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.
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!).
Our walk starts at Waterloo Gardens. Well, almost… Parked right in front of the entrance, you’ll find:
Saint Margaret’s Church
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!
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.
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.
On with the walk...
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!
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.
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.
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):
And here's what it'll look like once it's built!
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.
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.
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.
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!)