Cardiff Bangor Train
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Cardiff is bordered to the west by the rural district of the Vale of Glamorgan—also known as The Garden of Cardiff— to the east by the city of Newport, to the north by the South Wales Valleys and to the south by the Severn Estuary and Bristol Channel. The River Taff winds through the centre of the city and together with the River Ely flows into the freshwater lake of Cardiff Bay. A third river, the Rhymney flows through the east of the city entering directly into the Severn Estuary. Its location and geographic features were influential in its development as the world's largest coal port, most notably its proximity and easy access to the coal fields of the south Wales valleys.
Today, Cardiff is the main financial and business centre in Wales and the city was recently placed seventh overall in the top 50 European cities and also ranked seventh in attracting foreign investment. Cardiff is one of the most popular tourist destination cities in the United Kingdom, receiving around 18 million visitors in 2010 and generating £852 million for the city's economy. There are a large number of hotels of varying sizes and standards in the city, providing almost 9,000 available bed spaces.
Bangor is located on the North Wales coast and is an ancient, historic, cathedral and university city with lots to do and see. This friendly city has a unique character and landscape and visitors are able to enjoy a panoramic view of the sea from Bangor Mountain. When in Bangor visitors should take a stroll along the pier, sail a boat on the Menai Strait or climb the mountains of the Ogwen Valley and Nant Ffrancon. The city is an excellent base for exploring the mountains of the nearby Snowdonia National Park. Located roughly three miles from Bangor, Penrhyn Castle is a magnificent Neo-Norman mansion which has amazing views and a Victorian walled garden. The castle also has a collection of steam engines and grand master paintings. The castle was constructed in 1836 and was built by the Pennant family who made their fortune from sugar and then from slate which was quarried at nearby Bethesda. The castle in now owned by the National Trust. In the city there are a number of nature and heritage trails which link the city's green spaces with its architectural heritage. Nearby are protected wildlife and nature sites, from the spectacular drop of the Aber Falls to a number of nature reserves, both woodland and seaside.