Something for Everyone
Lively, elegant, confident, cosmopolitan, Cardiff caters for all tastes, offering everything from the excitement of a vibrant city life to the peace and tranquility of the nearby coast and countryside:
- Two Thousand Years of History
- Affordable Living
- City Beautiful
- Capital of Culture
- Sport for All
- A Multicultural Community
- Shop 'Til You Drop
Two Thousand Years of History
The history of Cardiff stretches back over 2000 years to Roman times when the Romans first established a fortified settlement on the banks of the River Taff. One thousand years later the Normans came to Cardiff.
The castle, or keep, which can be seen within the modern walls of Cardiff Castle, originates from this time and William the Conqueror came to Cardiff in 1081.
Cardiff remained a small market town for the next few hundred years, but with the dawn of the Industrial Revolution, it would come into its own.
The city's greatest period of growth began in the 18th century with the development of the coal and iron industries in the South Wales valleys.
In the early 19th century, first a canal and then the Taff Vale Railway linked Cardiff with Merthyr Tydfil and the Rhondda Valleys, at the time the greatest iron and coal centre in the world. Soon, Cardiff would itself achieve worldwide fame as a great coal-exporting ports.
The resultant growth in population and the massive coal wealth that was invested in Cardiff helped it win city status in 1905, just as it became the largest coal exporter in the world,
As the fortunes of Welsh coal waned in the 20th century, Cardiff transformed itself from a port city into the administrative centre of Wales. Cardiff would become the home of the National Museum of Wales and the Welsh Office. In 1955, it was made Capital of Wales.
The Times Good University Guide 2012 notes that a recent NUS survey has found that rents in Cardiff are among the lowest in the UK.
The Guardian newspaper also recently identified Cardiff as one of the most affordable cities in the UK.
Cardiff has been identified by the British Tourist Authority (BTA) as the most affordable capital city to visit for the last nine years.
This survey compares 16 capital cities around the world and includes such items as accommodation, travel, food, entertainment, shopping and services.
The University is set in Cardiff's magnificent civic centre. With its wide tree-lined avenues, ornamental parklands and white-stoned neo-classical architecture, it provides one of the finest sites of any civic university in Britain.
Built at the beginning of the century, it is regarded as a world-ranking example of civic architecture.
Cardiff is also home to such notable buildings as the historic Llandaff Cathedral, the ornate Victorian Coal Exchange and Customs House in what is today Cardiff's Bay Development and the striking new Wales Millennium Centre.
The city also benefits from extensive parklands, some of which come right into the city centre itself.
Indeed, Cardiff has a greater area of parkland per head of population than any other city in Britain, providing residents with unrivalled opportunities for sports, leisure and relaxation.
Capital of Culture
As a capital city, Cardiff offers excellent opportunities for cultural and social activities.
The Wales Millennium Centre is home to the internationally-renowned Welsh National Opera, as well as the Diversions dance company and a host of other arts organisations.
The New Theatre is one of the city's oldest cultural institutions. Its programme of events regularly includes touring London musicals, plays and ballet.
Other cultural centres such as the Sherman Theatre and Chapter Arts Centre offer an eclectic mix of more contemporary film, dance and drama.
Sport for All
Cardiff offers a wide range of sporting facilities and opportunities for both the active and the armchair sports enthusiast.
Considered one of the finest stadiums in the world, the Millennium Stadium is home to the Welsh rugby team and is also the current host of the FA Cup final, as well as World Cup and European Championship qualifiers. Cardiff is also home to: Glamorgan Cricket Club, based in Sophia Gardens close to the University; Cardiff Rugby Club, one of Europe's leading teams; Cardiff City Association Football Club and the Cardiff Devils Ice Hockey Team.
A Multicultural Community
Cardiff offers a multicultural environment in which all nationalities and beliefs are represented and respected.
Facilities and community groups representing all major religions may be found close to the University.
Within the city centre and its surrounding suburbs, delicatessens, restaurants and ethnic-produce stores provide a source of prepared foods and essential ingredients from Africa, Asia, the Indian Subcontinent and Eastern Europe.
As one of Britain's first mixed communities, Cardiff is imbued with a relaxed cosmopolitan atmosphere where everyone is made welcome.
Shop 'Til You Drop
Cardiff's compact and pedestrianised city centre is one of the most attractive and successful regional shopping centres in Britain.
Close to Cathays Campus, the city centre has a huge range of shops, including Topshop, Office and Marks & Spencer, whilst the newly opened St David's Shopping Centre is home to a flagship John Lewis department store as well as stores such as Reiss, All Saints, Urban Outfitters and Hollister.
Department stores and designer labels are only one part of shopping in Cardiff.
The city's unrivalled number of covered Victorian arcades offer an alternative experience of hip boutiques, bookshops, coffee-bars, and record and CD shops catering to the latest student tastes.