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Where To Live In Cardiff

The Welsh capital of Cardiff is one of Europe’s most multicultural and cosmopolitan cities. With an incredibly rich history and a proud embrace of the cultures of both its Welsh and international residents, Cardiff is an increasingly exciting place to both live and work. So for those thinking of moving to Cardiff, this guide may just be able to help you find a suburb that suits your individual needs.
 
Growing at a rapid pace, Cardiff offers a seemingly never ending variety of things to do and places to go. From hot new restaurants to literary festivals, and a new profile on the world stage from hosting events like the Champion’s League in 2017, there's truly something for everyone in Europe’s youngest capital.
 
With a lower cost of living than most capital cities, and recent regeneration projects leading to the development of the Cardiff Bay waterfront into a bustling hive of eateries and bars, and the construction of popular attractions the National Assembly building and the Wales Millennium Centre. Cardiff is an ever popular choice with both families and young professionals looking to build some roots in one of the UK’s most attractive cities.
 
One of Cardiff’s biggest attractions is its diversity of locations, offering you the option of living in the beautiful waterfront of Cardiff Bay, right in the centre of the urban sprawl, or in the middle of the beautiful countryside. The only thing that’s difficult about settling down in Cardiff is choosing where.

Millennium Centre, Cardiff Bay

Where Should You Live in Cardiff?

Choosing where to live depends as much on you, as it does on the city you’re moving to. And with a massive variety of areas, moving to Cardiff provides you with the opportunity to be really selective about how, and where, you choose to settle down. As removal company in Cardiff we're going to give you the lowdown on the best places to live based on your needs.
 
As a big city for higher education, with two universities, Cardiff and Cardiff Met, and the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama, Cardiff has some excellent options for those who don’t want to live in their university halls of residence. Popular with students since the establishment of the Universities, Cathays is the main area that students live in. Due in part to its close proximity to the university buildings, but largely due to the huge community feel of the area, which is as much a part of university life as the actual university itself. 
 
If you’re a young professional, a post graduate or even a young family, Roath offers a great mixture of both the social and cultural aspects of Cardiff. With a number of independent restaurants and bars, small galleries and The Globe, your go to spot for live music - and not to be confused with Shakespeare - Roath provides more than enough entertainment without having to make the short walk to the city centre. Roath park should also get a mention, as a great place to take children to play in, or to hire out one of the rowing boats on the lake for a great first date.
 
As a general rule, the further you are from the city centre, the more family friendly the areas become. Located in the north east, Cyncoed is one of the most sought-after places in Cardiff, although it does come with a property price to match. Similarly, with its combination of semi-detached, terraced houses and large gardens, Victoria Park is another hot spot for growing families. 
 
With a number of well regarded and high performing schools, Cardiff offers quality education to all ages. Cathays High School and Cardiff High School are two well-regarded state secondary schools, alongside over 30 primary schools to choose from and few high ranking independent schools, such as Llandaff.
 
Roath’s big sister, Pontcanna, is one of the more affluent areas of Cardiff and a popular choice with professionals. The price of properties here are equal to, or higher, that the more upmarket areas of Roath and is similar in its genetic make-up, with it’s own range of restaurants, bars and shops. 
 

Wales’ Most Desirable Postcodes

In 2017, the Centre for Economic and Business Research and the Royal Mail conducted their annual survey, calculating the most desirable postcodes to live in in Wales.
 
Based on a number of factors, such as access to high quality schooling and green spaces, average working hours and quality of life statistics, and researched via number of data sources including the 2011 Census, the Department for Communities and Local Government's Indices of Multiple Deprivation and General Land Use database, the list, covering all areas of Wales, is comprehensive. 
 
In line with the rapid growth of this cosmopolitan city, we’re pleased to announce that more than half of the most desirable places to live and work in Wales are located within or around Cardiff, in comparison to the two slots Cardiff won in 2015. 
 
Some of these postcodes we’ve already mentioned above, but here’s a quick list of the Cardiff based postcodes to help you narrow down your search!
 
  • CF63 - Barry, Vale of Glamorgan, covering areas like Cadoxton and Palmerstown
  • CF24 - Cardiff Central, including one of our favourites, Roath, the up and coming Splott, and Cathays, Plasnewydd, and Adamsdown
  • CF3 - Cardiff South, covering areas: Rumney, Trowbridge, Llanrumney, St Mellons, Old St Mellons, Castleton, Marshfield
  • CF62 - Barry, after a massive multi-million pound investment to refurbish and redevelop the waterfront over the last few years, and the awarding of a prestigious blue flag, it’s no wonder that Barry waterfront has been awarded a spot on the list. Including areas like: Barry, Rhoose, St Athan, Llancarfan, Barry Island.
  • CF5 - Cardiff West, covering: Ely, Caerau, Canton, Leckwith, Fairwater, Danescourt, Llandaff, Riverside, Wenvoe, Peterston Super Ely, St George’s Super Ely and Michaelston.
  • CF11 - Cardiff Central, for Cardiff Bay and Grangetown.

Region by Region Guide to Cardiff

If you are planning on moving to Cardiff and its surrounding suburbs, then you have a lot of choice in terms of where you want to settle. Whether you want an inner city location or a more leafy suburb (or something in between), we’ve put together this guide to help you decide on the best place for you and your needs.

Roath

Scott Memorial, Roath Park - geograph.org.uk - 27200.jpg
By Rob Burke, CC BY-SA 2.0, Link

Roath is located just a couple of miles from the city centre and is an excellent location for young professionals. The area has multiple tree-lined avenues and several streets featuring terraced houses from the Victorian era.

Many local amenities can be found close by, with the main shopping streets being Albany Road, City Road and Wellfield Road. There are plenty of cafes and restaurants, as well as pubs and bars too.

Characterised by a diverse community, Roath’s population includes a lot of students and graduates thanks to its close proximity to Cardiff University. It is also an ideal location for fans of music, art and literature due to the Made in Roath arts festival which takes place every October.

Historical sites include a nineteenth-century villa built on the site of the medieval manor house of Roath, plus the 150-year old St. Margaret’s church, which also houses the intriguingly opulent Bute Mausoleum. The area is further enhanced by the beautiful Roath Park which includes a beautiful lake as well as botanical gardens, pleasure gardens and a recreation ground.

Roath is a perfect location for anyone seeking a balance of city and town centre life with plenty of picturesque scenery to enjoy too.

Cathays

Cathays Library (2010), Cardiff.jpg
By John Lord, CC BY-SA 2.0, Link

Cathays is also renowned for its high student population due to its proximity to Cardiff University. The area is quite densely populated by the local community, with the architectural characteristics having a Victorian feel thanks to the many older terraced houses that feature along many of the residential streets.

Despite significant urbanisation over the years, the area has managed to maintain extensive parkland thanks to local places such as Bute Park, Blackweir, Gorsedd Gardens and Queen Alexandra Gardens.

The eastern end of Cathays is home to the local train station which serves Cardiff city centre as well as other popular locations like Merthyr Tydfil and Aberdare. The Sherman Theatre and Cardiff gym are both close-by, while there is a particular abundance of trendy coffee shops.

Local attractions include the National Museum Cardiff which has collections of archaeology, botany, geology and zoology, as well as fine and applied art.

The Welsh National War Memorial is also located in Alexandra Gardens in Cathays Park, also known as the Cardiff Civic Centre, which itself consists of several early-twentieth century buildings. Crown Buildings, which are the Welsh Government’s main offices, are also located here, so there is extra appeal here in Cathays for anyone working for the Welsh Assembly (or interested in getting into politics).

Llandaff

Cardiff, Llandaff Cathedral

Llandaff is one of the quieter places to live around the suburbs of Cardiff, yet still has many interesting features that make it an excellent choice to live in. This suburb consists of quaint villages, many with historic buildings from the medieval era, as well as many unique eateries and cafes which enhance the local experience.

Originally built in the twelfth century, the medieval and gothic Llandaff Cathedral is one of two in the Cardiff area and the only one that also serves as an Anglican parish church.

Llandaff is also notable for being the birthplace of author Roald Dahl, as well as the previous location of the BBC Wales production studio before it was relocated to Cardiff Bay. In fact, four episodes of the revived Doctor Who television show feature scenes shot in Llandaff, two from David Tennant’s turn as the Doctor and two from Matt Smith’s.

Despite the quietness of Llandaff, it is still within walking distance of the city centre. It is also heralded as a good area for families to live in as there are excellent schools located nearby. There are popular Welsh language primary and secondary schools as well as English language schools, plus there is the Llandaff campus of Cardiff University.

Cardiff Bay

Mermaid Quay and Pierhead Building, Cardiff Bay - geograph.org.uk - 752977.jpg
By Matt Rosser, CC BY-SA 2.0, Link

The multicultural Cardiff Bay is probably one of Cardiff’s most vibrant and exciting suburbs to live in, due to its access to bars, restaurants, and other leisure and entertainment venues. Some of Carfiff’s best restaurants and bars are here, making for a vibrant nightlife scene.

Two notable attractions in this area are the Senedd, home of the National Assembly for Wales, and Techniquest, a science and discovery centre. The Wales Millennium Centre, where you can see theatre shows, musicals, concerts and comedy, is also located in Cardiff Bay.

Other interesting sights include the Norwegian Church Arts Centre and the vibrant and captivating waterfront, Mermaid Quay. The whole area benefits from beautiful scenery and multiple artistic sculptures, and there are many annual festivals and events to enjoy too.

The BBC Wales production studio is also now situated in Cardiff Bay as well, so Doctor Who fans can regularly see the crew filming scenes around town during production.

Transport is excellent in Cardiff Bay with regular trains running around every 12 minutes, as well as the hourly Aquabus which offers a more leisurely and scenic route of travel.

Cyncoed

Cyncoed Road shops - geograph.org.uk - 126830.jpg
By Roy Douglas, CC BY-SA 2.0, Link

If you want to live in an affluent Cardiff suburb that boasts wonderful views of the surrounding mountains, then you must consider moving to Cyncoed.

It is a particularly ideal location for families due to the abundance of good schools, most notably Rhydypenau Primary School and Cardiff High School which are two of the highest performing schools in the city. There is also a hall of residence for Cardiff University and a campus for Cardiff Metropolitan University.

While the good schools in the area does mean property prices tend to be higher in Cyncoed than in other suburbs of Cardiff, there are many other benefits that come with those higher property prices. One of these is the closeness of Roath Park with its lake and multiple gardens to enjoy nature, especially handy for dog owners. The mountainous views that surround the area also provide this place with spectacularly beautiful scenery all year round.

Public transport is fairly basic but reliable in Cyncoed, with buses that can take you to straight to Cardiff Central bus station and various other train stations.

Whitchurch

Located just three miles north of Cardiff city centre, Whitchurch is still referred to by locals as ‘the village’ despite becoming a suburb of Cardiff during the Welsh capital’s expansion in the twentieth century.

The A470 and A4054 are the two main roads, with the former connecting Whitchurch to Llandudno on the north coast and the latter connecting to Merthyr Tydfil.

The local architecture is quite diverse, with many properties dating from the Edwardian, Victorian and Georgian eras. There is a good selection of detached and semi-detached properties as well as plenty of modern flats and apartments.

Families moving to the area will be pleased to know that the local Whitchurch High School is a co-educational, comprehensive secondary school and the largest high school in Wales. With approximately 2,400 pupils, it is perhaps unsurprising that the school boasts quite an impressive alumni. Former pupils include two-time Olympic gold medallist and 2018 Tour De France winner Geraint Thomas, Wales and Real Madrid footballer Gareth Bale, and former captain of the Wales national rugby union team Sam Warburton.

With a 105-year old golf club and the all-sexes and ages Whitchurch Warriors Rugby Club nearby, Whitchurch is ideal for families with sporting interests.

Penarth

Penarth is a scenic seaside suburb on the northern shore of the Severn Estuary, about four miles southwest from Cardiff city centre. The area is relatively quiet and calm with a mixed population consisting of families, retirees and students. There are lots of public transport options in the form of trains and buses, and even a water bus that operates along the River Taff.

There are a lot of churches in Penarth servicing many of the various Christian denominations, plus the interesting shops, clubs and exhibitions give the area a particularly artisanal vibe. Bookstores here often host author signings, while the local art gallery hosts shows and exhibitions.

As well as a modern leisure centre, sports fans can also enjoy the exploits of the successful local hockey club, plus Penarth also has a cricket ground and rugby team. There are also three small soccer clubs, a golf club and a motorcycle dirt track to keep you busy.

Architecture here is mainly Victorian and Edwardian properties mixed with some modern flats and apartments, although the latter do seem to be on the expensive side compared with similar-sized dwellings in other Cardiff suburbs.

Penylan

Penylan lies between Roath and Cyncoed and boasts excellent views of Cardiff Bay as well as the Welsh capital itself. It is a leafy suburb with many wide tree-lined streets and avenues as well as parks and other lush green areas, including the lovely Waterloo Gardens. Uniquely located to both the north and south of the A48 dual carriageway, Penylan is regarded as one of the most affluent of Cardiff’s suburbs.

As well as a high number of green areas, Penylan has a lot of churches and many quirky local shops dotted around its wide and spacious roads, all of which helps create a unique sense of community.

Much like the many other areas around Cardiff city, there are many residential properties dating from the Victorian and Edwardian eras. Some of the Victorian era buildings are undergoing subdivision into separate flats and apartments, particularly towards the southern end of Penylan.

Pontcanna

Pontcanna is a very trendy Cardiff suburb and has previously been named by The Times newspaper as one of the coolest areas to live in the UK. Located close to the west end of Cardiff city centre, the area is popular with young professionals and features spacious tree-lined streets and large houses.

Another one of the most affluent areas around Cardiff, quite a few of the larger properties have been converted into flats, guest houses or even business premises. Scenic parkland in the area consists of Sophia Gardens and Pontcanna Fields which form a large strip of greenery connecting Pontcanna and the River Taff. There are football pitches here as well as allotments and a riding school.

There are many attractive amenities in Pontcanna such as unique cafes, bars and bakeries as well as numerous independent retailers and family-run businesses, especially along Pontcanna Street and Cathedral Road. There is quality live music and entertainment available regularly at King’s Road Courtyard, plus a local arts centre that hosts frequent exhibitions, shows and galleries.

There is a significant portion of the Pontcanna population who are primarily Welsh-speaking, and this is reflected in the local schools of which many operate in the Welsh language.

Lisvane

Associated with neighbouring community Thornhill due to the shared train station, Lisvane is another of the wealthiest communities around the Welsh capital with many properties valued at over £1 million (though thankfully not all). At five miles north of Cardiff city centre, it is also located a bit further out than the other suburbs on this list.

Popular with young families, retirees and affluent first-time buyers, the area around Lisvane, including Thornhill, has seen a lot of new homes being built in recent years. There is a variety of housing as well, with lots of small starter homes as well as larger five-bed properties. Many green areas in the neighbourhood make Lisvane a scenic place, including Cefn Onn Country Park and the nearby Llanishen Golf Course.

Cardiff city can be easily accessed by train from the Lisvane and Thornhill station, plus there are multiple bus routes as alternative public transport options. The connection to the city is probably necessary as there isn’t a lot of shopping to be had in Lisvane itself, barring some local village shops and a couple of pubs.

The quality and simplicity of life here along with the proximity to one of the UK’s major cities makes Lisvane a very attractive proposition to those that can afford it.

 

Watch this space for more regions to be added shortly...

 

For more information on where to go, what to do and where to live in cardiff, read our other city guides: