Cardiff is the capital and biggest city of Wales, as well as the United Kingdom’s tenth largest city. The city serves as the country’s main economic hub, as well as the home of most of the country’s cultural and sports institutions, as well as the Welsh national media and the National Assembly for Wales. The population of the unitary authority area was predicted to be 346,100 in mid-2011, whereas the population of the Larger Urban Zone was expected to be 861,400 in 2009. With a population estimate of about 1,100,000 people in mid-2011, the Cardiff metropolitan region accounts for more than a third of Wales’ total population. With 18.3 million visitors in 2010, Cardiff is a big tourist attraction and the most popular visiting destination in Wales. Cardiff was listed sixth in the world among alternative tourism destinations by National Geographic in 2011.
Cardiff is the county town of Glamorgan, a historic county in Wales (and later South Glamorgan). Cardiff is a member of the Eurocities network of Europe’s major cities. The Cardiff Urban Area, which includes the towns of Dinas Powys and Penarth, is somewhat bigger than the county line. Until the early nineteenth century, it was a little town, but its importance as a significant port for the transportation of coal after the development of industry in the area led to its growth into a large metropolis.
In 1905, Cardiff was designated as a city, and in 1955, it was named the capital of Wales. Cardiff has seen tremendous transformation during the 1980s. The Senedd building, which houses the Welsh Assembly and the Wales Millennium Centre arts complex, is part of a new waterfront area in Cardiff Bay. Current initiatives include the Cardiff International Sports Village, a BBC drama village, and a new commercial district in the city center, as well as the continuing of the reconstruction of the Cardiff Bay and city centre regions.
The Millennium Stadium (home of the Wales national rugby union team), SWALEC Stadium (home of Glamorgan County Cricket Club), Cardiff City Stadium (home of Cardiff City football team), Cardiff International Sports Stadium (home of Cardiff Amateur Athletic Club), and Cardiff Arms Park are among the city’s sporting venues (the home ofCardiff Blues and Cardiff RFC rugby union teams). Due to its importance in hosting important international athletic events, the city has been named European City of Sport twice: first in 2009 and again in 2014. During the 2012 Summer Olympics, the Millennium Stadium held 11 football matches, including the opening ceremony and the men’s bronze medal match.
Cardiff – Info Card
|POPULATION :||• City & County 346,100|
• Urban 447,287
• Metro 1,097,000
|FOUNDED :||City status 1905|
|TIME ZONE :||• Time zone GMT (UTC0)|
• Summer (DST) BST (UTC+1)
|AREA :||• City & County 140.3 km2 (54.2 sq mi)|
• Urban 75.72 km2 (29.24 sq mi)
|COORDINATES :||51°29′N 3°11′W|
|SEX RATIO :||• Male: 49.3%|
• Female: 50.7%
|ETHNIC :||84.7% White (80.3% White British)|
2.9% Mixed Race
|AREA CODE :||029|
|POSTAL CODE :||CF|
|DIALING CODE :||+44 29|
Tourism in Cardiff
Cardiff (Welsh: Caerdydd) is the capital of Wales, and it is located on the country’s south coast. Cardiff has evolved drastically in recent decades, despite its status as an industrial city. It is today a vibrant and sophisticated capital city that is gaining appeal among visitors interested in Welsh culture and history. It is gradually becoming one of the most popular tourist destinations in the United Kingdom. Summer is by far the greatest season to come since the city stages huge festivals, and thanks to extensive stretches of pedestrianisation, al fresco eating and drinking is becoming more popular. Over the previous decade, the city center has undergone significant transformation and is currently regarded as one of the top 10 retail locations in the United Kingdom. Cardiff is a highly green city, with the most green space per person in the UK, and Bute Park, which is located in the centre of the city, adds to this. It is known as the “City of Castles” because it is surrounded by five separate castles. The city’s core population is about 341,000 people, with an additional 861,000 people residing in the surrounding metropolitan region.
Cardiff is located on the south coast of the South Wales plain, with a Bristol Channel beachfront. It is located at the confluence of three rivers: the Taff, the Ely, and the Rhymney, the latter of which flows through the city center and all three of which meet at Cardiff Bay. Cardiff is a relatively flat city, which has helped it become one of the world’s most important ports for coal transit from the rocky south Wales Valleys.
Cardiff has a Welsh-speaking population of around 12%, and all public signage in the city are bilingual (Welsh and English). However, like in the rest of Wales, English is widely spoken.
The city heart of Cardiff is located in the southern part of the city, just north of Cardiff Bay. It is historically centered around the castle, and is bordered to the north by the ancient civic centre, enormous Bute park arboretum, and university buildings, to the west by the River Taff, and to the east and south by the Valleys and National rail lines. However, in recent years, growth has pushed the city center beyond these limits, particularly in terms of commercial office and residential space. The region south of the historic city core, up to and including Cardiff Bay, has been almost entirely renovated.
Cardiff’s festivals are becoming more important in the city’s growth as a major tourist destination. Because the majority of them are focused during the summer months, it is best to visit around that time to ensure that you get to see all the sights as well as the festivals. Cardiff, unlike Edinburgh, is still reasonably priced throughout the summer months, making it suitable for people who don’t want to go all out!
WHEN TO GO
Cardiff is best visited between late spring and early fall, when the mild weather adds to the city’s joys and enables visitors to see all of the city’s sights and districts. Although the city has temperate weather throughout the year, it, like all of Wales, experiences significant rainfall, particularly in the winter.
Climate of Cardiff
Cardiff is located in the north temperate zone and has a mostly marine climate (Köppen: Cfb), with warm weather that is often gloomy, damp, and windy. Summers are hot and sunny, with typical maximum temperatures ranging from 19 to 22 degrees Celsius (66 to 72 degrees Fahrenheit). Winters are often damp, although rainfall is seldom extreme, and temperatures are normally above freezing. Spring and fall have a similar feel to them, with temperatures averaging over 14 °C (57 °F), which is also the average yearly daytime temperature. Rain may fall at any time of year, however showers are usually shorter in the summer.
The Garth (Welsh:Mynydd y Garth), approximately 7 miles (11 km) north west of Cardiff city centre (height 1,007 feet (307 m)) is colder and wetter than the city center due to its higher elevation and inland location.
Cardiff’s average monthly maximum and lowest temperatures are 21.5 °C (70.7 °F) in July and 2.1 °C (35.8 °F) in August (February).
Temperatures in Wales average 19.1 °C (66.4 °F) in July and 1.1 °C (34.0 °F) in August (February).
HOURS OF SUNSHINE
In an average year, Cardiff receives 1518 hours of sunlight (Wales 1388.7 hours). Cardiff has the most sunshine in July, with an average of 203.4 hours (Wales 183.3 hours), and the least sunshine in December, with 44.6 hours (Wales 38.5 hours).
Cardiff receives less rain than the rest of Wales on average. Cardiff receives rain on 146 days per year on average, with a total annual rainfall of 1,111.7 mm (43.77 in). The monthly rainfall pattern reveals that average monthly rainfall in Cardiff surpassed 100 millimetres (3.9 in) every month from September to January, with December being the wettest month with 128 mm (5.0 in). April through July are the driest months in Cardiff, with average monthly rainfall ranging between 60.5 and 65.9 mm (2.38 and 2.59 in).
Geography of Cardiff
Cardiff’s central area is rather level, with hills on the periphery to the east, north, and west. Its location, particularly its closeness and ease of access to the coal resources of the south Wales valleys, played a role in its emergence as the world’s biggest coal port. Garth Hill, at 307 meters (1,007 ft) above sea level, is the authority’s highest point.
Cardiff is constructed on reclaimed marshland on a bed of Triassic stones, stretching from Chepstow to the Ely Estuary, which serves as the natural border between Cardiff and the Vale of Glamorgan. Triassic landscapes in this region of the globe are often shallow and low-lying, which accounts for and explains Cardiff’s flatness. The traditional Triassic marl, sand, and conglomerate rocks are primarily utilized as construction materials in Cardiff. Many of these Triassic rocks, particularly the coastal marl found near Penarth, have a purple hue. The “Radyr Stone,” a freestone mined in the Radyr region as its name indicates, is one of the Triassic rocks utilized in Cardiff. Cardiff has also imported construction materials from the Brecon Beacons, such as Devonian sandstones (the Old Red Sandstone). The structures in Cathays Park, the city’s civic center, are noteworthy for being constructed of Portland stone imported from Dorset. The Vale of Glamorgan’s yellow-grey Liassic limestone rock, which includes the very uncommon “Sutton Stone,” a conglomerate of lias limestone and carboniferous limestone, is an extensively used construction stone in Cardiff.
To the west, the Vale of Glamorgan rural district—also known as The Garden of Cardiff—to the east, the city of Newport, to the north, the South Wales Valleys, and to the south, the Severn Estuary and Bristol Channel. The River Taff runs through the heart of the city and merges with the River Ely to form Cardiff Bay, a freshwater lake. The Rhymney, a third river, passes past the city’s east end, right into the Severn Estuary.
Cardiff is near the Glamorgan Heritage Coast, which stretches westward from Cardiff’s commuter towns of Penarth and Barry and has striped yellow-blue Jurassic limestone cliffs. The Jurassic (blue lias) geology of the Glamorgan coast is the only area of the Celtic Sea that has been exposed. This treacherous section of shore, which has reefs, sandbanks, and serrated cliffs, was a ship graveyard during the industrial period; many ships going up to Cardiff were wrecked along this treacherous coastline during west/south-westerly gales. As a result, smuggling, purposeful shipwrecking, and ship assaults were prevalent.
Economy of Cardiff
Cardiff, being Wales’ capital city, is the Welsh economy’s key development engine. Despite accounting for just around 10% of the Welsh population, Cardiff’s economy accounts for over 20% of Welsh GDP, and 40% of the city’s workforce is made up of daily in-commuters from the surrounding south Wales region.
For ages, industry has played an important role in the development of Cardiff. The need for coal needed to make iron and subsequently steel, which was delivered to the sea by packhorse from Merthyr Tydfil, was the key driver for its development from a little town to a huge metropolis. The first step was the building of a 25-mile (40-kilometer) canal between Merthyr (510 feet above sea level) with Cardiff’s Taff Estuary. The Taff Vale Railway eventually replaced the canal boats, and enormous marshalling yards came up as new ports were built in Cardiff, all in response to the rising global demand for coal from the South Wales valleys.
Cardiff’s port region, known as Tiger Bay, was once the world’s busiest port and, for a time, the world’s most significant coal port. More than 10 million tonnes of coal were shipped yearly from Cardiff Docks in the years leading up to the First World War. Cardiff’s Coal Exchange hosted the first million-pound Sterling corporate transaction in 1907. Cardiff’s port has begun to recover after a period of decline, with over 3 million tonnes of goods passing through the docks in 2007.
Cardiff is now Wales’ primary financial and business services center, and as a result, finance and business services play a significant role in the local economy. Since 1991, this sector, together with the Public Administration, Education, and Health sectors, has contributed for over 75% of Cardiff’s economic growth. In the fDi magazine’s 2008 Cities of the Future ranking, the city was rated seventh overall in the top 50 European cities, as well as seventh in terms of attracting foreign investment. Legal & General, Admiral Insurance, HBOS, Zurich, ING Direct, The AA,Principality Building Society, 118118, British Gas, Brains, SWALEC Energy, and BT all have large national or regional headquarters and contact centers in Cardiff, some of which are housed in the city’s office towers like Capital Tower and Brunel House. NHS Wales and the National Assembly for Wales are two more big employers in Wales. Cardiff was designated as a Fairtrade City on March 1, 2004.
Cardiff is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the United Kingdom, with 18.3 million visitors in 2010 and an economic impact of £852 million. As a consequence, one in every five jobs in Cardiff works in the distribution, hotels, and restaurants sectors, showing the city’s increasing retail and tourist businesses. In the city, there are over 9,000 available bed spaces in a variety of hotels of all sizes and qualities.
Cardiff is home to the Welsh media and a substantial media industry, including studios in the city belonging to BBC Wales, S4C, and ITV Wales.
There is a substantial independent TV production industry sector in particular, with over 600 enterprises employing over 6000 people and a revenue of around £350 million.
Valleywood, the first entirely new film studios in the UK in 30 years, is being erected just north of the city in Rhondda Cynon Taff. The studios are expected to be the largest in the United Kingdom. The BBC has announced plans to establish new studios in Cardiff Bay to shoot dramas such as Casualty and Doctor Who, with the goal of doubling the city’s media production by 2016.
Cardiff has a number of redevelopment projects underway, including the St David’s 2 Centre and adjacent sections of the city center, as well as the £1.4 billion International Sports Village in Cardiff Bay, which was used during the London 2012 Olympics. The Cardiff International Pool, which inaugurated on January 12, 2008, is Wales’ first Olympic-standard swimming pool.
According to the Welsh Rugby Union, the Millennium Stadium has provided £1 billion to the Welsh economy in the 10 years since it first opened (1999), with around 85% of that income remaining in the Cardiff region.