Roath Brook Gardens, Cardiff

If you’re looking for some of the best dog walks that Wales has to offer (and in video!), then you've come to the right place. Join us on our adventure, where we plan to travel all over Wales, seeking out the best spots to take your dog (or dogs!) and we want to share our adventure with all of you.

 
 Screenshot taken from Walk of the Week, episode 4: Roath Brook Gardens. Aerial photograph of the public park and surrounding area of Roath.
 

We've just started filming our new series in Cardiff, and aim to showcase some of the coolest walks that we can find across the whole of Wales. That way, more people can share our adventure, and find some of the best-kept secret walking locations in their local area! 

To watch episode four, scroll to the bottom of the page.


Where’d we go this week?

This week we headed to a super dog-friendly park (or parks) called Roath Brook Gardens (see maps). The walk takes you through Waterloo Gardens, Roath Mill Gardens and then into Roath Brook Gardens. All three parks follow the small stream, Roath Brook, and offer a great place to explore (for you and your dog!).

 
 Image taken from Google Maps, pointing out the location of all three parks; Waterloo Gardens, Roath Mill Gardens and Roath Brook Gardens, in Cardiff.
 

Our walk starts at Waterloo Gardens. Well, almost… Parked right in front of the entrance, you’ll find:

Saint Margaret’s Church

 
 Screenshot taken from Walk of the Week, episode 4: Roath Brook Gardens. Aerial photograph of Saint Margaret's church, and the surrounding area. Cardiff, Wales.
 

Whilst we’re at it, here are a few quick facts about Saint Margaret’s Church that you may not already know! (Source: roath.org)

1. The church used to be a whitewashed chapel, and was inhabited back to when the Roman’s were about!

 
 Photograph taken from roath.org.uk. The white chapel that existed in the location of Saint Margaret's Church before it was demolished to make way for the new building.
 

2. In 1839, Cardiff’s first dock was built and there was a surge in population in and around the area. As a result, the chapel was deemed far too small to cater for the newly arrived masses and in 1868 the old church was demolished. In its place was built a new ‘state-of-the-art’ Gothic church, in 1870.

 
 Photograph taken from Roath.org.uk - Saint Margaret's Church, just after it was built in 1870. It looks very similar to how it does now, although there are no longer as many gravestones present.
 

3. In 1999, to celebrate the Millennium, the church installed flood lighting that you can still see today! Definitely makes the place look pretty cool at night.

 
 Photograph taken from www.roath.org.uk.

Photograph taken from www.roath.org.uk.

 

On with the walk...


Waterloo Gardens

Waterloo Gardens has been around for over 100 years. It’s one of the first places we ever took Marley when he was only a handful of weeks old, and that’s because it’s so dog friendly! There’s grass, bordered by trees and flowers. You can also find a bridge going over the stream with benches and room to play for the kids. Apart from the gates, the whole park is fenced off too!

 
 Screenshot taken from Walk of the Week, episode 4: Roath Brook Gardens. Marley is chasing his best friend Daisy, and they are both having so much fun. Waterloo Gardens, Cardiff.
 

For over a year now, there has been construction work at the park. Diggers and builders are now a common sight. Unfortunately the work was still going on when we filmed here, but it wasn’t always a building site…

What they are doing here is a mammoth task and hasn’t been entirely accepted by the local community.


The Roath Brook Flood Prevention Scheme

Since January 2017, Natural Resource Wales (NRW) has been building a new flood prevention scheme along the banks of Roath Brook. In the last 10 years, the river has supposedly burst its banks FOUR times! Flood damage in the area is estimated to cost Cardiff Council a whopping £26 million each year, which one of the main argument’s for the new flood scheme. You can actually check out the whole project on the NRW website; check it out.

 
 Screenshot taken from Walk of the Week, episode 4: Roath Brook Gardens. Aerial photograph of the construction work taking place at Roath Brook to prevent future flooding, implemented by Natural Resources Wales (NRW)
 

The plan involves building flood walls and embankments all along the river through all three parks. They've rebuilt the bridge going over it too! With the construction underway, fences have been erected and the whole community has felt the impact.  

 
 Screenshot taken from Walk of the Week, episode 4: Roath Brook Gardens. Construction taking place at the banks of Roath Brook as a Flood Prevention Scheme implemented by NRW. The stream has been widened and embankments have been built.
 

NRW have said they plan on removing up to 150 trees, and aim to replant 105 of them elsewhere (source).  As you can imagine, the local residents are not happy!

NRW are also building an Edwardian-style pergola in Waterloo Gardens, and we have seen the plans!

Here’s what it looked like when we filmed episode 4 (August 2018):

 
 Screenshot taken from Walk of the Week, episode 4: Roath Brook Gardens. Aerial photograph of the work being done in Waterloo Gardens, Cardiff. You can see pillars being erected and paving being put down as NRW construct an Edwardian-style pergola by Roath Brook.
 

And here's what it'll look like once it's built! 

 
 Photo provided by NRW, of the new edwardian-style pergola they are building in Waterloo Gardens, alongside the flood prevention scheme that is underway. There are plenty of colourful plants and flowers that surround the pergola with steps going up and benches to sit on.
 

Protesting the flood scheme

As you can expect, local residents weren’t best pleased when they found out about the extensive work being planned right outside their doorstep. The construction has been disrupting all those that share the public parks and the cutting of trees and reduction of natural green space has caused some to protest the plans.

Locals have joined forces under the group, Roath Brook Trees, and are actively seeking to reduce the amount of damage caused to the local trees. They are a passionate bunch and even made it to Wales Online! (see article)

You’ll find posters up throughout the area, on the trees and zip tied to the fences of the parks.

 
 Screenshot taken from Walk of the Week, episode 4: Roath Brook Gardens. The local community has banded together to form  Roath Brook Trees.  They are actively protesting the flood prevention scheme initiated by NRW due to the felling of trees in the local park areas.
 

In fact, not too long ago crowds gathered in protest whilst NRW were felling trees. From what we understand, plans were put on hold and a resolution was sought.

To find out more about Roath Brook Trees, you can find them on Twitter, here.


Roath Mill Gardens

Roath Mill Gardens is just over the road from Waterloo Gardens and offers a much bigger area to get your socks wet. The stream runs along the border of the park, and there are plenty of different trees towering overhead. With paths leading all around and a big open space to run, this park has been a dog haven for a long time – it’s why we call it Doggy Park!

There are always people in the park, most of the time walking their dog (or dogs!). It’s certainly one of the best places to let your pup socialise with other dogs off lead. All of the dogs here are super friendly and most of them know each other pretty well.

 
 Screenshot taken from Walk of the Week, episode 4: Roath Brook Gardens. Beth climbs a tree that blew over in a storm; now a centre piece of the park. There is  plenty  to explore here for you and your dog!
 

You can sit on a bench and let your dog play, chat to some of the friendly people around or continue down the path and along the river until you come up to Roath Brook Gardens.


Roath Brook Gardens

This park is only another road crossing away from Roath Mill Gardens and follows Roath Brook along it's path. This park is petite in comparison to the others, but still holds a lot of natural beauty in the form of the trees that reside there. 

 
 Screenshot taken from Walk of the Week, episode 4: Roath Brook Gardens. As you enter Roath Brook Gardens, you see a path to follow with plenty of trees surrounding you. Roath Brook is to the right, following the direction of the path.
 

Once you come to the end of Roath Brook Gardens, we tend to either continue along the path (yep, another road crossing) until you reach Roath Recreational Park or head back along the river up through Roath Brook Gardens. (Note: We’ll be going to Roath Recreational Park later on in the series!)

All in all, Roath Brook offers a scenic stroll with plenty of greenery, trees and river banks. It’s a really pretty location, nestled deep within suburbia. What’s more is it offers a great spot to let your dog socialise and play with others. If you have a larger dog, they may want a little more space to stretch their legs..!


Watch the full episode here:

 
 

If you like the video or are local to the area, it'd be awesome if you'd tell your friends and subscribe to our YouTube channel. We will be making our way all over Wales!


Where next? You decide!

We are already looking for new and wonderful places to visit and explore. At the moment we are still in Cardiff, but drop us a comment and tell us where you think we should go next.

Thanks for reading, and catch you all on next week's Walk of the Week!

- Dino & Beth (and Marley!)