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PEASE NOTE: These routes are now several years old and details are likely to have changed. For more up to date suggestions, please see the more recent collection of leaflets. If you wish to attempt this route, comments made by previous walkers at the foot of the page may be helpful.
OS map view

Cardiff Bay and Wetlands

The walk features include: a 200 hectare freshwater lake created by the construction of Cardiff Barrage; buildings old and new that have been refurbished/purpose built to meet the commercial, cultural, leisure and residential demands being made on the Bay; oodles of public art; a riverside park; and a Wetlands Reserve ideal for detoxing from modern-day life pressures. Though a short walk do allow yourself sufficient time as there are more watering holes and places of interest to visit than you'd care to wave a stick at!
A more up to date description of this route is available in our walks leaflet series.

Distance: 5 km (3 miles)
Difficulty: Easy
Start Point: Wales Millennium Centre, Cardiff Bay [Grid Ref ST192746 ]
Maps: Landranger 171, Explorer 151

Getting there from Cardiff Central:
by bus: Cardiff Bus operates regular services to the Bay including the No 6 Baycar (a bendy-bus). Other services: No 1; No 7; No 8; No.35.
by train: regular services to Cardiff Bay station from Cardiff Queen Street station


With your back to the Wales Millennium Centre (www.wmc.org.uk) and facing the Oval Basin and the steel Tower that figured in the TV series Torchwood, turn Right and Right again on reaching the road. Go Straight ahead to Roath Basin, passing the offices of the National Assembly for Wales on your right.

On reaching Roath Basin turn Right and head towards: Lightship 2000 (www.lightship2000.co.uk); Cardiff Bay Visitor Centre (www.visitcardiff.com/About-Cardiff/Visitor-Centre.html); and the Norwegian Church Arts Centre & Coffee Shop. After visiting any or all of these establishments and viewing the bay from the railings, turn Right keeping to the path that hugs the waterfront.

On route to next viewpoint at the dock gates end of Dry Dock/Graving Dock 1 you'll pass: The Senedd (National Assembly) (www.assemblywales.org) and Pierhead Building on your right - visitors welcomed, but airport type security applied on entry; a Celtic Ring marking the start of the Taff Trail to Brecon (www.ramblers.org.uk/info/paths/taff.html); river and bay boat trip operators; and Harry Ramsden's on your right.

At Dry Dock/Graving Doc 1 viewpoint turn and head for the rear of Techniquest (www.techniquest.org/start/). Follow signpost directions to the Wetlands Reserve.

Keeping to the path overlooking the water's edge you'll come to a broadwalk that goes down and around St David's Hotel. The path then continues to the Wetlands Reserve entrance.

Note: Steps prevent wheelchair and pushchair users from using the path around St David's Hotel. At wall of steps alongside the Pump House they'll need to turn Right and go straight ahead to the Wetlands Reserve through a car park.

Enter the Wetlands Reserve, which has several information boards, and follow the gravel path to the walkway to the left of Cardiff Yacht Club that takes you to a viewpoint a little way into the bay.

Retrace your steps on the walkway and turn Left when back on "dry land". Pass the entrance to Cardiff Yacht Club on your left and head down the path that leads beneath the elevated road. Take side kissing gate to enter HMS Hamadryad Park. Follow path that veers left with stone wall on your left. Continue on path to walk alongside the River Taff.

Where the path widens between a stone wall and railings, turn Right and go straight ahead to a gate in the corner. Exit Hamadryad Park and follow path to pass the children's play area on your left. Continue on path going Right and Forward, heading towards Mermaid Quay Shopping Centre and the Pierhead Building that can be seen straight ahead. Once in the shopping zone, you're entering familiar territory and need only cross the bridge near the Pierhead Building to return to the Wales Millennium Centre on your left.


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