To focus on Cardiff's incredible growth over the past 60 years is now almost clichéd; significant and successful development has become synonymous with Wales' capital and it remains a beacon for diversity and excitement on commercial, cultural and sporting scales. Yet, you only have to venture 5 miles away from the hustle and bustle into neighbouring Llanishen, Rumney and Whitchurch to appreciate a slower pace of life filled with natural greenery and an emphasis on wellbeing and recreation.
It is easy to get swept away by the 'bright lights, big city' vibe of Cardiff's newest additions; with 130,000m2 shopping centre, St David's 2 and the ability to host major sporting events such as the UEFA Champions League Final, Cardiff has proved itself to be a hub of commercial and cultural activity. Yet, there is another reason that thousands of people flock to the capital every year; to enjoy the best of city living combined with sites of immense natural beauty such as Roath Park and Bute Park and Arboretum. Although progressive, Cardiff refuses to lose it's beautifully maintained greenery and love of and this is what makes it such a draw.
Formally wooded farmland, Llanishen was able to form into the village its known as today thanks to its rail links to Cardiff Centre inspiring a growth in population back in the 1800s. Since then, this suburb of Cardiff remains a desirable place to lay down roots, bolstered by the recently planned development of the local reservoir (a Site of Special Scientific Interest) by Dwr Cymru as a "hub for health, engagement and sustainable tourism."
Named a suburb of Cardiff in 1938, Rumney has developed significantly since then and boasts the Cardiff Council owned wildlife reserve Trederlech Park; home to numerous bird and fish species within the 40,000m2 lake. Incredible to think that this beautiful nature spot was once a licenced waste-tipping site, yet the development has proved to be a key factor in increasing the residential desirability of the CF3 postcode. This is set to boom further with the recent investment in Cardiff Parkway; a £30m privately built railway and Business Park, increasing jobs and commutability to and from the area.
Just three miles from the city centre, Whitchurch has managed to retain a village-like charm whilst benefiting from great commuting and travel links into the city centre. Forest Farm Country Park within Longwood Nature Reserve remains one of the suburb's best-loved places for peace and tranquillity. Popular with families, ramblers and nature enthusiasts alike, the park sports picturesque views of Castell Coch as well as the wildlife surrounding the Glamorganshire Canal.