Cardiff audio tour: A Journey back to Tudor Cardiff

A Journey back to Tudor Cardiff

Walking Tour

40 mins

About the Tour

Tudor Cardiff, a small and lively town on the river Taff, has long faded into history, along with almost all of its buildings. Today Cardiff has a modern city centre. However, many clues help us picture life in Cardiff in the mid 1500s: a few notable surviving buildings, the largely unchanged street layout, old maps and descriptions, and accounts of its characters, some famous and infamous in Cardiff and beyond.

This tour tries to piece together these clues to help guide you on a journey of the imagination. As you walk through the modern streets, hear stories about what you would have seen, who you might have bumped into, and what dramatic events you might have witnessed, had you been walking through these same streets during Tudor times. Sound effects and period music help bring back to life a Cardiff long gone.

Tour Producer


James Cowan

Mine is a tale of two cities: my one-time home city of Cardiff, Capital of Wales, and my new home, Copenhagen, Capital of Denmark.

I grew up with Cardiff on my doorstep and lived there most of my adult life. Discovering its incredible but still largely unknown history became an ever growing passion. This led me to develop walking tours telling people the history, legends and ghost stories of Cardiff and Wales – tales of Kings, Princes, and a one-time tiny town on the Taff that overnight become the world’s biggest coal port, from which emerged the grand domes, towers and columns of its beautiful civic centre….and all the time, in its woodlands and castles lurk ancient legends and tales of ghosts!

I am delighted that, thanks to Voicemap, I have been able to convert some of these tours into self guided audio tours.

Since 2019 I have had a new home, Copenhagen, and I have fallen in love with this city. Discovering its history, its character, and its characters past and present, has been an all-consuming pleasure, always full of surprises. I am delighted to offer my first Copenhagen tour, which has been a labour of love to research and develop.

Whether you are in Cardiff or Copenhagen, I hope I can help you see these cities in a new and different light, and eager for more!

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