Visitors have been travelling to Ceredigion over the centuries, as pilgrims from the early days of Christianity, and as tourists from the 18th century. Several described their journeys, including George Borrow who described the people, industry and landscape of Ceredigion in ‘Wild Wales’, a book which has not been out of print since its publication in 1862.
The waterfalls of Cenarth and Devil's Bridge are natural attractions that have drawn admirers to visit, and in some cases to record what they saw. The artist JMW Turner found inspiration for paintings drawings at Cilgerran on the Teifi and the falls of Devil's Bridge and Hafod in the Cambrian Mountains. The poet Percy Bysshe Shelley visited relatives in the Elan Valley in the Cambrian Mountains and his friend, Thomas Love Peackock, was enchanted by the tale of Cantre'r Gwaelod on his visit to Aberystwyth and Devil's Bridge.
During the 19th century the railways enabled
visitors to travel in comfort to the Ceredigion coast and ensured the growth
of Aberystwyth as a seaside resort. Sir Edward Elgar came to relax with friends at Llangrannog. Some visitors established holiday homes where they could entertain guests, as did
the publisher Geoffrey Faber at Ciliau Aeron and Alistair Graham at Llanarth near New Quay, where they were visited by
poets and artists including TS Elliot, Evelyn Waugh, Dylan Thomas and Augustus John.
Sites and Attractions across the Ages
Take a trip on the Vale of Rheidol Railway, built to carry visitors to the falls at Devil’s Bridge.
Explore the natural and classic ‘Picturesque’ landscapes that inspired early tourists at the Hafod Estate.
Explore the Abbey ruins and surrounding landscape at Strata Florida; you may come across some archaeologists digging to reveal the vast extent of the abbey's grounds and estates.
Visit Llangrannog and follow in Elgar's footsteps down to the beach and along the cliffs to Ynys Lochtyn.
Follow the Dylan Thomas Trail around New Quay with a copy of 'Under Milk Wood' to identify some of the places that inspired him, and others where he relaxed in the company of friends.
Visit the Camera Obscura on the top of Aberystwyth’s Constitution Hill, reached by one of the longest funicular railways in the world.