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“Great tour of castle” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Cardiff Castle

Cardiff Castle
Castle St., Cardiff CF10 3RB, Wales (Cathays)
029-2087-8100
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Top Rated
$19*
and up
Cardiff City Hop-on Hop-off Tour
Ranked #14 of 59 Attractions in Cardiff
Type: Castles, Cultural
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Attraction details
Owner description: Beautifully ornate pleasure palace built by the Victorian architect William Burges.
Exmouth, United Kingdom
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
3 attraction reviews
“Great tour of castle”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 9, 2014

Went on a premium guided tour with Tony our guide and he made the tour really interesting. Lovely rooms with lots and lots of history which made the tour worth every penny.

Visited February 2014
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New York City, New York
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
5 attraction reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
“Fantastic Castle with an Interesting History”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 9, 2014

We were only in Cardiff one day, and showed up at Cardiff Castle late in the afternoon. We had misread the closing times and though it closed at least an hour later than it did. Fortunately, the Castle has the nicest staff who took pity on us and let us in, even though it was close to dark.

The Castle does a great job of showing how it was used during different points in its 2000-year history. The Norman Keep provides great views of the city, the WWII air-raid shelter plays music and speeches of the era over speakers to make you feel like you've been transported through time, and the main house is a lavish example of Victorian decoration.

Even though we were late, the staff arranged a last minute tour of the House for the two of us. Our guide was really animated and knew so much about the history of the house and the family who built it in the 19th century. We were astounded by how thorough the tour was, even though we it was shortened. The murals on the ceiling of the dining room are not to be missed and the Arab Room is breathtaking.

Overall, our time at Cardiff Castle was a highlight of our trip. The staff was lovely and the history of the Castle was fascinating.

Visited December 2013
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Basingstoke, United Kingdom
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
3 attraction reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
“A quality reconstruction”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 8, 2014

Very informative, allow enough time to go around everything. When the Roman Walls were discovered, the site's history went back a thousand years further than previously believed with the Normans. The external walls of the Roman fort were reconstructed about a century ago using the best knowledge at the time, and it is fair to evaluate this in this light, remembering how we do things today may well be deemed archaic in a hundred year's time. The keep is a fine remnant of the Norman castle, but note there are many steep steps to climb which may be too much for elder members of your party. The house is beautiful, and as it entertains visiting dignitaries from all over the world, can be forgiven for being tastefully ostentatious. The audio tour (voiced by newsreader Huw Edwards) was clear and very informative and allowed for adults and children to understand the history and development of the castle. The surprise feature was the Falconer with the collection of birds kept there, mainly owls and buzzards, with a passion that shone through, and despite the bitter cold we were entranced, as others who came and went were. It was a joy to see someone who so obviously loved his work and almost worth the entrance fee on its own. There is no limits on photography, which was welcome, though no flash is to be used in the house itself. We finished our visit with a meal at the favourably-priced cafe. All-in-all thoroughly recommended. It is overall limited for wheelchair access, that's typical of castle designs of course, but where possible it has been made easier with a lift in the visitor centre and shop areas.

Visited February 2014
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Somerset
Top Contributor
85 reviews 85 reviews
43 attraction reviews
Reviews in 41 cities Reviews in 41 cities
57 helpful votes 57 helpful votes
“Fascinating”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 8, 2014

I decided at the last moment to take the premium tour (something I seldom do) and so pleased I did. It was a more personal with the chance to ask questions. Something you can't do with an audio guide. It also gave access to several more rooms within the building including the roof garden and nursery which were charming. The guide was excellent, clearly spoken and giving concise but through information with a touch of humour and I really felt I understood the way the castle developed and was used. It bought it to life.
After such a good experience I started round the grounds on my own. This is where the organisation fell down. The map provided was a struggle to follow, the numbers don't seem to follow a logical progression. If they do it needs some definition. I had no idea how to use the audio guide starting from the middle and there was no other guidance in the grounds such as arrows. Given that it was cold, wet and windy trial and error were not an option.
The same applies to the buying of tickets. There was a queue despite there being only a few people so leave time for that, no explanation in the leaflet or in the centre about how the self guided or premium tours differed other than 'you see some more rooms'. How many, which, you have to find out by doing one or the other. The background organisation to make it run smoothly and inform the customer was poor.
The other parts such as the Military galleries with friendly staff to answer your questions was good.
The staff were terrific, went out of their way to be helpful & cheerful and this is what made the visit a pleasure. The castle is really interesting from an historical and decorative arts point of view which is the main focus of the house, so in a different way to many. An ideal follow up for the keen would be Knightshayes Court, Tiverton, Devon which was designed but not completed by William Burges.
The toilet facilities are in the entrance building, there is a small café & shop. Many steps and very steep to get up the tower

Visited February 2014
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CardiffCastleWales, Manager at Cardiff Castle, responded to this review, February 10, 2014
Many thanks for your really helpful feedback. We fully take on board your comments and are working to improve visitor information at the Ticket Office with additional signage and screens, so that all visitors are aware of everything they can do during their visit. With regard to the map, we had come to the same conclusion and plan to re-print a simplified version; less is more as they say. Thank you again for your feedback!
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Newport, United Kingdom
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
4 attraction reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
“Cardiff Castle Reveiw”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 8, 2014

When we turned up at Cardiff Castle I was very impressed by my visit. There was a film about the history of the castle when you walked in, then you were taken to look around the air raid shelters inside the castle with music and radio speeches from the war being played as you walked through. This made the visit more interactive and made you feel like as though you'd stepped back in time. You are given a map and an audio where archaeologists talk you though the background and restoration of the castle. The staff are helpful and when we looked at the paintings across the walls the man working there told us all about the history behind it and it made the visit more interesting. If you are in the hall of the castle look through the arch it looks like Harry Potters chamber of secrets. When you reach the top of the castle, magnificent views across Cardiff. The millennium stadium and Cardiff City Center. I can see why this would be interesting for all ages. There is also a cafe inside and a gift shop.

Visited February 2014
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