Staying at one of our hotels in Cardiff? If you’re feeling energetic - or fancy doing something a bit different - you’ve come to the right city. From walking tours to boat rides, the Welsh capital has plenty of activities for you to try your hand at.
Activities in Cardiff
With picturesque parks and beautiful countryside on its doorstep, Cardiff is a great location if you’re a fan of outdoor pursuits.
Love to hike and explore? If you’re staying near the airport you’re in for a treat. Sully Island is close to our Premier Inn Barry Island (Cardiff Airport) hotel, and just getting there is an adventure in itself. Find the footpath near the Captain’s Wife pub and then take the slippery (but perfectly walkable) causeway to the island, which you can only do when the tide is out. As soon as the tide comes in, you have to head back to the mainland or you’ll be stranded - something that happens so often the coastguards have had to install a traffic light system! Once on the island there’s lots to look at, like historical smuggling routes, local wildlife and even a Victorian shipwreck.
If you’re looking for an exhilarating sporting adventure, take a trip to Cardiff International White Water (CIWW). Located in the heart of Cardiff’s International Sports Village, at this centre you’ll find plenty of different watersports, suitable for everyone from beginners to seasoned enthusiasts. Get a group together and go water rafting, take a two hour rafting coaching session, bodyboard with the indoor wave machine, and try out any combination of canoeing, kayaking or stand up paddle boarding. The choice is yours! The white water experience, on the other hand, is located in Cardiff Bay, near two of Wales’ most famous urban landmarks (and close to the Premier Inn Cardiff City South hotel). Not that you’ll be able to appreciate the finest architectural points of the National Assembly Building and the Wales Millennium Centre as you go crashing through the rapids in a canoe or on a white water raft.
Prefer your adrenaline buzz on dry land? You can whizz down some slopes at the Cardiff Ski and Snowboard Centre. Perfect for beginners, you can take a lesson or go it alone (although you do need to be able to use the lift before venturing out without an instructor). And if it all sounds a bit too complicated, just grab an inflatable tyre and go tubing! No experience is required for these sessions, and they’re great fun for kids young and old.
Weather not playing ball? No problem. Cardiff is well set-up for those who prefer their activities to be indoors.
Whether you’re a beginner or a total pro, Tee It Up in Cardiff Bay lets you enjoy a round of golf indoors. With three state-of-the-art simulators, you can pick up a club and have a swing, taking your pick from 40 famous courses from all over the world. Even better, you can have a beer and a burger at the same time.
Whizz around an ice rink at Ice Arena Wales, in the heart of Cardiff's Sports Village. The arena has not one but two ice rinks - one is used for recreational skating and the other for ice hockey. Check out all the action at the ice hockey rink, then take to the slippery stuff yourself. You could go it alone, or get some lessons from experienced instructors if you’re nervous. There are also activities laid on for kids, ice parties and skating discos held on Friday evenings.
If climbing Snowdon sounds a bit too tiring, head to Boulders indoor climbing centre near Premier Inn’s Cardiff (Roath) hotel. You can get climbing straight away as everything’s provided and there are instructors on hand to make sure you do it safely, at a level that’s appropriate to your ability. There’s also an adventure play area which features junior climbing walls, cargo nets and perspex floors.
If you love to walk, you’re in for a treat in Cardiff - it’s such a compact city that getting around on foot is a great way to explore.
Stroll independently, or learn some history as you go by taking a walking tour. The Official Guides Cardiff Walking Tour starts at Castle Welsh Crafts, opposite Cardiff Castle and takes you on a fascinating two-hour ramble around the city, where you’ll discover hidden gems and walk in the footsteps of everyone from Celts and Vikings to princes and pirates.
Fancy walking further afield? The 3.6 mile stroll between Cardiff and the charming Victorian seaside town of Penarth can’t be beaten. On the way, you’ll see coastal scenery and heritage sites, and you could even stop off at one of Cardiff Bay’s many restaurants to refuel.
One of the flattest European capital cities, Cardiff’s a great place to discover on two wheels.
Hire a bike and helmet from Cardiff Cycle Tours by the Principality Stadium then head out to explore, or join their friendly tour guides for a leisurely ride. You’ll pass all of the major attractions and discover some hidden spots in Bute Street and Grangetown.
Or take your bike to Cardiff Bay for the start of the famous Taff Trail. This 55-mile cycle route goes north, all the way to the Brecon Beacons, but of course you don’t have to do it all. Made up of old railway routes, forest paths and canal towpaths, pedal just eight miles and you’ll find crashing weirs rich with wildlife, impressive mountain backdrops and a fairytale castle called Castell Coch.