Cardiff has worked hard to earn its reputation as one of the top ten shopping destinations in Britain. It’s a fresh, 21st century shopping experience featuring many of the high street’s most popular names across a spacious 1.4million square feet. Big brands include the Apple Store, as well as fashion retailers like Hollister, Warehouse, L.K. Bennett and Monsoon.
John Lewis, Marks & Spencer and Debenhams have major stores in the heart of the city at the St David’s Shopping Centre and there are eating places galore. Independent operators nearby, like Coffee Barker and the characterful Restaurant Minuet are also worth seeking out.
The new blends superbly with the old. Cardiff Market has traded in one guise or another since the 1700s and the striking glass-roofed Victorian structure it has inhabited for the past couple of centuries features some of the capital city’s most-loved butchers and fishmongers, as well as an array of traditional sweetshops and bakers.
There are six Victorian arcades in Cardiff, offering an intimate environment for shoppers who enjoy an alternative to the well-trodden path of the high street. The Castle Quarter is made up of High Street Arcade, Duke Street Arcade and Castle Arcade. These are historic structures full of vintage clothes stores, craft shops and coffee shops.
Just a short stroll away is The Royal Arcade, Wyndham Arcade and Morgan Arcade, full of clothes shops, jewellery stores and eating places. While there are just too many great places to list, it is worth noting that Morgan Arcade is home to a genuine Cardiff institution – Spillers Records which first opened its doors in 1894!
The pleasure of shopping in Cardiff city centre is that it is largely pedestrian, covering an area that is a comfortable stroll, rather than an exhausting marathon. Queen Street has an array of retail giants, flanked by the Queens Arcade. Hobbs, Jaeger, MAC and Fat Face are among the stores occupying the Capitol Shopping Centre.
Away from the city centre there are numerous independent clothes stores, restaurants and bars that are worth visiting. It’s also worth heading down to the waterfront to Mermaid Quay, which has become a vibrant cultural centre, thanks to the nearby Millennium Centre. If you want to come and watch Cardiff at play after hard day’s retail therapy, settle yourself in one of the many eating and drinking places overlooking Cardiff Bay.
There are a variety of seasonal attractions, including the open-air Cardiff Christmas Market on The Hayes, right in the heart of the action. Imagine rows of beach cabins displaying a huge range of Welsh art and crafts and you’re halfway there. With the growth in popularity of the pop-up shop, these spaces have gained a certain street credibility that attracts more stallholders and customers with each passing year.
These ideas are compliments of www.visitwales.com.