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My Top 7 Place in and around Cardiff to Visit

One thing that really helps ease my depression is getting out and about with the kids in the fresh air. With this in mind, I’ve put together a list of my favourite local places to go - and the best thing is that all of these places are free to enjoy! More from Laura's blog at www.picturethepositive.com

Insole Court

Growing up and attending Llandaff City Primary School meant that Insole Court Gardens were always a precious part of my life. A botanical wonder, rich in history, the beautiful manor house and its grounds are the perfect place to regain some clarity. Friends of Insole Court have worked tirelessly to breathe life back into the building and thanks to funding, it now boasts a completely revamped main building as well as The Potting Shed café. There are also beautiful light spaces to hold meetings with the most wonderful timetable of community classes, courses and events. There’s something for everyone - from art classes to baby massage, yoga and drama classes. Insole Court is now blooming like the beautiful flowers it grows.

Penarth Pier

Penarth is a special place that holds deep sentimental value for me. Walking along the pier, the fresh sea air and the incredible views across Cardiff always bring me peace. The delicious ice cream and the vintage sweet shop that sells fresh sugared doughnuts also help! The boys and I have a tradition on rainy days - we head to Penarth, park up and eat ice cream in the car. It's brave I know, but I’m just glad that my children are making memories like the ones I hold so dearly!

Cosmeston Lakes

Whenever I’m feeling a bit down, I love to go and walk around Cosmeston Lakes. It’s so peaceful and serene, especially at this time of year. It’s a great place to go walking, especially if you want to go off the beaten track. You’ll see plenty of wildlife too, but not before you’ve been greeted by the geese! It’s a great place for history too with its very own medieval village if you’re into that sort of thing.

Llandaff Fields

Whenever I’m feeling a bit down, I love to go and walk around Cosmeston Lakes. It’s so peaceful and serene, especially at this time of year. It’s a great place to go walking, especially if you want to go off the beaten track. You’ll see plenty of wildlife too, but not before you’ve been greeted by the geese! It’s a great place for history too with its very own medieval village if you’re into that sort of thing.

Cefn Onn

Another favourite of mine is Cefn Onn. It’s especially beautiful in the spring. The colours are just so pretty. It’s a little hidden gem in Lisvane - you probably wouldn’t spot it if you didn’t know where it was. It's always quiet with the exception of dog walkers but it really is a lovely place to do a quick walk, with a lovely little stream running through it and plenty of picnic benches to park your bum and enjoy the lovely views.

Thompson's Park

When I was younger, my mum decided to have the house renovated so we moved in with my uncle for a while on Radnor Road. I loved being there with my uncle and all my cousins but what I loved most was the park at the end of the street - Thompson’s Park. It's a lot like Cefn Onn, but smaller. The park boasts beautiful flowerbeds and a lovely little lake to feed the ducks. As a kid, I loved all the different paths and hiding places - it reminded me of a big secret garden. I still love coming here with the kids - they seem to do exactly what I used to and head straight for the trees!

Barry Island

I’ve been coming to this beautiful place since there was a Butlins. My dad used to get us in for free because he was a fireman. It’s been a firm favourite ever since. Butlins is now long gone but there are still remnants of the tacky seaside holiday vibe it left behind - and I love it! The fresh doughnuts, the 2p machines, the feeling of excitement getting my bag of coppers - and watching those tickets come out of the machine so that I could buy something way under the value of what I had spent. Still, it was the best and it still is. I prefer it in the winter when it’s less packed. A hot cup of coffee to warm the hands and a brisk walk in the fresh sea air does me the world of good.

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