Cardiff (Caerdydd) is the capital city of Wales and is just under two hours from London Paddington. Trains run every half hour and is accessible from other UK major cities by frequent public transport, including Bristol and Birmingham. Cardiff International Airport is 20 minutes from the centre and as an alternative Bristol Airport is 40 drive minutes away whilst Birmingham Airport is just under two hours away. Daily flights from leading operators include TUI, Ryanair, KLM, Vueling and Qatar Airways.
Cardiff is pronounced Caerdydd in Welsh, and is a modern, cosmopolitan city full of vibrancy. It is packed with attractions, history, culture, arts, theatre, music and sporting events. There are also leading universities and innovative businesses, as well as a waterside bay just a short journey from the centre of the city.
Welsh historic exclusive curated tours for incentives can be arranged to include stately homes, castles and museums. Cardiff has many options for meeting spaces including a world-class stadium which also offer tours. Arenas can be hired for exhibitions and corporate away days can include white water rafting and escape rooms for team building exercises. It's not just a city as there are also open green spaces, parks and gardens for mindfulness, wellbeing and relaxation.
AM: Discover the history of Cardiff Castle with an exclusive curated tour
Located right in the heart of the city is Cardiff Castle with a history spanning nearly 2,000 years. It is within walking distance from Cardiff Central station and The Principality Stadium, yet is surrounded by green parkland
This magnificent and historical venue was once a Roman fort, an impressive Norman castle and an extraordinary Victorian Gothic fantasy palace. It was created for one of the world’s richest men the Third Marquis of Bute. ‘Eccentric genius’ architect William Burges was given a free rein to create the amazingly lavish and opulent interiors, each breath taking room rich with murals, stained glass, gilding and superb craftsmanship.
Take an exclusive curated tour exploring some fascinating spaces, stories and insights along the way. Recent developments include the opening of the Wartime Shelters, an evocative re-creation of a bygone era when the castle’s tunnels were used as a place of refuge during the Second World War. Once at the Victorian ‘apartments’ there is the opportunity to climb up to the top of the 12th century Norman Keep (the little castle in the middle) for great views over the city and beyond.
A venue to create the wow factor to any event, with breath taking décor and elegance, Cardiff Castle is available to hire for product launches. Welsh themed banquets, dinners and meetings, with exclusive curated tours for incentives means it has the perfect setting and backdrop for clients.
Walking food and city tour
At the entrance of the castle, begins the next activity with Sian from Loving Welsh Food. This VIP experience offers clients a unique and personal walking tour of the capital city, its architecture, history and people and even a few Welsh words to try along the way. The tour stops at the vintage tearoom, local market and pub sampling local cuisine including welshcake, cheese, cockles, laverbread, faggots and peas, with a tipple of the local beer.
One of the stops is at Pettigrew teashop, owned by David Le Masurier, has an inspirational story of someone who has pursued their ambitions. In 2010, David packed in a successful career in the hotel industry with the intent of establishing a traditional British tearoom. Two years later the Pettigrew Tea Rooms opened.
Loving Welsh Food tours can be delivered in a number of languages including Welsh, Spanish and French.
PM: Cardiff Bay has so much to offer
At Bute Park where the food tour begins and ends, is the start of the next activity. Greeted by a guide, take an afternoon cycle tour from the city to Cardiff Bay, just a 2km ride each way, with Cardiff Pedal Power cycle hire and tours.
Once a docks area of the city, Cardiff Bay was at one time the largest port in the world. These days, the Bay is one of the world’s largest regeneration projects. Central to the whole idea is the Cardiff Bay Barrage, which transformed the Bay from mud flats to a massive freshwater lake. ‘Down the Bay’ which is how it’s described by locals is now a thriving place to live, eat and visit, with an opera house the Wales Millennium Centre and home to the Welsh Parliament / Senedd Cymru. Once there, stop and rest with a coffee and welshcake made fresh by Fabulous Welshcakes and find out more about this transformed area of Cardiff with some local tales too, including how this was once home to global icon Dame Shirley Bassey.
Take a leisurely cycle ride back or take the train from the Bay to Queen Street Station (six minutes), for a much more relaxing experience, take the water taxi back to Bute Park just outside Pettigrew Tea Rooms. A great idea for incentives, team building and corporate away days.
Accommodation and evening dining
Just steps from the main shopping centres and castle, yet in a quiet arcade set back off the main street is the accommodation, the 4 star Hotel Indigo Cardiff, where bespoke design meets Welsh Heritage. The boutique bedrooms reflect the traditions of Wales with three different themes, Made in Wales, Welsh Industry, and Music. There is a small private gymnasium for guests staying at the hotel. Dinner is served on the top floor of the hotel at the Marco Pierre restaurant, in a private dining area with glass doors and balcony. It gives a skyline view of the city, a perfect setting to toast to a successful first day in Wales.
AM: Ribride – Bay Blast
Wake up refreshed and head back down to Cardiff Bay for the day. Take a water taxi down from Bute Park, where the tour ended the day before and arrive at one of three choices for the morning adventure with Bay Island Voyages.
For the ultimate thrill experience, the Bay Blast ride offers high excitement, thrills and spills. Just a 15 minute journey across the Bay on this fun adventure will set everyone up ready to enjoy the rest of the morning at a leisurely pace.
Or choose from the coastal adventure along the Welsh coastline taking in some amazing views before accelerating off to Flat Holm Island. Discover more about the history of the Island and the beautiful wildlife that live here on this nature reserve. This one hour journey also has some time for playing on the waves and having some fun along the way.
Alternatively, visit Flat Holm Island on a two and a half hour tour with Bay Island Voyages. See the military remains with cannons, the lighthouse, and several species of wildlife that live on the island. There’s even a pub with plenty of places to relax and enjoy a picnic for lunch.
The company also offer charters and can tailor tours to specific interests a great incentive and reward for clients.
PM: The arts and science
For enthusiasts of the arts, take a VIP behind the scenes curated tour of the Wales Millennium Centre. This stunning performance venue is made of glass and slate and home to seven of Wales’ major cultural institutions, including the Welsh National Opera. The copper oxide dome giving it its gold effect dominates the structure with inscriptions of both Welsh and English carved into the metal, which are lit in the evenings. The materials inside come from all over Wales and are designed to reflect the different parts of the country. Find out more about the architect, the performances and the people who perform, work and visit here. The venue can also be hired for receptions, product launches and gala dinners on stage.
Alternatively, if science and discovery is more of an interest, then Techniquest, has two floors of hands on exhibits, a planetarium, science theatre and working laboratory which is a lot of fun. Tailored team building packages are available and led by science instructors. 'Airship' challenges colleagues to create and try to win a contract for the commercial production of an airship. 'Mars Mission Madness' expects the team to design, build and execute a soft landing object to fall from a height. 'Topology' ties colleagues together and is a race to work out how to set themselves free. 'Giant Dice' is a fact learning game to encourage colleagues to learn more about each other by rolling a giant dice.
The venue is also available for meetings, private dinners and receptions for between 100 - 500 delegates, with private and full access to the hands on science exhibits to encourage further networking between clients.
Dine in style
An evening of entertainment can be had at Cardiff Castle, which is in walking distance of the hotel for an historic Welsh banquet. Relax and enjoy this cultural yet fun experience in the 15th century stone vaulted undercroft. It provides great Welsh food and drink, and an evening of musical entertainment, from traditional to contemporary songs in English and Welsh.
AM: Sporting venue
The Principality Stadium in the centre of the capital city and just a short walk from the hotel is home to Wales International Rugby, major music and sporting events. This impressive 74,500 capacity stadium has 113 hospitality suites overlooking the pitch, stadium guides offer a curated private behind the scenes stadium tour. Learn about the history of the venue, how it was built with its retractable roof, the fans who visit here, the events that happen and about players and managers who lead their teams out for a win. Then, step out onto the pitch and hear the roar of the crowds, a truly remarkable experience.
The stadium can also be hired for meetings, exhibitions and gala dinners.
Shopping and lunch
There is now some free time before departing Cardiff to explore the city and the independent shops in the quirky small arcades to the major chain stores.
Visit Yr Hen Lyfrgell, which translates into 'The Old Library'. It hosts the Museum of Cardiff, capturing the history of Cardiff through stories, photographs, films and objects. Walk around the interactive exhibits then stop off in Bodlon, a gift shop full of Welsh goods. Some of the best buys include bars of chocolate made in West Wales and Melin Tregwynt Welsh wool blankets.
Stop off for lunch at The Ivy Cardiff just a few minutes’ walk from the Principality Stadium, with private dining areas available, this striking restaurant is a great way to relax before heading home.