One of the great pleasures of visiting Cardiff is taking a stroll through Alexandra Gardens, part of Cathays Park.

Standing at the heart of Cardiff’s historic civic centre, Alexandra Gardens is overlooked by law courts, university buildings, police station, national museum, local and welsh government offices, and the falcons that nest in the clock tower. It is a legacy of the wealth extracted from the valleys to the north and brought down to the docks by canal and competing railways.

It’s also one of the cheapest and most convenient places to park your car in Cardiff, if you happen to be a local who knows such things. And that’s why I found myself wandering through the park back in March 2010, trying out my new Nikon 35mm lens for the first time on my way to meet some fellow bloggers and the Guardian Cardiff correspondent at a pub in the centre of the city.

The Photos

The Cenotaph

Late March is a great time to photograph Cathays Park, as the low sun has just enough colour in it to bring the portland stone to life.

Words On The Cenotaph

I’m afraid I can’t translate the inscription that runs around the top of the cenotaph. If you can, please leave a translation in the comments.

Graffiti On A Tree

The park is very popular with students from the University of Wales, Cardiff, which occupies many of the buildings that surround the park both to the east and the west.

Statues Inside The Cenotaph

This is the Welsh National War Memorial, unveiled in 1928, as a remembrance to soldiers, sailors and airmen who died in the Great War of 1914-1918. The statue on top represents Victory.

Gardens And City Hall

Looking south (with the Cenotaph behind me) across Alexandra Gardens towards the back of City Hall. Just out of picture, to the right, is the famous clock tower, currently home to nesting peregrine falcons.

Cardiff Centenary Walk Beside The Cenotaph

In 2005, a 41-point walk around the centre of Cardiff was created to celebrate 100 years of Cardiff officially being a city. Point 25 can be found beside the Welsh National War Memorial.


Copyright (c) Stuart Herbert. blog | twitter: (photography) (all) | facebook: (Merthyr Road project) (all).

If you’re reading this in the RSS feed, my original blog post also includes a Google map showing where this photo was taken. Unfortunately I haven’t managed to get the map to appear yet in the RSS feed, so for now you’ll have to click through to my blog if you want to see the map. Sorry.

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August 2010
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