It seems fair to say there’s a library culture in Cardiff. Alongside the central library covering multiple floors, most suburbs have their own, while the recent Save Roath Library campaign rapidly gained momentum.  However, there comes a point where it feels we students may as well start paying rent to the uni libraries, so here’s our list of recommendations for where to head if you want to hold onto your last threads of productivity without being surrounded by books other than your own.

1.       Victoria Park

Admittedly, February might be pushing the boundaries a little, but there’s nothing wrong with a challenge… If you’re anything like me though, you’ll be waiting til Spring (fortunately not far away), to literally think outside the box of the library and set up camp in Victoria Park. While not as well-known as its Cardiff counterparts Roath and Bute Parks, Victoria is a beautiful stretch of scenery, situated conveniently close to coffee shops for when the books present you with little choice but to nip out for a caffeine fix.

Victoria Park, Canton. 

2. Senedd

It might not initially jump to mind, but the iconic building of the Senedd is more than just a pretty face if you don’t have any links to the National Assembly of Wales. You may not realise it’s a public building, which includes generous seating and a spacious cafe in its Oriel area. With pleasant views overlooking the Bay and a unique place to whittle away a few hours, you definitely don’t need to be studying Politics to sit back in the Senedd.

Senedd, Cardiff Bay.

3. Little Man Coffee

There’s only so much ground I could cover before returning to my old favourite. Never underestimate the humble coffee shop. Books are bursting with benefits, but today’s culture means you won’t get very far without a laptop on which to type your essay. So, you need somewhere with plug sockets… and coffee to serve as a comforter when Word crashes yet again… and lunch to fuel your brain power… and ok, a sweet treat or two to remind your writer’s block it has requirements to fulfil. The fact that Little Man Coffee has all of these, as well as charming decor and a handy city centre location, makes it one to get acquainted with.

Little Man Coffee, Bridge Street. 

4. The Studio

If you’re savvy, you’ll be making the most of feeling productive enough to hit the books at all, and so channel this into working out as well. OK, this may be verging on blind optimism, but if you pick The Studio as your studying hotspot, this might make the leap into reality. While The Studio, which only opened in November, is foremost a training and exercise facility with a twist, its incredibly stylish lounge, with plush seating and a coffee shop function all set in an attractive and spacious area, is almost reason alone to go…

The Studio, Unit R01, Cardiff Bay Business Centre. 

5. Cardiff University Students’ Union

Looking to study somewhere closer to home in Cathays, but bored of the library? We Cardiff Uni students are lucky to have the UK’s 5th best SU on our doorsteps (well last year’s National Student Survey thinks so anyway)! With multiple floors including a student media office, lodge full of sofas, snug individual pods and plenty of foodie features, from the chance to meet your long lost friend the 5-a-day at Magic Wrap, to the somewhat unhealthier but sparkling new YoGoGo frozen yoghurt bar, it makes sense to set up base here, before all your hopes of a respectable degree melt away…

Cardiff University Students’ Union, Park Place. 

Have you got a story or experience that could help, inspire, or entertain students? Get involved at joinus@myunibasics.co.uk

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