The word is out, the cat has thoroughly escaped from the bag, someone with a strong accent is shouting it from the rooftops – Cardiff is the city of arcades. Anyone who claims to know the Welsh capital well will have been aware of this for years but sometimes for new comers or more timid explorers it can take a while to uncover this hidden heart of Cardiff. If you don’t know yet, the arcades are a network of covered shopping treasures which, amongst their many other delights, provide plenty of welcome cut throughs to avoid the rain. The arcades truly do set Cardiff apart so it can only be good news that the City of Arcades campaign has now officially launched in – we know that we’ve got the best arcades around now it’s about time everyone else knew too.

Here’s the arcade run down for fact fans: Cardiff boasts seven arcades from the Victorian and Edwardian periods, combined they create the longest length of shopping arcades in any European city, they are home to 100 businesses and they are, as we say in Cardiff, well lush. There’s a pretty big crossover in the worlds of the lovely independent business who accept our gift card and the businesses who call this network of arcade home. If you’ve been lucky enough to receive A Gift Card FOR Cardiff as a present you can spend it in arcade tenants including Hobo’s Vintage Fashion, Wally’s Liquor Cellar and Jonathan David Jewellers and 25 others – check our Where To Spend page for the full lowdown.

As there’s such a crossover between indie businesses and the arcades and as both campaigns have the shared spirit of keeping things local and individual at heart it only seems fair that these two projects are working together. Join in the arcades conversation and vote for your favourite business in the arcades by visiting www.thecityofarcades.com and you’ll be in with a chance to win a £100 Gift Card FOR Cardiff. If you’ve spotted someone sharing the City of Arcades content on Twitter and Facebook then it’s probably worth remembering that they’d appreciate one of our lovely indie gift cards next time its their birthday – then they can take to the covered streets and splash their cash!