roath area CardiffThe Roath area
Out and About in the Roath Area
In a leafy corner of Penylan, you’ll find Waterloo Gardens. Opened in 1910, this park is smaller than others in the area, but is no less sweet. Roath brook flows through it, multi-coloured flowerbeds bloom in season, and there are lots of trees and benches with a view all year round.
Roath is fantastic for running, providing a lovely go-to loop including Roath recreation grounds, the pleasure gardens, and also the boss, Roath Park, which add up to total of around 3.5 miles. Views include plenty of greenery, the lovely houses of Roath, the lake, lighthouse, and plenty of swans. Cardiff’s annual half marathon usually incorporates most of this loop in their race route, so it’ll be good training.
On Thursdays, Saturdays and Sundays, Splott Market, sells wares from vintage jackets to vegetables, while on Wednesdays and weekends, Cardiff Indoor Flea Market on Clydesmuir Road Industrial Estate is full of antiques and vintage goods ripe for hunting.
Places for a good drink in Roath
Taking care of your refreshment needs when you visit Waterloo Gardens, is handily placed Waterloo Tea. A teahouse offering oolong to rooibos, they also serve coffee, lunches and cake. Roath hosts two of this indie chain’s siblings, with another in Lakeside.
The Albany pub serves beer based brews in the criss-cross of Roath terraces, at the junction between Dalcross and Donald Street. They’re dog friendly, with sky sports, skittles and a beer garden. Also owners of a beer garden and skittle alley, The Four Elms on Elm Street serves meals as well as drinks. You’ll find hundreds of craft beers, wines, spirits and a dog all in The Bottle Shop Roath – they also have another shop in Penarth, and you can drink in or take out in both.
An annual feature of the Roath art scene is the Made in Roath festival that takes place in October, with a week of events, activities and workshops across all creative disciplines from creative writing to craft, featuring local artists and national. Sitting among Lochaber Street’s terraced houses, Cardiff Made is a gallery, event space, shop and cafe run by makers, designers and artists. Across Albany Road over on Keppoch Street, The Gate Arts Centre offers community workshops, classes, exhibitions, performances and a café bar, while nearby on Mackintosh Street, home ByKirsty showcases designer made homewares, jewellery and gifts from across Wales and the UK.
Looking for art supplies or studio space? Inkspot Art & Crafts Centre can help. At the bottom of Singleton Road, The Old Splott library hosts an array of cultural activities, including an amateur dramatics society and regular BYOB live music nights, while the new library can be found at the STAR hub.
Eating out in Roath
The Roath area benefits from many fantastic food establishments. Embellished with photographs of its famous customers over the years, Albany Fish Bar is an institution after five decades of fish and chip service. Despite frequent queues, they won’t keep you waiting as they’re holders of the Guinness World Record for fastest chips wrapping. Fancy a burger with your chips? The Grazing Shed on Lakeside is one of their four Cardiff based restaurants producing trademarked ‘super tidy burgers,’ chips and sodas.
Sister to Riverside Sunday market, Roath hosts a pop up Saturday market outside The Mackintosh Sports Club, with a big selection of food producers and growers. Nearby on Mackintosh Place, The Blanche Bakery philosophy is to create food that tastes so good it should be bad, from nutritious, free range and fair trade ingredients. Another bakery, Allen’s, is a Roath secret, established for over 25 years and tucked between terraced houses. It’s open from 7am until 1pm, or when everything sells out.
Famous for their Portuguese tarts – known as Pastel de Nata – Nata & Co is a Portuguese bakery that has expanded across Cardiff, and its founding shop sits on Clifton Street, Splott. Also on the Portgeuese theme, El Timon is a restaurant on Splott Road that’s open from 6.30pm most evenings.
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