Tuesday, September 28, 2010

All around the bay .

On the 24th March 2010 I wrote on this blog about the new Pont y Werin footbridge at Cardiff Bay, that was due to open for the public on the 8th June...

£4.5m is an awful lot of money for a footbridge. Oh yes, it will be very nice for tourists to stroll across as they enjoy their visit to Cardiff Bay but with increasing obesity among the population I cannot imagine many tourists walking all the way from the Pier Head to Penarth and back. The only legitimate use for this bridge is people in Penarth who want to come across to Cardiff Bay on foot or a bicycle, I suspect those numbers to be very low indeed! Out of interest Barney and I will be walking this super new £4.5m footbridge when it opens to the public. I and the rest of the community have paid for this new footbridge, so I feel obliged to walk it.

...Well, the time has come and I parked our car at the Cardiff Barrage , leaving Gail to read her newspaper whilst Barney and I walked around the bay. We walked around Cardiff Bay counter-clockwise but the walk would have been the very same had we went around clockwise, that is the joy that circular walks have over linear walks.

Barney and I thoroughly enjoyed our walk all around the bay, which took a shade under 90 minutes. What we liked about it was the contrast. The Cardiff Barrage is a wide open and wind-swept dockland area. You can watch boats come in and out through the barrage and the only noise you hear is the birds. Further along you have the tourist attractions of the Wales Millennium Centre and the restaurants around Mermaid Quay. Then we strolled across the Wetlands to the main road bridge to cross the River Taff.

Barney wondered if we were shopping in Morrison's as we walked past the back of the store towards Cardiff International Pool and the Sports Village. And there it was in front of us, £4.5m of footbridge! We did not have to queue to get across and there was only one other person in sight, the time being 10.45 - Pont y Werin footbridge is a very simple and basic looking bridge. It does not look like £4.5m worth of bridge but it will swing up and down to allow tall boats through. Still, it is a nice little short cut and adds more quality to this very pedestrian friendly circular walk around the bay. Then we followed signposts towards the Barrage past some houses and a little park finishing by walking alongside Penarth Marina to the parking area at Cardiff Barrage.

Barney and I enjoyed our walk around the bay with plenty of room for him to run off his lead. The most interesting bits for Barney were across the Wetlands. What I liked most was the contrasts between development, industry, leisure, nature, residential, retail and tourism. It is a walk of contrasts and I just hope that tourists to our great city will get off their fat backsides to walk around the bay. If you want some food and drink, then representing good value for money is the Oystercatcher , along Terra Nova Way, which is the Penarth side of the Pont y Werin footbridge.
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