Cardiff city centre at Christmas 2011 – funfairs, shopping and Brains SA

Cardiff city centre at Christmas 2011, views from around the Welsh capital, December 2011

Sadly, there wasn’t a snow-covered festive scene to greet me on my return to Cardiff this year, as the weather had turned boringly mild.

There was still loads going in around the city centre, so here’s a few snaps:

Cardiff city centre at Christmas 2011, views from around the Welsh capital, December 2011

Cardiff Castle, the Grade One listed medieval castle and Victorian architecture Gothic revival mansion. The structure started as a Norman keep erected over a Roman fort.

Cardiff city centre at Christmas 2011, views from around the Welsh capital, December 2011

Working Street in the damp December air.

Cardiff city centre at Christmas 2011, views from around the Welsh capital, December 2011

Cardiff city centre at Christmas 2011, views from around the Welsh capital, December 2011

Inside the swanky St Davids 2 shopping mall.

Cardiff city centre at Christmas 2011, views from around the Welsh capital, December 2011

View of The Hayes, with the new Cardiff Central Library and John Lewis buildings in the distance.

To the right, is the Dr Martens store which once housed the Spillers independent record store.

Cardiff city centre at Christmas 2011, views from around the Welsh capital, December 2011

The old David Morgan department store, now upmarket apartments.

Cardiff city centre at Christmas 2011, views from around the Welsh capital, December 2011

The famous Hayes Island snack bar.

Cardiff city centre at Christmas 2011, views from around the Welsh capital, December 2011

Statue of John Batchelor (1820-83) ‘The Friend of Freedom,’ in The Hayes, with a seagull stood on his bonce.

Created by the sculptor James Milo Griffith and unveiled on 16 October 1886, the statue commemorates the work of the Newport-born, Cardiff based Liberal politician who campaigned against slavery.

Batchelor’s political activities meant that he was constantly rubbing up the all-powerful Bute family, so much so that a petition of 1,200 names was raised in opposition to the statue after his death in 1883.

Cardiff city centre at Christmas 2011, views from around the Welsh capital, December 2011

St John’s Church, St. John Square. The church dates back to 1180, with the perpendicular tower (boasting a peal of ten bells) being added on the 15th Century.

Cardiff city centre at Christmas 2011, views from around the Welsh capital, December 2011

A quiet St Mary Street. The street can get very lively at night, with the scenes of drunken mayhem famously captured by Maciej Dakowicz’s wonderful Cardiff After Dark photo series.

Cardiff city centre at Christmas 2011, views from around the Welsh capital, December 2011

Cardiff city centre at Christmas 2011, views from around the Welsh capital, December 2011

Cardiff city centre at Christmas 2011, views from around the Welsh capital, December 2011

Cardiff city centre at Christmas 2011, views from around the Welsh capital, December 2011

Cardiff city centre at Christmas 2011, views from around the Welsh capital, December 2011

Now in its 11th year, the ‘Cardiff Winter Wonderland’ takes place in the Civic Centre and offers fairground rides and ice skating.

Cardiff city centre at Christmas 2011, views from around the Welsh capital, December 2011

Cardiff city centre at Christmas 2011, views from around the Welsh capital, December 2011

Cardiff city centre at Christmas 2011, views from around the Welsh capital, December 2011

Cardiff city centre at Christmas 2011, views from around the Welsh capital, December 2011

Cardiff city centre at Christmas 2011, views from around the Welsh capital, December 2011

Cardiff city centre at Christmas 2011, views from around the Welsh capital, December 2011

Cardiff city centre at Christmas 2011, views from around the Welsh capital, December 2011

Cardiff city centre at Christmas 2011, views from around the Welsh capital, December 2011

The fancifully named ‘Boulevard de Nantes’ in the centre of Cardiff.

Cardiff city centre at Christmas 2011, views from around the Welsh capital, December 2011

Inside the National Museum at Cardiff. I liked this piece – Scala Napoletana, Joseph Beuys (1985) – by Joseph Beuys.

Cardiff city centre at Christmas 2011, views from around the Welsh capital, December 2011

Cardiff city centre at Christmas 2011, views from around the Welsh capital, December 2011

Cardiff city centre at Christmas 2011, views from around the Welsh capital, December 2011

My last look at Cardiff before heading back to Llundain, showing the legendary Brains brewery opposite the Central railway station.

Happily, I had a bag full of Brains SA beers, so I was taking a little bit of Wales back with me.

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