NOTE: A WAITING LIST FOR THIS PRIVATE COACH TRIP IS AVAILABLE THROUGH OUR ADDITIONAL MEETUP GROUP NAMED 'DAY TRIPS FROM LONDON'. YOU CAN JOIN OUR SECOND GROUP BY 'CLICKING HERE'. Many members from Friends in London have already joined (and many have booked their place on this trip to Cardiff).
This will not affect our regular organisation of Friends in London events, but is just an 'additional' venture for us.
While you will need to join Day Trips from London Meetup Group to RSVP and read the full details, we have provided the main event details/itinerary below:
Join us on an extended day trip to another country - Cardiff City the Capital of Wales. We've privately hired an executive coach just for our meetup group. After our visit to the thriving and cosmopolitan City Centre, the coach will also be taking us to the beautiful Cardiff Bay.
We've managed to solve the major problem associated with coach day trips from London to Cardiff. Commonly, the major drawback with organised coach trips you will find on the Internet that run to Cardiff is the fact that the travelling time is often more than the actual time spent in the city (there are understandably strict and often complicated legal restrictions on a single driver's permitted hours of work) .
However, we've managed to overcome this problem by booking two drivers and an extended booking time on the coach. This vastly increases our time in Cardiff itself to 7 1/2 hours. Yes, it'll be a long day - but it'll certainly be worth it as Cardiff is a great location.
Cardiff has been the number one day trip destination requested by group members. Travelling from London to Cardiff will take approximately three hours each way. We are very familiar with Cardiff as we're from Wales. However, we've just spent a full day in Cardiff to carefully plan this trip as the location is changing so rapidly and developing into an internationally renowned capital city.
Please note: you will need to scroll past the photographs of Cardiff below and the location description to read the very detailed itinerary and what's included in the price.
An Introduction to Cardiff:
Cardiff is the official Capital of Wales. It's a city proud of its national culture, history and language which has undergone a fascinating journey over the last 2000 years. Cardiff's rich culture has a diverse range of influences, from the Romans and Normans of antiquity to the industrial revolution and the coal industry - which transformed Cardiff from a small town into a thriving, international city. Today, innovative modern architecture is situated perfectly alongside the many historic buildings.
There are an abundance of sights to see in Cardiff - from the magnificent Edwardian civic buildings and historic Cardiff Castle, to the imposing Millennium Stadium. The National Museum Cardiff is home to one of the finest impressionist galleries outside Paris, and features works by Monet, Picasso and Rodin.
Cardiff is widely regarded as one of the best locations for shopping in the UK. The City contains the whole spectrum of shopping, with charming Edwardian and Victorian arcades and ultra-modern shopping centres.
Cardiff has a growing reputation for dining, with visitors being spoilt for choice. As well as local Welsh flavours, Cardiff has some of the UK's best international restaurants.
Cardiff is also one of the most famous sporting locations in the world. This is mainly because its world-famous Millennium stadium is situated in the heart of the city centre and the Welsh are fanatical about sport. Some of the past sporting events hosted in Cardiff include; Rugby Union World Cup, Commonwealth Games, World Rally Championship, Ashes Cricket, Rugby Football Champions League Cup, World Championship Boxing, World Speedway Championship and arguably the most famous national football club tournament in the world, the FA Cup.
In March 2004 Cardiff was designated as the world’s first Fair Trade Capital City in recognition of its support for the scheme. To gain this status Cardiff Council had to ensure that Fair Trade products are widely available in cafes, stores and supermarkets.
An Introduction to Cardiff Bay:
After our visit to Cardiff City Centre, the coach will then take us to Cardiff Bay. The Bay is a beautiful tourist area transformed through one of the world's largest regeneration projects. The Bay is now built around a 200 hectare freshwater lake which is the largest waterfront development in Europe. Cardiff Bay's main commercial centre is the very impressive and modern Mermaid Quay, packed with cafe's, shops, restaurants and bars that overlook the huge freshwater lake.
The Bay is also home to some exceptionally impressive buildings including; The National Assembly of Wales, Millennium Centre, Pier Head and Norwegian Church. Cardiff Bay is now a mecca for Doctor Who fans from around the world. The Doctor Who series is mainly filmed around Cardiff and you can spot many filming locations in Cardiff Bay.
Walking around the Bay, just taking in the sights, is a fine experience in itself.
Full Plan/Itinerary and what's included in the price:
8:30 am - Coach pick up point at Belvedere Road, Central London, SE1 7NA. This is on the road directly behind the famous London Eye. It is 5-10 minutes walk from Waterloo Underground Station (Scroll down to view both a map and photograph of the exact location). We'll be travelling to both locations by an air-conditioned/heated executive coach (included in the price). Please can everyone arrive by 8:15 am for the 8:30 am pick-up. The coach will only wait for a few minutes and we will be on our way by 8:40 am (in no circumstances can we wait any longer).
11:45 am - Approximate arrival time in Cardiff. The coach will drop us off at the coach park near the very central Cardiff Castle. As soon as we arrive we'll walk everyone past the Castle and along St Mary's Street to 'The Yard'.
12:00 until 1:20 pm - This is free time for lunch and to very briefly explore Cardiff before the guided tour begins. On past day trips the majority of members have spontaneously divided into small groups for lunch - although many prefer to explore locations by themselves.
1:20 pm until 3:00 pm - Guided Walking Tour of Cardiff (included in the price). The tour will take approximately 90 minutes. We have booked two guides for the tour. The tour meeting point will be back at 'The Yard' on St Mary's Street at 1:20 pm.
3:00 pm - The tour will end just outside 'The National Museum Cardiff'. This is only 5 minutes from the City Centre and the Castle.Then members have two choices (you can decide on the day which you would prefer):
Option 1) To visit 'The National Museum Cardiff'. This museum has free entry as it is subsidised in a similar way to London's Museums . The museum is situated in the heart of Cardiff’s elegant civic centre. Today the National Museum Cardiff houses Wales’s national art, natural history and geology collections, as well as major touring and temporary exhibitions. For further details, please scroll down and read the paragraph titled 'National Museum Cardiff'.
Option 2) To visit Cardiff Castle. Cardiff Castle is the number one attraction in Cardiff. Entrance fee is not included in the price. However, for those who want to visit, we have arranged a group discount at the price of £9 (normal price £12). We will collect the money just after the guided tour at 3pm on the day for those who want to visit. For further details, please scroll down and read the paragraph titled 'Cardiff Castle'.
Both Cardiff Castle and the National Museum require an absolute minimum of 45 - 60 minutes to visit. So afterwards members are free to continue exploring Cardiff.
5:00 pm - Everyone must meet outside the main entrance of the Castle (this location will be pointed out to you when we are walking along St Mary's Street at the start of the day). After a 5-10 minute wait we will walk back to the coach park. Then we will head for Cardiff Bay which is approximately 10-15 minutes by coach from the city centre
5:45 pm - Approximate arrival time in Cardiff Bay (we'll be parking in the main coach park which is only 5-10 minutes from the Central Bay area). When we arrive in Cardiff Bay the organisers will be taking everyone on a short 20 minute pre-planned stroll through Cardiff Bay. This will help members familiarise themselves with the location as we will only be staying here for a relatively brief visit.
After the stroll, members will then have just over an hour's free time to continue exploring the Bay (we will stop at the Main Kiosk in the Bay). Many members will also be looking for an evening meal at this time. Cardiff Bay has a wealth of places to eat - restaurants, cafe's, takeaways, kiosks etc.
7:05 pm - We will meet once again at the easily recognisable Main Kiosk in the Bay. After a maximum 5-10 minute wait we'll then make the short walk back to where the coach is parked.
7:30 pm - Return journey home by the same executive coach.
10:45 pm - Approximate arrival time in London. The coach will drop us off at Belvedere Road (the same location from where we were originally picked-up at the start of our journey).
We will be arriving back in London much later than our previous trips. However, we can easily be persuaded to go for a last drink if requested by members :-)
In the heart of the capital city is Cardiff Castle, a remarkable site with a history that spans over 2000 years. Roman soldiers slept here, noble knights held court here, and in the 19th Century the richest man in Britain transformed the Castle into a romantic Victorian fantasy.
Cardiff Castle has evolved over the centuries and is almost a living relic of the city's history. This was originally the site of a Roman Fort in the 50's AD. In the 11th Century the Normans's built on the original Roman site and their legacy can still clearly be seen in the main 'Castle Keep'. The entrance gate (or Black Tower) was added in the 13th Century.
More recently, Britain's richest man in 1868 (Lord Bute) commissioned architect William Burges to transform the castle into a Neo-Gothic palace. ‘Eccentric genius’ architect William Burges was given free rein to create the amazingly lavish and opulent interiors; each breathtaking room rich with murals, stained glass, gilding and superb craftsmanship. The castle was consequently transformed into what is often described as the "Welsh Victorian Camelot".
There are numerous areas of the the castle to explore, including; the Norman Keep, the Battlement Walk, Castle Parklands, the Wartime Shelters and a range of lavishly decorated rooms in the Castle's spectacular Victorian Apartments. There are also free audio guides available to visitors.
National Museum Cardiff:
The National Museum Cardiff is rightly regarded as amongst the best in the UK. Its art gallery contains works by notable artists such as Van Gogh, Manet, Monet, Renoir, Cezanne and Picasso, as well as paintings of famous Welshman including Dylan Thomas.
The Evolution of Wales display travels through Wales' geological history and explains through multimedia how the Welsh landscape evolved over millions of years. There is also a natural history section, with such curios as the world's largest turtle and a skeleton of a humpback whale, which were both found on Welsh shores. Entry to the museum is free and the complex also houses a cafe and restaurant.
Emergency mobile phone numbers to contact during the day :
Please take these two mobile phone numbers that you can ring during the day (please only ring if it is absolutely necessary). My number is[masked] (Martyn). My brother's number is[masked] (Terry). We will also be unable to delay the coach arrival/departure time or other planned events as we have to adhere to a tight schedule.
We can only offer this trip to adults aged 18 and over due to concerns over increased legal responsibilities that may otherwise be involved.
Included in the price:
• Privately-hired, executive return coach travel from London to Cardiff City and Cardiff Bay
• 90 minutes Private Guided Walking Tour of Cardiff
• Fully planned Day Trip with very detailed itinerary and numerous optional meeting points and activities throughout day. Event hosted by two very experienced organisers with over six years experience of hosting Meetup events.
The price doesn’t include:
• Entry into Cardiff Castle (although, as already stated above, members who decide to visit will receive a discounted price as part of our group). You can tell us on the actual day whether you want to visit Cardiff Castle and we will then collect the money at 3:00 pm. We have prearranged an 'open-number' discounted group booking (£9 instead of £12)
• Meals, drinks and personal expenses:
Pick up Location Photograph and Map below - Belvedere Road, London, SE1 7NA. Note: this location is near the London Eye (in the photo below you can see the London Eye in the background).
(Also see map link above)
Option of bringing Packed-Lunch to maximise sightseeing time:
As with any day trip, our time will inevitably be limited at our destination. Many attendees will enjoy sampling the local restaurants/cafes etc. However, sitting down, ordering and enjoying a meal does take time. Therefore, some members alternatively prefer to use the time to see as many sights as possible. If this is the case, then attendees are more than welcome to bring a packed-lunch to maximise sightseeing time. Please note though that hot food and hot drinks can not be consumed on the actual coach.
All payments are to be made online via PayPal in full if you decide to RSVP.
Please note you do not have to have a Paypal account to pay via Paypal. If you do not have a Paypal account, choose the option to 'pay with a debit or credit card' and fill in your card details, address, email etc as directed by the screen.
Please 'click here' to view an organiser's meetup group set-up with instructions and screenshots on how to pay without a Paypal account.
Payments are non-refundable unless the trip is cancelled or rescheduled. However, if you have booked on the trip and can no longer attend, we will refund your money only if the meetup is full and someone else takes your place (and pays for the place) from the waiting list. If you have booked and can no longer attend, please ensure you email me first before changing your RSVP to 'no'.
If you are interested in attending this event after reading the above details, then please 'click here' to join our Day Trips from London Meetup group (where you can book and RSVP).
In the meantime, if you have any queries then please do not hesitate to contact us by email through this website (click on my name, Martyn, and just choose the option to send an email).
Our previous day trips were a real success. We're very confident this eighth day trip will be another thoroughly enjoyable and exceptionally interesting day.
Martyn and Terry