Live in Wales and haven’t visited the Senedd yet? Hannah Bower, one of our Front of House staff, outlines why you should…
Recently named as one of Cardiff’s top three things to do as recommended by a local, the Senedd building offers an array of activities for people of all ages and interests. From politics to architecture, from art to artisan welsh products, the Senedd has something for everyone.
Have a look around
To start your Senedd visit a tour of the building is undoubtedly the best way to find your bearings. The friendly and informative tour guides take you on a journey through the history of the surrounding area, the architecture of the Richard Rogers designed building, and the political process that takes places here. The guides’ expert knowledge can accommodate all interests and groups of all sizes. Best of all, the tours are completely free.
If you are looking for refreshments after your tour, grab a coffee or a cake and take a seat in the Senedd café. The breath-taking bay views are unrivalled in all seasons, watch boats sailing on the waters, see the hustle and bustle of Mermaid Quay and take in the innovative architecture of the building itself.
After your coffee you can browse the Senedd shop for local produce, souvenirs and gifts. Pick up Welsh whisky, Melin Tregwynt products and Senedd branded souvenirs as mementos of your visit.
On Tuesdays and Wednesdays you can come and see the action as it happens. Plenary takes place from 13:30 kicking off with First Minister’s Questions every Tuesday during business weeks. Watch the drama unfold in the Chamber as Welsh legislation is debated and created. If you prefer something more intimate, committee meetings take place throughout the week and can be viewed from the public viewing galleries.
During your Senedd visit, don’t miss out on the opportunity to visit The Pierhead next door. The building’s gothic revival architecture contrasts the Senedd building beautifully. Completed in 1897 the distinctive red building is now an exhibition centre run by the National Assembly for Wales, and is also open to the public.
Watch a short film in the main hall showing the story of Cardiff through the ages. Visit the old Dock Masters office to learn about the building’s history and walk through the Futures Gallery where temporary exhibitions are on show. Come and see Building Bridges – Here to Listen an exhibition by the children’s charity Barnados which is currently on display.
The Senedd also offers an inspirational space where events and exhibitions are regularly held. The Green Green Grass of Home photography exhibition is currently on display upstairs in the Oriel and upcoming events include a performances by the Pontarddulais Male Voice Choir on 24 February. You could even organise your own event.
If you’re looking to experience Welsh culture from it’s industrial past to it’s progressive political future, there’s no better place than the Senedd building in Cardiff Bay.