Cardiff has the highest concentration of Victorian and Edwardian arcades in the UK. Dating from the mid 19th century, Cardiff’s arcades are a magnet for shoppers from all over the world. Built in 1858, and joined to nearby Morgan Arcade via Tabernacle Lane, Royal Arcade is full of Cardiff’s truly specialist stores as well as independent shops. The arcades are unique and appeal to people who like shopping to be an experience. “There are brands and names here that are unique to Cardiff”, says Royal Arcade’s third generation owner Steven Salamon.
Morgan Arcade, joining The Hayes and St Mary Street, in common with all Cardiff’s arcades is a veritable maize of shops and has at it’s heart the Plan Cafe permeating the smell of comforting food. It houses some of Cardiff’s most well established businesses (such as 25-year-old Capital Bookshop, 40-year-old vegetarian restaurant Crumbs and the 106-year-old Spillers Records). Designed by architect J P Jones and completed in 1887, the Wyndham Arcade is perhaps most ike old Cardiff. Despite opening out onto the newly transformed Mill Lane it has a collection of shops, restaurants and bars that would have felt equally at home in it’s Victorian heyday.
The Castle Quarter
In the shadow of the iconic Cardiff Castle there are a further three historic arcades. Stretching from the Castle to the High Street, Castle Arcade has seen several new arrivals as well as the expansion of Baker, which will almost double in size and reintroduce a womenswear line to compliment their established menswear. Radio 1 D J and the man behind the annual Swn Festival, Huw Stephens visits the arcade for the spinach and cheese pasta at Marcellos (or Cafe Minuet as it’s properly known).
Across the street, you’ll come across High Street Arcade. Quite the fashion destination and much more, including everything from jewels to musical instruments. Duke Street Arcade joined the High Street Arcade in 1902. Here you’ll find everything you need from traditional barbers to specialist Welsh food at Cwm Deri Vineyard. They also have a wonderful range of wine and preserves from their Pembrokeshire vineyard as well as other locall