Living in North Campus
North Campus is a big part of the Cathays campus, comprising of a few big university halls along with a few houses along Colum Road. I was lucky enough to stay in one of the student houses, which made for a very different experience to typical halls of flats. It’s located around many university buildings, with the Schools of Music, Psychology, Law and Politics, Business, and many others essentially embedded in the area covered by North Campus.
With Bute Park next door and the city centre at 15 minutes walk away, it makes for a very convenient location. There are a few shops around too – a lifesaving Lidl 5-10 minutes away, with Co-op, Tesco, and Sainsburys within 10ish minutes walk. Woodville Rd and Cathays Terrace also have quite a few options for restaurants and takeaway, with a lot more variety in Albany Road which is slightly further away.
Just as with South Campus, there is also the danger of not really wanting or needing to get out of the ‘Cathays Bubble’, so make sure you set some time aside for exploring past the convenient areas. It’s also very well connected on public transport, with the Cathays train station 10ish minutes away, and plenty of bus stops around – but really, day-to-day you’ll likely not need public transport at all.
The main disadvantage of being so close to everything is that it’s not very tucked away – a lot of the rooms face the main street, which can get quite busy at times (it has been righteously dubbed ‘The Student Highway’), and the area is shared with residential houses as well, meaning that the university cannot handle any noise complaints.
Laundry-wise, it really depends which part of North Campus you’re allocated. Hodge Hall, Aberconway Hall, and Aberdare Hall all have their own laundry rooms, meaning you won’t have to walk too far. The houses and Colum Hall share the laundry room with Aberconway Hall, meaning you’ll have to walk back and forth with your laundry down a public, busy street, but it’s a fairly short walk.
In the student houses, there are no en-suite rooms, meaning that you and your flatmates will need to agree on a cleaning rota and general sharing rules. Some houses may also have an additional small toilet room with just a toilet and the sink, besides the main bathroom – so sharing should be fairly easy. Again depending on where in North Campus you’re allocated, it may be more or less lively – but overall definitely less so than, for example, Talybont or South Campus.
Living in a house instead of a flat came with a few different experiences – first, it was quite interesting to have strict bin collection days in university accommodation – given that it is a house, then all issues need to be liaised with the Council, rather than the university. I can confirm that the stakes have never been higher than forgetting to put out the bins… Secondly, the process of receiving mail was vastly simplified, as all packages and letters come directly to the house, and the addresses are all fairly easy to find, as opposed to larger flat buildings.
All in all, staying in a house in North Campus was a really good experience, as it had a homely feeling, the rooms were quite big, and everything was conveniently located. The downside of the laundry was in the end manageable for me. If you come to stay in North Campus, I hope it’ll be a great experience, and don’t forget to keep an eye on the Res Life events and announcements!
Adelina - Former North Campus RLA
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