Cardiff

Student-accommodation-in-cardiff-pano

Day Trippin'

Being a major city of the UK, Cardiff is quite well serviced by trains, or to be more accurate, it is quite well connected to England. Travelling within Wales is another story.
 
It takes from two to three hours on the train to go to London. If you intend to go on the train, think of booking your tickets well in advance (around two months before) to benefit from better fares. Prices can more than double if you take your tickets at the last minute. To go to London, you also have the ‘Megabus’ option. Though it takes a little bit longer (3h 15 minutes), it is very cheap (you can get a single from only just £1), and it goes to and from London many times a day. You can find out more on http://www.megabus.co.uk/.

The magnificent city of Bath is only an hour and fifteen minutes away from Cardiff on the train. Bath is renowned for its ancient Roman Baths, which are no longer in use but have been preserved as a museum. Bath is characterised by its Georgian architecture and is famous for being the occasional home of English author Jane Austen.

To take a trip round Wales, the best idea is to hire a car. After only a short drive, you can discover the immense variety of landscapes that Wales has to offer. Surfers and sun worshipers may want to try the magnificent Rhossili Bay whereas the more adventurous may fancy climbing to the highest point of Wales, Mount Snowdon (1,085m). 

Swansea is an hour away by train or by bus (seems to be like the train should be quicker but... never mind!), but surprisingly enough, a return is slightly cheaper with the train (under £5). However, to be frank, Swansea is very much like Cardiff: lots of churches, a huge shopping centre and Swansea Bay, and is certainly not the sort of place you’ll need to visit twice…

You cannot stay in Cardiff for a year without visiting a mine. Of these, Big Pit is the most famous. It is North-East Cardiff, in Blaenafon and again, it seems quite of an enterprise to get there without a car. In case you really have no access to a car, you can go to the Rhondda Heritage Park in Trehaffod (it’s half an hour on a train and a return costs around £4). There is an interesting little museum about what life used to be like in the days where mining was a flourishing industry. The visit of the mine itself is a very enjoyable experience, although it is slightly ruined at the end when you find out that you were only ten feet underground. (it is not the case of Big Pitt, where the visit takes you deep into the bowels of the Earth!).

Finally, it is perhaps worth mentioning that from Cardiff Airport, you can fly to Belfast from £44 a return. With such a good rate, you shouldn’t deprive yourself of an opportunity to visit the capital of Northern Ireland!