Cardiff audio tour: A Journey back to Tudor Cardiff

A Journey back to Tudor Cardiff

Walking Tour

40 mins

About the Tour

This tour helps you escape the modern city of Cardiff and picture what it was like to walk through the streets of the tiny but lively Tudor Town of Cardiff in the 1500s. Most (but not all) of the Tudor buildings are long gone, but thanks to historical records and maps we can piece together, as you meander through the city centre, what you would have seen, what dramatic events you might have witnessed, and who you might have been lucky enough (or unlucky enough!) to meet. Your journey back in time is helped with period music and sound effects to complete a magical journey of the imagination!

Tour Producer


James Cowan

I grew up with Cardiff on my doorstep. I have never forgotten the thrill of visiting the city as a small child - the sight of its sometimes majestic, sometimes downtrodden, and sometimes quirky buildings, the sound of its bustling shopping streets and buses, and the smell of hops near Cardiff Central Station! After years of fleeting encounters with this city, as I flirted with cities and countries around the world, Cardiff became my permanent home in 1997 and, since then, discovering its incredible but as yet largely unknown history became an ever growing and consuming passion!
They add up to a story waiting to be told! The story of a settlement which has been here for 2000 years, and has witnessed cycles of triumph and disaster, rise, fall and rise again. Signs of Cardiff’s changing shape and fortunes over the centuries remain all around the city centre.
I developed a number of guided history tours and ghost tours around Cardiff under the auspices of my own company, Cardiff History and Hauntings. Thanks to VoiceMap I am able to offer highlights of the stories told on these tours to anyone at anytime. I have also written and presented a number of local television programmes on Cardiff’s History.
If you already live in Cardiff, I hope I can help you see this city in a new and different light. If you are visiting Cardiff, then I hope you will be left fascinated, intrigued, and eager to return!

Major Landmarks

  • Cardiff St John the Baptist Church

  • Cardiff Castle

Directions to Starting Point

The tour starts right in the heart of Cardiff City Centre. Please make your way to Working Street, and stand outside the large branch of Barclays Bank. The address is 28 Working Street, Cardiff, CF10 2DP. If using the front gate of Cardiff Castle as your starting point, as you face the castle please turn right and make your way to the far right hand corner of the castle. Here you will see a large pedestrian crossing. Cross here, and then immediately turn right to walk down St John's Street. This street lies between Burger King on the corner to the right, and the Spar store on the corner to the left. Keep walking, and after 100 metres St John Street becomes Working Street and very soon afterwards you will see Barclays Bank on your left.

Show Directions
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Places to stop along the way

The route in the city centre is packed with lots of places to stop and grab a snack or hot/cold drink, either to take a break, or to have on the go. The Victorian arcades (there are several of joining the route we take) are a special treat and worth a quick diversion to take in their small shops and eateries (many of them are independent traders).

Best time of day

I recommend you do this walk after 10am and before 5pm. This is when the shops and attractions will be open should you wish to take a break from the tour (one of the stopping points, the Church of St John the Baptist, is open daily between 10am-3pm should you wish to look inside although we do not strictly enter as part of the tour). I do not recommend doing the tour earlier than 10am as there is a strong chance the route will be crammed with delivery vehicles and street cleaners which will make the route noisy and congested. After sunset it is not possible to enter Bute Park which is important to the last part of the tour.


Most of the route is pedestrianised but parts of it have restricted vehicle access (eg making deliveries) so please always be aware of slow moving vehicles. Please take great care when you are asked to cross roads and please obey pedestrian light controlled crossing instructions. The route is safe by day as it is busy with pedestrians, without being overly crowded but, as always, please take common sense precautions regarding personal possessions.


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A Journey back to Tudor Cardiff