Tag Archives: walesadventure

Out of Cardiff: Mini adventures in Mwnt, west Wales

Just to mix things up, this is a new addition to our ‘Out of Cardiff’ section. There are so many beautiful places to visit within driving distance of Cardiff, and Mwnt is definitely one of them.

When I mentioned to friends that we were heading to West Wales, so many people told us to go to Mwnt that I knew we had to head there.

It’s a stunning location. It wasn’t a great day in terms of weather when we visited, but the dark skies and whipping wind only added to the drama and romance of the place.

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Mwnt is also an ancient holy site. You can sit and contemplate higher meanings in the beautiful and tiny Church of the Holy Cross (Eglwys y Grog). It was probably built around the 14th century, and served as a medieval sailors’ chapel of ease (where you could pop in and worship when you were away from home). Wikipedia says it was a welcome refuge for medieval pilgrims en route to the patron saint of Wales’ shrine at St Davids, mystical Strata Florida Abbey or Bardsey Island in North Wales (all places on my list to visit!).

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If you’re into your wildlife, Mwnt is located within the Cardigan Bay Special Area of Conservation, protected for the diversity of its the fauna here. Mwnt is an ideal place to spot bottlenose dolphins, basking sharks and porpoises. If these aren’t quite exotic for you, you can even see the sunfish here (aka – mola mola … see below!)

It was pretty cold while we were there, but we had a nice walk up the Wales Coast Path here. There are fields of horses lining the cliffs, while you look out on a seemingly endless sea.

We also made friends with this cheeky little dog in the car park, who smelt us cooking sausages!

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Wales Coast Path – Ceredigion

Mwnt – facilities information

All photos my own apart from the first, which is from Discover Ceredigion

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Out of Cardiff: Walking up Table Mountain

Occasionally we like to leave the safety of our favourite capital city and explore the beautiful countryside of Wales that surrounds us. This weekend, honouring the fact that 2016 is Wales’ Year of Adventure, we decided to jump in our campervan and head to the Black Mountains, in search of some good walking.

Table Mountain, Crickhowell

Table Mountain, Crickhowell, by Nick on Flickr

We parked in the tiny, picturesque town of Crickhowell, in the Usk Valley, just south of the Black Mountains. It’s on the eastern side of the Brecon Beacons National Park, and is a great starting point for lots of good hiking trails.

There is a car park in the centre of town, but during weekends getting a space is a cut-throat affair … luckily we found a space and went into the Crickhowell Visitor Information Centre to have a look at maps and local info. We bought two maps on local walks (for a whopping £1.50), popped across the road to have a quick coffee at the nattily-named ‘Latte-Da’ (see what they did there?), and then decided on the Table Mountain Walk.

It’s an energetic walk, and a quick ascent up the 380m to the peak of Table Mountain, where the Iron Age hillfort is located. There are some pretty special views from the top, but expect tired legs getting up there!

From Crickhowell town centre, it’s a circular walk that you can either do steep side first (up Llanbedr Road – this was how we did it), or if you’re carrying a child on your shoulders or accompanied by an older dog, you can go down to start at the Cwmbeth Dingle, so the ascent is much longer, but less difficult.

The route up. Legs burning …

Table Mountain, Crickhowell

The sun-kissed peak!

Table Mountain, Crickhowell

Table Mountain, Crickhowell

Views from the top: alright, like …

Table Mountain, Crickhowell

Table Mountain, Crickhowell

Table Mountain, Crickhowell

Table Mountain, Crickhowell

On the way down …

Table Mountain, Crickhowell

Table Mountain, Crickhowell

Table Mountain, Crickhowell

The walk took about about three hours in total, including a very enjoyable pause on the peak to look at some wild horses and some lambs frolicking around in the field below us.

Vital statistics:

  • Cardiff – Crickhowell: 40 miles (up the A470)
  • Crickhowell has limited amenities, so we suggest taking a packed lunch with you.
  • There is parking on Llanbedr Road if the car park in the centre of town is full …

And that’s all from us on our out-of-Cardiff jaunt for this week. Get out in the countryside and have a lovely time!

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Bucket list adventures in Wales – the best things to do in Cardiff!

Wales Online published this rather wonderful article back in 2005: “50 big bucket list adventures to do in Wales while you can still do up your laces”. They update the article every year or so, and this year contains a number of awesome activities based right here in yon fair city of Cardiff.

Also, is it just me, or do you also wish they’d stop making lists of things to do before you die? It’s so morbid. How about ‘massive list of awesome things to do because they’re awesome and you’re awesome so treat yourself and have a good time??’

treatyoself

Anyway. Here’s the list! Agree? Disagree? Leave us some comments below! Helia x

 

Ride the rapids at Cardiff International White Water Rafting Centre

Cardiff International White Water

For those with an extreme sports loving streak, get yourselves to the white water rafting centre down in Cardiff Bay. You can enjoy a number of activities there, including white water rafting, kayaking, SUP, and high ropes. They also offer a range of coaching and rescue courses.

How much is it and when can you go?

Prices start at around £50 and available throughout the year. You may want to wait until it gets a bit warmer before hitting those waters though!

More info:

Cardiff International White Water Centre – Facebook page

Visit Wales – white water locations in Wales

 

Step inside the Doctor’s TARDIS in Cardiff Bay

Doctor Who Experience

If you live in Cardiff, it’s likely you’ve bumped into a Doctor Who filming session somewhere around the city. Fans come from all over the world to visit the filming locations – and to see the Doctor Who Experience, housed in that weird shaped giant blue building in the old docks area of Cardiff Bay, just by the barrage.

How much is it and when can you go?

General admission starts at £14 for adults and available all year round.

More info: Doctor Who Experience

Eat a meal in prison

the clink cardiff

The Clink at Cardiff Prison came out top out of 946 restaurants in Cardiff on TripAdvisor in 2015. Yes sir! Each diner who visits The Clink Restaurant helps to simulate a true-to-life working environment that is essential for the rehabilitation of the prisoners. Tastes good on so many levels.

How much is it and when can you go?

Sunday lunch costs £15.95 and is open all year round.

More info:

The Clink website

Get spooked on a ghost walk in Llandaff

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The fabulous Jim Cowan is your host with the most (or the host with the ghost/s …? something like that) for terrifying tales of Cardiff’s spooky past. He runs the Cardiff History website, where you can book history tours of Llandaff, Cardiff Castle, St Fagans – and this year, Margam Castle!

If things of a spooky nature are your bag, Jim was one of my guests on the podcast I did about ghosts in Cardiff: We Are Haunted. Listen on Soundcloud or below!

How much is it and when can you go?

You can book on from £15 per person, but outdoor tours are dependent on the weather.

More info:

Cardiff History website

 

Wander the coastal walks of Wales

Cardiff Bay Barrage by Gordon Plant

The first country to offer a dedicated footpath around its coastline, the Wales Coast Path is 870 miles of varied and beautiful landscape. There’s a good stretch that makes its way around the capital city, from the nature reserves up by Newport, down past St Brides and Wentloog Avenue, tracing the edge of Rover Way, somewhat randomly along Ocean Way, then down the canals parallel to Schooner Way and the Bute East Dock – until you’re in the final stretch! Past the Millennium Centre and Senedd, through Cardiff Bay, then across the barrage, where you enter the Vale of Glamorgan.

How much is it and when can you go?

Free, whenever you like.

Map of the city of Cardiff – Wales Coastal Path

10 short coastal path walks (Visit Wales)

The Wales Coastal Path (Visit Wales)

 

Soak up the atmosphere at a Wales rugby home game

Millennium Stadium

The Millennium Stadium (I know it’s called the Principality Stadium now, I just prefer to call it by its birth name, right?) is the home of Welsh rugby. Nothing quite captures Welsh pride more than witnessing a win during an international match.

How much is it and when can you go?

Costs vary and matches happen throughout the year.

More info:

Welsh rugby (Visit Wales)

Principality (Millennium) Stadium website

 

Run the World Half Marathon 2016 in Cardiff

CardiffHalfMarathon2015_ - 26

In March 2016, Cardiff will be in the grip of half marathon fever as the elite World Championships race is held here! There will also be a mass participation half marathon event open for all, taking place on the course, at the same time.

I ran the Cardiff Half Marathon in October, and my feet damn near fell off, though I did raise nearly £500 for Doctors Without Borders (thank you to everyone who sponsored me!). Read more: Cardiff Half Marathon, a first timer’s experience.

How much is it and when can you go?

Entry is £59 for non-club members and takes place on Saturday, March 26.

More info:

Cardiff 2016 website

Visit the past at St Fagans

stfagans

St Fagans is one of Europe’s leading open–air museums and Wales’s most popular heritage attraction that lets you walk around Wales from Celtic times to the present day.

How much is it and when can you go?

Free, whenever you like.

More info:

St Fagans website

 

What do you think of the Wales Online list? What have they left out? Let us know in the comments – maybe we’ll make our own list!

Visit Wales have a list of activities you can try out, if you’re out and about in Wales, celebrating 2016 as the Year of Adventure in Wales! Have a look on their website and see what trouble you can get into.