I very nearly didn't end up moving to Cardiff when I made my university choices. Originally I wanted to go to Newcastle but my mum worried about it being too far up north and too cold, and then I arrived in Cardiff for my university open day and I fell in love instantly. This September will mark my fifth year in Cardiff and so I thought I would commemorate this special anniversary by launching my new blog series highlighting my top 10 reasons to love 'The Diff'.
With this series I just want to show you some sides to Cardiff that you might not necessarily know about and to give you a tour of my adopted hometown which I really do love with all my heart. Cardiff may be small compared to other cities but it packs a big punch.
Some background notes: Cardiff is the largest city in Wales, and the tenth largest in the United Kingdom. Cardiff's motto is "Y ddraig goch ddyry cychwyn" (The red dragon will lead the way) and it is fiercely proud to be a capital. Cardiff is also home to my first reason to love Cardiff:
Smack bang in the middle of the city centre is the magnificent Cardiff Castle, supposedly commissioned by William the Conqueror or Robert Fitzhamon. It started being built in the 11th century by the Normans and during World War II air raid shelters were built in the castle walls that were able to hold up to 1,800 people. The actual castle is on a little hill surrounded by a moat. It's well worth the climb because you get some stunning views of Cardiff from it. Within the castle grounds there is also a 'main range' which I'd say is a little manor house within the castle walls. The manor is beautiful and includes the stunning Arab Room which is simply breath taking.
If you're live or work in Cardiff you can get your 'Castle Key' which is a card that allows you free access for three years to the castle and you can sometimes get discounts off events that are being held in the castle too. It's free so I can wholeheartedly recommend it! Last September the castle was host to the Cardiff Country Fair and the Cheese Festival, both are now firm fixtures in my diary! Tom Jones and the Stereophonics have played concerts here before so there's a lot going on.
I hope you're as excited about this series as I am, I hope I can open your eyes to the amazing things Cardiff has to offer and I hope you make a trip sometime soon! I'm going to also have a very special friend of mine helping me out with these posts, you won't want to miss it!