Nothing to do?
Local blogger Ben Gallivan takes us on a quick tour of things he like to do in Cardiff.
Nothing to do!? I received a message from a friend the other night that confused me. It was Friday evening, and she was complaining that since moving to the capital temporarily from Paris (that’s in France), that she could find nothing to do in Cardiff.
Granted, I believe she was in the company of a group of men well into their seventies, watching the football in a spit and sawdust pub somewhere in Whitchurch, so may not have been in the best frame of mind. “And where apart from Chapter is there to go?” she bleated (or as much as you can bleat via text).
I immediately ran off a dozen places without really thinking about it. I have only spent a couple of years in Cardiff myself, having spent the previous 10 in London and the 20 before that stuck up a mountain in the valleys. Should you ever find asking yourself the same question, maybe check these places out.
If you’re in the mood for looking at both worthless and priceless (ok, not quite) bric-a-brac, objets d’art and curios then there is plenty to see. Firstly, take a look throughthe indoor market off St Mary’s Street – plenty to keep you occupied in there for an hour or two with the added bonus of being fed as you go. The same applies to Jacob’s Market on West Canal Wharf. If you do find anything on any of its three floors, you may then need to go in search of the stall owner to actually buy whatever it is – but that’s part of the fun. Lastly, The Pumping Station on Penarth Road is a good way to kill a couple of hours. A mixture of old and new, the challenge is to find anything remotely useful and then haggle them down to a reasonable price.
All that antique-hunting will have you thirstier than David Dickinson at a car boot sale, so head over to Waterloo Tea Gardens for a bit of tea and cake. The British love a bit of tea and cake and the choice of both here is immense. If you find yourself falling in love with a particular brew, the staff will be more than happy to bag some up for you to take home, meaning that you’ll only be returning for the cake.
Time to walk off that snack now, so why not take a stroll around Waterloo Gardens; or if you’re feeling particularly stuffed go a little further and do a circuit around the huge Roath Park and Lake. With its pleasure gardens, conservatory and the option of taking a boat out, there’s plenty to do – just be prepared to be attacked by the wildlife should you have any breaded goods tucked away about your person.
There really is no excuse to be stuck in front of the football in a pub where your feet stick to the floor (except if it was at the sadly recently-closed Vulcan) when there is all this and more to do. And I haven’t even started on the shops yet – watch this space.