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 University School of Art, close to the centre of Aberystwyth town, has a collection of fine and decorative art from the 15th century to the contemporary, and has changing exhibitions from its collections as well as contemporary art by graduates of the school.
Overlooking Aberystwyth town is the imposing National Library of Wales, which is much more than a library with over five million books.
The National Library complex is home to the Centre 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 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.