Part of the reason that I chose to study at Cardiff is that there are so many experiences to gain outside of studying the course at university. I love that I live in a bustling, exciting city, but if I jump in the car and take a 30-minute drive I can be at the sea-side or up Pen-Y-Fan mountain. The more people I meet in Cardiff the more places I learn are great to visit here, so I have put together a list of ideas of places to visit….
A city of sport….
Well, I wouldn’t be Welsh without ‘kicking off’ and suggesting that you visit the Principality Stadium to watch the rugby. But I genuinely do think that it an experience like no other – being in the stadium singing the Welsh National Anthem is incredible! Six Nations tickets can be quite expensive, but Autumn international tickets are more reasonable as a student. Alternatively, there is the opportunity to watch Cardiff Blues play at the Arms Park stadium (adjacent to the Principality stadium); student tickets can be as cheap as £10, and again, the atmosphere is friendly and exciting. I love sport, therefore, I love the sporty atmosphere around the city, especially on a rugby match day – you can’t beat it! But as well as rugby, there is the option to watch club and international football at the Cardiff City Stadium just a train ride away! One sports venue I’d not previously thought about visiting is the Ice Arena Wales, home of the Cardiff Devils ice hockey team. As the ice hockey season runs through the autumn/winter the Devils have lots of fixtures during term time and as current Challenge Cup and Elite League champions they are exciting to watch.
Oh I do like to be beside the seaside….
One of the great things about Cardiff is just how close it is to a number of different beaches. Barry Island being a favourite for visitors who are fans of Gavin and Stacey. You can visit the street Gwen’s house is on, Marco’s café and on some occasions Dave’s coach makes an appearance! I thoroughly enjoyed a trip I took in the summer to Barry Island for their outdoor cinema event. They had a humongous blow up screen and, as the sun was setting, they played Beauty and the Beast – it was amazing! Don’t fear though, for those of you that aren’t Disney fans, they also showed films of other genres such as Gladiator.
A personal favourite place for me is Porthcawl – I used to love going to Porthcawl as a kid! It’s a lovely place to go to the beach or, if it’s not quite hot enough, to walk around – and it’s only a 45-minute drive from Cardiff!
The beauty of the Beacons….
…need I say any more? Only a short drive north of the city and you enter the beautifully rural Brecon Beacons. It is a lovely place to go if you are wanting to take a trip out of the city but not wanting to travel far! When I first came back to Cardiff this year my friends and I took a walk up Pen-Y-Fan mountain; luckily we had picked a beautiful day for it too. The trip only took a few hours and it was just great to get some fresh air and take some great photos – I mean have you even climbed Pen-Y-Fan if you’ve not taken a picture by the sign?