Cardiff’s seven historic arcades have been attracting keen shoppers for over a century, but today, a new campaign to raise their profile and establish Cardiff as the City of Arcades has been launched.
FOR Cardiff is asking residents and regular visitors to Cardiff to vote for their favorite store, eatery, bar, barber shop or hotel that can be found within Cardiff's 800 metres of arcades. The most popular businesses will be included in a Top 10 list, and will feature in an advertising campaign which is being rolled out in Bath, Bristol and Cardiff later on this year.
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Built in 1887, Wyndham arcade runs from St Mary Street to Mill Lane. Originally, the arcade played host to 35 shops and cellars. Now a bustling street of activity, the arcade houses a variety of eateries (including the delightful Servinis cafe) as well as several independent shops and beauticians.
Dating back to 1858, Royal Arcade is the city’s oldest arcade. Starting life as a retired slum house, the Royal Arcade was brought to life by The Cardiff Arcade Company and became the first full scale shopping centre in the city.
As much a hub of culture now as it was 150 years ago, the arcade has a variety of alternative coffee shops, cafés and delicatessens, alongside several quirky independent clothes stores, jewellers and photography shops.
High Street & Duke Street Arcade
The first of three arcades that now make up Castle Quarter, High Street Arcade was completed in 1885 and then Duke Street was finished in 1902 creating Cardiff’s first adjoining arcade. Designed in an iconic Gothic style of the time, the building is particularly striking.
Once home to a sea of apothecaries and fortune tellers, the arcade now has a far more contemporary feel, bustling with sophisticated cafés and restaurants (including street-food favourites Bwyta Bwyd Bombai) as well as barbers, skate shops and vintage clothing stores.
The third of the arcades making up Castle Quarter is Castle Arcade. Sitting on the opposite side of Cardiff’s high street facing High Street & Duke Arcades, Castle Arcade was constructed between 1882 and 1889.
The arcade is full of great places to eat (like the wonderful Science Cream) and is particularly famous for the balconies that split the shops across two floors. There are some real gems to be found on the second level too, like the excellent Wrights Wines, a new wine cafe serving natural wines by the glass.
Built in 1896, Morgan Arcade is arguably the best preserved of all the arcades. Also situated along St Mary Street weaving through to The Hayes, the arcade contains luxury boutiques, stores and eateries, and alongside Royal Arcade, makes up the 'Morgan Quarter'.
Constructed in 1921, Dominions is the newest of all the arcades. Situated on the busy Queen Street, it is the smallest of the arcades but by no means the least impressive. Luxurious architecture intertwined with contemporary fittings make this the place to capture a pretty Instagram shot!
Voting is open until the 22 July 2018. To vote for your favorite arcade business to help them secure a spot in the City of Arcades Top 10 and help raise their profile, visit thecityofarcades.com.