Last Sunday, I felt like I should have something more to do than just saying goodbye to my parents, and so I took a day trip to Wales. Cardiff to be precise.
The bus ride was about 3 and a half hours long, but I was dropped off right in front of the castle at 11:30. I was slightly in a time crunch with lots to do, so I went straight into the castle and booked the house tour that started in a half an hour. You see, there is one admission fee for the castle as a whole, but if you want to see the rooms, the clock tower, or get the inside scoop on what movies and tv shows were filmed where, you have to pay extra. My favorite part of the castles is seeing where the people lived, so I had to do it.
Before my tour, I went down to the Firing Line museum, up for the short video (which was for kids, not sure if it was advertised and I missed it, but if you don’t have children, don’t go to the video), and then even more up to the Battlement Walk. I even had time to wander around the Wartime Shelters and across the lawn to get to my house tour.
It was definitely interesting, and since I wouldn’t have been able to see the rooms otherwise, I would recommend paying extra for the tour, if that is something that interests you. If it isn’t, the grounds were beautiful, and you will still have plenty to check out, even if you don’t see the apartments.
When I was done with Cardiff Castle, I walked outside, right onto a hop on hop off bus. If you also plan on doing both of these, buy your bus ticket first, as they will give you a coupon for 10% off at the castle (as well as the Dr. Who Experience) which I didn’t get to use.
The bus I got on was live commentary, and there were only 3 of us, so he basically sat beside us and told us about the town, trying to cater to our interests, which was lovely. And pretty much a private tour of a lovely city.
After my bus tour, I tried to get to Caerphilly Castle, but the buses are very infrequent, so I spent a lot of time trying to decide if I really wanted to see the castle, or if I would rather just have lunch at Mermaid Quay and call it a day.
In the end, I was waiting for so long on the hop on hop off bus (tours start every half hour), so I decided to bite the bullet and go to the castle, like I had originally planned. (I might have googled it and been reminded how absolutely stunning it is)
I grabbed a bite to eat at the indoor mall, then took a bus to Caerphilly. You save a lot of money if you get a return ticket instead of two singles, and they appreciate you having exact change, if possible.
As soon as I saw the castle in the distance, I knew I had made the right decision. Even if I never went inside and just sat by the lake all afternoon, it would have been worth it. Absolutely gorgeous.
Admission is less than 5 pounds for students, so I went for it, even though I had less than an hour, based on their bus schedule. I powered through, seeing the dragon from Merlin, the leaning tower, and more breathtaking views. I didn’t make it to the hidden passageway, so I guess I will have to come back 🙂
I had some pasta when I got back to Cardiff (since the bus tour also gives you 25% off at Bella Italia) and then got on the bus for a slightly shorter ride home.