The beautiful knitted poppies are back at Roath Lake here in Cardiff – a tribute to our fallen servicemen and women ahead of Remembrance Sunday on 11 November.
This year is extra poignant because Remembrance Sunday falls on the 100th anniversary of Armistice Day and the end of the First World War.
The poppies – which first appeared at the lake in 2016 – have been made by Penylan Craft and WI and U3E.
The striking red flowers are situated next to the Terra Nova café in a fenced off area that overlooks the lake. Some are planted into the grass while others weave their way through the black railings.
The sign next to them reads, “We remember all those who gave their lives so that we may have the freedom and opportunities that we all have today.”
It’s followed by a line from Robert Laurence Binyon’s famous poem For The Fallen, written in September 1914.
“At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them.”
It’s important to me as a mother that my children understand the significance of all the poppies around at the moment and why we wear them. We visited the poppies to pay our respects over half term, as we have done for the past two years.
The remembrance poppy was inspired by the World War I poem In Flanders Field by Lieutenant-Colonel John McCrae. The poem’s opening lines refer to the poppies that were the first flowers to grow among the soldier’s graves in Flanders in Belgium.
“In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row.”
Buying them supports the Royal British Legion in its mission to support members and veterans of the British Armed forces, their families and dependants.
Visitors to Roath Lake can make donations in the cafe.
It always makes me so emotional, thinking of all those who fought so bravely for our futures in the past and those who do so now. Those who survived and those who didn’t. How terrifying it must be to go to war. For the soldiers but also for their loved ones at home. My Grandad was in the RAF during the Second World War. He died three and a half years ago. Armistice Day on 11th November was always so important to him. His war medals and photos of him in his uniform are among our family’s most treasured possessions.
If you’ve not visited Roath Lake and Park before, there’s plenty for families to enjoy.
The playground is fantastic and among our favourites in Cardiff (you can see our full list here) although I will admit it’s so big that it’s not an easy place to navigate if you are the sole parent in charge of more than one child.
There’s swings, climbing frames for different age groups, a huge slide and a spider’s web climbing frame among other equipment.
The lake is home to all manner of swans, ducks and birds. Please feed them seeds though (available from Terra Nova café) as bread is bad for them.
These photos were taken on a different visit to when we saw the poppies but hopefully you can see how beautiful the lake looks at the moment with striking reds and oranges illuminating the waterside.
The lighthouse is possibly one of the most photographed sights in Cardiff. It was built to commemorate Captain Scott’s ill-fated voyage from Cardiff to the Atlantic in 1915.
We also love the two bridges near the park and the pathway which leads alongside the river.
Look carefully and you’ll also see a nature trail with pillars dotted around the park with images of some of the wildlife that can be found there for children to make rubbings of.
The paths are great for buggies, not to mention scooters and bikes.
There are two toilet blocks with baby changing facilities plus an ice cream kiosk on one side of the park and an ice cream van usually to be found on the other side.
There’s plenty of free parking around the lake, although on sunny days it can be busy.