Pontcanna essentials

Facilities & Services: hospital, police & schools

Nearest Hospital

Heath Hospital

Location: Heath Park , Cardiff , CF14 4XW
Around a 9-minute drive from Pontcanna, or a 45-minute walk.

Local Police Station

Cardiff Central Police Station

Location: King Edward VII Ave , Cathay’s Park , Cardiff , CF10 3NN
Open 8am till midnight, 7 days a week

Schools

Fitzalan High School

Location: Lawrenny Avenue , (Canton & Leckwith) , Cardiff , CF11 8XB
Distance from the top of Cathedral Road, Pontcanna: Drive Time: 10 minutes Walk Time: 31 minutes

Severn Primary School

Location: Severn Road , Cardiff , CF11 9DZ
Distance from the top of Cathedral Road, Pontcanna: Drive Time: 3 minutes Walk Time: 9 minutes

Ysgol Gyfun Gymraeg Glantaf - Welsh speaking secondary school

Location: Bridge Road , Llandaff North , Cardiff , CF14 2JL
Distance from the top of Cathedral Road, Pontcanna: Drive Time: 9 minutes Walk Time: 30 minutes

Ysgol Gymraeg Pwll Coch

Location: Lawrenny Avenue , Leckwith , Cardiff , CF11 8BR
Distance from the top of Cathedral Road, Pontcanna: Drive Time: 11 minutes Walk Time: 30 minutes

Radnor Primary School

Location: Radnor Road , Cardiff , CF5 1RB
Distance from the top of Cathedral Road, Pontcanna: Drive Time: 5 minutes Walk Time: 12 minutes

St Aubin Nursery

Location: 503A Cowbridge Road East , Cardiff , CF5 1BB
Distance from the top of Cathedral Road, Pontcanna: Drive Time: 3 minutes Walk Time: 9 minutes

The Hollies Daycare Nursery

Location: 9 Sanatorium Road , Cardiff , CF11 8DG
Distance from the top of Cathedral Road, Pontcanna: Drive Time: 9 minutes Walk Time: 27 minutes

Getting around Pontcanna

Bus

Pontcanna is served by the number 24, 25 and 63 Cardiff Bus routes. There are bus links to the city centre, Llandaff, Rhiwbina and many more destinations.

Rail

There is no rail station in Pontcanna. Pontcanna's closest train station is Llandaff station, which serves the areas of Llandaff North and Whitchurch.

Major Road Links

Pontcanna is situated north and south of the A4119 and the A4232 handy for working out of the city. Furthermore, Western Avenue, which is a 5 minute drive from Pontcanna, serves as a quick link to the M4 and A470.

What's on in Pontcanna

cardiff_centre_bute_park.jpg

Bute Park

Location: Bute Park , Cardiff
Fancy some green, green grass of Wales? Yes please! The stunning park grounds at the heart of the city is the perfect picnic spot. Set within the grounds of the iconic Cardiff Castle, it's a perfect escape from the hustle and bustle of the city. Our top tip - grab lunch from one of the numerous shops around the Castle, and sit in the park watching the boats go by on the river. Who said a working lunch had to be boring?!

Pontcanna fields

Location: Pontcanna Fields , Cardiff
Pontcanna fields are at the centre of the area’s vast parkland, with cycle routes that run along Cardiff’s River Taff. No ordinary city park, it’s bountiful with facilities, riding school, pedal power cycle hire and a caravan/camping park.

River Taff - Taff Trail

The Taff Trail is a gorgeous cycle and pedestrian walking route which runs alongside the river Taff, through the middle of Pontcanna fields, through to Bute Park in the city centre, and further down to Cardiff Bay. It truly is a lovely route for a day out with the family or a spot of exercise.

Swalec Stadium

Location: Swalec Stadium , Cardiff , CF11 9XR
Swalec Stadium is home to the Glamorgan County Cricket Club and, having undergone significant redevelopment in recent years, has since played host to several England matches. Formerly known as Sophia Gardens, the venue has hosted competitive matches since 1967.

Eat in Pontcanna

The Robin Hood

Location: 16 Severn Grove , Cardiff , CF11 9EN
This traditional pub offers the charm you would expect from a Pontcanna business. With a wide variety of entertainment including live music, pub quizzes and jazz, this bar has something for everyone.

Fish at 85

Location: 85 Pontcanna Street , Cardiff
Specialising in British-caught fish, this restaurant offers fish prepared to your exact specification.

The Halfway

Location: The Halfway , Cathedral Road , Cardiff , CF11 9PP
The Halfway is a classic tavern, offering an extensive food menu along with a range of award-winning ales.

Y Mochyn Du

Location: Sophia Close, off Cathedral Rd , Cardiff , CF11 9HW
Y Mochyn Du was voted one of the top 25 pubs in Britain by The Independent. Just a short walk from Cardiff Castle and the city centre, this pub is nestled between Sophia Gardens and the Glamorgan Cricket Club. Presenting a relaxed atmosphere that can be ideal to escape the hustle and bustle city life often has, the friendly staff and great, home-cooked food will leave you wanting to come back for seconds.

Purple Poppadom

Location: 185a cowbridge road east , Cardiff , CF11 9AJ
A lovely, modern Indian food experience. The head chef, Anand George, has had countless positive reviews for their spicy fresh and inviting menu. This restaurant also offers a takeaway option that is handy for all moods around food.

CPS Homes guide to living in Pontcanna

As one of the coolest places to live in the UK, it’s hard to say anything new about Cardiff’s most fashionable area. So we chatted to some Pontcanna locals to hear the truth behind the media hype.

Pontcanna houses

Tree-lined streets, beautiful architecture, independent retailers, parkland, proximity to the city centre, great restaurants, relaxed cafés, and a private members club (that anyone can drink in) – what more could you want from a neighbourhood?

Not a lot, it seems – except perhaps more parking (many a resident’s chief gripe). According to The Times, Pontcanna is the 23rd coolest place to live in the UK. Not bad for north Riverside, eh?

But is it really choc-full of media types, the Welsh speaking elite – the so-called crachach – and celebrities, as newspapers and magazines would have us believe? The locals we spoke to were keen to play down the hyperbole.

Pontcanna Park

“There is a buzz to the place, yes,” says Richard Hughes, an account manager and Pontcanna resident of eight years, “but I don’t believe it’s because of these people at all. In fact, I would suggest that other people of a certain type have latched onto Pontcanna because it’s considered a ‘cool’ area and the risk is they’ll end up turning it into something it never was.”

Certainly it’s true that 25 per cent of Pontcanna residents siarad Cymraeg (compared to Cardiff’s average of 11%), and it’s long been a natural home to those who work at the nearby BBC studios. One can regularly spot a TV personality or rugby star, and locals casually tell of watching Charlotte Church sing a capella in the Robin Hood pub. But they assure us that these aren’t the things that make Pontcanna special.

Pontcanna: A city village

“There is a strong community spirit here – it has very much a village feel within a city,” says Pontcanna resident and dentist Dr Andrew Webber, who works at Cathedral Dental Practice.

Cardiff-born Andrew chose Pontcanna when resettling in Cardiff three years ago. “Having everything on your doorstep is one of the best things about it,” he says

Pontcanna

“It’s a very sociable place to live. Jogging through Bute Park on a summer’s evening, then enjoying a cold lager outside one of the many local pubs, is a perfect way to unwind after a hard, working week.”

‘A village within a city’ is a phrase often used by residents. It may be a dynamic place, but there is both a sense of community and historical links, due perhaps to its relatively recent rural past. Indeed, its name stems from Pont Canna Farm, which probably took its name from a nearby bridge – pont is of course bridge in Welsh – over the Taff tributary, Whitehouse brook.

“A horse used to live in our front room,” jokes Kath Jenkins, a public sector professional and wife to Richard who we heard from previously.

These days the couple’s modern home, on one of Pontcanna’s tree-lined terraced streets, would not look out of place in an interior style magazine, but once the site comprised stables and access to an old bakery. It was a derelict house when they bought it in 2004, offering an opportunity to create their dream home in a location that otherwise may have been out of their budget.

Independent Pontcanna

The Pontcanna Pine site, also known aptly enough as The Dairy, sits on the cornerof Severn Grove and Kings Road, and has been the subject of a recent unsuccessful planning application. It’s the latest attempt at an incursion by chain supermarkets. So far they’ve been resisted.

Fish 85 restaurant and fishmonger in Pontcanna

The array of independent shops, cafés and restaurants certainly enhance Pontcanna’s sense of place. “It is very nice to be able to get all the ingredients to whip up a pretty splendid meal entirely from independent traders on your doorstep,” says Kath.

John Lester, manager of celebrated fishmonger and restaurant, Fish at 85, agrees. “I admire the ‘people power’ element and community feel of Pontcanna,” he says. “This is demonstrated when the residents campaign and organise petitions to stop certain companies from trying to move in.”

Spying a gap in the market (there’s a butcher and a baker but no fishmonger in the locality), Brixham-based Channel Fisheries moved into Pontcanna in 2011, choosing it over anywhere else in South Wales and the South West for Fish at 85, its first foray into retail and dining.

“Location and demographic were key considerations,” says John. “We rightly anticipated that the people of Pontcanna would embrace the high quality establishment we were attempting to create.”

Fish at 85 now provides a full restaurant experience with a kitchen under the stewardship of chef Padraig Jones, former co-owner of the mourned Le Gallois. Meanwhile, future plans will see the complete redevelopment of the Fish at 85 site and the creation of a larger restaurant and bar.

The price of Pontcanna popularity

Not all changes are welcome: in spite of its Conservation Area status, Pontcanna will continue to be subject to more residential development, a natural consequence of high demand (and the vertigo-inducing property prices).

“Pontcanna is in danger of being overdeveloped in places,” suggests Kathryn. “Developers are looking to shoehorn as many flats as they can get away with into all available land. It’s a bit depressing because it often involves tearing down lovely old buildings.”

Pontcanna pub bench

Yet while some Pontcanna pockets are certainly deep, chatting to regulars in the Brains-owned Halfway pub – a favourite of rugby legend Barry John, if you will –there is sometimes mention of the ‘Pontcanna pound’. It’s a light-hearted grumble about perceived inflated prices generally in the locality.

The unsung hero in Pontcanna’s celebrated status of the place to be is probably Canton. Rubbing up against the more rough and ready (some might say more real) area, with its bustling high street (and handy chains), allows Pontcanna to continue its village-like, gentrified existence.

There is also a sense that Canton helps keep Pontcanna’s feet on the ground. Or as one resident puts it: “Canton stops Pontcanna from vanishing too far up its own backside in a healthy, reality-check sort of way.”

Well, it tries at least.

CPS Homes last edited this page on 25/08/2015. All details listed were correct at the time of publishing. Reviewed every six months.