Europe

Cardiff, Wales

A Comprehensive Guide to the Best Places to Run in Cardiff, Wales

Cardiff is the capital and chief commercial center of Wales, located on the country’s south coast along the Bristol Channel. Though it is one of the largest cities in the UK, Cardiff maintains a “small city” vibe with strategic modernizations that have made it a popular destination for alternative tourism. Paths along the rivers and bays, lovely parks, and classic European residential streets make running in Cardiff an all-around delightful experience.

The favorite choice for running in Cardiff is the chain of parks and multi-use paths along the River Taff, although the Cardiff Bay Trail around the city’s marinas and docks is a close second. Roath Park, to the north of the city center, is also a popular option, and we’ve mapped out other routes in popular touristic areas like Castell Coch, Garth Hill, and St. Fagans along the River Ely. Our guide also points to some of the best residential streets for running, trail running in Brecon Beacons National Park, and Parkrun events throughout the city.

Getting around compact Cardiff is easy on foot or by bike. To reach running routes further afield, both buses and trains are affordable and easy-to-navigate options. If you plan on spending any time in Brecon Beacons National Park, a car will allow you greater range and flexibility. Note also the famous Welsh weather — it can be windy, overcast, and rainy. But rarely too cold or too hot.

Editor's Picks

Some of our favorite runs in Cardiff, Wales

Cardiff Bay Trail

A supremely satisfying 10 km loop around Cardiff’s southern waterfront, the Cardiff Bay Trail keeps runs interesting... more...

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River Taff Area Paths and Trails

Cardiff, Wales

The pinnacle of running in Cardiff is the network of parks and multi-use paths surrounding the River Taff.  There are many options for running here, including paths along the Canal and River, and in the adjacent fields, parks, and heaths.
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Cardiff Bay Trail

Cardiff, Wales

A supremely satisfying 10 km loop around Cardiff’s southern waterfront, the Cardiff Bay Trail keeps runs interesting with a variety of surfaces, from concrete and brick to asphalt and bouncy boardwalk.
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Roath Park

Cardiff, Wales

Located due north of Cardiff Center, Roath Park is one of the most popular recreation areas in the city. Runners will enjoy miles of gravel paths along a 2+ mile long linear park that features a brook, lake, fields, and gardens.
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Castell Coch

Cardiff, Wales

Run the grounds of Castell Coch, 6 miles north of the city, which feature a network of gravel paths sprawling across the Forest Fawr. These trails are wooded and serene, but smooth and non-technical.
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Garth Hill

Cardiff, Wales

This gentle mountain slope is located between Llantwit Fardre and Pentyrch, about 8 miles northwest of Cardiff. Most of the paths are nice doubletrack over spongy grass or smooth dirt.
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Cardiff Parkruns

Cardiff, Wales

Looking for some fun and friendly competition? Cardiff hosts a selection of Parkruns across the city in locations including Bute Park, Trelai Park, Grangemoor Park, and Tremorfa.
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Brecon Beacons National Park

Cardiff, Wales

Brecon Beacons is one of the jewels of Wales, located about 55 km to the north of Cardiff at the terminus of the River Taff Trail. We’ve pointed out some of the top trail trails for running among the many options. Mainly open rolling hills and moorish terrain.
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River Taff Area Paths and Trails

Cardiff, Wales

The pinnacle of running in Cardiff is the network of parks and multi-use paths surrounding the River Taff.  There are many options for running here, including paths along the Canal and River, and in the adjacent fields, parks, and heaths.
Explore

Cardiff Bay Trail

Cardiff, Wales

A supremely satisfying 10 km loop around Cardiff’s southern waterfront, the Cardiff Bay Trail keeps runs interesting with a variety of surfaces, from concrete and brick to asphalt and bouncy boardwalk.
Explore

Roath Park

Cardiff, Wales

Located due north of Cardiff Center, Roath Park is one of the most popular recreation areas in the city. Runners will enjoy miles of gravel paths along a 2+ mile long linear park that features a brook, lake, fields, and gardens.
Explore

Cardiff has typical British weather, influenced by the maritime location. Summers are mild and a bit drier, with daytimes typically in the 21C (72F) range and cool-ish nights. It rarely gets hot. Winters are cool and damp, with typical daytime temperatures in the 8C (46F) rangem and nights staying above freezing. Ice and snow are rare, though winters, especially, can be cool, windy, and damp. It is an experience to take a run on a particularly bleak day.

Most Cardiff hotels are located in the city center, with a few options closer to the bay. See Visit Cardiff for more lodging info.

Run and Become is a popular and highly rated running store in downtown Cardiff, but you can also find gear at Moti Running and Triathalon, Sports Direct, and DW Sports locations.

For a group run, check out any of these Run and Become recommended clubs, or join the closest Parkrun.

There are lots of great running events in Cardiff, including a Taff Trail Half Marathon. See CardiffRunningEvents.org for a provisional list of upcoming events.