Day 027 : Cardiff – Barry Island

A walk through the capital to the playground of the workers.b_027_006_CardiffBay_WelshAssembly

I start with a walk alongside Atlantic Wharf, regenerated with apartments and hotels to the Cardiff Bay area where the National Assembly of Wales is housed.

It is hard to imagine that at one time this was a tough and dangerous area to be in with dock workers and sailors. It was a lawless area where all sorts of crimes were committed.It was known as Tiger Bay.

I take a look at the very impressive Welsh Assembly Building before walking out towards the Barrage, a causeway that stretches across Cardiff Bay to Penarth and creates a large lake. A thriving business and living area has grown up around the bay.b_027_012_CardiffBay_NorwegianChurchAs I walked towards the barrage I noticed this church made out of iron sheets. It was the Norwegian Church which was built for the Norwegian community in Cardiff due to the large Norwegian Merchant Fleet.b_027_022_Penarth_Pavilion

Just round from the bay is the town of Penarth with its nicely spruced up pier and art deco pavilion. Really, this is just a seaside suburb of Cardiff.

I have a fairly easy walk along the sea wall to Lavernock Point and a village called Swanbridge with Sully Island which is accessible at low tide.

I have to make my way inland, past some old industrial sites, the docks with a good bit of road walking before reaching the town of Barry.b_027_044_BarryIsland_WhitmoreBayBefore finishing my walk I take a tour round Barry Island, taking in the wide sandy Whitmore Bay with its beach huts and amusements.b_027_046_BarryIsland_WhitmoreBayOn the bus I get chatting to an elderly lady who has just come down from the town for some sea air. She reminisced about when she was younger and worked in a holiday camp that used to be here. In the summer the men and their families used to come down from the hills and valleys at weekends and the whole area was packed and their was a wonderful atmosphere. She felt, sadly, that the fun and excitement had gone out of the place.

Another gem I gleaned was that for any of you fans of the television series ‘Gavin and Stacey’, many of the locations were based on Barry Island.