By Hannah Penwright
Whatever reason you’re staying in Cardiff over the summer, there’s plenty to do to have an unforgettable couple of months. We’re so lucky to be in a city that has so much to offer and there’s lots on to keep you busy during the warmest months of the year. If most of your friends are going home for the summer, then you might want to meet some new people. One of the best ways to get chatting to people is by finding something you have in common, so if you go to an event focused around a hobby you’re interested in, then you’re bound to make friends quickly. There’s plenty of book clubs around Cardiff that meet in local coffee shops, such as The Cardiff Book Collective for all the book lovers. Or if you’re an avid runner, then why not join the Cardiff park run which takes place every Saturday, 9am at Blackweir?
If your student loan is wearing thin, there’s plenty to do that won’t cost you a penny! There are so many beautiful parks in Cardiff such as Roath and Bute and the summer months are the best time to visit when the sun’s out and flowers are blooming. There’s delicious ice cream for sale at Roath Park if you do want to spend a little money, but just chilling in the rose gardens with a book or walking around the lake is still loads of fun. Or, bring along a friend and have a mini photoshoot, using the flowers and trees as a beautiful backdrop. Roath Park is full of wildlife, so make sure to bring some duck-friendly food such as oats or grapes to feed them on your visit. The Arcades in the city centre are another great way to spend an afternoon if you’re in the mood to explore. You don’t need to buy anything to enjoy these quaint little shops, but it’s a great way to support local businesses if something does take your fancy.
The summer is the perfect time to pick up some volunteering if you want to give back to the city and your community. Cardiff council has a website full of volunteering opportunities, so make sure to check this out (www.volunteercardiff.co.uk). There’s lots of one-off volunteering opportunities if you can’t commit regularly, such as looking after community gardens. There’s also lots of longer-term opportunities too, from working with the RSPB to helping at a café for those suffering with dementia. And who knows- you might find something you love so much that you can carry it on alongside your studies next year.
We all know how many amazing attractions Cardiff has all year round like the castle and the National Museum and they’ve got special events on in the summer too. The National Museum has the ‘David Nash: Sculpture through the Seasons’ exhibition open from May until September, so this is a must to go and visit if you’re interested in art. Inside Out Festival is returning to Bute Park on Friday 31st May and Saturday 1st June, so make sure to buy tickets before they sell out if you’re a fan of festivals. Or, if you want to check out some new talent, then make sure to spend an evening at one of the many open-mic nights Cardiff has to offer. The Little Man Coffee Company often holds poetry events and the acoustic nights at Ride My Bike Café are brilliant, so keep an eye on their Facebook pages for their next events. The atmosphere’s incredible if you just want to listen, but if you’ve got some poetry or music that you’ve written, then this is the perfect opportunity to share it!
Hopefully, this shows you that your summer in Cardiff this year will be incredible, and there’s plenty to do to make new friends, find a new passion and give back to this amazing city.