Llandaff Cathedral - Cardiff Castle - Blackweir - Back

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Llandaff Cathedral - Blackweir - Millennium Bridge - Cardiff Castle - Dock Feeder Canal - Blackweir - Llandaff Weir - Llandaff Bridge - Llandaff Weir - Llandaff Cathedral

Our walk begins at Llandaff Cathedral. Though founded by the Normans in the twelfth century (and built on the site of a much older Celtic church), the present building is largely attributable to diocesan architect John Prichard (1817–86). During the nineteenth century, Prichard undertook major restoration work on what was by then little more than a medieval ruin (the Old Bishop's Palace, now a public garden, has never been rebuilt). Further restoration work, following severe bomb damage during the Second World War, included the commissioning of a giant aluminium Christ by Jacob Epstein, which is dramatically suspended above the cathedral nave on a concrete arch. The cathedral's run of bad luck continued in February 2007, with a lightning strike that seriously damaged its organ and led to the launch of a new appeal for funds.

From the cathedral, we follow the River Taff downstream towards Cardiff along a green corridor of parkland. During Cardiff's industrial heyday, this prime riverside land was saved from development by its influential owner, the Marquess of Bute, who valued his view from the windows of Cardiff Castle too highly to allow the land to be built on.

With the city ahead, we bear left across the river and head towards the north-west corner of the castle walls (the main entrance is along the southern perimeter, off Castle Street). Like Llandaff Cathedral, Cardiff Castle was founded by the Normans in the twelfth century, but was even more thoroughly rebuilt during Victorian times. Engaging the talents of renowned architect William Burges, the 3rd Marquess of Bute (1847–1900) refashioned the castle as a Welsh Camelot: a fantasy palace of Gothic towers and lavish interiors. Now managed by the city council, the castle is a popular tourist attraction and open throughout the year.

Running directly below the castle walls is the former Dock Feeder Canal. This was built along the line of a former mill stream, which took water from the Taff at Blackweir and powered the corn mills that once stood below the west walls of the castle. In the nineteenth century, the stream was later extended through Butetown to provide water to the newly opened docks. Large sections of the canal have now been built over, but its upper part, between the castle and Blackweir, provides a peaceful walking route along the eastern edge of Bute Park.

At Blackweir, we rejoin the river and follow the Taff Trail north along its east bank as far as Llandaff North. Once back across the river, it is only a short distance downstream, passing Llandaff Rowing Club, to our starting point at Llandaff Cathedral.

Wales - South Wales - Cardiff - Town or city


Ancient Monument, Cafe, Castle, Church, Flowers, Food Shop, Good for Kids, Industrial Archaeology, Mostly Flat, Pub, Public Transport, Restaurant, River, Tea Shop, Toilets, Wildlife, Woodland
12/01/2015 - patricia dodd

This is a very good walk for a short winter's day. It is easy to follow as it stands but there are a few points to bring it up to date. Point 6 there is no sign to Cooper's Field as the wooden signposts shown in the picture have been replaced by metal ones (but very easy to find the way) Point 7 path is now surfaced all the way to the house Point 8 the gate going back into the park is padlocked shut (maybe just a winter thing?) so keep in the park rather than leaving and re-entering. Hope these are useful. Generally, I wondered if you had considered putting a date on when walk added/updated? I think this would be helpful.

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