Located where the Taff and Ely rivers meet the Bristol Channel, Cardiff Bay is both a suburb and a freshwater lake in the Welsh capital. It was once a major coal port known as “Tiger Bay” and played an important role in Cardiff’s development. Dockworkers and sailors from across the globe settled nearby, resulting in the area’s multicultural character.
Things to do in Cardiff Bay
Embark on a self-guided walking tour of Cardiff Bay to admire its historic buildings, such as the 1897-built Pierhead Building designed by William Frame. Take note of the historic wooden Norwegian Church, which was rebuilt in 1992 and was frequented by Roald Dahl as a child. Also of note is the striking Wales Millennium Centre, where operas and ballets are performed.
Travelling with kids? Don’t miss a visit to Techniquest, a hands-on discovery centre dedicated to the worlds of science and technology. It boasts more than 100 interactive exhibits that will engage visitors of all ages, with the opportunity to experience an earthquake and feel the force of a hurricane. Also within the complex are a planetarium and a science theatre.
Sprawling west of Techniquest is the Cardiff Bay Wetlands Reserve, a former salt marsh that has been transformed into a freshwater lake. It provides an important habitat for a variety of bird species, including reed warblers, teals and European stonechats. Follow the boardwalk that extends out into the water, allowing you to observe fish shoaling in the shallows.
Getting around Cardiff Bay
Cardiff Bay is around five minutes’ drive from Cardiff Central railway station, from where trains connect to London. Cardiff Airport is 30 minutes away and has flights to destinations across Europe. Regular trains connect to the Cardiff Bay railway station and buses travel throughout the area.