My favourite place to visit in Cardiff – St Fagans Museum #FlauntYaHaunt

Last year, Cardiff was named the best UK city to live in and one of the best cities to live in Europe*. As someone who has lived in Cardiff for most of my life, I wasn’t at all surprised. The capital of Wales has so much to offer to residents and visitors alike.

Cardiff Castle

Cardiff Castle

On the one hand, Cardiff has a range of cultural and heritage attractions like Cardiff Castle, Cardiff Market and National Museum Cardiff, all of which tell a tale of Cardiff’s history and character throughout the ages.

But while culture and heritage play a huge role in Cardiff’s story, the city has been transformed by modern developments in recent years and is now home to St David’s shopping centre, which houses over 200 shops including Wales’ biggest department store, John Lewis and 300 apartments, in addition to the internationally renown Millennium Stadium and an International Sports Village in Cardiff Bay featuring an ice rink, Olympic-standard swimming pool and white water rafting centre.

Millennium Stadium (pitch view)

Millennium Stadium

In addition, this year Cardiff was dubbed one of the UK’s top five fastest-growing food and drink scenes by Eventbrite, with an 82% increase in food and drink events during the last year. The Welsh capital boasts a number of top quality restaurants, including Michelin-starred chef James Sommerin’s restaurant in Penarth (just outside Cardiff in the Vale of Glamorgan) and the Purple Poppadom Indian fine dining restaurant in Canton, listed in both the Michelin Guide and the Good Food Guide. 

When Travelodge asked me to blog about the place that has the most sentimental value for me in Cardiff as part of its ‘Flaunt Your Haunt’ campaign, there was one place in particular that sprang to mind – St Fagans National History Museum in St Fagans, Cardiff. 

One of Europe’s best open-air museums and Wales’ most popular heritage attraction, if you grew up in Wales then you can guarantee you went to St Fagans Museum on a school trip at least once, not to mention the family outings!

traditional post office

The post office at St Fagans Museum

Established in 1947, St Fagans Museum is home to a Welsh village created using over 40 original buildings from various historical periods in Wales, transported from their original locations and re-erected on the 100-acre parkland.

Traditional red farmhouse

Kennixton Farmhouse

The full list of buildings at St Fagans includes a bakery, tollhouse, tailor’s workshop, school-house, a post office and traditional farm houses as well as livestock. The buildings have been chosen because of their relevance to ordinary people from different social backgrounds and from different eras. 

Gwalia Stores in St Fagans museum, Cardiff

Gwalia Stores

What makes the experience all the more nostalgic is that you can actually go into most of the buildings and inside, they are set up in the way they would’ve been all those years ago. As a child, I was always fascinated to see the blacksmith in action. Where the bakery, cheesemonger and Gwalia Stores are concerned, you can buy bread, cakes and traditional Welsh goods to enjoy when you get home. 

My favourites of all the buildings at St Fagans Museum are the Rhyd-y-Car Ironworkers Houses – a row of six terraced houses dated from 1805 to 1985. Travel through time as you enter each house, the contents and gardens changing to reflect the different time periods.

St Fagans Castle

St Fagans Castle

The museum stands in the grounds of the beautiful St Fagans Castle and gardens, a late 16th-century manor house gifted to Wales by the Earl of Plymouth. You can step inside the castle and admire the breath-taking decor and furniture, although some parts of the building are inaccessible. 

Branches entwined into a long, narrow arch/tunnel

St Fagans Castle gardens

Looking to the future, St Fagans Museum will be extending the timeline of the stories told to include the first human inhabitants to the present day and beyond. This is thanks to an £11.5 million grant awarded to the museum in 2012 by the Heritage Lottery Fund. This is the largest grant ever awarded by the HLF in Wales. The money will go towards Making History, the exciting £25.5 million project to transform this much-loved museum.

So, what are you waiting for? Get down to St Fagans National History Museum and enjoy a great day-out with all the family. Entry is free and the museum is open from 10am – 5pm daily, including Bank Holiday Mondays.

Have you been to St Fagans National History Museum? What were the highlights of your visit?

 

St Fagans National History Museum
Cardiff
CF5 6XB
(0300) 111 2 333
www.museumwales.ac.uk/stfagans

*According to the European Commission’s Urban Audit, which polled residents from 79 European cities, including six in the UK.

This post is sponsored by Travelodge.

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28 Comments

  1. December 28, 2015 / 9:30 pm

    What an utterly gorgeous musuem, I’d love to visit it!

  2. December 28, 2015 / 9:50 pm

    I am not surprised that it was voted the best city as its culture and views are exceptional. Gorgeous shots as always x

  3. December 28, 2015 / 9:51 pm

    I ma coming to visit cardiff at Easter so will keep in mind all these awesome recommendations.

  4. hannah
    December 28, 2015 / 10:54 pm

    I enjoy going around St Fagans too. I’ve been loads of times and never get tired of it x

    • January 1, 2016 / 9:35 pm

      I love it there, I bet it’ll be amazing when they’ve completed the new developments they have planned.

  5. December 28, 2015 / 10:55 pm

    What some fantastic sounding places to visit, I really fancy checking some of them out, the castle to start with 🙂 x

  6. December 29, 2015 / 1:44 am

    St Fagans is a great place. I remember going as a child and when I was doing my teacher training took many a primary school child there.

  7. December 29, 2015 / 4:27 am

    oh gosh these gardens! Looks so amazing! love it!

    • January 1, 2016 / 9:35 pm

      Me too, it’s so beautiful and peaceful!

  8. December 29, 2015 / 11:28 am

    We love Cardiff – so easy for us to visit stress free by train! I went to St Fagans as a child with school – never been again. I must try and go with with the children. Kaz x

  9. December 29, 2015 / 5:25 pm

    I have been to the Millennium Stadium a few times now but shamefully havent explored any futher x

    • January 1, 2016 / 9:34 pm

      Oh, you should. Cardiff is a great city 🙂

  10. December 29, 2015 / 6:13 pm

    Thanks for sharing. I briefly popped into Cardiff when we were on holiday in Wales last year. I would love to visit again at some point

    • January 1, 2016 / 9:00 pm

      Definitely recommend it 🙂 I love living in Cardiff.

  11. December 29, 2015 / 8:39 pm

    I have never been to Cardiff and every time I see a blogger posting about Cardiff, I want to go. The castle garden looks stunning and I love the little post office. Lovely pictures.

    • January 1, 2016 / 8:59 pm

      I think you’d love it here! Loads to see and do and so many nice restaurants!

  12. December 29, 2015 / 9:49 pm

    I’ve never been to Cardiff before but after reading your post, I really want to visit! xxx

  13. December 29, 2015 / 10:42 pm

    The castle gardens really do look beautiful! Would love to visit them some day 🙂

    • January 1, 2016 / 8:59 pm

      It’s always a great day out at St Fagans!

  14. December 30, 2015 / 3:41 pm

    I have visited Cardiff some months ago and I would love to visit again.

  15. December 30, 2015 / 5:05 pm

    The castle and the gardens sound absolutely amazing. Definitely somewhere I would visit x

    • January 1, 2016 / 9:36 pm

      It really is beautiful! I love it.

  16. December 31, 2015 / 1:21 am

    That looks so beutituful! I need to get my ass out of home more often 🙁

    • January 1, 2016 / 9:34 pm

      I know what you mean, I need to get out more, blogging takes over my life sometimes!

  17. December 31, 2015 / 10:58 pm

    Oh I love St. Fagans! I went with the school when I was a kid and it really stuck with me. The fact they rebuilt the period houses brick by brick at the museum is amazing 🙂 x

    • January 1, 2016 / 8:48 pm

      I know exactly what you mean 🙂 St Fagan’s is such a nostalgic place for me… so many memories made there 🙂

  18. March 1, 2016 / 11:32 am

    I LOVE LOVE LOVE St Fagan’s. I love that it has something all year round. There’s so much history but also beautiful gardens, farm animals, lovely ice cream. And the open air theatre is just awesome. I can’t believe we have it for free really.
    I do have to say I am not a big fan of the Purple Poppadom though. I think Chai St is much better. Although I know it’s a different eating experience. The best Indian food in Cardiff is the Vegetarian food Studio though. In my opinion obviously! 😉

    • March 12, 2016 / 1:37 pm

      Ooh I haven’t been to Chai St before, I’ll have to check it out. I do love Veggie Food Studio though, so cheap and tasty! St Fagan’s is just such a nostalgic place for me 🙂

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