The main reason I visited Cardiff was to go to Cardiff Castle. I had been before but never really got to explore as fully as I would have liked. This time I was determined to look around as much of the Castle as possible! I definitely succeeded in that, as we ended up spending over three hours traversing the Castle.
We started by walking the battlements, which provide a good vantage point for viewing the keep and main range of the Castle, as well as some striking views over Cardiff.
We headed towards the impressive North Gate, and after following some rather haunting music, found ourselves in the tunnels inside the castle walls.
These were used as air raid shelters during the Second World War. It was fascinating to discover a different piece of the Castle's history, although somewhat eerie. The tunnels seemed so dark and spooky, I really felt for the souls who were forced to seek shelter here.
Back outside, it was a gorgeously sunny day, and the moat surrounding the motte was shimmering like a sheet of silver.
We climbed the steps up the motte to the keep, passing a well which looked like something straight from the pages of Lord of the Rings on the way.
The shell keep is now...well, a shell. On the interior walls you can see where fireplaces once were, where wooden joists were placed to create rooms and floors. It is like a ghostly map of the past, now hollow and with tiny plants growing out of the crevices. It is very beautiful, and was very peaceful, until a group of children on a school trip appeared.
Spurred on by the sudden appearance of the rampaging school children, I decided to be brave and climb up the tower of the keep.
I'm generally not very good with heights, although I have been getting better, so this was a bit of a daunting prospect.
It was totally worth it for the incredible views though, and once I reached the top I felt fine.
I did have to go back down the stairs on my bum though...
Once I was back on the ground, it was time to explore the Castle apartments, but that's another post for another time.