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Things to do in Cardiff

The best picnic spots for students in Cardiff

27 May 2022

With summer rapidly approaching, students in Cardiff are moving their social activities ever more outside, whether that be long walks, beer gardens, or finishing that reading book for your seminar next week outside. For those who would like to sit down somewhere nice for a date, meetup amongst friends or debrief from the night before, a picnic in the sun is always an attractive option. You can grab disposable barbeques from shops such as Lidl or more simply grab a baguette, cheese and some drinks to fuel your day out. Whatever food or company you choose to bring, these are some of the best spots for a picnic in Cardiff.

The two classic spots for students are Roath and Bute Parks, where there are vast swathes of greenery for you to settle on, likely alongside hundreds of other students if the sun comes out in force. With the pretty surroundings of flowers, trees and rivers, the parks are not only aesthetically pleasing, but also provide you with enough space to kick balls around, set up some badminton, or even set up an inflatable paddling, though good luck transporting the water for the last option. If you prefer to be sporty when spending the day out, then Bute Park usually has football and rugby posts for you to play around with, and more than enough space for your sporting activities, especially when combined with Pontcanna Fields which is just over the other side of the river. You could even fly a kite! Roath Park sometimes has similar sporting facilities; however, the winding gardens and flower beds are a much more attractive proposition to those who would prefer a relaxing wander down a trail.

The castle is another fantastic spot to sit down and enjoy a picnic, whether that be on one of the plethora of benches they have within the grounds, or simply on the grass floor of the bailey and banking of the exterior wall. The space is not simply limited to the interior however, as there is plenty of greenery in front of the walls on the south and east faces that become filled with picnickers upon the dawn of summer. Being right in the centre of town, the castle is easily accessible, and you will not have to carry any food or gear bought from shops nearby very far. The stone keep, built on the mound and foundations of the old bailey, is the centre piece of the aesthetic of the fortress, complemented by the rebuilt wall and additional structures in the south-western corner made by the castle’s Victorian owners.

Finally, the front or back gardens of many houses in Cathays offer an opportunity for a more private picnic. You have easy access to food storage, toilets and water, and can even set up paddling pools or deckchairs as part of a more intimate event than in one of the public spaces. On the day of a half-marathon, many students opt to sit outside their houses in order to cheer the runners on, and the student area of the city is turned into one big street party. Overall, there is no shortage of green, beautiful spots in Cardiff, and you can choose which you end up attending based on the ideal requirements for your proposed picnic.