Cardiff Castle truly is the great bastion of all Welsh castles. I had been here on a couple of occasions before my latest visit and thought I knew what to expect, I was totally wrong! There is even more to see and do, than the last time I was here, and the new Caffi'r Castell is the perfect setting to break your visit before making your way downstairs to the Cardiff Castle Museum of the Welsh Soldier. Whether it's lunch you require or just a simple cake and coffee there is something on offer to satisfy any pallet. I would easily set aside three hours to see everything here within the castle, but, if you're like me and love to read everything you might want to make that four hours.
Cardiff Castle enjoys a history spanning 2000 years and sits at the heart of the city. From the arrival of the Romans in the 1st Century AD, through the Norman Conquest to lavish Victorian design - all have left their distinctive mark on the Castle for visitors to explore. The castle apartments were created in the 19th Century by eccentric architect William Burges, as a fairytale playground for the famously rich Third Marquess of Bute. Each one is lavishly decorated with intricate stained glass, imposing carved fireplaces and gilded ceilings in Gothic Revival style. The rest of the site is available for visitors to explore at their leisure. Wander through the wartime tunnels with an ARP warden and climb the impressive Norman Keep for views across the castle and city skyline. The new Interpretation Centre offers a comfortable café, an exhibition, state-of-the-art film presentation and spacious gift shop. Visitors also collect an audio guide here to discover the castle grounds, battlement walk and Norman Keep. Also worth a visit is Firing Line: Cardiff Castle Museum of the Welsh Soldier - a permanent exhibition telling the story of the 1st The Queen's Dragoon Guards and the Royal Regiment of Wales over the last 300 years in a modern and interactive environment. Cardiff Castle is open all year and guided tours of the apartments are optional .