The Taff Trail:Sophia Gardens
Close to Cardiff City Centre there is a large area dedicated to leisure and tourism. This includes Cardiff Castle, Bute Park, Sophia Gardens, Pontcanna and BlackWeir.
Sophia Gardens on the South West corner is home to the National Sports Centre and the National and County Cricket Ground.
The Taff Trail follows the river bank behind both of them. A new footbridge crosses the river into Bute Park, behind the castle. At times a large volume of both pedestrians and cyclist use this relatively narrow path so extra care (and a bicycle bell) are needed.
An alternative route (previously the only route turns left after the cricket ground to follow a road past the caravan site and equestrian centre as far to Western Avenue (A48).
Further north the playing fields in Pontcanna Fields are full of activity every weekend during the season as lots of Rugby games at varying levels are in progress.
Sophia Gardens to Cardiff Bay
Starting at the southern end of Sophia Gardens cross over Cowbridge Road East at the pelican crossing. Past Morgan's Landing the wide pavement opposite the National Stadium gives plenty of space for both cyclists and pedestrians except when there are market stalls (weekends, match days etc.)
The pelican crossing in Wood Street has been known to work, but a pedestrian walking slowly can walk 100 metres or so after the crossing button has been pressed even when there is no traffic.
Stay on the designated pavement/cycleway through to the next junction. Cross Penarth Road at the traffic lights, the trail follows alternately path and street through to Clarence Bridge. Going towards "The Bay" there is no need to cross the main road. Patches in the carriageway show cycling areas in James Street. A Taff Trail sign point in the direction of Techniquest taking you across several speed bumps.
From Techniquest to the end of the Taff Trail is via the pedestrianised area of Merlin Quay.
Sophia Gardens to Hailey Park
Going north from Sophia Gardens the Taff Trail stays alongside the River Taff. Continue between the playing fields and the West side of the river to the footbridge at Blackweir. Dismount to cross the bridge since there are usually lots of pedestrians and the bare timber bridge deck is very slippery when wet.
Follow the path on the East side of the river past Tesco to the subway at Western Avenue and on through parkland past Llandaff Weir and the Llandaff Rowing Club through to Hailey Park.