Private Walking Half-Day Walking Tour of Cardiff

  • Live Guide
  • Instant Confirmation
  • Day Trip
  • Pickup Service
  • Private Tour
  • E-Ticket
  • 9 hr

Our Private Half-Day Tour of Cardiff is the best way to quickly get to know the Welsh Capital. Whatever your reason for visiting, this is the best way to discover as much as you can of this stunning city in half a day. Led by a Cardiffian, this trip allows you to see the best bits of Cardiff, hear what it is like to live in the city and discover some of the local hidden gems that only a local knows about. Because our guides are locals, they know all the best places to eat, drink, and how to experience all the best bits of the city including those places that are away from the usual tourist trails. Starting in the city, and including a brief visit the National Museum of Wales in Cardiff's civic centre, the tour will finish 'down the bay' where you are able to visit some of Wales newest and most iconic buildings and learn how the city (and Wales) has changed in the last 100 years.

Itinerary Details

Operated by: Tours Of The UK

This is a typical itinerary for this product

Pass By: Cardiff Castle

Cardiff Castle started life as a Roman Fort, evidence of which is still visible today. Indeed the city of Cardiff gets its name from the old Roman fort, as Cardiff or the Welsh version Caerdydd translates into English as "Fort on the river Taff". Developed by the Normans the castle has seen many changes and was once used as a royal prison. Developed further by various English marcher Lords, the castle fell into ruin in the 16th century. Taken over by the Marquis' of Bute in the 17th Century, it wasn't until the 3rd Marquis that the current version of Cardiff Castle came into being. Described as a victorian escapist dream, it is a stunning former stately home and Welsh national treasure. As this tour offers an overview of the city of Cardiff, we will be unable to enter the Castle during the tour. However, your guide will tell you the highlights of this impressive structure's history from outside the Castle.

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St Mary's Street has historically been the heart of Cardiff's shopping district. Home to Cardiff's famous market and Victorian arcades, full of beautiful boutiques, cosy cafes, and the oldest record shop in the world, this is your chance to explore a part of Cardiff that is not normally seen on a tour. Thanks to the nature of this private tour, you will be able to stop and explore any of the shops that take your fancy. You will also hear how these shopping gems are an integral part of life here in Cardiff, from a local guide who has spent many an hour exploring these beautiful arcades with their friends and family.

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The Urban Tap House, owned by the renowned Tiny Rebel brewing company is one of the best pubs in Cardiff (please let us know if you are over 18 and would like to stop here for a drink as part of the tour). From outside the pub, we will be able to see The Principality Stadium, formally the Millenium Stadium, which is home to Welsh Rugby and several episodes of Doctor Who. Whilst here we will explain how Ruby, a sport developed in an English Public School became the national sport of Wales, how the Millenium Stadium became the first sports stadium in Europe to have a closable roof, why the north stand of the old Cardiff Arm's Park was included in the building, and why for several years the home to Welsh Ruby became the home of the Football Association's Cup Final. Finally, we will explain how the stadium, with its multi-purpose use, has welcomed some of the biggest names in the music business to Wales for the first time.

Duration: 20 minutes

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Spillers Records is the oldest record shop in the world and is a South Wales institution. Everyone who lives in, or near Cardiff has brought at least one record from this amazing part of local history. Regardless of your musical tastes, Spillers will have something for you - often a record that you didn't even know you needed in your life but which will find its way into your possessions and your heart.

Duration: 15 minutes

Stop At: Cardiff Central Market

Cardiff's impressive Victorian covered market is another location that you might not experience unless a local took you there. A favourite with Cardiffians for its diverse range of products on offer, ranging from second-hand books to cakes, to fresh meat and fish, the market is a centre of food excellence. Whilst walking through the market you are free to stop and sample the local delicacies, explore the stalls, and spend, spend, spend! Previously home to Cardiff's Goal (or Jail) it was outside Cardiff Market where Dic Pendryn was executed. One of Wales' most famous historical figures (although few people outside of Wales have heard of him), your guide will tell you how Dic, a labourer from nearby Merthyr Tydfil was charged with killing a soldier with a bayonet during the famous Merthyr Rising and hanged on the orders of Lord Melbourne - Queen Victoria's first Prime Minister - who was Home Secretary at the time of the riots.

Duration: 20 minutes

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St John The Baptist Church in Cardiff is one of the oldest buildings left in Cardiff and the only building that remains from the old medieval walled town. Built around 1180 it is one of the few pre-norman building left in this part of Wales, although much of the church was redesigned in the 15th century after Owain Glwndwyr sacked the city in 1404. Famous for its use in the TV series Doctor Who, in the episode "The Runaway Bride" starring David Tennant and Catherine Tate, St John's Church should be known for its beautiful interior decor which includes Victorian stained glass by leading pre-raphaelites including William Morris which will be pointed out to you as part of the tour.

Duration: 10 minutes

Stop At: Statue of Aneurin Bevan

Aneurin 'Nye' Bevan is the father of the UK's National Health Service. Immortalised in a statue that many people in Cardiff walk past every day, which is used as a popular meeting place (many Cardiffians 'meet at Nye Bevan') and which is a preferred perch for pigeons, we will stop here to discuss how Bevan changed the UK forever. A major political opponent of Churchill during the Second World War, which brought him into the national consciousness, it was Bevan's experiences of poverty in Wales, his time spent working in a mine, and his position in the post-war Labour government that helped shape one of the most important, well-loved and adored institutions in the UK. Whilst here we will discuss Bevan's role in the creation of the NHS, his history and his politics as well as exploring part of Cardiff's role in the Coal trade.

Duration: 10 minutes

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Cathay's Park is one of the finest examples of an early 20th Century Civic Centre. Built on land previously owned by the Bute family, the buildings in this part of Cardiff are constructed using Portland Stone, the same stone as St Pauls Cathedral. Home to Cardiff's Crown Court, Cardiff University, The National Museum Cardiff, and the Welsh National War Memorial we will explore why this area is so important, and how it was built using the wealth brought into the city by the booming coal trade in the 18th - mid 20th century. Whilst exploring the civic centre we will also discuss why Cardiff is now one of the most popular filming locations in the UK, and how this sector of the creative arts industry and the tourism it generates to the South Wales area is filling some of the gaps left by the de-industrialisation of Wales.

Duration: 20 minutes

Stop At: National Museum Cardiff

The National Museum Cardiff is home to one of the best collections of Impressionist and Post-Impressionist Art in the UK. Its collection, which is spread over 15 galleries, includes masterpieces by Monet, Cézanne, includes Renoir's famous Blue Lady 'La Parisienne' and Rodin's 'The Kiss'. Also home to some of the best Welsh art, both modern and historic, it would be easy to spend a whole day in the museum exploring the world-class collection that is on permanent display. Sadly this tour can only offer you a taster of what is on show but promises to get you 'up close and personal' with as many of the most famous artworks. How did the National Museum manage to collect such an impressive range of art? Your guide will explain all, including who to thank, during the tour. Please note that the Museum is closed on Monday's. Tours booked on Monday will be unable to visit the interior of the museum but other locations will be added to the tour by the guide on the day to compensate for this.

Duration: 1 hour

Pass By: Cardiff Bay

After visiting the National Museum of Wales we will head to Cardiff Bay. This can be done either by taking a local train or via a local cab. Train/Cab fare is not included in the price of the tour. Cardiff Bay is the modern name for the old Cardiff Docks which at their hight were the largest coal exporting docks in the world. Owned by the Marquis of Bute, the Jeff Bezos of the day, the area was as multicultural then as it is today. Now the cultural heart of Cardiff and the political centre of Wales, Cardiff Bay is home to the Wales Millenium Centre, Roald Dahl Plass, The Senedd, and the new BBC Wales' Studios. Whilst 'down the bay', as the locals would say, your guide will show you around one of the most interesting, and beautiful parts of Cardiff, explain its rich and vibrant history, and explain how Cardiff went from the largest coal exporting docks in the world to the beautiful waterfront you see today.

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The Exchange Hotel is the former Coal Exchange in Cardiff. Famous for being where the first 1 Million Pound deal, was agreed in 1904 this stunning Hotel is not only one of the top places to stay in Cardiff, but has also held concerts staring the likes of Sir Tom Jones, Beverly Knight, and Gregory Porter. Stopping here, we will quickly explain how history was made here with the signing of the first Million-pound deal, the Coal exchange's history and why coal was so important, not only to Cardiff and Wales, but also to the British Empire.

Duration: 10 minutes

Stop At: Portland House

Portland House is the former site of the Cardiff Dock branch of the National Provincial Bank which later became National Westminster Bank. Said to be where the first Million Pound Cheque was cashed, Portland House is now a major events space and filming location. One of the many listed buildings in this area, our guide will explain why so many of these buildings are now at risk of being lost.

Duration: 10 minutes

Stop At: Roald Dahl Plass

Roald Dahl Plass is named after the famous children's author and son of the city of Cardiff. Educated at Llandaff Cathedral School he is just one of the famous Welsh cultural icons whose lives are celebrated throughout the city of Cardiff. Roald Dahl Plass' most iconic feature is the Water Tower, a water fountain built by Nicholas Hare Architects and the sculptor William Pye which is a favourite with locals and tourists alike. Known for numerous events throughout the year, Roald Dahl Plass is sometimes off limits due to the construction work required to host these events. This said if you are lucky enough to visit when one of the many free events are taking place, such as the International Food and Drink Festival, or the Cardiff Bay Beach our guide will be more than happy to show you around these amazing events as part of the tour.

Duration: 2 hour

Stop At: Senedd

The Senedd is the home to the Welsh Parliament (formally the National Assembly of Wales) and whilst here we will take a few moments to explore this iconic building which was designed by the famous architect Lord Richard Rogers. Designed to reflect the open and democratic nature of Welsh devolution, the Senedd is a masterpiece of modern architecture. Whilst here we will discuss the role that Wales, its people (including the Welsh Tudor kings and David Lloyd-George) and its culture have had on UK politics. We will also discuss devolution in Wales and how the call for Welsh Independence from England is on the rise.

Duration: 10 minutes

Stop At: Wales Millennium Centre

The Wales Millennium Centre is one of the newest and most iconic buildings in Cardiff. Home to several resident arts organisations, including the BBC National Orchestra of Wales, the BBC National Chorus of Wales, and the internationally renowned Welsh National Opera. Andrew Lloyd Webber famously said that "There's nowhere in London that comes close to the Wales Millennium Centre", which was designed to reflect the unique character of Wales and its culture. Whilst at the Wales Millennium Centre your guide will explain the international importance of the building and its resident organisations, how the building owes a lot to a very generous South African, and how everything in the building, even the door handles, were carefully considered to reflect the purpose of the building and Wales' history. After exploring the Millennium Centre you are free to either stay in Cardiff Bay (where there are several amazing eateries) or as the guide to take you back to your accommodation.

Duration: 30 minutes
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