Cathays essentials

Facilities & Services: hospital, police & schools

Nearest Hospital

Heath Hospital

Location: Heath Park , Cardiff , CF14 4XW
University Hospital of Wales. 10 minutes walk from Cathays. Or a short couple of minutes drive.

Local Police Station

Cathays Police Station

Location: Crwys Road , Cathays , CF24 4NA
Opening hours: 0800 - 2200 Monday to Friday

Schools

Cathays High School

Location: Crown Way , Gabalfa , Cardiff , CF14 3XG
From our Woodville Road office: Bus Time: 18 minutes Drive Time: 5 minutes

Cardiff High School

Location: Llandennis Road , Cyncoed , Cardiff , CF23 6WG
From our Woodville Road office: Walk Time: 18 minutes Drive Time: 5 minutes

St Monica's Primary School

Location: Whitchurch Road , Cathays , Cardiff , CF14 3JL
From our Woodville Road office: Walk Time: 11 minutes Drive Time: 3 minutes

Acorns Nursery

Location: 7 Park Grove , Cathays , Cardiff , CF10 3BJ
From our Woodville Road office: Walk Time: 11 minutes Drive Time: 3 minutes

Getting around Cathays

Bus

Cathays is served well by bus links to the city centre, Heath Hospital and Cardiff Bay. Check out the Network Map to find out what bus service to catch.

Rail - Cathays Park Station

Cathays Park Campus is served well by the train station that actually goes under one of the buildings it's that close to it. Handy link from city centre and north bound station such as Llandaff to the valleys.

Major Road Links

M4 links very close via Crwys road northbound to the A470 and via Newport Road Eastbound A4161.

What's on in Cathays

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Cardiff Museum

Location: National Museum Cardiff , Cathays Park , Cardiff , CF10 3NP
This is on the City Centre side of the Cathays Park area. The National Museum is a truly stunning building, offering a unique historical experience. It takes you from times of dinosaurs (you know, when our parents roamed the lands), right through to Iron Age Wales and finally modern times. It has a quaint café with a quirky, touristy feel to it. For the really impressed there's also a chance to spend some pennies at the very chic museum souvenir shop. The museum is popular with tourists and locals alike. A great day out - and its free entry for everyone - hurrah!

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Cardiff Students' Union

Location: Park Place , Cardiff , CF10 3NP
Just what every studentificantion process requires - a three-tier student union. Native to CardiffUniversity, the Union is a fun-times venue that hosts bars, concerts halls and places to have a good munch. It's also available to all universities in Cardiff and non-students wanting to join in and live the student lifestyle. The union is a market-leading venue for live events and hosts some amazing student nights. It's well worth a visit if you fancy staying local to Cathays on a night out.

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Cathays Park

Location: Cathays park , Cardiff
On one side of the road you have the carnage and riff raff of the Student Union and on the other you have the Victorian era Cathays Park. It's peace and tranquillity set in the grounds to the rear of Cardiff Museum. On a hot summers day it's a cracking spot for a picnic (note to students: that's a picnic, not a barbecue!). Cathays Park is a beautiful setting, perfect for a leisurely stroll away from the party village of Cathays and great for those accessing the City Centre and needing a more scenic route.

Maindy Leisure Centre & Pool

Location: Crown Way , Off North Rd , Cardiff , CF14 3AJ
A public leisure centre that consists of a gym, swimming pool, outdoor football pitches and hosts Maindy Flyers Bike Club where Olympic Gold Medal winner Geraint Thomas developed his skills.

Eat in Cathays

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Mowgli's Indian Restaurant

Location: 151 Crwys Road , Cathays , Cardiff , CF24 2NH
Voted Indian Restaurant of the Year in Cardiff - need we say more? An amazing Indian restaurant that'll give you a generous feed. Students, bring a doggy bag!

Café 37 Diner

Location: 37 Salisbury Road , Cardiff , CF24 4AA

Magic Wrap

Location: Student Union , Senghennydd Road , Cardiff , CF10 3QN

Kappuccino's

Location: 1 Cathays Terrace , Cardiff , CF24 4HS

Noodle Box

Location: 62 Salisbury Road , Cardiff , CF24 4AD

Falafel Kitchen

Location: 76 Crwys Rd , Cardiff , CF24 4NP

KoKo Gorilaz

Location: 7 Miskin Street , Cardiff , CF24
This place is a short walk from Cardiff Student Union and right in the heart of it all. It holds amazing events from live gigs to alternative dance nights and has a large downstairs bar serving cocktails, cold draught beers, as well as a great food menu. All live sports are on daily!

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The Woodville Pub

Location: 1-5 Woodville Road , Cathays , Cardiff , CF24 4DW
The Woodville Pub in Cathays Students are the best to find a good cold pint. If you're a student in Cardiff this bar will become a second home for you. This is the student bar of Cathays - pub grub and a good drink! Studentification at its best. Just make sure to get the Yellow Cards in order to save some vital funds.

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Vulcan Lounge

Location: 2 Wyvern Road , Cardiff , CF24 4BH
A modern bar in the centre of Cathays, The Vulcan is a great place for a social drink and for a relaxing evening with friends. It also serves a modern European selection of food.

Gassy Jacks

Location: 39 Salisbury Road , Cardiff , CF24 4AB
longtime favourite nightspot, which started life in the 1960s

Circles hairdresser

Location: 114 Salisbury Road , Cardiff , CF24 4AE
The cheapest hairdressers in Cardiff at £6 all day every day

The Pot Cafe

Location: 138 Crwys Road , Cardiff , CF24 4NR
At the top end of Crwys Road lies a hidden gem in the form of The Pot Cafe. Offering fantastic home-cooked food and a decor designed to make you feel like you're "sitting in your friend's kitchen", The Pot Cafe boasts a homely and cosy atmosphere with a wide menu. Sample their "breakfast salad" before work or choose The Pot for a cosy date night ,where you can watch a film whilst you enjoy dinner. They also do cinema evenings.

CPS Homes Guide to Living in Cathays, Cardiff

There's more to Cathays than the vibrant, unkempt maze of cheap eateries and watering holes in the shadow of town – but that's still probably the best reason to live here.

Cathays Cardiff

She immediately stood out from the hunched figures walking towards their places of work, across the tracks, in town. Their hooded heads were bowed against Cardiff's trademark drizzle, while she quietly padded in the opposite direction, barefoot and bedraggled, in last night's dress.

The hashtag for the above scene could be #onlyincathays. After all, it's only here that ‘walk of shame'-spotting is a popular hobby. Then there's Cathays' official sport: dodge the seagull.

"Cathays is famous for its fighting seagulls and obstacle courses of wheelie bins," says Robert Evans, who in the past eight years has lived all round Cathays since first moving to Senghenydd Hall as a fresher. "These, along with the early morning walk of shame, offer some hilarious observations."

It's a description echoed nearly word-for-word by Emily Bater, a journalist and former resident.

"Seagulls, smelly bins and students doing the walk of shame after a night out would all feature on a morning walk from home to lectures, but these all just added to Cathays' unique brand of charm," she says.

Given the likelihood that the name Cathays (‘hayes' means ‘open area' in Welsh) referred to wildcats that once roamed here, it's a shame there aren't a few still around to help with the seagull problem.

"In late spring, I'd dread every morning because from the instant I opened the front door there would be three or four on the roof across the road that would dive-bomb me until I'd ran almost to the end of Dogfield Street," recalls Robert.

A hard Cathays night

But there's more to Cathays than the bewildering network of terraced streets, dazed students and angry birds.

With lots of bars, more places to eat than you can shake your fork at, and more than 12,919 students wanting to have a good time, Cathays is Cardiff's party hub. And house parties aside, the bright lights of Salisbury Road is The Strip where most of the action takes place.

Sherman Theatre, Cathays

As an electoral ward, Cathays covers Cardiff city centre, so from a political point-of-view you don't actually leave Cathays on a night out in town. This includes Cathays Park, with its world-class Civic Centre featuring Crown Court, National Museum, City Hall, plus much of Cardiff University's extensive campus.

And just over the train line there's the beautiful Sherman Theatre. See, Cathays just got classy.

To the west lies the open greenery of Bute Park, while to the north the tranquility (and eerie gothic Victoriana) of Cathays Cemetery, the UK's third largest municipal cemetery, and Roath Park's ‘Quiet Park' (as we knew it as kids) and ‘The Rec'.

All offer respite from the tight-knit residential area we know and love as Cathays, which starts to the east of the train line over which the Student Union is built. Rapidly thrown up over the last quarter of the 19th century, the district is home to just over 20,000 people, a whopping 55 per cent of whom carry NUS cards.

There are 1,408 student-only households here, compared to the next largest student area, nearby Plasnewydd, with just 654. It's hardly surprising the term ‘studentification' is used in relation to Cathays, which is home to more than a third of the city's 36,304 students.

Chain pubs and fast food outlets have moved in to target this upwardly mobile demographic, while over time longtime residents have made way for ever more rental properties. (These days 64 per cent of all homes are rentals.)

Just over the train line there's the Sherman Theatre and to the west lies Bute Park and Roath Park.

Quieter progress

Cathays Park in Cardiff

Many insist there remains a sense of community and place, in spite of these changes.

"I think Cathays really is a great place to live for all sorts of people," says student Beckidy Smith. "I know families, young professionals and older people who all live in the area.

"It's so convenient, because it's walking distance to town and there are so many great shops and amenities. You're never more than ten minutes' walk from what you need and it's the sort of place where you could strike up a conversation with someone you meet in the street."

Journalist and new dad Steven Day has lived in Cathays for the past decade, from when he himself was a student. He's recently seen an increase in non-students moving in.

"My wife and I have become accustomed to the Cathays-style of living with everything nearby so we decided to stay within the area when we moved house," says Steven. "There is a great community feel about Cathays and you can't beat it for that."

"Just off the top end of Cathays Terrace, it is becoming an area increasingly full of young families. It's a very mixed community now as opposed to just being full of students."

Relations between students and permanent residents are also improving, says Steven. "There's more respect now between students and non-students than there has ever been during my time living here," he says.

Emily Bater agrees. "I think the relationship between long-standing residents and students is fairly harmonious," she says.

"People like to describe Cathays as a student ghetto but there are lots of families and longtime residents, young professionals, and a large Muslim community. We all get along fine, and I think the community really benefits from having students here."

Indeed, Cathays – and Cardiff generally – feels empty without its students (you can even find a parking space in Cathays). Each year the city welcomes an army of academics with open arms.

On dark, damp days in the ‘Diff, Cathays can seem a dreary place. But even then, under lampposts' fuzzy amber glow and incessant drizzle, it retains its ‘unique brand of charm'.

It gets under your skin, it does. You find yourself acknowledging a soft spot for the place. God help you.

Testimonials

"My wife and I have become accustomed to the Cathays-style of living with everything nearby so we decided to stay within the area when we moved house. There is a great community feel about Cathays and you can't beat it for that". – Journalist Steven Day

"I think Cathays really is a great place to live for all sorts of people. I know families, young professionals and older people who all live in the area." – Student Beckidy Smith.

Click on the links above to know more about Cathays

CPS Homes last edited this page on 01/09/2015. All details listed were correct at the time of publishing. Reviewed every six months.