Day trip - London to Cardiff

Is it feasible to take a day trip to Cardiff from London? I see that the train is about 2 hrs each way, so we'd theoretically have 6-7 hours there.

Posted by Toni
Charlotte, NC, USA
2846 posts

We really enjoy going to Cardiff for the day. Lots of great shopping- from market stalls in an old converted church, to name department stores and malls to unique shops in old Victorian shopping arcades (the Victorian version of malls- lol). It is a very walkable city and the food is excellent. You catch the train at Paddington Station- probably want to try to get advance discount tickets unless you are using a BritRail pass. If you want, you can go down to the harbor. I understand that they have done a total renovation and it is very nice. The new soccer stadium is well-known and does tours if you are into that. There is a small, not too great, but not too bad either, castle in the center of town.

Posted by Brian
Los Angeles, California
1986 posts

Do you really need to go to Cardiff? Its way down on my list of places to see again? York, salisbury, Canterbury are all easy to get to with loads of places to see.

Posted by Chip
Tipton, Iowa
329 posts

I did the day trip in 2008, enjoying the train ride as a break from being on my feet throughout the rest of my London trip. I walked from the train station to the castle, stopping at the Cottage pub for a pint of Brain's. The castle audio guide and live guide were good, although it is not the most interesting castle. I continued on to the National Museum and Art Gallery and took a bus to Cardiff Bay. Nicely developed and recognizable to Doctor Who/Torchwood fans. I would have had a better time if it had not been pouring down rain for much of the day. I should have gone to York instead. Next trip.

Posted by Terri
Seattle, Washington, USA
28 posts

Those all sound wonderful, but this trip we told our kid we would take him there because he (and we) are Dr. Who fans. We were originally thinking of staying overnight in Cardiff, but this confirms that a day trip is the way to do it.

Posted by Cindy
Guthrie, OK
251 posts

Terri,
My husband and I are Dr. Who fans also! We are flying to the UK in September with stops in London and Edinburgh. We were thinking of taking a day trip to Cardiff but timewise just couldn't fit it in. I don't want to cut London short. There is a Dr. Who London tour. I have seen it online - you might check it out. I don't know if it would be as good as the Cardiff one since that is actually where they film the series. I hope you get to go!

Posted by Terri
Seattle, Washington, USA
28 posts

Cindy, That is very cool. I didn't know there was a Dr. Who London tour. We'll definitely check it out! Thanks--
Terri

Posted by Paul
Tuscaloosa, AL
877 posts

Terri, we went to the Doctor Who Experience in London in December. That BBC exhibit (or entertainment thing) is moving to Cardiff soon or has already moved. If your child is a fan, it is well worth the visit. (Do a google search for it and you'll learn more.) Haven't taken one of the Doctor Who tours in either London or Cardiff but I'd bet they are fun. If you are a fan of the new Sherlock BBC series, it also is filmed mostly in Cardiff. If you aren't familiar, it is the Sherlock Holmes stories set in current day London. Really well done.

Posted by Terri
Seattle, Washington, USA
28 posts

Paul,
Thanks, great info. We are sure hoping the Dr. Who museum will be open in Cardiff when we are there. I think it was being renovated or something. We have seen the first series of Sherlock (fantastic!). I had no idea it was filmed in Cardiff. Terri

Posted by Paul
Tuscaloosa, AL
877 posts

Terri, the second series of Sherlock episodes played in the U.K. in January. They are set to run on PBS in May. The first one, A Scandal in Belgravia, was so intense and so fast paced, the common comment at the end among the folks I was with was, "wow." There is some debate now about exactly what happened in the last episode, The Reichenbach Fall. The same team that has been doing Doctor Who for the past few seasons is also behind Sherlock. One of them, Mark Gatiss, plays Mycroft Holmes on the show.

Posted by Terri
Seattle, Washington, USA
28 posts

I forgot that it was the same folks behind the two shows. I am looking forward to it.