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Things to do in
Cardiff Bay

Cardiff Bay: Our most recommended tours and activities

From London: Day Trip to Cardiff with Cardiff Castle Entry

1. From London: Day Trip to Cardiff with Cardiff Castle Entry

Depart London in the morning, and then travel across the country by bus to visit the historic port city of Cardiff, capital of Wales since 1955. Take a sightseeing tour on arrival with a local guide, to admire the impressive monuments of the city center, where highlights include the new National Assembly building in the regenerated waterfront district of Cardiff Bay. After lunch we’ll continue our tour through the seaside town of Penarth before travelling back into the centre of Cardiff. We will conclude our time in Cardiff with a visit to the fabulous Cardiff Castle, a fortress with a 2000-year history, from a humble Roman Fort to the Romantic Victorian splendour of today. Depart in the early evening for the scenic drive back to London through the Welsh Valleys and get dropped off in central London in the evening. 

From Cardiff: The Wandering Bard's tour of the Valleys.

2. From Cardiff: The Wandering Bard's tour of the Valleys.

Discover South Wales in the company of a historian and native Welsh speaker, on this guided tour from Cardiff. After being picked up from your hotel, be whisked away to the countryside. Get a breakdown of the Welsh language and gain a deeper insight into culture. Continue to Tintern Abbey, a national icon that is still standing in roofless splendor on the banks of the River Wye nearly 500 years since its tragic fall from grace. Explore the hauntingly beautiful ruins of a medieval abbey have inspired artists, poets, and travelers. Then, enjoy a walk around the market town and visit Chepstow Castle, the oldest surviving post-Roman stone fortification in Britain. Enjoy its stunning setting overlooking the River Wye and spend an hour here. Finally, visit the 13th-century Caerphilly Castle, Wales' largest and Britain's second-largest castle behind Windsor. As you marvel at its massive walls, towers, and gatehouses, see how it stands out from other Welsh castles.

From Cardiff: Tour of Cardiff Bay and Vale of Glamorgan

3. From Cardiff: Tour of Cardiff Bay and Vale of Glamorgan

Start your guided tour in Cardiff city center. Begin with Cardiff's origins as a Roman garrison, traveling through time to the medieval period and the city's expansion as a global distribution center for coal. Visit Cardiff Bay and the Victorian seaside town of Penarth. Drive through the Vale of Glamorgan and discover ancient burial chambers and hidden villages. Follow the Heritage Coast and don't miss the chance to hunt for fossils, or maybe take a dip in the sea. The tour finishes where it began in Cardiff.

Cardiff: Self-Guided Audio Tour of Bay and Barrage

4. Cardiff: Self-Guided Audio Tour of Bay and Barrage

Cardiff is a vibrant and cosmopolitan city, which has been shaped by residents and visitors alike. On this walking tour around some of Cardiff Bay’s most famous landmarks, you’ll hear the stories of those people, and the legacies they have left. You’ll also discover how an extraordinary vision transformed Cardiff Bay into a fascinating and popular tourist destination. Starting on Cardiff’s vibrant modern waterfront, this tour highlights the importance of Cardiff Dock during the industrial revolution. Having lived in and around the city all my life, I’ve witnessed several extraordinary changes that have taken place here. Working in tourism has allowed me to access places that the public don’t always get to visit, and given me a wealth of information that I’m delighted to share with you. Highlights on this tour include hearing about: • The Norwegian Church and why there were so many Norwegian sailors in Cardiff • How Tiger Bay got its name • What an Italian man and Flatholm Island have to do with safety at sea • The Story of Captain Robert Falcon Scott and his connection to the city • Pit Ponies in the coal mines • Cardiff’s most unusual accommodation block • Cardiff Bay Barrage control and locks This tour is a valuable introduction to Cardiff’s bay and barrage, whether you’re a first-time visitor or a local who’s curious to learn more about the city. There are plenty of cafes at either end of the route for a quick (or lengthy) stop, so allow at least an hour for this walk.

Cardiff: Private Doctor Who Walking Tour

5. Cardiff: Private Doctor Who Walking Tour

Walk through the world of Doctor Who in Cardiff as you encounter the show's most iconic filming locations. See how Cardiff has featured in the modern show from the first the episode to the most recent stories. On this tour you will discover 30 filming locations that reference up to a 100 different episodes all over central Cardiff. Your guide will reveal all of Cardiff's major geographic landmarks and notable buildings that are used in the show. Head to the glamorous Civic Centre area and stroll through the old city center towards the modern Cardiff Bay area. Finish your tour at the home of the Doctor Who spinoff "Torchwood" in Cardiff Bay.

Cardiff: Half-Day City Walking Tour

6. Cardiff: Half-Day City Walking Tour

Explore Cardiff with a local guide, and get an insider's view of the historical sites, local landmarks, and hidden gems. Meet at Cardiff Central railway station before walking through the city's stunning Victorian shopping arcade. Listen to your guide explain local favorites, including the oldest record store in the world. Next, walk to Cardiff's famous indoor market, where you can purchase a range of local treats. After, visit Cardiff Castle, the oldest building in the city. Later, follow your guide to the second-oldest building in Cardiff, St John the Baptist Church, before strolling through Cathay's Park and National Museum Wales. View the museum's impressive collection, including work by leading contemporary Welsh artists. Afterward, travel to Cardiff Bay, which was once the largest coal-exporting port in the world. View the modern buildings that have sprung up since the bay's redevelopment.

Cardiff City and the Bay, walking tour, small group

7. Cardiff City and the Bay, walking tour, small group

Cardiff Bay to the City Centre, we will take in the historic sites - many familiar as film locations from popular TV series such as Doctor Who, Torchwood and Sherlock Holmes. In the City a guided walk to celebrate the greatest Edwardian City in the UK built on the back of of the Industrial Revolution and the Worldwide export of coal. The tour will take in the Castle, the Civic area, Museum complete with its world famous impressionist paintings, Bute Park, the Principality Stadium and the Victorian market and shopping arcades. If timings allow, we will travel by water taxi to Cardiff Bay, or if not by conventional taxi. This is payable locally approx £7 per person for water taxi; £5 per person for conventional taxi. In the Bay, a guided walk to marvel at the transformation of Cardiff Docks or Tiger Bay as it was known, to brilliantly modern and unique landscape of Cardiff Bay. The tour will take in the Millennium centre, The Welsh Parliament known at the Senedd, the Norwegian Church, Mount Stuart Square and the Coal Exchange and the Cardiff Bay Barrage which has effectively created a 500 hectare lake, The biggest regeneration project of its type in the 1990s. We will take comfort and refreshment stops along the way.

Cardiff Bay: Walking Tour with a Professional Guide

8. Cardiff Bay: Walking Tour with a Professional Guide

Enjoy this private group tour from Cardiff Bay to Tiger Bay. See the transformation of Cardiff Docks into the modern bay. Explore landmarks such as the Welsh Parliament, the Barrage, and Mount Stewart Square. Meet your guide in front of the Pierhead Building. Get orientated to Cardiff Bay, touching on the regeneration of the last 30 years, which has transformed the area. Learn about the history of Cardiff Docks. See the biggest coal dock in the world (just 100 years ago), which supplied coal for the British Navy. Visit the Cardiff Bay Barrage, which creates a break between the Bristol Channel and the freshwater lake that is Cardiff Bay. See the iconic buildings of the Bay, including the Norwegian Church, The Wales Millennium Centre, The Welsh Parliament/Senedd, and Mermaid Quay and see some of the great film locations seen in Doctor Who. Visit the historic Mount Stuart Square, a conservation area, and the mighty Coal Exchange, which once controlled the price of coal and saw the handover of the world's first check for a million pounds. Sip refreshments at the Coal Exchange. Enjoy seeing the old trading floor, and renovated restaurant, before concluding the tour.

Cardiff Bay: Self Guided Walk & Interactive Treasure Hunt

9. Cardiff Bay: Self Guided Walk & Interactive Treasure Hunt

Go Quest Adventures is turning Cardiff Bay into an Adventure Playground! Croeso i fae caerdydd! Welcome to Cardiff Bay – where those in the know come to play! What used to be a thriving tidal dockland, famous for exporting Welsh coal is now a spectacular waterfront destination that rivals some of the best UK destinations. Explore the Mermaid Quay area of Cardiff Bay and unlock a hidden trail by finding clues, solving puzzles & completing challenges, earning points along the way all self-guided through the Go Quest Adventures app. See the area's highlights, explore it's hidden gems and learn some insider history and fun facts along the way (even locals will discover something new!). As the Quest is self guided you can: * Start your Quest whenever you want, get instant access with nothing to print off from home * Go as fast as you want and try to top the leaderboard, or go at your own pace, stopping for rest breaks along the way. Your Quest will start at the Water Tower sculpture in front of the Roald Dahl Plass and wind you around the bay, through Mermaid Quay and end you back at your original location. During your Quest see some beautiful artwork, learn about the history of the area and discover a famous chef. And fans of the series Torchwood won’t be disappointed either as you leave a memento to one of TV shows most loved characters. Along the way, you and your team will be involved in solving puzzles and completing challenges as you discover what makes Cardiff Bay one of Wales’ best cultural and entertainment hotspots. So grab some Welsh cakes (you may need a snack), put on some comfy shoes and get ready to explore the sights, discover hidden gems and ultimately, conquer your Cardiff Bay Quest! PLEASE NOTE: This Quest does not cover Cardiff Castle or the city centre. Please check out our other Cardiff City Centre Quest which covers these areas. This is an ideal outdoor activity for couples, families, groups of friends, school groups and can be the perfect team building or corpoorate activity. Customised Quests and group packages are available by emailing Get Questing today!

Cambrian Way/Mid-Wales: Interactive Guidebook

10. Cambrian Way/Mid-Wales: Interactive Guidebook

This online travel guidebook helps you create a bespoke road trip to help with planning your break before you travel and when you are on your break. The Cambrian Way road trip winds through the heart of Wales, featuring two National Parks – Brecon Beacons and Snowdonia. This scenic route spans nearly 200 miles from Cardiff to Conwy, showcasing Wales' natural beauty, historic sites, and cultural heritage. It passes through the picturesque Cambrian Mountains, offering breathtaking landscapes and highlighting iconic spots like the Brecon Beacons and Snowdonia in North Wales. Find mid-Wales’ campsites and motorhome stopovers. Get the best out of your break with our user-friendly, online guide that will make planning a breeze. Simply cherry-pick from the options provided ensuring you won’t miss a thing! Access this Wales Way: Cambrian Way road trip on 2 devices (mobile, tablet or desktop) for 12 months to help with planning your break before you travel, as well as on your holiday. Cambrian Way (Mid-Wales) Highlights: • The suggested mapped route on the online guidebook is fully flexible meaning it will help you plan your trip with places to go and things to see and do, whether from 3 to 14 days • Cardiff: Vibrant capital with rich history, museums, Cardiff Bay, and diverse dining options. • Welsh Valleys: Picturesque landscapes, mining heritage, rolling hills, and mining museums. • Outdoor Adventures: Hiking, mountain trails, water sports, and guided activities in scenic Wales. • Brecon Beacons Park: Water sports, horse riding, walks, rock climbing, stargazing in diverse terrains. • Cambrian Mountains: Explore lakes, rivers, and reservoirs amidst stunning natural beauty. • Mid Wales Towns: Historical charm in well-preserved medieval and market towns. • Eryri National Park: Scenic drive, Mount Snowdon exploration, historic steam engine rides. • Betws-y-Coed: Charming village in Snowdonia, waterfalls, stone bridges, tea rooms, and crafts. • Conwy & Conwy Castle: Medieval town, UNESCO site, castle exploration, panoramic views. • Stargazing: Discover Dark Sky Reserves, and witness mesmerizing starry nights on the Cambrian Way. Online & Interactive Destinations Guidebook: • Save hours using our inspiration and signposting to plan your perfect Wales Way: Cambrian Way road trip driving route • The destination guides cover 10 destination locations and guides on essential places to visit along Wales’ Cambrian Way. • The destination guide includes over 130 attractions, experiences and activities to uncover your own Wales The Uncover More map includes: • 50+ Viewpoints / 220+ Places of interest /30+ Hidden gems / 20+ Wild swim spots The Overnight Stay map includes: 70+ Campsites / 35+ Motorhome stops & almost wild spots / 80+ Hotels / 85+ B&Bs, guesthouses and lodges

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What people are saying about Cardiff Bay

Overall rating

(10 reviews)

Our guide, Gareth was FABULOUS. The scenery was beautiful, and even the weather, for us, was lovely, cold but lovely and clear. The valley tour of Abbey and castles was excellent. We especially liked Chepstow Castle with extra bonus of (free) audio narration - great idea. Back to our guide, we were so impressed, he was knowledgeable, passionate, intellegent amd so interesting. What a fabulous day. Thank you Gareth

Gareth was amazing. My little boy enjoyed his company. Gareth was so knowledgeable and fun to be with. He even picked us up at the farm house where we were staying and dropped us back home afterwards. The sites where he brought us were all beautiful and awesome.

Enthusiastic guide, in love with his city and his country. 3 hours of history punctuated with anecdotes...only fun!

Had a great tour with Lucy who is from the area and did a great job. Very informative.

Enjoyed the trip, beautiful scenery and great guide Riki.