Cardiff Central Station - Cardiff Bay - Grangetown - Back

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Cardiff Central Station - Atlantic Wharf - Cardiff Bay - Grangetown - Cardiff Central Station

Our walk begins from the southern, rear entrance to Cardiff Central Station. Walking up Tresillian Way, we pass the fountains in Callaghan Square and continue below a railway bridge onto Herbert Street. A short distance up the road, the traffic is left behind as we pick up a disused canal on the right. This forgotten waterway, which once linked Bute East Dock with the Glamorganshire Canal, winds its way through an attractive residential area (part of the Atlantic Wharf development) known locally as 'Little Venice'.

After a number of twists and turns, the canal comes to a sudden end at Bute East Dock, a long, rectangular body of water built in the 1850s to ease pressure on the existing Bute Dock. The dock has been closed since 1970 and is now entirely landlocked. Following the edge of the dock to its southern end, we cross in front of County Hall (the headquarters of Cardiff Council) and join Hemingway Road in the direction of Cardiff Bay. Before long, the distinctive profile of the Wales Millenium Centre becomes visible on the left.

Heading towards the arts centre (toilets, tourist information), we cross the bowl-shaped plaza of Roaldh Dahl Plass and descend towards the Celtic Ring sculpture on the waterfront. Amazingly, this popular public space stands on land reclaimed from the original Bute Dock, which was filled in during the 1960s.

Keeping the water on our left, we join the popular Cardiff Bay Trail as it snakes around the city's former docks. A boardwalk raised just above the water is a particularly attractive section. After leaving the boardwalk, our route enters Cardiff Bay Wetlands Reserve, an important freshwater habitat created out of what had previously been salt marsh. A jetty at the western end of the reserve provides a good view of both the wetlands area and the bay in general.

Heading inland, we pass below the A4232 into Hamadryad Park, a good place from which to view the River Taff as it enters Cardiff Bay. Until 2001, the area was dominated by the regular cycles of the tide, but both bay and river are now kept at a state of permanent high tide by the barrage running between Queen Alexandra Dock and Penarth Head.

After leaving the park, we follow a residential road upstream as far as Clarence Bridge and the route of the Taff Trail. More riverside walking on the west bank of the Taff leads back into the centre of Cardiff. Recrossing the river at Wood Street, we are afforded a fine view of the Millennium Stadium, home since 1999 to Wales's rugby and football teams. The main, northern entrance to Cardiff Central Station is only a stone's throw away.

Wales - South Wales - Cardiff - Town or city

Features

Birds, Cafe, Gift Shop, Good for Kids, Good for Wheelchairs, Great Views, Industrial Archaeology, Lake/Loch, Mostly Flat, Museum, Play Area, Pub, Public Transport, Restaurant, River, Toilets, Wildlife

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