Wednesday, 3 October 2018

Secrets of South Wales

Okay, so before we go any further I feel I should start by saying these aren't so much secrets, they're what I've come to learn about South Wales in the few years I've lived here.

There are many blogging locations across the UK that have become well known spots for people to go to when looking for that instragammable photo, but very few seem to be in my local areas.

So over the last few years I made it my mission to find new, fun, quirky and interesting places to visit which are perfect for adapting to the unpredictable weather and seasons.

Here is my list of 'not so secret' places in Wales that I visit for those blogger shots: 

"Autumn is a second spring when every leaf is a flower." - Albert Camus

The Celtic Manor Resort
When I first moved to South Wales at the age of 19 I remember visiting with my best friend for a girly day in the spa and for afternoon tea.  Having loved it so much I went back a few weeks later with my mum. 

Since then I've returned many times with fond memories and it's still as beautiful and grand as ever. At Christmas they even have a ice rink which I will definitely be visiting!

National Museum Cardiff 
In the area surrounding the museum there are three parks, all of which have beautiful flower displays and grounds to have photos taken in. Just a few minutes walk away is Bute Park which is overlooked by Cardiff Castle; the park has so much to see and explore from secret cafes to the river and grounds.

Hidden away inside the museum itself there are beautiful winding marble staircases if you explore deep enough into the art displays, although I always forget to wear anything photo worthy when visiting so haven't had this dream shot myself yet! 

Hard Lines
Hard Lines has two cafes in the centre of Cardiff which have become my quick pit stops for when I'm on the go and need to grab a hot drink to take away. 

If you're looking for an instagramable drink look no further than the pink latte made from a combination of beetroot powder, chai, agave, oak milk and coffee. The staff at Hard Lines will happily cater for you if you dislike coffee (like myself) so you can still give it ago. 

Penarth Pier Pavilion 
For those sunnier days out, or evening walks in the setting sun, Penarth Pier is the perfect spot to get great views behind you and capture more natural shots.  

There is also a lovely place to stop for food and drinks in the middle of the pier so you will be well prepared if the welsh weather takes a turn for the worst.

Nest 23
Would you really be a blogger if you didn't get a flower wall photo in there somewhere?...and yes I know it's that predictably cheesy photo, but I just can't help myself and Nest 23 know it.

This cute cocktail and prosecco bar, located not far from Cardiff Castle, is a fairly recent discovery. I was happily wondering around town shopping, only to stumble across to two flower chairs hanging in the window of the bar. 

Bigmoose Coffee Co.
This particular location has become a new regular place to go for food and drinks and I feel sad that I don't have more photos to show you for this location. 

Inside there are multiple spaces which have been decorated for those perfect photos. There's the white wall with the flowers, a brick wall with lit up words (my personal favourite), a selfie spot which currently represents gay pride and a flower wall in the bathroom. 

Bigmoose is a non-profit organisation with a very clear intention - do fun stuff that inspires people to live better, healthier, kinder lives. A great atmosphere and genuinely one of my favourite places to visit when in town. If you remember anything from this post, please let it be that you need to visit here. 

St Fagans National Museum of History
Speaking of when I first moved to Wales, I remember the first time I ever tried to go to St Fagans.  I couldn't find how to get in and didn't return for years...!

My oh my, had I been missing out! Words cannot describe how stunning this location is. It doesn't matter how much I try, I can't do justice to describing St Fagans, you simply need to have a google and see the photos for yourself.

In the last few weeks the new entrance to the Museum has opened and it's far easier to find your way in, so don't go worrying if you haven't been before, you won't go getting lost like me!

Blanche Bakery
A very cute little vegan cafe that has been made for those blogger photos, and boy have they done it well.

You can read more in my recent review on Blanch Bakery here.

Barry Island
I'm pleasantly surprised to be writing about Barry today as I'm sure it comes as no surprise that I absolutely love Gavin and Stacey. 

When I went along and discovered the colourful huts and boardwalk it instantly became somewhere I loved and kept returning for those more natural photos. 

The Alchemist
Move aside marble because it's all about those copper tables! They are officially my new obsession and what better timing than for Autumn with those beautiful orangey shades.

A very snazzy and sophisticated bar which has the most amazing cocktails to try. A perfect location for a drink with the girls when you still want to get candid photos in your outfit. 

The Early Bird
At home in the centre of where the students live (very fond memories living in this area of Cardiff), the Early bird renovated a cute little building into a cafe with rustic vibes and a homely feel.

The food is delicious and the staff are the loveliest people ever, and even though it's always busy when I've been in, it never feels like you're over crowded. So if you're looking for a more rustic shot with a hot drink and food this place is the one for you. 

There are many more locations which I would love to have talked about although I feel it has already been an incredible long post today.  

However if you would like a part two, please say in the comments below and I will see that I do just that!

Until next time. 

Shop the outfit:
Top - F and F Clothing
Bracelet - Pandora 
Jumper - H & M
Jacket - Fat Face
Jeans - New Look
Jumpsuit - Asos
Jacket - Miss Selfridge
Dress - Matalan
Shoes - Marks and Spencer
Bag - Oasis
Watch - Seksey

*Photos have been taken by Rachel James, Leon Guest Photography and myself. 


  1. Omg, Hard Lines, Bigmoose and Blanche Bakery - SOLD! They look gorgeous 😍
    Love this post, will definitely check some out if I go to SW!


    1. Thanks Rhianna, so glad you enjoyed it! If you ever do visit, these are definitely some great places to go (:

  2. I've never been to Wales so this is all new to me! That beetroot latte looks absolutely incredible, as does the cafe in general. The Alchemist sounds amazing too! x


    1. No way! You will definitely have to plan a visit soon then (:

  3. such a lovely post - I love the places you've chosen and they all look so nice! I've been to Wales quite a few times before but not had the chance to visit South Wales so if I do go back these will definitely be on my list! I've been to Llandudno, near the coast I think? it's so beautiful! Thanks for sharing xx

    1. Can't say I've been to Llandudno, just had a google and it looks lovely though!

      Thanks for reading (:

  4. I am a sucker for museums! Love spending time there so much! Nest 23 sounds amazing though and perfect for instagram photos! I have never been to south wales and just added cardiff to my travel bucket list!

    1. Museums are a great way to spend a day off, I'm glad you agree!

  5. So many cute little spots! I've been to the National Museum I believe, my step mum is from Llanelli, it was really interesting!

    Love, Amie ❤
    The Curvaceous Vegan

    1. Oh wow, that's not far away from where I live. Such a small world!

  6. I only have visited Wales once and can’t even remember what happened. But your photos are just amazing and engaging that it makes me want to go back to Wales and visit all of the places you have visited and especially try out Hard Lines cafe.

    Kaye -

    1. Thanks Kaye, if you ever do come back the Hard Lines would be a great place to go along to for a drink on the go, as there will be plenty for you to explore!

  7. So many lovely places. I've only been to Barry Island. My dad used to take us there when I was a kid. :)

    1. Awh that's so sweet, Barry Island is great for a long walk along the coast and to relax on a sunny day (:

  8. Wow! Amazing pictures with great places... Definitely plan to go few of these. Loved your post.
    Visit my Blog and share:

  9. I heard about the celtic manor on someones insta story and it looked so beautiful!

    Ellie //

    1. The Celtic Manor is incredible, it's honestly one of the most beautiful places, with great food and amazing views. There's so many great reasons why people talk about it so much! - I've actually got a post going up tomorrow on it, so be sure to keep a look out if you want to find out more (:

  10. I honestly love this post! I wish I could find one but in a USA version for where I live! I am always struggling and on the hunt to find Instagrammable locations, haha. UK seems beautiful and like there's loads of places to go for beautiful photos, so jealous!

    1. Thank you so much Chelsea! It took so long to find these locations, so it just had to be shared with everyone as I would have appreciated it so much coming across something like this when I first arrived!

  11. I love the pictures in this post!! Amazing!! This is a great post :)

    1. It means so much that you enjoyed this post, I'm particularly proud of the photos!

  12. posts like these always make me want to jump on a plane and kiss america GOODBYE! these pictures are beautiful xx

    mich /

    1. Ahhh but in America you have sunshine, whereas Wales is full of rain (mostly!)

  13. I love this post! I live in South Wales and you've got some of my favourite places on here and definitely a few that I want to try! Thanks for sharing

    Abi x

    1. I would love to heard what other locations you love to visit as well, I'm always looking for new places to try. Thanks for leaving a link, I shall speak soon (:

  14. Obsessed with all these places!! I have not explored Wales near enough as much as I should! The Blanche Bakery is going top of my list!! X

    1. Blanche Bakery is fab isn't it!! Thanks for the kind words Kim (:

  15. Such a beautiful places you picked. Noce photos��


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