Rainy Day Retreats

By Harriet Lowbridge

Rainy holidays genuinely suck. You have days planned for sunning yourself on the beach with a good book and suddenly you’re staring out of the caravan window and dreaming of tropical islands. At least I was when my family and I were caravanning on the coast near Tenby. Of course, you have all the generic rainy-day ideas, like sitting in the caravan all day playing scrabble. These ideas get tedious before you’ve been there an hour, let alone all day. Next time you’re sat staring at the rain, look at braving it and seeing what you can find in the local culture or area instead. My last holiday saw myself, my family and my dog in a similar scenario of gazing longingly at the beach (and at the tennis balls) while the heavens chucked down everything it had. A plain day in didn’t sit quite right with us, so we grit our teeth and threw caution to the wind. We donned some warm clothes, packed dry towels and all the provisions we needed to set out. Cut to us arriving at the nearby beach, as soon as we got out our dog was splashing about in the sea and having a blast. Soon enough we were in with him, freezing whatever parts we have off and having nearly as much fun with the introduction of a tennis ball. After a relatively quick swim for us and a (never long enough) game of fetch with our dog, we set out to dry off and find somewhere warm nearby for coffees and lunch. With a huge number of dog-friendly cafes, restaurants and pubs along the Welsh coast, we weren’t searching for long before we found a hot coffee and some shelter for an hour. Unfortunately, the day was only half done so we needed something else to pass the time. We set out once again, fully warmed up and fed, when we found a brilliant local museum, the Narberth Museum. Not only was it a great source of local history (and warm), but it was also dog friendly and had a bookshop to explore. We got to learn some history, enjoy hot coffees and cakes, and spend that day on the beach with our dog that we had originally planned. So next time it’s tipping down, have a think about what’s near you instead of waiting the day away, who knows what you’ll find yourself doing!


By Catarina Vicente

It’s the day of the trip you organised for so long. You texted all your friends, laid out all the details, set a time to meet up, arranged transport – everything is planned out. You’re just about to leave when the sight of grey clouds brings the familiar drizzle- and it starts raining. For any Cardiff resident, the presence of rain is but a mere inconvenience – except when it ruins trips to the outdoors. Luckily, the city is more than prepared, and it’s great to have a few hangout spots up your sleeve in case the weather spoils your plans.

Going to eat out at a restaurant is always a viable alternative – the city centre has a wide variety of restaurants from different countries. There’s Old Havana for Cuban food, ‘Natas & Co.’ for Portuguese, Kimchi for Korean, and endless others. Or do you just want to try a different diet? The ‘Grazing Shed’ and Greazy Vegan have got you covered if you want to try out vegetarian or vegan food.  If you’d rather stick to a normal hamburger and fries, Honest Burger, Shake Shack, and (if you want a cheaper option) Five Guys are all close by. But if you’d rather go somewhere closer to your accommodation, there is Coco Gelato (near Aberdare) or Hogwurst (near Talybont Court). And you can always browse the Queen’s Arcade and Market for new eating-out spots!

Other than eating out, the city centre provides other pastimes. The Superbowl has an arcade, with laser-tag and bowling; in the same building, there’s VueCinema, or Cineworld, both showcasing the latest movies. For a more unusual pastime, EscapeRooms on St Mary street will keep a group of 2-6 people entertained for around an hour. However, if you’re truly rained in and would prefer not to venture the wet streets and by chance get splashed by a passing bus, gather friends at your accommodation hall and have a night-in watching movies or play some board games.

No matter the weather, Cardiff has plenty of good spots to spend the time, so don’t let the weather spoil your fun. And never forget your umbrella!