If you're not familiar with the Cardiff Bay area of South Wales, then you may appreciate the following information. This area of the capital city of Wales is regarded as one of the most successful regeneration projects in the UK. There are a number of reasons why this particular project was so successful and why it's a hub for tourist activity today.
This waterfront area was once known as Tiger Bay and included Butetown and the Cardiff Docks. At its prime in 1913, Tiger Bay exported over ten million tons of coal. After the Great Depression, the coal exports fell to five million tons a year. The city never really recovered and although World War 2 brought new life into the area, coal exports ceased in 1964.
The Cardiff Bay Barrage, a very controversial project at the time, created a 500 acre freshwater lake. It dams the Taff and Ely Rivers, effectively ending one of the problems with Tiger Bay. One of the reasons the area had become so desolate was due to the tides. Only about two hours a day allowed for ships to come in and out. This area was eventually given the name used today; however, it certainly was not without controversy as well.
This is one of the most popular destinations in the area, as it has been completely developed into a wonderful waterfront community. With tons of shopping destinations, quaint and imaginative hotels, and some of the best pubs, bars, and other nightlife in the city, the area has certainly rebounded nicely.
It's close to many of the city's major attractions, including City Centre, Cardiff Castle, the Millennium Centre, the National Museum of Wales, and the Senedd, which houses the National Assembly of Wales. Techniquest, which is an educational science centre, Roald Dahl Plass, which is a large open amphitheater, and Mermaid Quay, the area's nightlife destination, all bring a special element to this special district of the city. You'll find many festivals and carnivals here and there is certainly something for everyone.
You'll also find a wide selection of watersport activities, a Wetland Reserve, and the Yacht Club. The International Sports Village is currently under construction and the ice rink is open through the winter months.
This great, historic city has much to offer a visitor, but you'll need a few days to see it all. Shopping is one of the favorite pastimes here, as are many of the sporting and cultural events. Plan your stay well, and you're sure to want to return again!
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