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​Visit Aberystwyth

Aberystwyth - lively university town, seaside resort complete with promenade and pier, and the setting of atmospheric TV drama Hinterland - is an ideal base to explore the Wales Coast Path along Cardigan Bay. Aberystwyth town and its surrounding countryside has a wide selection of accommodation and Aberystwyth has an annual programme of cultural and sporting events.​

Enjoy the natural spectacles of Aberystwyth's stunning sunsets, dramatic seascapes and famous winter starling murmurations.
Aberystwyth - Georgian seaside charm

The Aberystwyth seafront still retains much of its Georgian-Victorian character, as do many building around the town, particularly the imposing chapels, whilst there are street names that suggest that the town is even older, which indeed it is. Visit Pendinas Hill Fort on the edge of town to explore the earliest settlement, and follow the Aberystwyth Architectural trail around town to discover the Georgian, Victorian and Edwardian buildings and their history.

For a great view of the town, just as the Victorian and Edwardian health seekers did, climb Constitution Hill, or if you prefer, the Cliff Railway ​provides a more leisurely alternative, as well as fantastic views.

Aberystwyth is a great touring base too, whether its along the Coast Path, or into the hills. One of the best ways to see the spectacular valley landscape and waterfalls of the Rheidol is by steam train​ between Aberystwyth and Devil's Bridge. There are special excursions too, with music, food and themed trips for Christmas and Halloween.

Aberystwyth - Celtic capital of culture

Aberystwyth is a convenient meeting point between North and South Wales, and is the destination for a day's shopping or a good night out for a wide area.

Aberystwyth Arts Centre hosts world class performers and artists in its theatres, galleries and studios. The Centre includes exhibition spaces, a theatre, cinema and concert hall as well as artists' studios, book and gift shops.


The Aberystwyth Univerisity School of Art, close to the centre of Aberystwyth town, has a collection of fine and decorative art from the 15th century to 21st century contemporary art, and has changing exhibitions from its collections as well as graduate shows. Overlooking Aberystwyth town is the imposing building that houses the National Library of Wales, which is much more than a library with over five million books.

The National Library complex is home to theCentre for Advanced Welsh and Celtic Studies and the base of the Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historic Monuments of Wales.

Aberystwyth has strong links with its Celtic and other twin towns: Arklow in Ireland,St Brieuc in Brittany, Kronberg in Germany, Esquel in Patagonia and Yosano​ in Japan. Take a walk along the promenade and see how many small nations flags you can identify.

Aberystwyth - gateway to Ceredigion heritage

Ceredigion has a rich cultural and folkloric heritage. The Ceredigion Archives at Aberystwyth town library has a wealth of material about the county's great mansions and their estates such as Hafod, Nanteos and Trawsgoed, the county's pubs​ and 'ordinary' and extraordinary residents and visitors. Visit and pick up a copy of a 1930s guide to Ceredigion and see how little has changed!

The nearby Ceredigion Museum and Tourist Information Centre is a great place to start your exploration of Ceredigion. As well a great collection of traditional Welsh furniture, costume and artefacts illustrating rural dometic and business life, the Museum has a great collection of art and a lively programme of activities, events and exhibitions.

Aberystwyth Castle may stand in ruin, but this is testament to a along and turbulent history. Overlooking the harbour where the Rheidol and Ystwyth rivers meet below the iron age fort of Pendinas,​ Aberystwyth castle was:
- fortified by Edward I in the late 13th century after the defeat of Prince Llywelyn ap Gruffydd
- beseiged by Owain Glyndwr​
  - designated a Royal Mint in 1637 by Charles I to make shillings from silver from mines in the nearby Cambrian Mountains, and
  - bombed during the English Civil War.

​Today the castle grounds are peaceful, with the circle of stones marking the proclamation of the National Eisteddfod's visits to Aberystwyth, and a beautiful and dramatic war memorial looking out to sea.

Aberystwyth - a town of learning

Aberystwyth University was established with public subscriptions in 1872 in a seafront building now known affectionately as the 'Old College'.​


Aberystwyth University became one of the first institutions to admit female students, provided the first home for what became the National Library of Wales, and established pioneering courses in Agriculture, Geography, International Politics, Law and Welsh History. Aberystwyth University​ continues to attract students from all over the world, and this, in turn, gives Aberystwyth town a truly cosmopolitan feel.

It was to Aberystwyth University that HRH Prince Charles came to learn Welsh prior to his investiture as Prince of Wales.

Aberystwyth is television economics commentator and Fellow of Aberystwyth University, Robert Peston's favourite town:

"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".

Shopping and eating out in Aberystwyth

Aberystwyth is a shopping centre for a wide area of Mid and West Wales, so has many of the major retail chain stores in or near the town centre. But the real pleasure of shopping in Aberystwyth is the many and varied independent shops and its Farmers Market, recognised as one of the best in the UK.

Aberystwyth has an excellent choice of cafes, pubs and restaurants for lunchtime snacks and meals or to pick up picnic treats. Treat yourself to an evening meal in one (or more) of Aberystwyth's many independent restaurants - everything from excellent seafood and traditional fish and chips to Spanish tapas, Italian, Greek, Middle Eastern, South Asian and Chinese or explore the menus of our seafront hotels and bars for modern Welsh cuisine.

Only a short drive out of town extends the choice even further - cream teas in elegant country hotel surroundings, or good beer and food in a friendly country pub.​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​

National and international festivals held in Aberystwyth include the Welsh Festival of Architecture, LENS International Festival of Photography, Opening Doors International Festival of Performing Arts for Young Audiences and the biannual International Ceramics Festival.

Music and theatre
Aberystwyth is a great place to enjoy music - with festivals from the classically oriented Musicfest each July to the Big Tribute Festival in August, and regular concerts by big name rock and pop concerts, brass bands on the promenade and choirs - over a dozen - each with its own style.

Comedy and performance
Aberystwyth has several theatres and performanace spaces and hosts theatre, ballet and music performances, live broadcasts from London and New York as well as big name performances on tour. 

There are a regular comedy club nights at Aberystwyth Arts Centre with comedy's TV and radio stars appearing regularly. 

The Aberystwyth Comedy Festival takes place in early October in all kinds of interesting venues around town. And the original Machynlleth Comedy Festival is only a 30 minute train, bus or car ride away.

Aberystwyth Cycle Festival attracts international cyclists to compete in the criterion races around town, the dramatic downhill and challenging hill climb challenges as well as four sportive routes along beautiful routes into the Ceredigion hills.

Aberystwyth is a focus also for Celtic longboat racing, harness racing, sea angling, golf, rugby and soccer, not to mention mountain biking, horseriding, orienteering, surfing and triathalons.

Aberystwyth has a network of paths and an active community of walkers, horseriders and aits possible to join them on excursions.​

​​​Ceredigion Museum is much more than a local museum. It's also an interesting building in its own right, and a great range of events, including performance, talks, workshops and a range of children's activities. Just around the corner is Ceredigion Archives, where you can discover more about the county's people, industries and grand estates.

​​​Talks and Lectures
As well as conferences and talks at the University, there are opportunities to explore the archives and collections of Wales at The National Library of Wales with experts on Welsh and Celtic literature, art, politics, film and broadcasting.

Peaceful contemplation
Visit Llanbadarn Fawr village to see the historic medieval church and its Celtic crosses, or the grand Victorian St Michael's and All Angels near the castle and Old College. Both are sites in the  'Peaceful Places' group of churches and chapels in and around Aberystwyth and northern Ceredigion.

Aberystwyth is a great place to stay, for a weekend away, a short break midweek, or as a base to explore Ceredigion, the Wales Coast Path and the Cambrian Mountains.

There is a choice of places to stay within a pebble-throw of the sea, including chic town house style 'restaurant with rooms', traditional coaching hotels, comfortable guesthouses and value for money hostels.

There is also a great choice of places to stay either on the edge of town, or in the glorious countryside around Aberystwyth - from farm cottages to country house hotels.

For places to stay in Aberystwyth see our listing of quality graded accommodation across Ceredigion.​​

Aberystwyth TIC

The Tourist Information Centre is only a few paces from the seafront and promenade.
Call in to find out what's on in Aberystwyth, book tickets, and get well informed advice on what to see and do in Aberystwyth and beyond