When you first come into the Trinity campus there’s so much activity packed into a relatively small patch of land that it can seem a bit daunting. But to those in the know it can quickly become an oasis in the heart of the city, full of countless nooks, crannies and quiet spaces. Beneath Trinity’s ancient exterior is a 47 acre campus replete with cosy corners that’ll soon make you feel right at home. Here are some of my favourite and most underappreciated reading spots on campus:
The Benches on the Southside of the Cricket Pitch
Most people head straight for the benches near the walkway on the cricket pitch or else to the Pav (as you can see above), but on the Southside of the pitch there are some benches right in front of the medieval fort wall. An out-of-the way spot for anyone not specifically looking for it, it gives a fantastic view of the BLU Libraries, the College Park and all the bustle beyond. I first discovered this spot while trying to speed read Elizabeth Gaskell’s mammoth North and South before my very first tutorial, so it holds fond memories of my first panicked (yet excited) week in Trinity.
The Rose Garden
Connecting the Cricket Pitch to New Square alongside the gorgeous Museum Building, the Rose Garden is a little rest stop on the well-worn College pathways (best enjoyed in spring weather when the eponymous flowers are in full bloom!) Often used in the summer for Shakespeare performances by the DU Players, Trinity’s drama troupe; it is the quintessential hidden grove in the middle of the campus, and is the perfect reading spot for a sunny day.
While not as popular as the coveted upper level desks in the Ussher Library, the basement reading areas do benefit from seclusion and a lack of tantalizing views of College Park, where more efficient (or less diligent) students may by lounging, having already finished their study. Tucked deep in the catacombs of the building, it’s easy to forget about the pressures of our modern, fast-paced digital lifestyle and lose yourself in your favourite adventure novel. Several of College’s most comfortable couches are situated in the Ussher Basement, and their status as prime napping real estate makes this reading spot one of the most leisurely you’ll find.
Junior Common Room Café
Just outside the main campus in the Goldsmith Building is the JCR Café, Trinity’s student run co-op. The JCR is your typical bohemian, laid back College hang-out spot. With cheap and generously portioned sandwiches, funky decor and a playlist based on interests (and often the actual musical styling) of the student staff, it is the perfect play to kick back with a dog-eared book and kill time between class. At the back of the JCR is The Parlour, a space set aside for student mindfulness and relaxation, comfortably away from the bustle of the main campus classrooms.
The Fifth Floor Garden in the Arts Block
Surely one of the most poignant architectural flourishes in the eclectic architecture of the Arts Block is the fifth floor garden. Nestled within the austere warrens high above the arts concourse is a small outside area, walled on all sides by offices and rooms of mysterious purpose. Here you can slip outside to the benches for a breath of fresh air in the middle of your day, far away from where anyone might expect to find you. With nothing but blue skies above, it’s one of the most serene spots on campus.
The Best Hidden Spot On Campus
Your favourite spot on campus will always be the one you find yourself! One of the great pleasures of being a student at Trinity is exploring and engaging with your College, finding your own routes and cosy corners no one else knows about. And when you do, don’t tell anyone about it, shush! Just make sure you bring a good book with you, as you may be there a while.
Joel McKeever was a Student Ambassador in the Trinity Global Room.