You might be thinking: Wales??? Isn’t that another country? Yes, it is. But it’s on a direct train line from Salisbury, and also within driving distance. And it’s cool to see another country with bilingual signage – English and Welsh everywhere.
If you’re willing to sit on a 2-hour train ride there (I suggest going early and snoozing on the journey out), then it’s a surprisingly easy journey. From Cardiff Central Station, it’s about a 10 minute walk up to Cardiff Castle, which is the main site to see.
I will never forget the rain. My cousin and I had bought our train tickets months in advance to get good prices, but we had the worst day possible. It was the heaviest rain I’d ever seen. And it didn’t last just an hour. It poured the whole day with only a few drier patches of lighter drizzle. Take a look at those grey skies!
We only managed to see the Castle, but the original plan was to see some of the public grounds and a cathedral which were all within walking distance. If you get a nice day, there’s plenty more to see and do, but as we only managed the castle, that’s all I can tell you about.
Cardiff is a mix of really old and newer. The keep at the top of the hill (which you can climb!) dates back to the 11th century. The rocky wall leading up to it dates back to the Romans.
The rest of the castle was transformed in the 19th century. The banquet hall is still used for meetings with heads of state (President Obama has visited). When you visit, you also get to see the library and some of the bedrooms, and you get to climb this tower too!
Around the castle is a wall which you can walk through, which was used during WWII as a shelter.
The castle has also been used for lots of filming, most recently in BBC’s Sherlock and Dr. Who.
When you visit
Aim for a sunny day. And if you can’t confirm good weather, make sure you’ve got sturdy umbrellas, a long rain coat, and a spare pair of shoes (flip flops could come in handy too!)
You may not be as lucky as us, when we stumbled across a public radiator and attempted to dry off a tiny bit… on our way back to the train station, the heavens opened yet again and everything (including shoes) got soaked so we might as well have not bothered!
I wish you good weather and clear skies if you end up visiting!