The Senedd

Price guide: Free

Cardiff Bay, Cardiff, CF99 1NA

Price guide: Free

The Senedd
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By Dave Jenkins, your Cardiff expert

I write for Real Travel. Read more
#18 of 20
expert-rated things to do in Cardiff
Expert overall rating:4.4 out of 5
Value for money:
0
N/A
Recommended for:
Culture vultures, Families with teenagers, Mature travellers, Design and architecture, Education, People watching

Expert review of The Senedd

The heart of an independent Wales.

Besides the Welsh signs and place names, Cardiff largely behaves like any other city in England, Scotland or Northern Ireland. That is until you arrive at the Senedd. Wales’s very own house of parliament, it’s the very heart of a devolving country.

Its quirky architecture was a source of hot debate when the Senedd first opened for business on St David’s Day, March 1, 2006. Many argued its concrete and railed entrance resembled football terraces while other people disagreed with its wavy wooden roof saying it looked like a floppy fisherman’s hat.

I actually think the building has settled into the bay’s landscape really well. I’m not sure about their claims that the wooden roof doesn’t need treating for 100 years; perhaps it’s the gentle fading of the roof that’s helped it blend into the area.

It’s what’s inside that counts. Once you and your bags have undergone a high-security X-ray check, you can help but marvel at the inner architecture. The huge windows and great use of space are highlighted by the wood and iron structure. The social areas have a respectable but vibrant buzz about them, and the public gallery, complete with TVs to zoom in on faces and headphones to hear Welsh politics in motion, is an enlightening look into the progress of a proudly independent country.

Price advice: 

The Senedd is free to visit.

Expert tips: 
The best time to visit the public gallery is Tuesday and Wednesday afternoons as all 60 Assembly Members will be in attendance for their weekly meetings.
You can actually take a tour right this instant by visiting the website and getting an insightful virtual view.

More information on The Senedd :

Price guide:
Free
Type:
Landmark / monument
Address:
Cardiff Bay, Cardiff, CF99 1NA
Telephone:
+44 845 010 5500
Website:
http://www.assemblywales.org
Months open:
All year round
Opening times:
Open 9.30am-4.30pm on weekdays and 10.30am-4.30pm on weekends and bank holidays.
Indoor/outdoor?:
Indoor

Have you been to The Senedd ? Would you recommended it?