A few of our daily habits have started to point to an inevitable new truth: you live here now, in this foreign country. I’ve stopped carrying a map, my camera lays on the shelf, often forgotten. Jackie and I have developed favorite spots to visit, to hang out, areas to avoid. Since we are in the works of becoming established locals, here’s a list of the best (and for the most part, free) places to check out around Penarth, Wales:
Ocho Lounge, Penarth
Why is it so good?
-Great food for reasonable prices, especially the tapas menu and meal deals
-Really friendly staff
-Community book shelf, open for anyone to borrow a copy and happy to adopt used ones (the ones too heavy to make the trek back to the states)
-Garden terrace for patrons to soak up the sun, or get a breath of cool, autumn air
-Welcomes us loungers who need a free place to hang out
Cosmeston Country Park, Penarth
Why is it so awesome?
-The trails go one for miles, to walk the entire park would take a few hours at least
-Two gorgeous lakes full of wildlife, including swans and other waterfowl glad to snack on any offering
-Many of the trails run along operating farms, which means anyone can hang out with horses and sheep
-Blackberries grow freely, and are available for picking
-Ivy grows everywhere and creates a green canopy, a photo-op every second of the way
-This park hosts a reconstructed 14th Century MEDIEVAL VILLAGE
Wales Millennium Centre, Cardiff Bay
Why is this theatre a must-see?
-It’s the leading location in Wales for theatre, art, and vocal performances
-The Centre and theatre architecture are AMAZING
-Jackie and I saw Lord of the Flies on Wednesday, and it was an incredible performance by young, mostly local talent that rivals most large theaters in the states
-The gift shop has the most unique souvenirs
-Students tickets are sold at only 10 pounds ($16) for any show on certain nights
Mermaid Quay and the Cardiff Bay Barrage
What’s so good about it?
-Easy access into downtown Cardiff from Penarth by foot or bike
-The barrage is a gorgeous pathway across the bay, great for an afternoon walk
-There’s a free outdoor gym along the barrage and is flat terrain, great for anyone looking for a free place to workout
-The Dr. Who Experience and BBC Wales are located just after the barrage
-Mermaid Quay (the area on the water near Cardiff) is a cool place to window-shop, people watch and offers a restaurant for any type of food or drink you could crave
Alexandria Park, Penarth
Another park? Why?
-This park is gorgeous, with trimmed hedges that are reminiscent of the Queen’s gardens in Alice of Wonderland, a view of the ocean, and colorful flowerbeds all over
-The perfect place to bring a book or relax in peaceful silence
-It’s located just above the Penarth Pier and is very close to Penarth city centre, making it a nice resting place from a busy day
I hope you’ve enjoyed this list! It is just a compilation of the sights that Jackie and I have seen thus far. Any to add? Comment, and we will check them out!