Did you know that Cardiff is the City of Arcades? A little-known fact about Cardiff is that it has the biggest concentration of Victorian, Edwardian, and modern-day indoor shopping arcades in Britain. These corridors wind through the centre of the Welsh capital, crammed with boutique shops, family-run cafes, independent bookstores, gelato bars, and hidden tea houses.
Cardiff is full of fascinating history, but did you know that there are some chilling haunting tales? Not all of these ghost stories happened at Halloween, but in Cardiff, there are legendary whispers, eerie buildings and haunted happenings. Read on, if you dare!
Flat Holm or Ynys Echni (its Welsh name) is a little island, just 4 miles off the coast of Cardiff is rich in wildlife and has masses of history. It is the most southerly point in Wales, and the sea in between Flat Holm and neighbouring island Steep Holm is the border between England and Wales. It is only 500 metres across, and is an essential site for scientific interest and is a nature reserve. Its history is fascinating; from Viking raiders, a Victorian fortification to becoming the first line of defence, protecting Cardiff, Penarth, Barry and Newport during the Second World War.
It was on my list of ’30 things to do before I’m 30′ and at 35 I still have not made the short trip across the waters. Having sat through an interesting talk on the island last week, it has re-ignited and inspired me to take the short voyage.
Cardiff Bay has played a significant part in Cardiff’s development, not only during the Industrial Revolution but over the last 20 years too. Its historical roots has given me one of my favourite facts to quote; “The first million pound deal in the world was done in the Coal Exchange in Cardiff Bay in 1904.”
Cardiff came alive in the late 18th Century when the second Marquess of Bute built up the dock area and railway lines from the South Wales Valley’s, to export coal to the rest of the world. The town grew rapidly from the 1830’s, at a rate of 80% per decade. The area is now known as Cardiff Bay, which has funky bars, shopping, boat trips and visitor attractions.