Cathays (Cattayz) is a district of the city of Cardiff, Wales. It is an old suburb of Cardiff established in 1875. It is very densely populated and contains many older terraced houses giving it a Victorian era atmosphere. The area falls into the Cathays ward.

The area of Cathays is probably best known to locals for the disproportionately high number of students living in the locality, given its proximity to most of Cardiff University's teaching sites. Cathays railway station is sited next to the Students' Union building, with the approach tracks running underneath the building itself, and right behind the neighbouring Sherman Theatre. With the student demand, the proximity to the city centre and major roads in and out of Cardiff, demand for housing is extremely high.

Cardiff's civic centre is centred around Cathays Park in the area and contains a number of important municipal buildings. Also the headquarters of the Welsh Assembly Government can be found in Cathays Park, the executive branch of devolved government in Wales.


The etymology of the name "Cathays" is uncertain, but it is unrelated to Cathay, an old word for China.

A suggested etymology is 'stronghold within the enclosure' from Old Welsh cadeir 'battle, stronghold)' and Old English (ge)hæg 'enclosure'. It is believed that "Cathays" seems to derive from the old Welsh for "battlefield"; although no evidence of any battle is known on the site, the name is fairly old and may be pre-Roman in origin.

Many of the roads in the area are named after farms that existed there before urbanisation, Allensbank and Wedal are two examples.


The area is served by Cathays railway station in the east of the area with frequent services south to Cardiff Queen Street and Cardiff Central or north to Aberdare, Merthyr Tydfil or Treherbert via Pontypridd. Cardiff Bus provides many services in the area. The following bus services run along North Road (in the west) going to Cardiff central bus station in the reverse direction:

  • 21 (Rhiwbina-Pantmawr-Whitchurch)
  • 23 (Whitchurch-Pantmawr-Rhiwbina)
  • 24 (Whitchurch-Llandaff North-Llandaff-Central Stn)
  • 25 (Central Stn)
  • 27 (Birchgrove-Thornhill)

Likewise, the following services run north along Crwys Road and/or Whitchurch Road (in the east):

  • 1 Bay Circle (Roath-Tremorfa-Splott-Adamsdown-Central Stn-Bay-Grangetown-Canton-Fairwater-Llandaff-Gabalfa)
  • 2 Bay Circle (As 1 but reversed)
  • 8/9/9A (Heath-University Hospital of Wales) or (Central Stn-Grangetown-Cardiff Bay)
  • 35 (Gabalfa) or (Central Stn-Cardiff Bay)

The area is close to the busy Gabalfa Interchange, connecting it with the A48 and the M4 motorway.

External links


NW Heath Roath Park
Pontcanna Cathays Roath
Riverside City centre Adamsdown

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