Aberystwyth - Places to go and places to stay in Aberystwyth


Aberystwyth is the principal holiday resort and administrative centre of the west coast of Wales. It is also home to the University of Wales Aberystwyth and the National Library.

The town is nestled between three hills and two beaches, and hosts some castle ruins, a pier and a harbour. The surrounding hills hold the visible remains of a iron age fort and also a monument to Wellington and once climbed offer stunning views of Cardigan Bay.

Aberystwyth is a University town with some seven thousand students, ensuring it a vibrant throughout the year and not just during summertime. Incidentally, there are now ‘only’ fifty pubs left in Aberystwyth!

The seafront hosts Victorian / Edwardian buildings mostly 4/5 stories high. The wide promenade protect the buildings from the revenges of the Irish Sea and offers space to sit, soak up the sun and view the surrounding hills and mountains which in winter are often covered in snow. On a clear day you may see the tallest mountain in Wales, Snowdon.

The harbour was once one of the busiest in Wales and is fed by the rivers Ystwyth and Rheidol (which incidentally, is the steepest river in Britain). Geographically, Aberystwyth may be considered isolated from the rest of Wales. However, this isolation made it necessary for the local people to look after themselves and over the years it has acquired more resources than a town of this size would normally have. It is now the centre of local rural life and is visited by many to sample the numerous cafés, bars, and restaurants including, Chinese, Indian, Italian and Mediterranean cuisine.
The local weather is dominated by the sea and the Gulf Stream which warms the whole region and makes for pleasurable visiting.

The Castle

Long before the Normans began their castle-building program, Iron Age settlers used the hilltop called Pen Dinas to build a huge fortification, which still dominates the skyline as you approach Aberystwyth from the south and reminds us of the skills of its ancient builders.

The first Norman castle was a ringwork affair castle, built in the early 12th Century. Inevitably, the earth and timber defences proved too vulnerable and a new site was chosen for a castle in Aberystwyth itself. This time it was the Welsh, led by Llywelyn the Great who built the castle and it changed hands several times before finally became useless against new weapons. The last castle built at Aberystwyth once ranked among the greatest in Wales but today, lies entirely ruined and offering only a faint image of its once impressive past.

How then did Aberystwyth Castle become such a ruin? Amazingly, as early as the 14th century, the concentric fortress began to decay. By 1343, large portions of the main gateway and drawbridges, and the outer bailey were falling down. The closeness of the castle to the pounding sea causing much of the decay.

In 1404, Owain Glyndwr seized the crumbling fortress. Within a few years the English regained possession but after 1408, Aberystwyth Castle lost its strategic value to the monarchy, and only minor repairs were attempted. During the Civil War, the castle became a victim of Oliver Cromwell's ruthless policy of slighting because the garrison sided with the king, Charles I. Most of the castle stone was pilfered by locals to build their homes.

The Railway

The Aberystwyth Electric Cliff Railway is the longest electric cliff railway in Britain. It climbs Constitution Hill from the northern end of the town's promenade with trains running every few minutes during the spring, summer and early autumn.
Reaching the summit reveals an amazing panorama which on a clear day extends as far as the Preseli Hills in Pembrokeshire to the south, while the whole expanse of Cardigan Bay opens out to the west and the mountains of Snowdonia to the North can also be seen. There is a café at the summit and the famous Camera Obscura. The present building is a recreation of the Victorian original. As the carefully-balanced mirror revolves, detailed views of the surrounding countryside are thrown onto the table in the centre of the building.
The Cliff Railway also provides the simplest start to the beautiful walk over the cliff-tops to Clarach Bay, from where you can catch a bus back to Aberystwyth.

Places of interest in and around Aberystwyth

Award winning Aberystwyth Arts Centre is Wales' largest arts centre and recognised as a 'national flagship for the arts'.
Aberystwyth University, Penglais Campus, Aberystwyth, Carmarthenshire, Wales SY23 3DE
The ruins of Aberystwyth Castle lie to the very west of the town situated alongside New Promenade. Constructed in 1277 under the order of King Edward I, the castle was designed as a concentric fortress comprising rings of defensive walls.
New Promenade, Aberystwyth, Carmarthenshire, Wales
The most relaxing way to enjoy this panorama is to travel by train on the longest electric cliff railway in Britain, which has been transporting visitors to the summit since opening in 1896.
Cliff Railway House, Cliff Terrace, Aberystwyth, Carmarthenshire, Wales SY23 2DN
Welcome to the Animalarium We are a small Zoo in mid-Wales, we like to offer a home to unwanted Zoo animals and exotic pets. Even our African Leopard was a unwanted pet!
Ynisfergi, Borth, Carmarthenshire, Wales SY24 5NA
Awel-Deg is a family run bed & breakfast situated 5 miles east of Aberystwyth in beautiful Ceredigion. The bungalow overlooks the Rheidol Valley with its famous Narrow Gauge Railway which runs from Aberystwyth to picturesque Devil's Bridge.
Capel Bangor, Aberystwyth, Carmarthenshire, Wales SY23 3LR
Situated on a small working farm south of Aberystwyth, Blue Grass Cottages enjoy panoramic views of the rural countryside.
Brynglas Farm, Chancery, Aberystwyth, Carmarthenshire, Wales SY23 4DF
Major Acute Hospital. Major A&E open 24 hours.
Caradog Road, Aberystwyth, Carmarthenshire, Wales SY23 1ER
Blaengader is set in beautiful countryside ideally situated for walking, cycling and golfing. We have three fully equipped luxurious cottages with one sleeping six and the other two sleeping four to six.
Blaengader, Llanfarian, Aberystwyth, Carmarthenshire, Wales SY23 4EU
This is an undulating parkland course which has numerous water features and green protecting sand traps, all of which have been incorporated seamlessly into the natural surroundings to provide varied and interesting holes.
Capel Bangor Golf and Country Club, Capel Bangor, Aberystwyth, Carmarthenshire, Wales SY23 3LL
Ceredigion Museum is a vibrant, welcoming institution which through well thought out displays and exhibitions attempts to deepen the understanding of the history and culture of the county to the people of Ceredigion and its visitors.
Coliseum, Terrace Road, Aberystwyth, Carmarthenshire, Wales SY23 2AQ
Church Surgery provides comprehensive primary medical care to the residents of the University town of Aberystwyth and the surrounding area.
Portland Street, Aberystwyth, Carmarthenshire, Wales SY23 2DX
The Conrah hotel is set in 18 acres of beautiful Welsh countryside, making it the perfect base for business or a relaxing break.
The Conrah, Chancery, Aberystwyth, Carmarthenshire, Wales SY23 4DF
Relax and unwind in this enchanting cottage, steeped in history. Enjoy the warm welcome, the peace and tranquillity, dramatic countryside and remarkable wildlife, and even gaze at the stars without the distraction of light pollution.
Cwmystwyth, Aberystwyth, Carmarthenshire, Wales SY23 4DB
Unwind and indulge with a feast of local produce at our seafront terraced restaurant. Experience breathtaking views of Cardigan Bay whilst enjoying a seasonal selection of contemporary Welsh food and drink in a relaxed and sociable environment.
19 Marine Terrace, Aberystwyth, Carmarthenshire, Wales SY23 2AZ
Located on the picturesque promenade of Aberystwyth, the Marine is a relaxed, friendly hotel close enough to the town centre but away from the hustle and bustle of town life.
Promenade, Aberyswyth, Carmarthenshire, Wales SY23 2BX
Luxury 1 and 2 bedroom seafront apartments enjoying a superb location overlooking Aberystwyth's beautiful South Beach.
9 & 13 South Marine Terrace, Aberystwyth, Carmarthenshire, Wales SY23 1JU
A fresh modern dinning experience with top quality Indian cuisine.
34 Eastgate, Aberystwyth, Carmarthenshire, Wales SY23 2AR
Little Italy is an intimate, Italian style restaurant that simply oozes rustic, homely charm. Its cosy interior, on two levels, beautifully captures the informal atmosphere of Italy - unhurried and relaxed, which is exactly how we want you to feel.
51 North Parade, Aberystwyth, Carmarthenshire, Wales SY23 2JN
Luxury Four Star self catering properties and a small, select Grade Four Star Holiday Park situated in prime locations overlooking the sea at Clarach Bay near Aberystwyth in beautiful Mid Wales.
Beachside, Clarach Bay, Aberystwyth, Carmarthenshire, Wales SY23 3DL
26 North Parade, Aberystwyth, Carmarthenshire, Wales Sy23 2NF
All our cottages are 4* luxury accommodation 6 miles from Aberystwyth and the coast of Cardigan Bay.
Penuwch Fawr, Capel Seion, Aberystwyth, Carmarthenshire, Wales SY23 4ND
This luxurious farmhouse has been renovated to the highest quality. A large lounge offering digital plasma television and DVD player, beautiful stone fireplace with a wood burner; adjoining is a sun lounge where you can relax.
Cwmwythig, Capel Bangor, Nr Aberystwyth, Carmarthenshire, Wales SY23 3LL
Pier Brasserie in Aberystwyth boasts a rustic, informal environment for dining out with friends or family. The restaurant offers a comprehensive range of meals that cater for a lunchtime snack to a 3 course evening meal.
The Royal Pier, Marine Terrace, Aberystwyth, Carmarthenshire, Wales SY23 2AZ
Situated in mid Wales the Plas Antaron Hotel is an ideal base for exploring North, South, East and West Wales.
Southgate, Aberystwyth, Carmarthenshire, Wales SY23 1SF
Plas Dolau Country Estate is set in 25 acres of peaceful countryside in the heart of the Rheidol Valley just 3 miles from the sea and the bustling University town of Aberystwyth.
Lovesgrove, Aberystwyth, Carmarthenshire, Wales SY23 3HP
Welcome to the Shilam, where authentic dishes from the southern Indian subcontinent are served by friendly staff in a sophisticated dining environment.
Railway Station, Aberystwyth, Carmarthenshire, Wales SY23 1LH
The National Library is one of the great Libraries of the world.
Aberystwyth Carmarthenshire, Wales SY23 3BU
Come upstairs for breakfast, lunch, coffee or afternoon tea all our indulgent meals are made from the freshest local and organic produce that we sell in the shop downstairs.
14 Baker Street, Aberystwyth, Carmarthenshire, Wales SY23 2BJ
Our luxurious Welsh holiday cottages just a few miles from Aberystwyth and the Cardigan Bay coast have been converted from old farm buildings and have panoramic views of the quiet countryside.
Cwmwythig, Capel Bangor, Aberystwyth, Carmarthenshire, Wales SY23 3LL
A warm welcome awaits you at this boutique four star rated guest house situated on the promenade in Aberystwyth.
Marine Terrace, Aberystwyth, Carmarthenshire, Wales SY23 2AZ
The Vale of Rheidol Railway is one of the Great Little Trains of Wales and was the last steam railway owned by British Rail until it was privatised in 1989.
Park Avenue, Aberystwyth, Carmarthenshire, Wales SY23 1PG
Authentic Japanese cuisine with a British touch. Delicious and interesting food served in a relaxed and enjoyable setting.
31 Eastgate Street, Aberystwyth, Carmarthenshire, Wales SY23 2AR
Guest House enjoying sea views situated in Aberystwyth.
1 South Marine Terrace, Aberystwyth, Carmarthenshire, Wales SY23 1JX
Parc Y Llyn, Aberystwyth, Carmarthenshire, Wales SY23 3TL