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Solo female traveler in Cardiff for first time

Aurora, Colorado
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Solo female traveler in Cardiff for first time

I've decided to take a trip to Cardiff on an upcoming trip to Europe in September. It will be my first time in Wales. I will take the train from Paddington on a Sunday and spend that afternoon and night there and return the next day. I'm wondering where I should stay and what I should see. I can't walk a lot, but would like to see the castle and take the train trip to Swansea, based on what I've read on here. Should I go to the main station in Cardiff and stay near there? Or is there a better place to stay? I'm looking for a safe hotel, mid range price wise, but I don't know what that would be. I'm not sure what else I want to see, so any suggestions would be welcome. I do like beautiful countryside and interesting sights, possibly colorful and different. Thanks for your help!!

Aurora, Colorado
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443 posts
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1. Re: Solo female traveler in Cardiff for first time

Well, after more research, I've narrowed down the hotels to the Park Plaza or the Hilton. Sounds like they are both near the castle and train station. Any other valuable info? Thanks!

Wales
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2. Re: Solo female traveler in Cardiff for first time

Hi there

If the Park Plaza and HIlton are within your price bracket, then I don't think you'll be disappointed. They're very close to each other, and to the main attractions in the city centre. Although they're walkable from Cardiff Central Station, you may be better off getting a taxi if you can't walk far, especially if you've got luggage.

Given your time limitations, I wouldn't bother with Swansea. I think you'll find enough to do and see in Cardiff, including the Castle and National Museum Cardiff (not open on Mondays, so get in before 5pm on the Sunday - admission free).

On the Monday you could fit in the open-top bus tour which will allow you to hop off/on in Cardiff Bay where you can see the Wales Millennium Centre among other things, and there's a new extension to the open top bus ticket out to the National History Museum at St Fagans where you can easily spend half a day. It'll give you just a small taste of countryside too :-)

There are plenty of places to eat in the city centre and Cardiff Bay but your hotels have decent restaurants too if you'd prefer to stay in in the evening.

Hope that helps for now ...

Cardiff
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3. Re: Solo female traveler in Cardiff for first time

If staying in Park Plaza it is probably easier to catch a train from Cardiff Central to Cardiff Queen Street and go from there, that hotek is probably within 750 yards of the station. The Hilton on the other hand is accross the road from thge castle this hotel isnn't really within walking distance of either central or queen street stations.

Alcester, United...
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4. Re: Solo female traveler in Cardiff for first time

Some great suggestions here. I would say that either hotel will be great...I would prefer the Hilton because you can actually see the castle, it also has a wonderful swimming pool (but I've not ever visited the Park Plaza). I agree with the suggestions above - I wouldn't bother with Swansea, given the short amount of time you have in the City. If you stayed in the Hilton you'd be a very short walk away from Bute Park - whilst I appreciate that you can't walk far you may like a little stroll in the park - it really is beautiful (and the thing I miss most about Cardiff).

There are some wonderful little independent cafes in the arcade opposite the castle - madame fromage is one of my favourites - you could perhaps pop in there for a light lunch after visiting the Castle.

Have a wonderful time - I'm sure you won't be disappointed with Cardiff, it's a great city!

Wales
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5. Re: Solo female traveler in Cardiff for first time

Have to disagree with you Steve.

The HIlton and Park Plaza are both on Greyfriars Road, about 30 seconds' walk from each other - it's equally easy to walk to the Hilton from Queen Street Station.

Howeve, the train from Paddington doesn't stop at Queen Street - you have to change at Cardiff Central, meaning changing platforms which isn't easy especially with luggage. I would still advise taking a taxi from Central Station, to either hotel.

Aurora, Colorado
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6. Re: Solo female traveler in Cardiff for first time

THANK YOU all! I will try to get a room at the Hilton and will take the suggestion to get a taxi there. Sounds like a wonderful place to wander and explore, I'm excited now! About Swansea...is it a truly beautiful ride there? I do love to see countryside in different countries. Is there anything you would recommend seeing there if I do go? Or do I need to go to that forum for info. Not sure what to do, but if I get an early start I would have time to venture there I think. Again, thanks for the help, it takes a bit of the worry out of my mind!

Cardiff
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7. Re: Solo female traveler in Cardiff for first time

And ther was me thinking Park Plaza used to be called Park Hotel in Park Place.

Cardiff, Wales
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8. Re: Solo female traveler in Cardiff for first time

The train ride to Swansea is very unremarkable in terms of scenery. To be honest with you, you would be far better spending TWO nights in Cardiff, and spending the Monday on one of the many organised day trips out of Cardiff into the Welsh Countryside - depending on the day of the week and the company you use, you can either go and see the beautiful Gower Peninsula, The Wye Valley or the Brecon Beacons. All are spectacular and all very different. My own tip for a firm to use is "See Wales"

Canada
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9. Re: Solo female traveler in Cardiff for first time

I think that perhaps you are confusing the train trip to Swansea with the Welcome to the Heart of Wales trips which I believe start in Swansea.

www.heart-of-wales.co.uk

Edited: 06 July 2012, 16:05
Chepstow, United...
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10. Re: Solo female traveler in Cardiff for first time

If you decide to spend any extra days in Cardiff you might consider catching the train east to Chepstow, to visit the castle there. Then you could take a local 20 minute bus ride up the scenic Wye Valley to Tintern to see/tour the ruins of the beautiful Tintern Abbey. Plenty to see and do in that area to occupy a day.