Excellent airport car parking is available very close to the Cardiff terminals, and there are also hotels in the area. While the airport is a short drive outside Cardiff city itself, it is in a surprisingly beautiful place and staying close by, rather than in town, has real advantages.
Sightseeing near Cardiff airport
The airport is right on the edge of the very lovely Glamorgan Heritage Coast. The walks that meander along the tops of the imposing cliffs are spectacular in any weather, and the paths dip down onto the beach from time to time. If the kids need to run around for a couple of hours they can hunt the fossils for which this coast is famous, explore World War II bunkers on the clifftops, have a game of mini golf at Porthkerry Country Park, or look for wildlife in the meadows. Surfers might want to get their boards out and investigate the reef break just a few miles down the coast from the airport.
The coastal walks are great for those who are just staying overnight. Business and leisure travellers alike can take a breath of fresh air on a coastal walk and get a good night’s sleep in a hotel afterwards.
If you’ve got an hour before a your flight leaves and don’t want to spend it in the lounge, the airport hotels (and the airport itself) are very close to Fonmon Castle, which is one of the oldest continuously occupied residences in the UK. It’s been in the same family since the 17th Century and visitors are welcome during the summer months.
Ewenny Priory and the ruins of Ogmore Castle are a little further away but both are worth a quick visit at least. If you’ve got a spare afternoon or even a few hours to spare around Cardiff airport you won’t be bored.
Eating and drinking
Whether you’re staying overnight or just marking use of the airport parking for Cardiff, there are some excellent eateries close by. The Vale of Glamorgan is particularly well known for atmospheric old pubs- the Plough and Harrow in Monknash is probably the most famous pub in South Wales. It serves up beautiful food, and The Three Golden Cups above the bay at Southerndown is another great place to find traditional pub meals done well.
During the day, the towns of Llanwitt Major and Cowbridge have some of the best dining opportunities. The French creperie in Llantwitt is certainly worth a visit, and Cowbridge is an excellent choice for those who want to sample the best local produce.
Getting there and getting home
Of course, not everyone wants to spend extra time near their airport. If you want to come and go as quickly as possible, rest assured that the airport that serves Cardiff is directly beside the A road and extremely easy to find from the M4 above Cardiff or from further west. The parking facilities are just as efficient and well-managed as those you’d find at a larger airport.