Cardiff Castle

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Castle Street, Cardiff, United Kingdom

Cardiff Castle Reviews

Vikram Vikram
248 reviews
Make a trip to Cardiff, even if its just to see the Castle! Sep 06, 2015
There are those castles that are hyped and don't always live to your expectations, and then there are those castles one visits because, "what the heck, I'm in this town so may as well go" and then, comes out thinking "A-M-A-Z-I-N-G"! That is my 1 word description about this Castle.

Unlike other castles that one has to take trains and buses and go out of town or the outskirts to visit, Cardiff Castle is surprisingly right smack dub in the centre of the Old Town. It's almost too close, which led me to think it's probably not all that impressive (and if you read the blog entry this review is tied to, you'll know I had a less than impressive trip to Caerphilly).

About the only negative I can think of is that it was a tad expensive, but honestly, every UK attraction more or less is when you're converting it to US$. So, with that said, I bought the ticket which covered both the temporary exhibition and the Castle by itself.

The exhibition, at the basement of the ticket office was a moving tribute to Welsh soldiers and their contributions in various wars Britain has fought - WW1, WW2, Canada and India wars. There was memorabilia, mock-ups of uniforms and a whole bunch of voiceovers simulating a war environment. It was well sign posted and I was very happy.

So back to the real world, it felt like I had so many options to choose from.

- The Normal Keep shell offers some fantastic views of the museum and the adjoining park

- the reconstructed Roman walls

- The Clock tower, very ornate and is a highlight of the castle (no, you can't visit it but stand in front and take pictures)

- And then, there's the Georgian Main range, which is the "palace" of the Castle, consisting of state rooms and is home to one of the UK's most acclaimed royal rooms - the Arab Hall. There's also a huge library, two banqueting rooms and the usual splendour one associates European castles with. Brilliant.

I thought I was done and was ready to head out but the highlight was calling to me, and was a perfect way to end up my trip - the air raid shelters.

This had to be the highlight. It turns out that this was actually actively used during the war, and has today been turned into a tourist area - visitors can walk along the long tunnel that has still retained some of the old posters and a mock-up of a kitchen and other areas where food was provided. I have to admit, whilst this didn't compare to the War experience attraction in London, it had its own charm. I got a kick reading some of the posters!

I went in to the Castle thinking I'd be here for no more than an hour, I ended up spending two!
The fabulously appointed Arab Room
Outside the Norman Keep
Close up of Norman Keep
Part of the exhibition showcasing …
2 / 2 TravBuddies found this review helpful/trustworthy
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joseph98 says:
It's a great castle, no doubt - combines Victorian romanticism with medieval ruggedness beautifully :-)
Posted on: Nov 22, 2015
Cho says:
Although I was in the UK multiple times I never made it to Wales (only England). I regret it now. Well, I suppose there's still time. Thanks for sharing.
Posted on: Nov 10, 2015
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mewall21 mewall21
7 reviews
Clearly Cardiff Castle Oct 28, 2014
I visited Cardiff Castle in Cardiff, Wales on a cold wet day. In fact it was pouring rain, practically non-stop. However, the rain seemed to add to the mood environment.

I walked about the castle grounds and found the descriptions throughout the complex to be quite informative and thorough.

The detailing of the castle decor was absolutely stunning and well preserved.

As a tip: be mindful of walking up and down the castle stairs when it rains...I slipped on the stairs - thankfully for my friend to caught me before anything dangerous happened!
Cardiff Castle Wall
Entrance
Amusing cartoon
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SamsTravels SamsTrav…
56 reviews
A bit on a non event! Jan 10, 2011
I love castles and everything they have to offer, history, architecture and mystery!! But I have to stay that I was a bit disappointed with Cardiff Castle and felt it lacked so much.

Upon paying the ridiculous price of £11.00pp for a standard (no tour) ticket I walked through the gates and declared my ticket to a gentleman who seemed to pop up out of nowhere.

He very politely pointed me to the direction of the café and other on site gift shop and prompted me to get a FREE audio hand held to take round the grounds of castle, which would provide me with information about history of the castle etc (this I think would have been nice to have been told when purchasing my tickets)

I decided that this would be a good idea and got the audio phone and FREE map!! When walking outside I realised that actually I had no idea where I was going and nothing was actually signposted which was a bit annoying! I was also told there was no particular way round to listen to it so wandered off assuming I would find a number of boards to prompt the use of the handset. There were few boards and those usually had exactly the same information, though the numbers on the board did not always match to the tour. There is no commentary when you enter the main castle building and whilst the rooms you do see are spectacular there is so much of the castle you do not get to see because it has been roped off :0(

I decided walk towards the keep on the outward wall which was by far my favourite bit of the castle. I wandered down the dark 'wartime tunnels' and listened to my audio… it was very interesting. Again it would have been nice to have signs and plaques along the tunnel to explain things but as mentioned this was one area that was lacking throughout. (Please Cardiff Castle consider putting some photos of the period, props or audio commentaries in there)

There is also a huge stately house on the grounds which is very grand indeed, I however was denied access due to having a back pack on! Ok slight problem…. Don’t most visitors particularly the ones who “backpack” always have one on??? This I think needs to be addressed. My advice.. take a carrier bag in and put your pack inside this when looking inside.

The actual castle itself as in the main structure again looks more amazing that is actually is. Firstly you have to climb very steep stairs indeed to reach the entrance, if you have any disability at all, I think this may be rather challenging and in some cases impossible. Also once you get to the entrance you quickly realise that in reality it’s more of a shell and doesn’t have anything inside it. You can climb the ever so steep stairs to an upper level which does provide fantastic views of Cardiff, this was the highlight of the visit.

Overall it was a very disappointing visit, it’s overpriced and you really don’t get anything much for your money. My advice would be to stand at the entrance for a quick snap and go to the FREE Museum instead, its much better!!
1 / 1 TravBuddies found this review helpful/trustworthy
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HelenP says:
I think that you would have liked Caerphilly castle much better for £4
http://www.travbuddy.com/Caerphilly-Castle-v809475#16
helen P
Posted on: Aug 30, 2012
jdennis474 jdennis4…
7 reviews
cardiff castle Aug 07, 2011
I went into cardiff castle and i thought it was ok not much to see and the audio guides wernt very informative it was pritty expensive to enter even for a student i thought they could have offered tours every hour but it was like every 3 hours the underground tunnels were cool but alot of walking seeing its cardiff main attraction i didnt find it interesting
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cotterb cotterb
71 reviews
No Knights here May 27, 2008
The Cardiff Castle is well maintained and accessible. The incredibly knowledgeable and humorous guide made the tour interesting and worthwhile. The castle is actually a summer home which was disappointing to me because I have always viewed castles as the home of kings, and the centerpiece of battles. I expected stories of dames in distress rescued by heroes.

Despite the castle not meeting my expectations it was interesting all the same. The cost wasn't bad and the tour is worth attending. Admission includes the tour which is the only way to see the interior of the castle. Farther into the castle courtyard is the dungeon which has stairs to get you high above the city.
1 / 1 TravBuddies found this review helpful/trustworthy
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ctjevans ctjevans
13 reviews
Cardiff Castle Aug 11, 2002
Having rode the train from Bristol England, I had a brief, but pleasant jaunt to Cardiff Castle. The castle is small and not all that much to look at, but it's atop a round hill and offers some satisfying vistas of the surroundings. From the castle, it's about a 40-minute train ride to Pembroke station where you can catch a ferry to Ireland.

Wales seems to be a quiet country, save for the ruckus of football hooligans when a game is in town. There are lots of pasture lands and grazing sheep to be seen, but not a lot else, so Cardiff Castle is a worthy stop if you're passing through.

I can't recall if there was an entrance fee, but I'm sure it was cheap if not free.
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