Real Cardiff Three

Real Cardiff Three cover

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Real Cardiff #3
Now the Boom
Has Bust


Leckwith Bridge

What's in the Book


Real Cardiff #1
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
Ty Draw


Womanby St.

What else?


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

Cardiff Poets Map
Cardiff City Map
Cardiff, New York

Shots of the Bay
and the City

More Scenes

Cardiff Fictions and


What the Critics

Real Cardiff

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

Big Book of

to Cardiff

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Real Cardiff Three - can there still be anything new to say about this drizzle-drenched place? Cardiff - capital of so many things - changed and still changing. The western world's boom may have bust but the Cardiff landscape still keeps on shifting. Real Cardiff - volume three of this highly successful, idiosyncratic, informative and entertaining series arrives on a new wave of Cardiffian optimism.

The new centre is open, a new landscape spreads. Streets are wide and clean, lit like glory, full of buskers and traders and people in swarms. The malls beckon like Beijing stadia. There is high rise everywhere. New hotels, new stores, new apartments, new administrations. Blocks that glisten, house offices, corporations, enterprises, libraries. Stores selling everything any Western purchaser could ever want (except maybe a can of beans or a packet of screws) open in droves.

Further out Canton's Chapter Arts Centre becomes a giant all-welcoming bar for the creative millions. Ninian Park moves itself to an aluminium and grass site of modernist wonder and surrounds itself with new stores that go on forever. The Bay thrashes skywards with flickering I gotta have one apartments. The Ferry Road peninsular flexes its sports-driven muscles. If a city could sing as the wind blows through its buildings then this one would.

Real Cardiff Three takes in all this is, contextualises the changes, and makes them real.

It majors on psychogeographical investigation and gets right inside what's been going on. With wit and willingness Peter Finch investigates just what it is that makes the Welsh capital work. He looks into just how nuclear the city is. Spends a day in the company of Wales Millennium Centre architect Jonathan Adams climbing the city's highest buildings. He walks the routes of old and vanished coal railways with the photographer John Briggs. He checks out what's happened to Cardiff's swimming pools as they morph into the future. He wanders the city's arcades. Looks at the public art works. Tells the story of how wine first reached Cardiff and how that changed things, forever. He goes underground to see what others don't.

Away from the centre he checks the town's ancient boundaries, watches creativity move from the west to the east. He looks into what remains of Cardiff's once booming heavy industry. Visits the city's final beach. Walks the barrage, checks Ocean Park, looks for the drowned subway, the lost Red House and Torchwood's hidden base. Out west he finds the racecourse, Leckwith's hilltop vineyard and the Apache Shadows fans of Penarth. He climbs the Garth, wanders Llanishen, Whitchurch, and the Ridgeway and Ruperra beyond.

There were Lords once in this city. Who were they and where are they now? Real Cardiff Three explains.

Cardiff - best place in Wales - you can do anything here, find yourself, loose yourself, buy the universe, sell your soul. Real Cardiff is an essential guide. Full of the past and rich with the future. Real Cardiff Three - Seren Books. £9.99. isbn: 978-1-85411-505-8. Buy online from Seren here

Central: A River Walk - Atomic Cardiff - Top Rank - The Marchioness - Bute Spam - Central High Rise - The Medieval High - City High Rise Could Have Been - Park Street - A City of Malls - Castle - Market - Underneath - The Greyfriars Tunnel - The Festival of Britain Steam Rooms - Library - Wyndham Arcade - Sophia - Limnological City

East: The Boundary of the Town - Hodge - The Gardens - The Arrival of Wine in Cardiff - The Creative East - Branch

South: Roath Dock - What Did They Do - Ocean Park - Senedd - The Line of the Fault - The Red House - Red House Myths - The Subway - The Dock's Master - Nelson and Loudoun - The Ballast Bank - South and the Moors - Walking Out Along The Barrage - Cardiff by the Sea

West: Alternative Canton - Cock Hill - Leckwith Bridge - Ely Racecourse - The Penarth Con Club - Chance

North: The Lesser Garth - Ridge - The Hollybush and the Hospital for the Mad - Dealt With - The Asylum Future - Gnome - Treoda Castle - Ruperra - Llanishen

Beyond: The Lords of Cardiff

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View the launch at

The Real Cardiff Trilogy

Peter Finch

Real Cardiff #3: The End of the Boom - Senedd - Whitchurch Hospital - Leckwith Bridge - Contents

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Can There
Still Be Anything
Left to Say?
You Bet There Is.