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“A quality reconstruction”
5 of 5 bubbles Review of Cardiff Castle

Cardiff Castle
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$16.32*
and up
Cardiff Castle Admission Ticket
Ranked #8 of 158 things to do in Cardiff
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Owner description: Beautifully ornate pleasure palace built by the Victorian architect William Burges.
Basingstoke, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
15 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
“A quality reconstruction”
5 of 5 bubbles 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
Helpful?
Thank AdeBarrett
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Somerset
Level Contributor
106 reviews
49 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 146 helpful votes
“Fascinating”
4 of 5 bubbles 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
Helpful?
1 Thank Toopaz
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Newport, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
19 reviews
13 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
“Cardiff Castle Reveiw”
5 of 5 bubbles 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
Helpful?
Thank Eleanor E
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
65 reviews
43 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 39 helpful votes
“Brilliant Castle”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 7, 2014

We visited Cardiff castle primarily to see the Farmers market being held in the grounds.
The farmers market was very good with many cheese and jam stalls. Although we had expected more stalls and were slightly disappointed.
The castle itself was superb. The keep was very imposing and we walked around the walls and went into the palace which was magnificent.
Don't forget to look at the Animal wall just down from the castle on Castle Street.
Definitely recommend a visit to Cardiff Castle.

Visited September 2013
Helpful?
Thank Steveo_1M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Brisbane, Australia
Level Contributor
166 reviews
33 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 71 helpful votes
“Nice spot.”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 5, 2014 via mobile

Fabulous site and very interesting to visit. The guided tour was well worth the money and our guide was knowledgeable and interesting. However much of the information presented in the film show and additional exhibits was quite superficial and limited which was disappointing. Overall a good experience.

Visited February 2014
Helpful?
Thank suespurry
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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