I often get asked 'what are the best things to do in Cardiff Bay' by customers in the shop who are visiting the area, so I thought I would put together a list of ideas for those in need of some inspiration. I have decided to compile a list of things relevant to the current climate and taking into account Covid 19 restrictions and safety guidelines. I will do future blog posts in a post Covid world, which will include the fabulous Millennium Centre and its wonderful theatre shows and also the cinemas located in the Bay.
1. Take in the view
One of my favourite things to do in Cardiff Bay is quite simply just to walk along the waterfront in Mermaid Quay. The view out over the water is beautiful all year round and the sea air really is good for the soul. What's great is your stroll around the Bay can be as long or as short as you require. There are plenty of benches to rest on along the way, where you can sit and watch the world go by. You can either do a shorter loop around to the 'Oval Basin', passing many iconic landmarks on your way. Or follow the water front right up to the barrage, which will take you all the way to Penarth if you're feeling adventurous.
2. Walk Cardiff Bay Barrage
As mentioned above, Cardiff Bay Barrage is great for walking as it has a flat tarmac path which is brilliant for bikes, dog walkers, pushchairs and wheelchair users. There are plenty of things to keep you entertained along the way including an outdoor gym, kids play area and sculptures. There are also places to grab a drink, ice cream or food on your way there. If you fancy trying a different method of travel on your way back across the barrage, there are also taxi boats which will take you to and from Penarth or Mermaid Quay.
3. Visit the Pier Head Building
Cardiff Bay is lucky to have a number beautiful and iconic landmarks to see whilst visiting the area. Swat up on your history by visiting the Grade One listed Pier Head Building, which construction was completed in 1897. Originally built as offices for the Bute Dock Company (later renamed the Cardiff Railway Company), this stunning red brick building is a must see when visiting Cardiff Bay. See link below for details and opening times:
3. The Norwegian Church
The Norwegian Church is situated right on the waterfront in Cardiff Bay and dates back to the Industrial Revolution. It was formally a church for Norwegian sailors and also where the famous author Roald Dahl was baptised. Unfortunately the Norwegian Church is currently closed due to Covid 19 regulations, but it is usually home to a cafe and craft gallery. It's still definitely worth checking out the architecture of this fantastic building and there are also plenty of benches to sit and enjoy the views from this part of Cardiff Bay.
4. Treat yourself to a Welsh cake or two from Fabulous Welshcakes
Now, one thing I always recommend doing when visiting Cardiff Bay, is treating yourself to a delicious, freshly made Welsh cake from Fabulous Welshcakes. Our boutique is lucky enough to situated a few doors down from this gorgeous shop, which not only sells the most scrumptious Welsh cakes you will ever try, but also lots of locally sourced Welsh gifts and produce. They sell a variety of flavours to choose from (which change daily), including traditional and also make vegan, gluten free and diabetic Welsh cakes for those with dietary requirements. The smell will draw you in before you know it!
5. Take a boat ride
Fancy viewing Cardiff Bay in a totally different way? Then take to the sea and hop on a boat! There are numerous boat companies to choose from which are linked below. You'll be able to choose from scenic tours by 'The Open Boat', or be transported to the city centre by the 'Aqua Bus', or to Penarth by 'Cardiff Cruises'.
6. Eat and Drink
One thing you won't be stuck for is plenty of fantastic places to eat and drink. The options are endless, whether you fancy something on the go, a light lunch, or a 3 course meal, you certainly won't be short of choice. One of our favourite places to go for an ice cream, (which is perched quite literally on the waterfront) is 'Cadwalders' - sooo many favours to choose from! As well as being home to a Costa, another great place to grab a coffee is from 'Coffi Co', who also happen to sell the most delicious pasties! There are also numerous restaurants, including Signor Valentinos (gorgeous Italian food and a fantastic view), Yakatori No.1 (great for noodles and sushi), Pizza Express, Bills, The Cosy Club and Las Iguanas, just to name a few! Newly opened and definitely instagram worthy is the trendy 'Gin and Bake', providing, you guessed it gin and delicious homemade cakes, as well as a breakfast, lunch and dinner menu!
7. Craft in the Bay
Craft in the Bay is the home of The Makers Guild in Wales, which is situated at the bottom of Lloyd George Avenue, near Cardiff Bay train station. Home to lots of incredibly talented makers and artists you're able to browse the shop there and view the fantastic exhibitions of artists work. See below for revised opening hours and Covid 19 safety information:
Of course I had to end with some retail therapy! Along Bute Street you'll find Fabulous Welshcakes (mentioned above), Pavers (where you can treat yourself to a lovely new pair of shoes), and also visit us here at Zia Boutique, where you can spoil yourself, or find many great gift ideas for that birthday or occasion you have coming up next in your diary!
I feel incredibly lucky that our shop is located in such a beautiful part of Wales, which offers such a wide range of great places to eat and activities to do. Unfortunately, this year all of the usual planned events that normally take place in Cardiff Bay, including the food festival, harbour festival, craft stalls and Cardiff Bay Beach, just to name a few, have all been cancelled for obvious safety reasons due to Covid 19. However, I look forward to writing future posts telling you all about the exciting things the Bay has to offer when it is safe to do so! In the mean time there is still plenty that the Bay has on offer which can be enjoyed safely, so come and visit us this summer!