Update: This exhibition closed in March 2011. It will be replaced in 2012 with a new, bigger exhibition, 'The Doctor Who Experience' on another site.
This exhibition displays props and costumes used in the filming of the new Doctor Who TV series, which is made in Cardiff. Clips from the programme are used to show the items as they actually appeared on screen. There are also some exhibits from the old series.
It's a chance to come face to face with a Dalek.
I went in February 2006, when admission was free. There is now an admission charge of £4 per head, (£3 for children) but extra exhibits from the second series have been added, including Cybermen.
The Wales Millenium Centre (Canolfan Mileniwm Cymru) is home to the famous Welsh National Opera.
Apart from that it is a performing arts venue for musicals, opera, ballet and dance. The architectural interesting building was finished in 2004 and consists of various theatre rooms. The biggest is the Donald Gordon Theatre with a capacity of 1900 people.
The Wales Millenium Centre is situated at the entrance to the waterfront of Cardiff Bay.
Address: Wales Millenium Centre, Bute Place, Cardiff CF10 5AL
The cardiff Bay development is a concerted effort to 'do a Barcelona' with the derelict remains of the docks where South Wales used to export to the world. AS the Weksh only now export slightly podgy actors, windbag politicians and leeks the docks are little use.
The development has seen the buliding of many apartments, shops leisure centres and the like but also a couple of landmark buildings.
I shudder to think how much it cost, but the welsh Millenium building is certainly an impressive piece. It was orginially envisaged as an opera house, the final result has a more 'welsh' feel to it. The centre houses all sorts of artistic ventures. Some at west-end prices and others free. When I visited recently they were flogging tickets for 'Spamalot' with its full west-end cast whilst a tea dance was going on in the foyer.
The building itself is finished in welsh slate. This was, architecturally, to me it's best feature. It is made up of a number of layers of different types of slate. With the use of some unseen windows it gives the appearance of 'strata' of rocks seen on a coastline.
Next door is the building of the welsh assembly (a sort of mickey mouse parliment for the windbags they don't send to Westminster). It has all the charm of a very large provincial bus station.
The pierhead was built at the end of the 19th century. It was the offices of the harbour company for many years, even when it was renamed as the Cardiff railway company.
It only recently re-opened in 2010 following restoration and is now a small free museum extolling a few prominent welsh figures over the years. There is also an exhibition about the development of the port area and some interesting pieces such as Scott's of the Antartic's binnacle. I'm not surprised they all perished if he couldn't even remember he had left his binnacle in a office in Cardiff.
The real star of the (free) show is however the building itself. The high victorian masterpiece is covered in terracotta mouldings on the outside and stunning glazed tiles on the inside. this was a headquarters building that clearly wanted to show off and impress the visitor. I suspect they thought they could see no end to their fortunes - how wrong they were.
There is a very red lightship that stands next to the Cardiff bay visitors centre (see other tip). It was built in the 1950's and saw about 40 years service before being brought here and resored. It's main purpose is to serve as a chaplinacy centre for the varoius churches in the area. "That would be an ecumenical matter" as father Jack would say and I'm sure they do a great job.
From a tourist point of view, it provides free entry for a look around a lightship - which kids absolutley love. you can also visit the actual 'light' if a staff member is about. As you would normally pay a fiver or so for an attraction such as this it would be rude nit to buy a tea and bun in the cafe on board - this is a charity venture after all.
P.s why is a 'lightship' so relevant to christian work - i get the light thing and the boat thing in terms of christian imagery, but surely Christian Chaplinacy is about 'picking up the pieces' after the event : would a lifeboat not be more appropraite. Anyway, what would I know ?
In the past the Dockland's at Cardiff Bay have been a major roll in the developing of the city Cardiff. As it was growing and growing in those days, people settled in neighbourhoods close to the docks which is known as Tiger Bay.
After the second world war the coal industry declined and the docklands fell into disuse, but in 1999 new life was given to the area with the construction of the Cardiff Bay Barrage, which transformed an area of tidal mudflats into a 200 hectare freshwater lake and sparked the development of the surrounding area.
Cardiff Bay is just a mile from the city centre. It is now a popular part of Cardiff. Visitors can enjoy a wide range of restaurants, bars and shops in Mermaid Quay, cruise or sail on Cardiff Bay, or explore attraction such as the impressive Wales Millennium Centre, Norwegian Church, Red Dragon Centre or Techniquest - an interactive science discovery centre.
Visitors to Cardiff Bay can now walk to the barrage and across to Penarth Head, with the opening of the Cardiff Bay Barrage Coast Path from the Inner Harbour to the barrage. The new route provides a safe pedestrian and cycle route with direct access to and from the Inner Harbour, linking with the existing footway, cycle way and transport network through to the city and beyond.
Cardiff Bay bills itself as Europe’s largest waterfront development and if you go you will find it hard to argue with this claim. It is a very large and lovely area with a large Basin behind the barrage which was built to minimize the effects of the tides. In addition to having the Welsh National Assembly building there is also the Millennium Center which is the venue for a great many operas, movies and shows and there are literally dozens of entertainments for adults and kids as well as tons of shops and restaurants.
Cardiff was a great coal shipping port (the largest in the world at one point) but after WWII this industry had declined and the harbor was pretty much abandoned to derelection. In spite of some controversies, like the destruction of some wading bird habitats, and with the addition of some new fresh water fowl habitats, the redevelopment appears to be highly successful. Housing construction in the area may suffer from the current economic situation but it remains to be seen what effect, if any, this will have on the Bay Complex
Mermaid Quay is a dining, recreation and entertainment area at Cardiff Bay. There are over 20 restaurants, bars and cafes fronting the bay where one can relax and chill out on a summer's evening. It is within walking distance to the Millenium Center.
Really enjoyed the Dr Who exhibition, it had lots of cool Dr Who parfonalia so if you like Dr Who it's worth a trip. Other than that the is the amazing buildings and shops to visit down in the bay too. It was a bit pricey though at £5 each.
We were going to go and see Brecon Beacons, but it was lashing down with rain most of the morning and extremely windy, so dear Patty decided to take us to see Tiger Bay instead... Yes, I know it is now called Cardiff bay, but I think Tiger Bay sounds more historical and prettier.
The car park is only a very short walk from the bay, so we had a good old mosey around, as there is a lot of different things to see here. It is mostly modern architecture surrounding the bay, but it sort of spoils the old fashioned and pretty buildings that are still here. On the first photo, over the bay, is one of Cardiff's most expensive hotels... I don't think we'll ever be staying there though.
I love this monument, the 'Merchant Seafarer's War memorial.' It was designed by Brian Fell in 1966 and is shaped like the hull of a boat. It also has a mosaic around it, depicting inscriptions and portraits of local seafarers from wartime. It is quite haunting to look at and is a very apt and pretty monument to the men who have lost their lives at sea, during the wars, I think.
No, not really... The Goleulong is a 'light ship' that is moored in Tiger Bay and it is used as a café for the public. I suppose I should have put it under restaurants really?
They sell very cheap cups of coffee, tea, cakes and biscuits etc. You sit inside and drink it and watch the world going by outside; it's very cosy and we enjoyed our little tea-break on here with Patty. It is a very pleasant experience and you don't get asked to wash up in the galley and threatened with the plank. To be honest, if I knew I was coming to something like this, I would have worm my pirates coat and an eye-patch aargh! Oh, and you don't get asked to see your passport and there's no duty free!
The café proceeds go to charity; however, not a charity for sea-faring folk, it is for the church of all things; I guess they should have done it like Noah's ark really, eh.
Cardiff Bay , once a rough are as were so many ports, is now a pedestrian friendly area of shops, restaurants and interesting buildings- The Norwegian Church, The Tube or information centre, Techniquest,and the Administration buildings.
I particularly like the statue at Maiden Quay showing an African woman and a young man, and a dog. It reminds one that this port once was the departure point for people seeking a new life, or a transit port for slaves on their way to the Carribean or America.
If you don't like the idea of having your coffee in an old church, or in an old boat run by the Church - there are plenty of places to choose from in the Restaurant Quarter and the Mermaid Quay. Here, the scale of the buildings is more humane and buildings make interesting structure over the water.
I was surprised to see that on a Saturday morning, as the rest of the city was sleeping, cafes were rather full. Of course, this cannot compare with the evening when a reservation is essential in any of the restaurants. And if you want your Brains to end up the evening you might have to wait for a free table.
Another architectural jewel of the Bay area is the recently completed National Assembly of Wales, designed by the Richard Rogers Partnership. Here, everything is about the concept of openness and transparency of the government, materialized in architecture of the Assembly building.
The most striking feature of the building is its transparent first level (open to the public) and an undulating roof. The base of the building is made of the stones that form a processional route to the first floor. Inside, the visitors can access the viewing gallery to take a look what happens in the debating chamber below. While the politicians have to concentrate on work underground, the visitors can enjoy some nice vistas of the Cardiff Bay area or have a coffee or tea in a small cafe.