Recently, for her year 6 school trip, my 11-year-old daughter Ruby and her classmates travelled to Cardiff for a 3-day trip. This is the 3rd time one of my children has visited Cardiff with school, Becky also went two years ago and Ryan four years ago.
Living and learning in North Wales and through the medium of Welsh means that Cardiff is the perfect choice for their school trip. Cardiff is the capital of Wales and also the home of the Welsh Assembly Government.
It is one of the highlights of the school year and something they all eagerly wait for. In the year leading up to it, the parents do fundraising around town to bring the cost of the trip down. This helps ensure that no child is left behind because the parents cannot afford it. The other highlight of Year 6 is the Year 6 Leavers Prom
The trip itself is a fantastic way to make memories with their friends, some of which will be going to different secondary schools.
They left Monday morning, full of smiles and travelled down to Cardiff by coach. They were staying at the Urdd Residential Centre which is in Cardiff Bay and near to the Senedd, which makes it an ideal base for them with plenty of activities for them to do.
What I didn’t realise was that families can also stay at the Urdd Residential Centre at a competitive rate with breakfast included. So I think we will definitely be planning a family trip to Cardiff!
When it was Becky’s turn to visit Cardiff, it was during the Euro 2016 football matches. It was THE year for Wales and they were doing rather well! On the night they were there it was the quarter-final match and to everyone’s surprise, Wales was still in it. To celebrate, they were able to watch the match on the big screen at the Urdd Residential Centre. Sadly, Wales were beaten, but that didn’t spoil things too much for Becky and the fact they got to watch the match made it extra special.
What they did
Sadly, I don’t have many pictures of what Ruby got up to in Cardiff. She did take a camera but forgot to take any pictures as she was too busy enjoying herself. The school managed to take a few, which were shared with the parents. However, as these are group pictures of Ruby and her classmates, I’m not happy sharing them here without the permission of all the parents.
What better way to travel from Cardiff Bay to Cardiff Castle and the city centre than by a water bus along the river! Ruby certainly enjoyed this, well she is a water baby like her granddad!
No trip to Cardiff is complete without a trip to Cardiff Castle. Wales is well-known for all its interesting castles, it has more castles than anywhere else. Sadly, Cardiff castle is one I have yet to visit, but from what my daughters have said when they’ve visited it’s certainly worth a visit.
Cardiff Castle is located amongst the beautiful parklands in the heart of Cardiff and the walls and towers conceal over 2,000 years of history. It certainly is unique, compared to the castle ruins I’m used to.
Ruby told me that one bathroom had a bath that was so big because he loved swimming and wanted to swim in it. Every room told a story like one room had the story of Gelert the Dog. She was shocked that it wasn’t a ruin, like Harlech castle and that the rooms had furniture. She loved learning that Ant and Dec had slept there and she got to see the room they slept in, also Barrack Obama but Ant and Dec were more interesting to an 11-year-old Welsh girl.
New this year, following the closure of the Doctor Who Experience which my older two enjoyed, Ruby visited the Royal Mint. Until I head about her trip, I didn’t even know there was a Royal Mint near Cardiff or that you could visit!
The Royal Mint gave them plenty of learning opportunities, from learning about the history of coins and how they’re made and designed. To how coins are protected to prevent forgeries and how to spot a fake. They enjoyed visiting the exhibition and the factory tour and to Ruby’s surprise, she even got to press a button to make her own £2 coin which she got to keep!
Ruby loved seeing the sculptures that had been made out of coins, like a car which was impressive. She also watched a clip that showed how a coin was made but told from the perspective of a coin.
This was the highlight of the visit for both my girls who really enjoyed themselves. Ruby actually won an award at school for her determination to complete a puzzle at Techniquest!
Techniquest is a Welsh science and discovery centre with lots of hands-on activities for children to help them learn. A place where you can launch a rocket, fire a giant pop gun, and study a colony of ants.
The Senedd is the home of the National Assembly of Wales and the Welsh Assembly Government. It is one of the most environmentally friendly parliament buildings in the world and they were given an insight into the workings of the Assembly. They even had a chance to hold there own pretend session discussing smoking.
Cardiff City Stadium
Cardiff City Stadium is the home to Cardiff City and the Wales National team. It is also the second biggest stadium in Wales, behind the Principality Stadium, which is also in Cardiff. Ruby told me all about seeing the home and away changing rooms and people doing washing the players’ kits. They even got to see some of the players’ tops which had been donated, such as Messi and Bale. Ruby was shocked when she heard that sometimes the players have an ice cold bath in the bath in the changing rooms.
Formally known as the Millennium Stadium, the Principality Stadium is the national stadium of Wales and home to the Wales Rugby team. It has also hosted major football tournaments as well as many other events including music concerts.
St David’s Shopping Centre
They visited St David’s Dewi Sant shopping centre which is one of the biggest and best fashion destinations and helps make Cardiff one of the UK’s top shopping centre. Whilst they were there, they visited the Apple store and got to try out Apple’s newest products including the newest iPad which Ruby had fun practising her art skills.
To entertain the children the two nights they were in Cardiff, they visited the cinema and watched Jurassic World 2 and they also had the chance to go bowling. Sadly, Ruby didn’t get a strike, she said her balls liked the gutter too much.
Spending just three days in Cardiff wasn’t enough, but they certainly crammed in a lot into those few days. Ruby really enjoyed Cardiff and would love to go again.
There is a lot more to see and do in Cardiff and I’m sure we will all be visiting again one day. Since the children keep asking for a plane ride, maybe we’ll catch a flight from Holyhead to Cardiff so they can say they’ve flown in a plane!