Properties for sale in Cardiff
Prime Location Cardiff Area Guide
Cardiff became the official capital of Wales in 1955, fifty years after it officially became a city. As a capital city, it is the largest, most diverse city in the country, and as the capital city of Wales, 11% of its residents speak Welsh.
Cardiff is the setting or filming location for many British television programmes, including Doctor Who, the Sarah Jane Adventures and Merlin. There is a large studio in Porth Teigr Way that can be converted into any setting, and shows are often filmed on location in the streets of Cardiff.
According to the 2011 census, there are 346,100 people in Cardiff, and the Larger Urban Zone, which includes the Vale of Glamorgan and some areas of the Valleys, has 841,600 people.
Cardiff is ethnically diverse, due largely to its past as a trading port, immigration after World War II and the large number of students drawn to the universities. The ethnic makeup of the population of Cardiff is about 90% white British, 2% mixed race, 4% South Asian, 1% black and 1% other ethnic groups.
Cardiff has nearly 100 state primary schools and 20 state secondary schools, many of which are either bilingual (teaching in both English and Welsh) or are Welsh medium. There are also a great many independent schools in the city. Tongwynlais Primary School was awarded a “double-excellent”, the first in the city to be awarded highest marks in all inspection areas. Mount Stuart Primary School and Millbank Primary School have both been given high marks as well, though they are in less affluent neighbourhoods.
In Wales secondary schools are put into one of five bands. Band one includes those which have performed best in criteria such as GCSE results and attendance. The only band one secondary school in Cardiff is Mary Immaculate High School, though many other secondary schools have excellent reputations. Cardiff’s higher education institutions are Cardiff University, Cardiff Metropolitan University, University of Glamorgan and the Royal Welsh College of Music & Drama.
Cardiff is the major transport hub in Wales, so it is well supplied with transport links. Cardiff Central railway station is the largest in Wales, and it has trains to major cities like London, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Manchester and Birmingham. For trains around Wales, most people head to Cardiff Queen Street station. The Valley Lines are a network of commuter trains that link the suburbs and outlying areas of Cardiff with the city centre.
Cardiff Airport is Wales’s only international airport, with service to destinations such as Paris, Amsterdam and Tenerife, as well as cities within the UK. The M4 motorway runs through Cardiff, giving the city fairly direct routes to Swansea to the west and London to the east. Other major roads include the A470, heading into north Wales, and the A4232, which forms a kind of ring around Cardiff. The city has several bus routes, with Cardiff Bus providing most of the services in Cardiff and surrounding areas.
Amenities and shopping
Cardiff has all the amenities and shopping of any capital city, but with the additional bonus of Welsh culture on top.
There are a large number of Victorian markets in operation in Cardiff. In the southern part of the city sits Cardiff Market, where locals can find everything from homeware to foodstuffs. The Morgan Quarter has three. The Royal Arcade is Cardiff’s oldest arcade, and Wyndham Arcade has a wealth of atmosphere. Morgan Arcade still has some of its original Venetian windows and is home to the world’s oldest record shop – Spillers Records. The Castle Quarter has the High Street Arcade, Duke Street Arcade and Castle Arcade. In each of these arcades are independent clothing, jewellery, vintage, craft and gift shops which call to mind a different era. For the more modern shopper, there are several malls. St David’s – Dewi Sant is the newest shopping centre in Cardiff. It has the largest John Lewis outside of London and has a large selection of other high street and department stores. Parallel to Queen Street, Queen’s Arcade links St David’s – Dewi Sant to Queen Street and also has a range of high street shops. At the end of Queen’s Street is the Capitol Shopping Centre, which has brands like Jaeger, Dune and H&M.
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