Cardiff is the capital and largest city of Wales. It forms a principal area, officially known as the City and County of Cardiff and the city is the eleventh-largest in the United Kingdom. Located in the south-east of Wales and in the Cardiff Capital Region, Cardiff is the county town of the historic county of Glamorgan and in 1974–1996 of South Glamorgan. It belongs to the Eurocities network of the largest European cities. A small town until the early 19th century, its prominence as a port for coal when mining began in the region helped its expansion. In 1905 it was ranked as a city and in 1955 proclaimed capital of Wales. Cardiff Built-up Area covers a larger area outside the county boundary, including the towns of Dinas Powys and Penarth.
Cardiff is the main commercial centre of Wales as well as the base for the Senedd.
Cardiff is a major centre for television and film production and is the Welsh base for the main national broadcasters. Cardiff Bay contains the Senedd building (housing the Senedd, the Welsh Parliament) and the Wales Millennium Centre arts complex. Work continues at Cardiff Bay and in the centre, on projects such as Cardiff International Sports Village, BBC drama village, and a new business district.
If Wales is the ‘Land of Castles’, Cardiff must be ‘Castle Capital’. See medieval knights joust at the majestic Cardiff Castle or visit the fairy-tale Castell Coch. When it comes to sport, Cardiff is a champion. The world-famous Principality Stadium is the home of Welsh rugby and football and is also the regular venue for the British Speedway Grand Prix. Visit graceful Victorian shopping arcades, which tempt with independent shops and cafes. Just 5 minutes from the city centre is the chic Mermaid Quay—the perfect place to refuel after a busy day of sightseeing, or to relax with a romantic meal on the waterfront. Cardiff is a hugely creative city with a vibrant cultural scene. You’ll find live music in the city every night of the week at venues like Barfly, Clwb Ifor Bach and the Coal Exchange. The Welsh capital is the main jumping off point for any tour of mainland Britain’s most westerly country. Cardiff is just over 2 hours west of London by train.
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