Skip Ribbon Commands
Skip to main content

Aberystwyth

 Aberystwyth is BBC Economics Editor Robert Peston's favourite town. 

"We love the seaside. I do a lot of walking, I love the coastal walks, I love the mountainous walks nearby, it’s an incredibly beautiful area. It’s amazingly unspoilt and I find all the people warm, incredibly charming and friendly and welcoming. I also like the fact that because of the university there’s a very mixed population, there are lots of international people, good places to eat as well, but the landscape is what I love above everything else, it’s an absolute joy."

Since the opening of the Cambrian Railway in 1869, Aberystwyth has been a favourite seaside destination and from 1872, a thriving university town, also known as the ‘Athens of the West’. Aberystwyth’s seafront and its two beaches are a focal point of the town and a favourite attraction for visitors and locals alike.

Aberystwyth Image

Aberystwyth

The town has a long maritime and shipbuilding history and today Aberystwyth’s harbour and marina hosts sailing boats and yachts, and fishing boats regularly land Cardigan Bay lobster, crab, scallops and mackerel in season.  Fishing trips are available during the summer.

Constitution Hill (or ‘Consti’) lies at the quieter northern end of the promenade and features a cliff railway to the summit and cafe, with its unusual Camera Obscura and a massive 14 inch lens which makes it one of the world’s largest.

A brisk walk or leisurely stroll along the prom is a must. Take to the prom in the evening and enjoy one of the best sunsets on the Welsh coastline.  From Easter onwards, the flags of over 50 nations are displayed along the north and south promenades including an interesting collection of flags of minority European nations​

Aberystwyth’s Cliff Railway​ opened in 1896 and at 778 feet (237 metres) is the longest funicular railway in the UK.  Its twin carriages, the Lord Geraint and Lord Marks wagons, ferry 30 passengers at a time up and down the hill.

Aberystwyth University was established in 1872 and initially opened with just 26 students in the Old College on the seafront which was originally built as a hotel in the 1870s. 

Aberystwyth Castle was started by Edward I in the late 13th century after the defeat of Llywelyn ap Gruffydd. In 1637 it was designated a royal mint by Charles 1 and made shillings of silver from local mines. 

The imposing National Library of Wales contains 75 miles of shelving and over five million books, as well as a collection of art, film and maps. The Library is also home to Wales’s most precious historical artefacts including the Black Book of Carmarthen, the oldest book produced in Wales.

Aberystwyth Arts Centre is a venue which attracts world class performers and artists. Located on the University campus it has spectacular views over Cardigan Bay.

Housed in a former Edwardian Music Hall, Ceredigon Museum includes a reconstruction of a tiny Ceredigion cottage of the mid-nineteenth century, the museum also has a lively programme of exhibitions.

The Tourist Information Centre, just off the seafront, is open Monday - Saturday throughout the year and on Sundays during the summer and bank holiday weekends.  Call in to find out what's on in Aberystwyth.

Stay in Aberystwyth

Aberystwyth town and the surrounding area has a great choice of places to stay. If you're looking for a hotel, B&B, stylish 'restaurant with rooms' or self-catering apartment, cottage or caravan accommodation in Aberystwyth or its hinterland, browse our Aberystwyth accommodation selection.​​​  

Did you know?
  • ​​​​In 1900, Aberystwyth harbour, 213 ships were registered and it employed 900 seaman and boys. Ships built here sailed the high seas across the globe, including taking many emigrants to the USA.​​

  • Under 'Consti' hill you might also spot locals ‘kicking the bar’. The origins of this tradition by students on reaching the end of the ‘Prom’ is somewhat obscure!

  • HRH The Prince of Wales was taught Welsh in the Old College for his investiture in 1969.

  • During World War II, important works of arts from the Royal Collection and National Portrait Gallery were stored safely in the National Library.