Whether it’s people watching or admiring a beautiful view, I find it really relaxing to sit on a park bench on a pleasant day. There’s quite a few places in and around Cardiff where I like to sit back, take a few deep breaths and just be! Here’s ten of my favourites in South East Wales in no particular order…
1. Roath Park, Cardiff
This park will be familiar to most people in this corner of Wales, the huge lake is a lovely spot to sit with ice-cream and watch the peddle boats and swans. Perhaps a more romantic option for couples is the beautiful bench-lined rose garden nearby.
2. The Knapp / Porthkerry, Vale of Glamorgan
The Knapp pebble beach sits next to the popular Barry Island beach and pleasure park. The cliff top here is easily accessed from Knapp Car Terrace along the Wales Coast Path. The view across the water towards the hills of Devon is spectacular, and the fresh sea air is perfect for clearing the mind.
3. Penarth Hill Top, Vale of Glamorgan
One of the best views of Cardiff is from the hilltop of Penarth. I’m envious of residents in the houses behind who can wake up to a sunrise over Cardiff bay and see the skyline light up at twilight. Sure, the bench could do with a lick of paint or replacing, but that view is magical.
4. St Fagans Historic Museum, Cardiff
I love exploring this outdoor history museum time and time again, it’s a fascinating journey through Wales’s heritage. On a sunny afternoon the gardens surrounding St Fagan’s castle is a lovely location to relax on a bench or tuck into a picnic.
5. Barry Island, Vale of Glamorgan
On a bright afternoon Barry Island can attract crowds of people to the coast. The headland nearby is a pleasant walk up from the beach and much quieter. The benches along here are also cool for boat and plane spotting as Cardiff Airport lies just to the west – so take your binoculars.
6. Bute Park, Cardiff
In the city centre next to the Cardiff Castle is Bute Park where the river Taff snakes it’s way to the bay. There’s plenty of benches in this huge park to take a time out from the hustle and bustle, including the riverside benches that are ideal for a takeaway tea and cake from Pettigrew Tearooms…
7. Ridgeway, Newport
Somewhere I return to regularly throughout the year is Ridgeway in Newport. The view over the mountains is absolutely gorgeous and changes depending on the season or time of day. Though I’ve never found it to be too busy, it’s clearly a cherished spot for locals with many memorial benches lining the grassy field. The Café at Ridgeway can also be found here for a light lunch or hot drink – perfect for a crisp winters day with Alt-yr-yn nature reserve also a short stroll away.
8. Dunraven Bay, Vale of Glamorgan
The dreamy coastline of Dunraven has a view that’s just as romantic as its name. I discovered this area thanks to Real Wales Tours where we enjoyed a summer sundown while toasting marshmallows. The stony bench on the hilltop sits inside the remains of a castle and looks towards the coastline of Porthcawl.
9. The Kymin, Monmouth
Further north overlooking Monmouth is The Kymin, a National Trust property that I’ve mentioned in a previous post exploring the Wye Valley. You can spend ages looking at the panoramic views that stretch all the way to the Brecon Beacons. I think this is a great spot to relax and read a book or for artists and writers to get inspired by nature.
10. Suggested by YOU!
After asking on here and social media for a tenth location, Hannah from Miss Nicklin kindly suggested the wonderful cliff side views on the Sully Coastal Walk near Penarth.
Do you have any other favourite park bench views? Let me know!