There’s much more to the Cardiff Half Marathon weekend than the running. There’s a whole city to explore and culture to absorb. Cardiff, the capital city of Wales, is home to much of the country’s cultural heritage.
We’ve outlined some of the best things to do in and around
the city, assuming you’ll be arriving on the Friday and leaving the Monday
after race day!
Arriving on a Friday evening, you’ll be entering into a vibrant city with city workers enjoying the end of their week. Choose to soak up the atmosphere in the city centre, or head into Grangetown and give the Tramshed a visit – where you’ve got the option of live music, cosy cinema screenings and mini festivals.
The Cardiff Half Junior kicks off proceedings on Saturday morning just outside City Hall in Cathays Park. A whole host of family races and activities will be taking place, so be sure to check it out to get your first feel of the Cardiff Half Marathon experience. While you’re there, check out the National Museum just next to the City Hall, with its collection of art and natural history.
If you’re wanting to explore the city’s surroundings, head out
to the Brecon Beacons to either see or walk Pen Y Fan, the highest peak in
south Wales. The quintessentially Welsh town of Brecon is full of lots of small
pubs and cafes, perfect for lunch or a quick drink.
Come back via St Fagans, a village situated on the outskirts of Cardiff. Here, you’ll find the open-air museum dedicated to the culture, architecture and lifestyle of Welsh people through the ages. St Fagans is your best stop to try out some of the local cuisine – perhaps some Bara Brith or traditional Welsh cawl.
Head back to the city, perhaps by Aqua Bus, in the afternoon and visit the wonderful Cardiff Bay. Home to the Wales Millennium Centre, Cardiff Bay Barrage, Norwegian Church, Senedd, Pierhead Building and the Cardiff International Sports Village – where you can white water raft!
See what’s on in the Wales Millennium Centre theatre for something to do in the evening and take a stroll down the Cardiff Bay Barrage for views of the city, bay and Bristol channel. After that, admire the prettiness of the Norwegian church with its immense history related to famous author, Roald Dahl. Enjoy a meal at one of many restaurants overlooking Roald Dahl Plass and the Pierhead Building (seen below) before a visit to the uniquely vivid Senedd building, the home of the Welsh Assembly.
See it all again the following morning, with the Cardiff Half Marathon journeying through the bay at mile 6.
Keep an eye out on the sporting calendar, too. Cardiff is a
sporting hub, with various local professional sports teams bringing in
thousands of fans every week. Check the fixtures for the Cardiff Blues rugby
team, Cardiff City FC football and Cardiff Devils ice hockey.
The party starts at 10am on Sunday morning with the starting gun at the Cardiff Half Marathon, but you’ll want to be in and around our Event Village outside City Hall much earlier than that. Soak up the race day atmosphere with 27500 other runners before heading to our iconic start line by the Cardiff Castle.
Run the race, win a medal, wear the t-shirt. After taking on an unforgettable 13.1-mile tour of the city, choose to eat out in the city and make the most of the race day city atmosphere. Thousands will flock to nearby restaurants and bars, so be sure to make a booking in advance! One of the great perks of running is the free pint/drink you’ll get in one of the many Brains Brewery pubs or restaurants in return for showing your medal. If you prefer independent eateries, don’t miss the arcades where you’ll find plenty to cater for your shopping and eating needs!
Once the crowds begin to clear, head to Cardiff’s most iconic landmark – the Cardiff Castle – where 2000 years of history sit in between beautiful stone walls. Within the castle, take a tour of the castle’s beautiful decorated rooms.
Clear your head with a visit to Cosmeston Lakes Country Park
and Medieval Village, a country park about 20 minutes out of Cardiff. See the
local wildlife and the medieval village of Cosmeston, a community with a
traditional Welsh history!
If you still have the energy, make your last stop and trip to the picturesque Castell Coch (or Red Castle in English) in Tongwynlais, just out of Cardiff. The castle sits pretty in the surrounding woods, on view from a distance or up close. Read of its fairy-tale history and architecture before bringing your trip in Cardiff to a fitting close.
That should be enough to keep you going, but keep posted on Visit Cardiff for upcoming events and things to do in the Welsh capital.