(9) Cardiff

Distance from Craig-y-Nos Castle 45 Miles

Cardiff Castle is one of Wales's leading tourist attractions. Situated in the very heart of the capital, alongside city centre shopping and the magnificent Bute Park, the Castle's enchanting fairytale towers conceal an elaborate and splendid interior.

Contained within its mighty walls is a history spanning nearly 2,000 years, dating from the coming of the Romans in the first century AD. After the Norman Conquest, the Castle's Keep was built and a number of Medieval fortifications and dwellings followed.

The Castle fell into the possession of many noble families, until, in 1766, it passed by marriage to the Bute family. The 2nd Marquess of Bute was responsible for turning Cardiff into the world's greatest coal exporting port.

 The Castle and the Bute fortune passed to his son John, the 3rd Marquess, who by the 1860's was reputed to be the richest man in the world.

From 1866 the 3rd Marquess employed the genius architect William Burges to transform the Castle lodgings. Within gothic towers he created lavish and opulent interiors, rich with murals, stained glass, marble, gilding and elaborate wood carvings. Each breathtaking room has its own special theme, including Mediterranean gardens and Italian and Arabian decoration.

As well as visiting the spectacular interiors, visitors can enjoy the Castle grounds, where peacocks, ducks and geese wander freely, and enjoy a break in the Castle Tea Rooms which offers a warm welcome for coffees, light lunches and afternoon tea.

Cardiff is a green and attractive City and offers one of the best lifestyles in Britain. It is the capital of Wales and has excellent shopping and entertainment facilities.

The Millennium Stadium in the very heart of the city is now famous as a great sporting venue.