere.

If you fancy a wild weekend, be sure to stop by for a unique night out.

Image credit: facebook.com/cellardoorCDF

5. Step through time

Cardiff is known for its beautiful Victorian arcades and there are loads to explore. The Morgan Arcade’s full of stylish boutiques and gentleman’s fashion. The Royal Arcade’s an Aladdin’s cave of antique jewellery and collectables.

Feeling peckish? Castle Arcade runs across two stunning gallery floors and serves up a delicious range of tempting treats. And if you’re after designer or vintage fashion, pay a visit to High Street and Duke Street Arcade.

Image credit: visitcardiff.com

6. See the doctor

Release your inner (or not so inner) Whovian at the Doctor Who Experience. It’s right near the BBC Studios where Doctor Who’s filmed, and is full of weird-and-wonderful Who stuff from the last 50 years.

Get a tour of the TARDIS, get close up and personal with the Daleks and go on an interactive adventure with the twelfth Doctor, Peter Capaldi.

Image credit: doctorwho.tv

7. Spend the day clowning around

No Fit State is a registered charity and contemporary circus – a mix of live music, dance, stage design and other magic ingredients. The troupe live together, travel together (in trailers and caravans – what else?), and perform together.

When they’re not defying the laws of physics, they’re teaching normal folk like us the tricks of the trade. Why not book yourself in for a class or workshop?

Image credit: facebook.com/nofitstatecircus


Off to Cardiff soon? Let us know if you visit any of these amazing hidden gems. Tweet us in pictures to @nationalexpress.

Plan your Cardiff trip now

Please note that this blog was written prior to the Coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic. Because of this, the information above may no longer be entirely accurate. We apologise for any inconvenience.

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