Cardiff is a city of castles and culture. If you like your shopping, or supporting local businesses there are 7 unique Victorian and Edwardian arcades sitting alongside some of the biggest names of the high street. With over 100 independent cafes, bars and shops right in the heart of the city centre, the arcades offer a truly unique shopping experience.
A little known fact about Cardiff is that it has the biggest concentration of Victorian, Edwardian, and modern-day indoor shopping arcades in Britain. These corridors wind through the centre of the Welsh capital, crammed with boutique shops, family-run cafes, independent bookstores, gelato bars, and hidden tea houses. 150 years of Welsh retail history are brought together, now modernised to reflect the vibrancy of life in the city, these independent businesses are at the heart of Cardiff, The City of Arcades.
It wasn’t always like this. The Royal Arcade was the first indoor shopping street to open in the city in 1858 after the clearing of a slum house. A further arcades followed and still stand proud in the city centre, attracting shoppers for over a century. Those antique buffs amongst you will love the Royal Arcade which has a great selection of antique jewellery and collectables. A selection of handicraft products can also be found with ethically sourced clothes, shawls and bags. If you are an avid foodie, you will love the local deli where you can buy locally produced cheese, Christmas hampers and wine.
The Morgan Arcade has an abundance of stylish boutiques and refined gentlemen’s fashion. As you walk through the arcade you will be taken in by the offer of high quality clothes and shoes such as the stylish men’s brogues, hand crafted accessories and more! If music is your passion, take a step back in time at Spillers Record, the oldest record shop in the world. For your creative side, you can also find some beautiful collections of fine art.
The Castle Arcade runs opposite Cardiff Castle and features a beautiful gallery with a wooden second floor balcony and foot bridges. One of the longer of Cardiff’s famous Victorian arcades, it is also one of the city’s only two level shopping arcades other than Cardiff Central Market. You will find an array of edible goodies including specialty cheeses, breads and pastas, fair-trade and organic clothing, boutique shops, cafes and delis.
High Street Arcade is known for its range of designer and vintage clothes, jewellery and one of the oldest surf and skateboarding shops in Wales. You will also find children’s clothes, toys and gifts as well as a New York style deli. Duke Street Arcade is just opposite Cardiff Castle in the Castle Quarter and is lined with stores including hairdressers, bridal shops, Welsh gifts, jewellery and much more.
Constructed in 1921, Dominions is the newest of all the arcades. Situated on the busy Queen Street, it is the smallest of the arcades but by no means the least impressive. Luxurious architecture intertwined with contemporary fittings make this the place for a pretty picture.
Wyndham Arcade runs from St Mary Street to Mill Lane. Originally, the arcade played host to 35 shops and cellars. Now a bustling street of activity, the arcade houses a variety of eateries including Bills restaurant, Ask Italian, Waterloo Tea, Servini’s Café and Kiwi’s bar. As well as several independent eclectic shops and beauticians such as music store PMT and Cuban cigar shop Havana House.
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