Walking Cardiff’s arcades

Cardiff’s arcades are definitely a hallmark of a city shopping experience. Given the strong concentration of Victorian, Edwardian and contemporary arcades in the city centre, Cardiff was known to some as the City of Arcades (this is according to WalesOnline though, so take all the salt you deem necessary with that claim).

Whatever is in the name, Cardiff’s arcades are amongst its finest features. I used to work in a shop in the High Street Arcade back in the early 2000s, and most of my lunch hours were spent wandering the holy trinity of High Street Arcade, Castle Arcade and Indoor Market. People-watching is at a premium in such locations – as too is the architecture, if you remember to look up.

Contributor Rob Khoo stepped out in the arcades recently to furnish us with some classy black and whites.







Rob says: “I had a nice sunny Sunday afternoon with little to do; so a delicious lunch in The Vegetarian Food Studio followed by a wander into town and then up and down the arcades whilst trying not to spend any money. A difficult task when there are so many great independent shops there, managed to get away with it though – just! Great to see so much going on in the Hayes too, Hijinx Theatre were doing a fine job of entertaining the shoppers, and the plant stall was lovely as well.”

If our antique arcades have piqued your interest, there are the following links you might want to visit:
Photographer Amy Davies spent some time a few years back wandering around our arcades and documenting them. The result is this lovely blog: Cardiff Arcades Project. It’s a few years old now but a great resource.
If you’re of an artistic bent, check out Jennie Savage’s Arcades Project: A 3D documentary. It was a series of projects initiated by artist Jennie Savage which took place in Cardiff’s Victorian and Edwardian Arcades between October 2008 and October 2009. Cardiff is known as the city of Arcades because it has the highest concentration of Victorian and Edwardian Shopping arcades in the UK. Between 2008-2009 artist Jennie Savage led an exploration into these spaces, inspired by Walter Benjamin’s Arcades project and constructed in the light of the St David’s 2 Shopping Centre.

Aaaand if you’re just after plain and simple tourist advice, have a look at the Visit Cardiff site.


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