Must do in and around Aberystwyth

Wedged between Cardigan Bay and the Cambrian Mountains, Aberystwyth is a lively university town with an independent spirit and bags of atmosphere.

  • Cliff Railway in Aberystwyth, Ceredigion

    Cliff Railway in Aberystwyth, Ceredigion

     by Paula J James

    For a quirky, vintage experience, climb the steep Constitution Hill at the north end of town aboard Aberystwyth’s 1896 electric funicular railway, the longest in Britain. At the summit is an octagonal camera obscura, the biggest in the world, with views of the town, mountains and bays.

  • Old College in Aberystwyth, Ceredigion

    Old College in Aberystwyth, Ceredigion

     by Paula J James

    This fanciful Victorian Gothic building doesn’t exactly blend into its seafront surroundings, but Aberystwyth loves it all the same. After a brief spell as a hotel, it became University College Wales in the late 1800s and still belongs to the university today. With its towers, turrets and crenellations, it’s more like a castle than the castle itself.

  • Aberystwyth Castle, Ceredigion

    Aberystwyth Castle, Ceredigion

     by Rod

    There’s not much left of this once formidable coastal castle, founded in 1277 by Edward I and used by Owain Glyndŵr as a revolutionary base in 1404. Nonetheless, it’s an evocative site, with a concentric layout and a chunky west gatehouse.

  • D

    Stroll along the seafront

    Aberystwyth Promenade at night, Ceredigion

    Aberystwyth Promenade, Ceredigion

     by Craig Goodwin

    Aberystwyth’s promenades and pebbly beaches are a great place to enjoy the fresh air. All along the gentle curving seafront, Victorian and Edwardian terraces look west over Cardigan Bay. Imagine the sunsets they’ve seen.

  • National Library of Wales

    National Library of Wales, Aberystwyth, Ceredigion

    This copyright library has a mind bogglingly large collection, including rare Welsh manuscripts. It’s adjacent to the prestigious university, which has quite a few libraries of its own. No wonder Aberystwyth is said to be the town with the world’s highest ratio of books to people.

  • Aberystwyth Art Centre, Ceredigion

    Aberystwyth Art Centre, Ceredigion

     by Ross Evans

    Thanks in no small part to the lively programme of drama, dance, music, film and visual arts events organised by this multi-disciplinary arts centre, the largest in Wales, Aberystwyth has real cultural clout. The attractive, modern surroundings make it a nice spot for a coffee and a chat, too.

  • Housed in a fine Edwardian building, the Aberystwyth University art department hosts small but exciting public exhibitions of Welsh art and conserves a large collection of decorative art and artefacts, particularly ceramics. It’s totally free to visit.

  • Vale of Rheidol train in the countryside
    Vale of Rheidol Railway, Aberystwyth, Ceredigion by
    The narrow gauge line which once carried timber and ore down the tricky, twisty route to Aberystwyth harbour is now one of Wales’ most picturesque vintage railways. It takes an hour to travel the 12 miles to Devil’s Bridge, with wonderful scenery on the way. You can hire audio tour handsets with built-in GPS at the ticket office.
  • Devil's Bridge, Ceredigion

    Devil's Bridge, Ceredigion

     by Caroline Ramsden

    At this favourite woodland beauty spot, the River Mynach tumbles down through a deep gorge to join the fast-flowing River Rheidol, creating a series of lively cascades. To make an outing of it from Aber, you could hop aboard a steam train for the trip along the Vale of Rheidol, or follow the 18-mile Rheidol Cycle Trail via paths and country lanes.

  • Photographing Red Kites at Bwlch Nant Yr Arian, Ceredigion

    Bwlch Nant Yr Arian, Ceredigion

     by David Jones

    This forest park, around 11 miles east of Aberystwyth, is one of the best places in Wales to see red kites. These magnificent birds swoop in each afternoon to be fed, as part of a long running conservation programme. The visitor centre has a café, enjoyable walks and superb mountain biking trails.

Find out more about holidays and breaks in Mid Wales.