Katie Hamer continues her A–Z exploration of all that’s special about Cardiff. So what’s she seen this week?
I hadn’t planned on returning to Roath Park for this series. But, having heard rumours of an apartment in The Scott Memorial lighthouse for rent, I put on my running shoes and sprinted over there. I’m so glad I did because I realized there’s so much more to the park than I’d seen previously.
I’d taken photos there for my article about ‘I loves the ‘Diff’, so I thought I’d covered it all. How wrong I was!
Perhaps I missed a lot on my first visit because of the time of year. Although the leaves on the trees had turned to beautiful shades of red, it felt like everything else had gone into hibernation or shut down for the winter.
To my great delight, upon my revisit, I noted that spring is awakening in the park. The daffodils are beginning to open up their golden trumpets and many trees are already in blossom. Everywhere, there are signs of fresh buds and new life. I just love this time of year.
Another thing that surprised me is the huge variety of birds that inhabit the lake in the spring. That’s not to say there weren’t birds on my first visit. How could I forget having to fend off hissing geese as I sat on a bench having my sandwiches on my first visit, for instance?
The main difference with the birdlife is that there are now a lot of courting couples. For example, I saw a couple of pigeons gently cooing and rubbing chests together in a very public show of affection. I expect the park will soon be filled with the patter of tiny pigeon feet!
Also swans and geese there are huge, much bigger than I’ve seen anywhere else . I know there are signs up in the park warning you not to feed the birds, but it’s very hard to believe they got to this size without the help of some human carbs.
I’d also not noticed the Centenary Garden for Captain R. F. Scott before. It’s immediately opposite the Scott Memorial lighthouse and is also coming into flower. As someone who struggles to garden and has murdered many an innocent house plant, I’m always stunned by what people can achieve with a bit of imagination and a lot of hard work.
And as for the apartment within the Scott Memorial lighthouse, let’s just say it turned out to be just a little too bijoux for my liking!
I’ve kept this article brief, hoping you’ll feel tempted to explore for yourselves. If I’ve piqued your curiosity, you can find out more about the park by visiting the conservatory within the Botanical Gardens. There’s a little shop there where you can buy souvenirs. You can also explore the plants within conservatory for a small fee of £2.00, and maybe pick up some gardening tips.
Other things to do in Roath
If you visit on a Saturday morning, there’s also the Roath Farmers Market, which runs all year. You can find information about it here:
There’s also the Roath Craft Market which starts up again on Saturday 7th March. This is next door to the Farmers Market. You can find information about it here:
Thank you for reading my article. I hope it made you smile, and that you will also enjoy leafing through my photo gallery. Until the next time…
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