Cardiff audio tour: The Ghosts of Llandaff

About the Tour

Follow the forgotten but, in places, ancient pathways which lie behind Llandaff Cathedral. Isolated, atmospheric, and away from modern urban Cardiff, they are filled with mystery, atmosphere, legend and ghost stories. It is no wonder. In places these paths were ancient Celtic trade routes, or medieval roadways.
They are filled with strange and sometimes spine chilling tales of ghosts and phantoms, still being witnessed and reported in modern times. In places the atmosphere can become strange, overwhelming, even sinister, especially in the dark seclusion of night!

This tour follows a circular route taking you along a mysterious and atmospheric wooded lane, the scene of many ghostly experiences, before following the riverbank where more ghostly encounters and legends are told. The route turns back towards the Cathedral for more tales, and culminates in the old abandoned and overgrown woodland graveyard, with its intense atmosphere and ghostly tales.

The stories are highlights from The Llandaff Ghost Walk, which I researched, created and operated under the name of “Cardiff History and Hauntings” from 2009-2019, and whose tales form part of a new book scheduled for publication in 2020.

The Llandaff Ghost Walk captured media attention locally and nationally and welcomed thousands of participants from all over the world. Every tale you hear on this tour has been faithfully researched and retold and when, in the second half of the tour, I share with you my own personal ghostly experiences of this place, I can assure you that my accounts are honest and faithful, whatever it was being experienced at the time.

I cannot of course guarantee that you will experience a ghost on this tour. However, I hope that you find it intriguing, captivating and, in places, as spine chilling as I did when I walked these paths, in the night, in the dark!

Tour Producer

avatar

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

  • Llandaff Cathedral

Directions to Starting Point

The tour begins outside the main entrance (The West Door) of Llandaff Cathedral. The entrance has a tower either side of it. A tall perpendicular bell tower to the left, with a flag pole, and a taller spire to the right.
Llandaff Cathedral is 2 miles from Cardiff City Centre and can easily be reached by a bus journey of approximately 15 minutes. The most frequent buses are the #63 and #25 operated by Cardiff Bus (https://www.cardiffbus.com/)and which leave at regular intervals from Westgate Street in Cardiff. Please ask the driver to tell you when you need to get off for Llandaff Cathedral. Once you have left the bus, you need to make your way to Llandaff High Street. It is just a few metres from where you leave the bus, on the opposite side of the main road. The entrance to Llandaff High Street is marked by the prominent pub called “The Black Lion”.
Please walk up the entire length of Llandaff High Street (about 200 metres up a slight hill). Llandaff High Street is a narrow straight road lined by shops, pubs, houses and restaurants. When you reach the end of Llandaff High Street the main road bends to the left. Follow this bend and keep walking. You will see that the road before you widens to form an open space called The Cathedral Green. Walk towards the Cathedral Green and you will see the Cathedral on your right, down at the foot of a short hill. You will also see a narrow lane to the right leading towards the spire of the Cathedral. Please follow this lane to the spire which brings you to the entrance door to the Cathedral. This is where our tour starts.
If you are driving please follow directions to Llandaff Cathedral. If you are using GPS, then the postcode for the top of Llandaff High Street CF5 2DZ. Drive up Llandaff High Street and you will see on your left the Spar Supermarket. Immediately opposite it take the turning to the right which leads to a large surface car park. You will need to take a parking ticket from the machine and there may be a small charge, depending on what time you visit. After parking, walk back to Llandaff High Street and continue up the hill until you reach the end of Llandaff High Street where the main road bends to the left. Follow this bend and keep walking. You will see that the road before you widens to form an open space called The Cathedral Green. Walk towards the Cathedral Green and you will see the Cathedral on your right, down at the foot of a short hill. You will also see a narrow lane to the right leading towards the spire of the Cathedral. Please follow this lane to the spire which brings you to the entrance door to the Cathedral. This is where our tour starts.

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Tips

Places to stop along the way

Llandaff High Street has numerous shops, cafes, pubs and restaurants for you to enjoy before or after your tour. However, there are no buildings or toilet facilities on the route itself.

Best time of day

Of course, for the most atmospheric experience, the tour should be done at night, when it is at its most isolated and eerie. However, please see the section on personal safety in the “Precautions” section below. You MUST bring a flashlight and keep it focused on the ground ahead. There is no street lighting once you are past the Cathedral. You will also need to listen very carefully to the route instructions and stick to the path.
At points when we stop for a story along the route, you can switch off your flashlight for added spine chilling atmosphere (but never switch off the flashlight while you are walking as it is essential to see where you are going).
If you do not wish to do the tour by night it is quite possible to do so by day, although it will not, of course, be quite as atmospheric, and there is a greater likelihood that other members of the public will be in the area, walking dogs, jogging, or using the recreation fields near the route.
The tour is all outdoors so please dress for the weather. Parts of the route are cold throughout the year because they are shaded, so dress to be warm and dry. You will need good sturdy shoes or boots.
Some parts of the route are tarmac but most parts of the route are bare earth, or rough stone and gravel. The surface is often uneven so care is needed when walking. In wet weather the ground can be muddy or have puddles in places. In extreme weather conditions parts of the route can be waterlogged. There are parts of the route which slope gently up and down and great care must be taken, especially if conditions are damp or wet. Do not at any time go off the path on to the grass when using the slopes as the grass can be slippery.
The route is, regretfully, not suitable for wheelchairs, pushchairs, and not recommended for anyone with impaired mobility. This is due to its uneven and changeable nature.
Bottom line: The route is a pleasant and atmospheric journey provided common sense is applied.

Precautions

It is essential that you read the information in “Tips” above about the nature of the route, and wearing appropriate clothing and footwear for the conditions of the route.
Safety and Security: The area is generally safe but please bear in mind that the route, especially at night, can be very isolated and a long way from occupied buildings. You must take this into careful consideration if you are thinking of doing the tour alone and at night. Your personal security and well being is of paramount importance. If in doubt, you can check the route and its locations by day and listen to the tour in the comfort of your home or hotel by playing the tour on the “continuous play” option, when at least you will be more easily able to picture the scene.

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