A Great Trip to Cardiff, Bristol, and Bath!

Holding up the Norman keep in Cardiff Castle

Hey Everyone,

This Easter Break I was able to get some UK traveling in. My flatmate, Benjamin Moody, from Northern Virginia and I went for a trip to Cardiff, Bristol and Bath! He and I really wanted to try and see more of the UK since we’ve been staying here. So from the 14th to the 15th of April we had an awesome time venturing around these three cities.

The trip began bright and early on the 14th. We woke up around 5am in order to make it to the airport and get on our 8:15 flight to Bristol Airport. Once we arrived there we took a bus ride to Cardiff, Wales. So he and I have officially finished the British Isles, now that we’ve been to every country in the United Kingdom. In Cardiff we went to visit Cardiff Castle which was partially the remains of a Roman fort and Norman Motte and Bailey fortification, and then partially a reconstruction from the late 19th Century. It was a beautiful sunny day and when we were touring the inner parts of the castle we stumbled in an area that we found out later was not open to the public. The prevention rope had been lowered when we came across the entrance so we had no idea we couldn’t go upstairs. We only realized this wasn’t part of the tour when we started seeing rooms with file cabinets haha! Then when we returned downstairs we saw this rope had been put up, and we had to explain to the guard that this rope was not up before we came here. Haha, us making trouble all the way in Wales! After the Castle visit, we went to the National Museum in Cardiff and saw Welsh art and natural history, then for the rest of our time we roamed around the city getting lunch and seeing the sites. The last part of our visit there was when we stopped into a pub and a Cardiff native came up to us and spoke to us for a while. He was a real pleasant chap!

Chilling on the battlements of Cardiff Castle

The beautiful interior of Cardiff Castle

While mistakenly walking through forbidden parts of Cardiff Castle. This is when we knew this was not part of the tour! A files room?

The Grand Dining Hall Cardiff Castle

Walking down the main street in Cardiff

Bowing to our predecessors as they bow to us! In the National Museum of Cardiff

Me and my flat mate Ben, with our Cardiff native friend in the middle that we met at the pub

That afternoon came the bus ride to the city of Bristol. This city, as Ben and I came to see it, was a very college town. Everyone seemed young and in there uni years, crews were kayaking down the wide river Avon that cuts through Bristol, loads of students were jogging and biking, and the restaurants and cafes were packed. The sunset on the Boardwalk along the river was amazingly nice. We tried to hit up some places before the sun went down, like St. Mary Redcliffe Cathedral and just walking around the city. But walking along the water was a wonderful site. We ate at this small Tapas restaurant and got this great and very European spread of sliced meat. When the sun finally fell we continued walking around the city and got to our hilarious hostel called “Rock ‘n’ Bowl.” For a cheap hostel it really was a nice one. Filled with young people, not too grimy as some hostels can get, a free Arcade game called Galaxia which Ben and I loved, and a downstairs club and bowling alley. So after coming back from a bar that night we did our share of bowling and when we went to sleep we had were stuck with that crazy base music below us that vibrated the rooms. Haha but all together a fun experience.

Kayakers down the Avon in Bristol

The cozy Tapas food place we ate at on the boardwalk

Our very European Tapas pread of sliced meat on the boardwalk

Our hostel in Bristol

Bowling at our hostel in Bristol

Inside the huge Bristol Cathedral

The cosy sandwich place in Bristol

The next morning we woke up in Bristol, and walked to the Bristol Cathedral, which was absolutely massive, and we got breakfast at this cosy little sandwich shop. Once we took the bus ride and arrived in Bath we met with 70 degree weather, perfect sun, and a cool breeze (and yes, I was surprised too that that type of weather exists in the UK). In Bath we had about 10 hours so we went to King’s Circus, the Royal Crescent, the Theatre Royal, Victoria Park, The Holburne museum, the famous Bath Abbey and stumbled across the city centre like 12 times throughout the day, and we saw the magnificent Roman Baths. Because of how it looked in pictures, I thought we’d only see that one bath, but there was so much more offered there to see. There were multiple Bath areas, changing rooms, saunas, the remains of the temple of Solis Minerva, we saw her sacred pool, and the head of her statue. It was a wonderfully organised museum, easily navigated, and you felt like you were able to see everything. The best part for me was seeing and walking on the same floor that ancient Romans would have walked on almost 2,000 years ago, plus being able to experience first-hand what I have been studying in my Roman Empire course this semester. But if you ever go to England, not even just Bath, I would have to recommend the Roman Baths they are a wonderful destination to see.

Bath Abbey in Bath!

At the Roman Baths with Bath Abbey behind it

There se is, the Roman goddess, Solis Minerva

The Roman Baths

My friend Ben and I at the Royal Crescent in Bath

The city didn’t look as modern as Cardiff and especially Bristol did, which was something I liked, it definitely had its own feel. Benjamin and I found we had loads of time in Bath and we roamed around everywhere in the city and a few pubs too, and we were able to gain a full look and feel of the city. At this one pub we stayed at we drank the popular locally brewed Abbey Ales, named for the famous Abbey we visited in Bath, and we spent a good almost 2 hours there relaxing enjoying the sun from the window and some chips (French fries).

The awesome pub in Bath that we spent like 2 hours in

While waling around Bath

All in all, what we thought would have been a power packed and rushed two days, became a relaxing and calm time where we saw a lot more than we had hoped. Another tip for you travellers: I found that the harder and more precise I planned my trip with my friend the more time we found we had to relax and to just roam around the city! So plan your trips well, because it is figuring out what to do while already in the city that wastes time, but also if you have a power packed schedule make sure you put in enough time to relax and just to roam, because that becomes the most special and unique part of the trip.

Cheers to you all, and good luck traveling,

Alexio

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