Real Cardiff

Real Cardiff Two

Real Cardiff
and Two are
published by
Seren Books



Read about
Real Cardiff

Bute Street
Charles Street
City Road
Flat Holm
The Four Elms
The Garth
Gorsedd Gardens
Hadfield Road
Lloyd George Ave
Mount Stuart Square
Newport Road

The Parks of Roath
The Pearl


Womanby St.

Real Cardiff #2
The Canna
Billy Banks
Ely Fields
Llys TalyBont


Cardiff Poets Map
Cardiff, New York
Shots of the Bay
and the City

More Scenes


Hamadryad Park
The Bay
St David's Hall
The Museum
The City
Check Your Accent
Ffynnon Denis

to Cardiff

to site map

"Finch's Real Cardiff was one of the most successful and original books ever written about the Welsh capital - Here comes part two, and it's even better than the first" - The Western Mail, December 2004

Real Cardiff One - Cardiffian Peter Finch discovers the real Cardiff - lost rivers, Roman forts, holy wells, itinerant poets, the old race course, the revitalised city centre, the redeveloped Cardiff Bay, as he travels the city from east to west and north to south. All Cardiff is here - not just the tourist destinations. The estates of Ely and Grangetown sit next to elegant Radyr and Lisvane; the new bars jostle with the old pubs; the terraces of Splott stand by the grandeur of the castle and the civic centre.

What do visitors make of the place? Meet the Japanese tourist puzzling over Castell Coch; get banned from the pubs of Llandaff with novelist George MacBeth; listen to the Beat poets in town. Meet the locals too, with their mix of diffidence and civic pride.

And see how Cardiff is changing, from Finch's youth in the sixties to the chrome and glass of today; from capital city to seat of government; from thriving docks and steelmaking to call centres and the new tourism.This is offbeat topographical writing, peppered with Finch's poems, which will enthral the native, the visitor and the armchair traveller alike. It's celebratory, it's subversive. It's Real Cardiff.

Real Cardiff One Contents

Broadway - City Road - Claude Road - Deans Farm - Newport Road - Four Elms - Lake - Lambies - Parks of Roath - Pengam - Ty Draw - The Lost Wells of Penylan

Conifer Court - Ely - Grangetown - Hadfield Road - King's Castle

Arcade - Bute Park - Taf - Charles Street - Gorsedd Gardens - Hayes - High Street - Kardomah - The Park Hotel - The Pearl -
Stadium - The General - The Roman Fort - Womanby Street - The Lost Rivers of Cardiff

Castell Coch - Garth - Llandaf - The Pineapple - The Twmpath - Not As Visible As They Could Be - The Junction Terrace Cooking Mound - Whitchurch Common

Bute Street - Lloyd George Avenue - Mount Stuart Square - Windsor Esplanade - Port - Flat Holm - Grangemore Parc - A West Bute Dock Walk

Back To The Bay

This is the ideal alternative guidebook, history and literary ramble. In addition to the main text the work is illuminated by a set of poems, a couple of maps and at least fifty photographs. paperback. Fully revised. £9.95. ISBN 1854113852

full size cover for Real Cardiff #1

Real Cardiff Two - The Greater City

Real Cardiff Two - Peter Finch crosses the larger city, Greater Cardiff, hunts for the legendary periferique and discovers rubbish dumps, walled housing estates and dead-end lanes. He walks the coast around Penarth Head and on to Lavernock to find the terminal beach at Sully. With poet Grahame Davies he hunts for the mythical river Canna and uncovers what makes Cardiff media-land tick. With Architect Jonathan Adams he trails where the walls of Cardiff once ran, looking for time vaults and gaps in the city's space-time continuum.

How did Penarth's Billy Banks get their name? Why are there so many pubs in Pontcanna? Is it Victoria Park or Canton? Who knows? Not Finch's mother, that's for sure. With John Briggs he walks the route of the Glamorgan Canal, mourning the city's loss. Russell Goodway agrees with him. But he's lost too, now.

In the Bay he looks at what went before the new Wales Millennium Centre and what might have been. Out at Creigiau he finds cromlechau and extant past in a city full of trees and slopes. The welsh Office is surrounded with salt to keep the demons out. John Tripp has his wake at the Gower in Cathays. There's a folk-club in the Locomotive along Broadway. Queen Street Station has passages you can't get to where the Taff Valley Railway still steams. There are other secrets running inside the overbuilt city. Finch tells us what they are.

In Real Cardiff #2 Finch no longer has his nose pressed against the glass. This time he's inside.

There's are slices from the books here at the Real Cardiff web site but what else is in the book? Check the contents below:

Real Cardiff Two Contents

Roath - Capital of Wales - Waterloo Hill and the Three Brewers - Lamby Way - Rumney - Adamsdown - The Locomotive - The Road To Cardiff Gate -Gwennyth Street - East Cardiff - Llanrumney Hall - Llanedeyrn Village

St Mary Street - Cardiff Queen Street Station - Surrounding The Welsh Office With Salt - Womanby Street - Cardiff Medicine - The Town Walls - The Royal - Cardiff Arts (Old) - Angel Street - Sorting Working Street - Cardiff Haiku

The Bridge Over The Canna - North Riverside - Six Pubs and a Chip Shop - Songs To Sing In Cardiff When You're Drunk - Victoria Park - Tinkinswood - Cosmeston - St Lythan

The Pool at Maindy - Llys Tal Y Bont - Gabalfa - Heol y Waun - Creigiau - The Green Wedge -Canal North

Canal South - Ely Fields - Barrage - Hamadryad Park - County Hall - Wales Millennium Centre - Bute East and Atlantic Wharf - Walking Out of Butetown - North From The Oval Basin

Penarth and the Coast
The Towers of Penarth - Penarth Head - Penarth Fish Pier - The Billy Banks - Washington - Lavernock - Sully's Terminal Beach

Newport isn't Cardiff - Cardiff, New York State - Cardiff Could Be


Real cardiff Two Map


Paperback. November, 2004. £9.99. ISBN 1854113844.

Seren are also offering copies of the revised Real Cardiff One and Real Cardiff Two at the bargain price of £15.00 post free Send your cheque to Seren Books, 57 Nolton Street, Bridgend CF31 3AE Wales, UK Tel: 01656 663018 Fax: 01656 649226 bk

back to the top