Oliver is…

He that hath a beard is more than a youth, and he that hath no beard is less than a man

…done with Cardiff

With a couple of weeks left in the UK, and a few of those days booked in London for a gig, it seemed like a good time to explore a bit of the south of the mainland. I’d only been to Cardiff a couple of times before, but it was a city that had left a good impression.


There’s something about the way it’s laid out that makes it seem so different to other British cities, and other Welsh places I’ve seen. It has a quaint old town feel to it but its wide, wide roads and pavements that fit a dozen abreast give it a roomy feeling that not many other places in the UK have, instead it seems like it would be more at home somewhere on the continent.


Cardiff’s old town centre is a bit similar to Inverness, but the castle and the cool animal wall (for some reason I don’t have a photo: it’s a wall that has sculptures of different animals along it, some seemingly trying to climb over it etc) give it a whole different look, as do the approaches into the city. By the water there’s a pliss (?) dedicated to Roald Dahl and not far from there is a shrine to another literary legend, Ianto Jones. Ianto, the dedications informed me, is a fictional character who many believe was killed off from Torchwood too soon. Dr Who was filmed in Cardiff, see? There’s a huge exhibit dedicated to him — the outside of the building looks horrific. I think this was originally filmed in Bristol and the moved over, but I might be thinking of Holby City isntead. And Torchwood was a spinoff that I guess wasn’t as good because no one seems to care about it. Apart from at this shrine.


Walk along the waterfront a few minutes from Ianto’s shrine and suddenly you’re out of the city and into a huge wetlands, something that hopefully won’t be demolished for high rises or a shopping centre any time soon.

I also had lunch on a boat, which was pretty cool.


It’s great that Cardiff’s so different, and I love that almost every sign in the country has the Welsh word for whatever’s being signposted, and isn’t it wonderful that Wales has a traditional sausage that’s meat-free? Again, if I ever do a big trip round the UK I’ll want to explore a lot more of this country. I’ve never been to Norn Iron at all, and I’ve only spent a few days in Ireland, so there’s something else to put right.




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One Response

  1. Dave says:

    Dr Who has always been at Cardiff since its relaunch in ’05, but I think they just film in unremarkable grotty studios with occasional grotty council flat exteriors, and then go to London sometimes because the Americans like that.

    It’s good that you wrote it ‘Dr Who’ rather than in the correct, unabbreviated form, because that annoys a certain type of people who deserve to be annoyed, and it’s even better when you do it deliberately. They like it even more when you call the character ‘Dr Who’ as well. Same goes for that Dr Spock from Star Wars.

    Torchwood was daft.

    (Not been to Cardiff).

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