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The St Davids, formally known as the St Davids, Dewi Sant Shopping Centre was originally built in 1982 with an extension added in 2009.
The additional space created by the 2009 build with many new stores has put St Davids in the top ten of the largest shopping centres in the UK.
This new extension cost £675 million and replaced many old buildings in Cardiff including the ice rink and Cardiff’s central library.
Cardiff Ice Rink and Central Library, has now been relocated to the newly developed area on the outskirts of the city named the “Sports Village” complex, which has a new Olympic size swimming pool and a white water canoeing and kayaking centre together with retail and residential areas. From the city centre it is about a 15 minute taxi drive away.
St Davids centre is split into two different sections. The main section is the original building attached to the St Davids Hall, which is a conference centre and performing arts venue. The other new section of the shopping centre is called the Eastside which contains a dedicated restaurant quarter and residential apartments above the shopping complex.
St Davids attracts nearly 30 million shoppers a year, who come to take advantage of its huge variety of stores.
More than 12 million visitors to Cardiff are estimated to help contribute to the overall spend in the centre totalling more than £7 billion.
The new named Eastside section of the shopping centre has a dedicated restaurant quarter. Set over two floors, there is a wide range of restaurants including American style places like Frankie and Benny’s and Ed’s Easy Diner, selling burgers, steak and chicken.
You will also find a Mexican themed Nando’s, selling spicy chicken of all variety’s, cooked fresh to order and delicious.
There is an Italian style restaurant called Signor Valentino, selling authentic pasta and pizza. Average in terms of cost, it is tasty and relaxed.
There is a Japanese restaurant called Mount Fuji selling fresh nori, sushi and noodles. If you like Japanese food this is the place to go.
The Red Hot World buffet sells absolutely everything from all corners of the globe. A huge buffet style diner with food from Mexico, England, India and Thailand.
Running through the central walk of the shopping centre is a Parisian style boulevard lined with a mixture of cafes and restaurants. This includes celebrity chef Jamie Oliver’s Italian restaurant selling fresh pasta as well as the award winning Asian style Wagamama restaurant and the delicious Mexican Wahaca selling taco’s and fajitas.
In addition, all around the complex are numerous places to sit, have a break and a coffee. This includes Starbucks, Costa, BB’s Muffins as well as Krispy Kreme donut shack and Soho Coffee, where you can buy anything from a standard filter coffee to a luxury mocha with a delicious cake.
In addition there are sit down and takeaway cafes including Greggs, Pret A Manger and Patisserie Valerie, where you can buy pastries, sandwiches, filled rolls and snacks as well as a Spud u Like cafe where you can buy a steaming hot baked potato with different fillings.
There are also cafes located in M&S, John Lewis and Debenhams department stores all selling sandwiches, cakes and a selection of hot food and drinks.
There is varied entertainment throughout the year centred mostly around competitions, store promotions and seasonal offers both in-store and around the cafes and restaurants.
Christmas is very much an extravaganza within the centre with Christmas lights and decorations. There is a Santa in Hamley’s toy store, a party night at department store Debenhams with special offers on food and themed events at many of the restaurants including the relaxed diner, the Cosy Club, selling tapas and sandwiches.
Tree Tops is the permanent adventure golf centre, located within the shopping complex. It is a mini golf centre with two 18 hole courses, with either an ancient or tropical theme. It has events running throughout the year for both adults and children, and is a good value activity for all the family. It has its own bar selling alcoholic beverages and a family friendly cafe where you can purchase cold drinks, hot drinks and snacks. All through the year, it has promotions, special offers on play and seasonal events for Christmas, Halloween and Easter which includes games for little ones including face painting and crafts.
For art lovers, Castle Fine Art has exhibitions not only at Christmas but through the year.
Located in the city centre of Cardiff, an easy walk from St Davids there is a traditional indoor market selling meat, fish, cooked food as well as crafts and antique goods.
Cardiff Castle is a medieval masterpiece and is just a short walk from the shopping centre. It has organised tours through its grounds and gardens as well as it’s impressive gothic interior.
There are a range of seasonal and school holiday themed events and activities on-going throughout the year. The centre also operates its own Little Shopper Stay Safe Scheme, with details available from customer information.
Split on two levels, the John Lewis department store dominates one end of the centre. A huge store, it has easy access from the street and options for parking. On the top level, outside of this store, moving towards the inner centre, you will find the big label shops like GAP, Hollister, Nike, Lakland and MAC;
On the lower level from John Lewis, there is a range of clothing stores like Fat Face, Warehouse, Kurt Geiger as well as Cath Kidson, Hamley’s and Game.
At the opposite end of the shopping centre you will find Debenhams and Marks and Spencer department stores as well as a very large Boots pharmacist and beauty store as well as discount fashion store Primark. Sitting alongside these, you will find ladies fashion in New Look, shoes in Footlocker, body and beauty products in The Body Shop and discount home and body products in Poundland. .
This huge modern complex that gets very busy at the weekends. It is quieter midweek and anytime after 7pm on weekdays, for a more relaxed look around, shop and dinner.
As the shopping centre is large there is a notable distance to walk from John Lewis at one end to Debenhams at the other end, which may be a problem for some.
There is late night shopping at Christmas, but you would need to check the website as the days and hours vary.
Clean and contemporary and kept to a high standard, the centre is user friendly in terms of toilets and washrooms, places to eat and the variety of shops located within it.
Easy to find and centrally located in Cardiff city centre it is everything you need under one roof.
The customer service team are based at the Information desk. Knowledgeable and courteous, they are able to provide a good range of information and can direct you to anywhere you would like to go within the complex. They can also advise on travel and attractions within Cardiff city and the surrounding area. The information desk is located on the upper level near the Debenhams end of the centre opposite USC and Mothercare. You are also invited to call the desk directly on 029 2036 7600 for any information you require.
There is a car wash and valet cleaning service operating in the car park near the John Lewis end of the centre. It users a water reduction method to clean the exterior of vehicles, making it environmentally friendly. The service is very reasonably priced.
In the multi story car park, there is a free electric car charging service. The bays are identified by green painted bays and each have an electric hook up. Although the charging is free you will require your own power lead.
WiFi is available free across the shopping centre on your internet enabled smart device, but an account is required via The Cloud.
The wash facilities include baby changing areas and nappy vending machines and adapted/accessible facilities for disabled users .
The lifts are family and disabled friendly as well as having brail signage.
Disabled shoppers have dedicated parking, toilets and accessible entrances. Assistance and further information is provided by the website DisabledGo which lists all disabled friendly entrances, changing and accessibility services.
All parking is chargeable, but reasonably priced. Evening parking is from 5pm to 9pm at a discounted rate for late shoppers.
Parking is either located at the John Lewis department store which provides direct access into the John Lewis store;
Or there is also a 2000 space 6 level multi story car park, sitting atop the centre which has 24 hour CCTV.
Shopmobility for disabled customers is located on the first level of parking, with wide spaces and accessible entrances into the centre.
In the heart of Cardiff city centre, St David’s is just a short walk from Cardiff Central Bus and Coach station and both Cardiff Central and Queen Street Rail Stations.
It is also easy to get to the shopping centre by car with access from the M4 motorway.
There are four entrances into the centre from various points off the main city centre thoroughfare making it easily accessible on foot.
By train from Cardiff Central station, it is about a 20 minute walk away and from Queens Street station, about a 10 minute walk away.
The diverse capital city of Wales, Cardiff is home to a range of attractions including the beautiful medieval Cardiff Castle.
Cardiff is home to Bute Park, which is the largest park in Wales covering 56 hectares of green space, woods and sports pitches sitting alongside the river Taff.
For culture lovers there is Cardiff National Museum and the open air St Fagans Natural History Museum, providing a unique insight into Wales traditions and culture.
Cardiff has become famous for hosting major international sporting events with sporting fixtures going on throughout the year. This includes hosting Wales national Rugby team at the city’s Millennium Stadium as well as Cardiff’s own rugby team, the Cardiff Blues who take part in major tournaments including the Heineken European Rugby Cup and the Anglo-Welsh Cup. The rugby season starts in late August to early May in Cardiff Arms Park Stadium, which is located in the city centre.
Cardiff has its own football team, the Bluebirds who play their home matches at the Leckwith Stadium on the outskirts of the city. The football season starts in September and ends in May.
Cardiff also holds cricket events. County cricket and Twenty20 is held at the SWALEC Stadium, also home to the Glamorgan Cricket Club.
The Cardiff Devils are Cardiff’s own Ice Hockey team and take part in the Elite Hockey League starting in September until April. The Devils are the current Knockout Cup Champions. They are based in the Cardiff Bay area of the city and play at the newly developed ice rink near Cardiff Bay on the outside of the city centre.
Cardiff Bay, a waterside marina and family area on the outskirts of the city has a host of restaurants and family activities like the White Water experience. Pure exhilaration as you plummet through fast running rapids.
Children can visit Techniquest, which is a science exhibition with interactive learning and development experiences. Covering all age ranges it is a fascinating day out for all ages.
Wales Millennium Centre, is a performing arts venue. It hosts ballet, opera, dance and musicals. Often a visit in the day will allow you to view a free performance in the foyer of the building. It also has a bar and restaurant.
The Chapter Arts Centre in Cardiff also hosts performing arts. It has film nights, shows, music and literature under one roof. The centre also specialises in real ales and European beers to get your taste buds tingling.
The Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama is in Cardiff’s city centre surrounded by the beautiful grounds of Cardiff Castle. The College holds a variety of performances every year.
Cardiff is also home to two theatre’s, the Sherman Theatre, which holds performances by new, young up-coming talent and the New Theatre which has hosted legends like Shirley Bassey and Dylan Thomas, the famous Welsh poet.
Unless you love big sporting events, Cardiff should be avoided during the international and national Rugby events. At this time, thousands of rugby fans (the national sport of Wales), flood Cardiff city centre to watch rugby in the numerous pubs and bars. This makes transport into and out of the city very crowded and difficult and finding a quiet place to eat is nearly impossible.
Like all big cities, Cardiff has its share of crime. Although not a prevalent problem, there have been instances of mugging by cash point machines.