Day Trip to Cardiff
Throughout the semester the Residence life team at Exeter hosted day trips for the international students. We had previously visited Exmouth with the Residence Life team and now we were doing a day trip to Cardiff, Wales! The great part about these trips is that tickets were only £5 a person and all transportation was included.
On an early Saturday morning James and I along with some friends walked up to the school to wait at the meeting point for the coach bus. The ride from Exeter to Cardiff was 2.5 hours and everyone dozed off after our excitement simmered down.
We got to Cardiff around 11:30 am, and had until 4:30 to explore the town before our bus departed.
The bus let us off near the Cardiff Museum so naturally our first stop on our day trip to Cardiff was the Museum. It was free to enter and we spent maybe an hour walking around looking at the exhibits.
There was an exhibit dedicated to Ronald Dahl and all the children’s books he wrote since he’s from Wales.
Another interesting exhibit we saw was the rock exhibit which explained all the terrestrial history of Cardiff. We also so a fragment of the moon and the oldest stone of Wales which was quite interesting!
Fun fact: long ago many of these rocks were transported to Salisbury and used in Stonehenge.
The park is situated along the perimeter of Cardiff Castle so it’s quite lovely to stroll the park and see the Castle. We saw a stone circle – much smaller than Stonehenge, and there was a picture frame set up for a photo op!
We made our way to the front part of the castle and strolled along the castle wall. Aptly named “animal wall” you can admire the various animal statues. You could explore the inside of the Castle but it was a fee to enter and extremely crowded so we passed on that opportunity.
Cardiff is well known for its many arcades throughout the city where you can shop, stroll and grab a bite to eat.
On this particular day there was an international rugby match between the Welsh and Japanese teams so the town was swarmed with people. Despite the crowds we managed to make our way through the various arcades and explore them.
In one of the arcades we found a Welsh cafe where we bought a bag of Welsh Cakes. I found that Welsh Cakes basically taste like scones! It cost £1 for a bag of 5, so we all chipped in for the bag and split the cost.
We made our way to Cardiff Market which you could find anything from fresh fish and vegetables to prepared meals on the first floor, while the second floor housed flea market style shops.
Cardiff Bay & Mermaid Quay
After the market we walked about 30 minutes down to the Bay.
The Millennium Centre is located here and was used as a film site for the popular tv show Dr. Who. Also located at the Bay is The Senedd, a Parliament House that is free to tour.
The Mermaid Quay is home to many shops and restaurants and I imagine they are bustling in the summertime.
Cardiff Christmas Market
Is it really Europe in Christmastime unless there is a Christmas Market? Our last stop on our day trip to Cardiff was the Christmas Market. We managed to get there around 3:30 pm and we spent the last hour strolling through the stalls.
We came across a cheese stall and we sampled various cheeses from Wales. If you know me I’m a big fan of cheese and I definitely recommend the The Black Bomber Cheese if you ever come across it.
I also purchased a Welsh handmade glass blown ornament for James’ mom as a Christmas gift.
The Great Wheel
While waiting for our bus back we noticed a large Ferris wheel and an ice skating rink. It seems every city has one of these sky-wheels now, whether it be London, Myrtle Beach or Cardiff!
At 5 we were back on our 2.5-hour journey to Exeter. You can be sure we were all passed out for the journey home. A day trip to Cardiff was definitely the perfect amount of time especially in the Winter time! Have you ever been to Cardiff? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below!
Total cost: £10.40
- Transportation: £10
- Bus tickets: £5 per person = £10 total
- Welsh cakes: £0.20 ea = £0.40 total