Day trip to Cardiff

day trip in cardiff

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.

Exploring Cardiff

Cardiff Museum

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.

Cardiff Museum

Bute Park

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!

Bute Park

Cardiff Castle

Bute Park

Bute Park

Cardiff Castle

Animal Wall

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 Animal Wall

The Arcades

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.

Cardiff Arcades

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.

Welsh Cake

Cardiff Market

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 Market

Cardiff Market

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 Millenium Center

Roald Dahl Pass

Cardiff Bay

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.

Cardiff Christmas Market

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

Cost Breakdown

  • Transportation: £10
    • Bus tickets: £5 per person = £10 total
  • Welsh cakes: £0.20 ea = £0.40 total


day trip to cardiff

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  1. George
    January 8, 2017 / 7:19 PM

    The Welsh cakes look delicious. And your photos from Cardiff are inspirational. Looks like you had a great time despite the British weather hehe. 😊

  2. January 8, 2017 / 7:47 PM

    Sounds like it was a lovely day. Good times and good friends make everything wonderful!

  3. PackYourBaguios
    January 8, 2017 / 8:38 PM

    I love visiting castles! The grounds around the area are just gorgeous. I’d love to visit someday!

  4. January 8, 2017 / 8:58 PM

    Sounds like a fun and full day! I went to Cardiff last year on a very quick, busy, weekend visit. Only got time to see the castle and the animals on the wall near Bute Park. And ate at Burger & Lobster for the first time, haha. It’d be nice to go back one day.

  5. January 9, 2017 / 3:18 PM

    I once went for a run in Bute Park and it really left an impression. The castle is pretty impressive too! Did you make it to the blogging conference there last year?

    • January 10, 2017 / 11:28 PM

      No I didn’t, I actually only started blogging 3 months ago, didn’t even know there are conferences haha!

  6. rah tori
    January 10, 2017 / 4:10 AM

    Sounds like incredible when visiting castle. I never visited yet. I hope someday i could visit it

  7. January 10, 2017 / 1:56 PM

    Looks like you had a great time at Cardiff. I’ve done that too. Took the morning National Express Coach to Cardiff and went over to Barry from there for a night halt! Cardiff Castle is one very beautiful place! I guess I missed seeing the Stone Circle!

    • January 10, 2017 / 11:27 PM

      It really is quite beautiful! Maybe you can see it next time you’re there 🙂

  8. January 10, 2017 / 6:39 PM

    I love the park and the castle! You must have enjoyed visiting all those places in one day. Cardiff, Wales is beautiful even on a cloudy day. 🙂

  9. inspiredwanderess
    January 11, 2017 / 2:56 AM

    Wow. I love your photos. Wales, and Cardiff, have been on the top of my bucket list for ages, and yet I just never seem to have my holiday plans line up. After reading this I am totally going to have to actually set something in stone.

  10. January 13, 2017 / 7:16 PM

    I thought that welsh cake was a scone, it sure looked like one to me. Toss in a park and a castle.. clouds and all, and of course a welsh cake and you have got yourself a winning day.

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