Peace, cheese and relaxation
The country of Ceredigion is arguably the least spoilt of our holiday regions. It’s big, beautiful and sparsely populated. The countryside is all about traditional family farms, and lonely mountain lanes. The coast doesn’t do funfairs, but it does excel in perfect coves. It’s one of the great cheese-producing regions of Europe (seriously). So for a truly authentic Welsh family holiday experience, Ceredigion’s your place, and here are just five reasons why:
Did we mention the perfect coves? The southern stretch of coast has some absolute gems – places like Mwnt, Lochtyn, Cwmtydu, Penbryn, Tresaith – which look like idealised illustrations from some childhood book about pirates. Further north around Aberystwyth and Borth, there are huge stretches of sand. And they’re all lapped by Cardigan Bay, home to big populations of dolphins and porpoises which, if you spend any length of time here, you’re almost guaranteed to see.
The Teifi Valley has some classic rural market towns – Tregaron, Lampeter, Llandysul, Cenarth – which are where the Welsh farming community comes to do its shopping, but they also support thriving galleries for local artists. On the coast, there are lovely fishing towns and villages like New Quay and Aberaeron, and of course West Wales’s cultural capital, Aberystwyth.
Aberystwyth and Lampeter have the cosmopolitan colour that comes from being university towns, while Aberystwyth also has the region’s main venue for . Then you’ve got the ruined abbey at Strata Florida for children to explore, grand country houses like Llanerchaeron, the Vale of Rheidol Railway - always a favourite with kids - and the silver-lead mining heritage. And of course the Welsh language itself, which flourishes here.
Statistically-speaking, Britain is quite a crowded island, but when you’re driving along the Plynlimon Mountains or through the Tywi Forest, and you realise you haven’t seen a single sign of human activity for the last half-hour, you can feel awesomely alone. There’s one road called the Abergwesyn Pass, which is so wildly off-piste, it makes you feel like you’re going to turn up in Narnia any minute (sorry, kids – it’s actually Tregaron…).
Award winning cheese
The Teifi Valley produces cheeses that have been voted the best in the world, beating all their fancy French and Italian competitors. It’s part of a huge food revival in this area, so you’ll find lots of traditional family favourites on the local menu, and of course some spectacularly good seafood from the coast.