If you’ve seen my 10 Things to do in Cardiff on a Rainy Day post, you would know that Cardiff is a VERY wet city, the wettest in the UK in fact. But every so often, mother nature decides that we deserve a break from all the rain.
Cardiff is beautiful when the sun shines so you must take advantage of it. There are so many things you can when the sun is out. Here are my top 10 things to do in Cardiff on a sunny day.
Have a BBQ in one of Cardiff’s many parks
Between Roath Park, Bute Park, Victoria Park and Cathays Park, there are plenty of spots to chill out and soak in the sun. Picture this, you and your friends, a frisbee and a cheap BBQ grill. It’s the perfect day out in the sun.
Roath Park is home to Roath Lake which is a popular spot for families as there is a playground, a botanical garden and you can even hire a boat and take it out onto the lake. Bute Park is also a very popular park due to it’s prime location in the city centre. The park runs alongside Cardiff Castle and has multiple large open areas. During the summer, you will often find different events being held there such as the RHS Flower Show and the annual Pride Festival.
Discover Welsh history at St Fagans National Museum of History
As someone who enjoys learning about history, I love going to St Fagans. They have lots to do for both kids and adults. St Fagans has a reconstructed village that will give you an idea of what the shops were like in the past.There are a row of houses with performers in all of them and each house takes you on a journey of the evolution of life in Wales.
The open air museum hosts numerous workshops and demonstrations throughout the year and they are great to get stuck into.For those who just want to relax and take a walk, the castle and gardens are particularly lovely. The castle is a grade 1 listed building and the surrounding flower gardens and fishponds are an idyllic setting for a spot of lunch.
Take a leisurely stroll around Cardiff Bay
Cardiff Bay is my favourite area of Cardiff. It is also one of the busiest. The crowds gather when the sun shines and there is no shortage of things to keep you busy during your visit. Why not take a stroll along the waterfront and admire the beauty of the sea or take in the architecture with beautifully designed buildings such as the Wales Millennium Centre and the Pierhead Building.
From July through to September, the Roald Dahl Plass is transformed into the Cardiff Bay Beach. There are sandy beaches, swimming pools and plenty of funfair attractions for the kids as well as live music and numerous bars for the adults.
Walk the Cardiff Bay Barrage Coastal Path
If you are looking for a lovely family day out, why not visit the Cardiff Bay Barrage. There is a scenic route from the Norwegian Church and it takes you all the way from Cardiff Bay to Penarth via the barrage. Bring a picnic with you as there are plenty of places where you can stop along the route for a bite to eat.
When Cardiff Bay was redeveloped for tourism, the barrage was built as a method of maintaining the high tide throughout the day in order to create the freshwater lake we know today. The barrage consists of bridges, sluice gates, a fish pass and canal locks which boats are required to go through in order to sail into the Bristol Channel. It is a fascinating process to watch and I thoroughly recommend visiting.
Step into history at Cardiff Castle
Cardiff Castle is a MUST see for anyone who visits or lives in Cardiff. With large open grounds, it is the perfect place to have a picnic after a day of learning about the lives of the noble Welshmen who built the castle. The interior of the castle is astonishing and is home to The Arab Room, the most expensive room in the castle. The roof alone is made of pure gold and is worth well over 8 million pounds.
For those adventurous enough to venture into the old motte and bailey, you are in for a treat when you get to the top. The views stretch for miles and you can see the whole of Cardiff from up there. Just be careful as the steps going up to the top are very steep.
Breathe in the sea air at Penarth Pier
Penarth Pier is the perfect place to go to relax or de-stress with it’s breathtaking views over the Bristol Channel. All you need is an ice cream cone and you’re all set.
The Penarth Pier Pavilion opened on the pier in 1930. It may not be as developed as others such as Brighton Pier but it is just as beautiful. The Pavilion provides entertainment for all with it’s theatre and cinema. It also hosts many exhibitions and events for the public and is very popular, especially in the summertime.
Like St Fagans, Cosmeston has a Medieval Village which tells you all about Welsh life in medieval times. They provide a free tour around the village and you can even take a photo with you in the stacks.
The Cosmeston lakes are stunning and you can spend hours wandering around the lakes and trying to spot the rare birds that make their home there. There are many bird hides that are open 24hrs a day.
Take a boat trip from Cardiff Bay
The waterfront at Cardiff Bay is home to many boat trips that operate all year round though there are a few seasonal tours. Cardiff Sea Safaris offer tours to Flat Holm island and Bay Island Voyages offer high speed thrill trips around the bay.
Do you normally take the train or bus into town from the bay? Why not change it up a little and take the Aquabus. This boat trip leaves from the Cardiff Bay and takes you up the river Taff before dropping you off at Bute Park.
See Cardiff from a different angle with City Sightseeing Cardiff
When I visit a new city, I always love to take an open top, hop on hop off tour. And Cardiff is no different, even though it took me 6 years to do it! The guides are well trained and each one just as knowledgeable as the last.
With just 11 stops, the tour is short but as tickets are valid for 24 hours, I would recommend doing the tour in it’s entirety, then start again and get off at each point. The bus takes you to all the main sites in Cardiff so you won’t be missing out on anything.
I’m taking you a little bit outside Cardiff for this one. Who doesn’t love a trip to the beach in the summertime? I know I do! But with Cardiff not having a natural beach, Barry Island is the go to spot when the sun comes out. Imagine it, in just a short train journey from Cardiff, you could be swimming in the ocean.
Barry Island is not just a beach though, it also has a pleasure park full of funfair attractions for all the family. Fancy winning some money? You can always have a go at the slots at one of the many arcades along the promenade. Make sure you drop into Nessa’s arcade or Marco’s cafe who many of you will know from the Welsh television show Gavin and Stacey which was filmed at Barry Island. And then, finish off your day out at the beach with a round of crazy golf and a good ‘ol fish and chips!
There we have it, my top 10 things to do in Cardiff on a sunny day. I hope you enjoy all of these activities as much as I have.
If you have any more ideas about things to do when it’s sunny in Cardiff, please let me know!