Join our tours from Cardiff and discover the highlights of Wales and its capital city. Travel in a small-group on a comfortable minibus, in the company of a knowledgeable driver-guide. Explore the best of Cardiff and also discover the highlights of Wales, with stunning scenery in National Parks, discover Welsh industrial history, visit the most iconic castles and spend time in the capital city Cardiff…
Though human occupation in the Cardiff area dates back several thousand years, the first significant settlement wasn’t established until the arrival of the Romans into Britain. They constructed a fortification at the mouth of the river Taff in the first century. It is thought that this is the origin of the name Cardiff; from the Welsh Caer-Taff, which means Fort on the Taff. This small fort remained mostly unchanged until the Romans departed, after which it stayed uninhabited for centuries until the invasion of the Normans.
Led by Robert Fitzhamon, the Normans set about constructing a castle within the walls of the Roman fort, and not long after a small walled town grew around it. Cardiff became the most populous town in Cardiff with 2,000 residents, but remained a small trading port for several centuries. It wasn’t until the late 18th century, and the beginning of the industrial revolution, that Cardiff changed dramatically, as it became a centre of coal and iron exports. The influential Bute family oversaw much of the massive re-development which helped Cardiff flourish.
From 1801 to 1901, Cardiff’s population grew from less than 2,000 to over 150,000 as industry boomed, the railways arrived and Cardiff became the largest coal-exporting port in the world. However, prosperity declined in the twentieth century as industry declined, amplified by the two world wars. Even by this point, Wales still had no recognised capital, until Cardiff was officially chosen as the first capital city in 1955. In recent years, Cardiff has seen much regeneration and is a growing city for modern industries, and the location of the Welsh Assembly in Cardiff Bay.
The centre of Cardiff is fairly easy to navigate and probably the most important place to visit is the castle. With 2,000 years of history, this once Roman fort was redeveloped in the 18th century, and remains located at the heart of the city. Any visit to Cardiff must include this fortress and its beautiful grounds. And for more Welsh history, check out the nearby National Museum, a fantastic attraction that has a unique combination of history as well as art, and is free to visit!
Exploring the modern Cardiff Bay area is also an essential part of any visit to the Welsh capital. A hub of industry as Cardiff became the largest coal exporting port in the world, this area is the largest waterfront development in Europe. Through the 1990s the Cardiff Bay Barrage saw massive regeneration, and is now home to some of the city’s most recognisable buildings, including the Millennium Centre and the Senedd, home of the Welsh Parliament. For the adventurous there are also a variety of water-based attractions and activities to be found here.
Cardiff is also known as the ‘City of Arcades’. The arcades are Victorian and Edwardian indoor shopping areas where you can find a variety of cafes and bars as well as shops all located in the heart of the city centre. Also located in the centre of Cardiff is the Principality Stadium, a 74,500 capacity venue that is the sporting home of Wales’ national sport, Rugby. Take a tour around this iconic venue.
Join our small-group tours from Cardiff and explore the highlights of Wales. Travel in a small-group on a comfortable minibus, in the company of our knowledgeable driver-guides. Visit the home of Wales’ patron saint St Davids, enjoy breath-taking scenery in National Parks and discover the history of some of Wales’ most remarkable castles.
Find out more about our tours from Cardiff and join us to explore!