The Cardiff Bay Barrage was one of the largest civil engineering projects in Europe during construction in the 1990s and has turned tidal mud flats into a 200 hectare freshwater lake which in turn has been the catalyst for the regeneration of the old docklands area of Cardiff and Penarth. The barrage includes 3 locks, 3 bascule bridges and 5 sluice gates whilst the whole development consists of a pedestrian and cycle route across the barrage, landscaped embankment, children's play area and the age of coal exhibition.
See travelogue for photos taken during visit.
Located across the mouth of Cardiff Bay between Queen Alexandra Dock and Penarth Head
After visiting Cardiff bay we drove around to Penarth and parked on a large car park just at the end of the Barrage. Unfortunately by this time the weather had decided to get worse and unlike the rain showers we had been having all day the heavens now opened with a great down pour, so a quick walk around the Barrage and watch a boat coming through a lock was about all we could do. On a sunny day the views of the bay would be great and it would be a nice walk from the bay to the barrage and back or visa versa.
The Barrage is an award winning civil engineering project and created the freshwater Bay as it is today.
The construction of the Barrage and the re-development of the docks area with many water and land based events, Bars Restaurants and visitor attractions have moved or been specially built around Cardiff bay making it such a great place to visit.
The public are welcome onto the Barrage from 7am - 10pm.
You can pick up leaflets telling you all about the Barrage from various points.
Cardiff Bay Barrage is an award winning civil engineering project which in effect acts as a huge dam and provides the 500 acre freshwater lake which is the forefront of the Bay. The building of the Barrage began in 1994 and was completed five years later. The design includes a fish pass and three locks for the coming and going of maritime vessels and five sluice gates that control the level of water in the bay.
You can now walk to the Barrage from the Cardiff Bay visitor Centre via the new Cardiff Bay Barrage Coastal Path. The Barrage Embankment has been landscaped to provide a really peaceful place to sit & watch the World go by, you will also find a nautical themed Childrens area here and a viewpoint offering great views of Mermaid Quay and beyond.
While we were there we saw one of the locks in operation, it was quite something to see a lock of that size in operation.
The harbour at Cardiff experiences one of the worlds greatest tidal ranges: up to 14m. This has meant that at low tide, it has been inaccessible for up to 14 hours a day. A barrage will eliminate the effect of the tide, which has acted as an inhibitor to development, releasing the potential of the capital city's greatest asset - its waterfront.
The construction of the barrage is one of the largest engineering projects currently underway in Europe. Completed in 1999, it has created a 500 acre freshwater lake with 8 miles of waterfront and it is hoped it will stimulate the future development of the Bay as a tourist and leisure destination, as well as accelerating the inward investment potential of South Wales as a region.
A great way to see Cardiff Bay away from the crowds.
The barrage was designed to create a new waterfront for Cardiff.
The waters of the Taff and Ely rivers now form a huge freshwater lake.
Cardiff has a tidal range of 14 metres, one of the greatest tidal ranges in the world.