Every so often I like to have a rave about some of the great things there are to do here in Cardiff, my adopted home town.
Whether you are a fan of shopping or not, the Cardiff Arcades are a fascinating place to spend a couple of hours. Just like most town and city centres in the UK, Cardiff has all the usual high street stores on the main streets and in the newer shopping centres, but the arcades are something unique.
There are five arcades – Castle Arcade, High Street Arcade, Duke Street Arcade, Morgan Arcade and Royal Arcade. Hair salons jostle for attention next to fancy dress shops, and the amazing smells from a French restaurant will distract you while on the way to a surf shop or travel agents. If you’re looking for something to wear that no-one else has, or a gift that no-one else has thought of, the arcades are the place to come. Alternatively, just sit back and relax with a coffee or a nice meal (many different cuisines available) and gaze at the impressive architecture.
I could give you a detailed description of all the shops, past and present, in the arcades, but I don’t need to because someone has already done it for me.
Even if you’ve never been to Cardiff, or you have no intention of visiting, the Cardiff Arcades Project is worth checking out. It’s a beautiful collection of photographs and stories about boutique shops and unusual, independent businesses.