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Ceredigion's river valleys

Ceredigion is defined by rivers. Two great estuaries – the Dyfi in the north and the Teifi in the south – form its natural boundaries whilst river ‘abers’ have given Ceredigion its main harbour towns of Aberteifi (Cardigan), Aberaeron and Aberystwyth.

Above left: the Teifi at Cardigan  Above right: Dyfi estuary at Ynyslas looking towards Aberdyfi.

The landscape of Ceredigion has been formed over millennia by dramatic movements of ice and the power of water sculpting deep gorges in the uplands and lush river valleys in the lowlands. But the hand of man can also been seen as the power of water has been harnessed in reservoirs and diverted for industry and pleasure.Kayaking on the Teifi at Llandysul

There is good fishing on Ceredigion’s rivers, plenty of wildlife to spot and several rapids to kayak. You may even find an idyllic spot for some wild swimming, but do take care – Ceredigion’s rivers are 'spate' rivers – becoming fast flowing deep water, which can carry with it hidden dangers.

Discover which valley is the centre point of Wales, why Aberystwyth should perhaps have been Aber-Rheidol, and which river valley, abundant with berries, inspired many poets, including Dylan Thomas.


See how names reflect the features of the river landscape – from narrow ‘cwm’ to broad ‘dyffryn’ and open ‘ystrad’ – and spot the pont (bridge) rhyd (ford) ystum (bend) nant or ffrwd (stream) in place names across the county.

By exploring Ceredigion's rivers you will discover  beautiful cascades, pools and waterfalls dissecting the upland moors and wooded valleys, and you'll find a few surprises as the rivers reach their destination along the coast.
Beach waterfall at Tresaith