Aberystwyth is a holiday resort and university town in the county of Ceredigion, West Wales. It lies on the west coast of Wales at the heart of the wide sweep of Cardigan Bay. The town nestles between three hills, Pendinas hill to the south, Constitution Hill to the North, and Penglais Hill to the east. The promenade bravely faces seaward in a colourful curved terrace of three and four storey Victorian hotels and guesthouses.
There are two shingle beaches, a lively but truncated pier, a picturesque harbour / marina that has been dramatically remodelled to provide permanent berths for over 100 vessels, and, on the headland between the harbour and town beach, are the remains of the late 13th Century Aberystwyth Castle.
Aberystwyth is both a University town and seaside resort, and many of the buildings reflect this in their style and function. Many of the Victorian seafront hotels have been converted to student accommodation, and the high number of young people makes for a lively and vibrant town. Unlike many seaside resorts Aberystwyth can be a bustling little town all year round and the nightlife extends past the usual short summer season. Indeed, there are close to 50 pubs in the town, many having been completely refurbished and styled to suit both the holidaymakers and the student population.
The rugged slopes of Constitution Hill have a zigzag path that climbs the 420 feet to the summit from where you have the choice to either recuperate in a small cafe' or visit the Camera Obscura for fine views of Cardigan Bay. For the less energetic there is the option of the Cliff Railway, a fine example of Victorian engineering built in 1896 and still trundling up and down its steep track.
Pendinas Hill has visible remains of an iron age hill fort that dates back to c. 600 BC. There is also a fine monument to the Duke of Wellington.
Penglais Hill hosts both the solemn looking National Library of Wales and the University College which also includes the University Arts Centre. The National Library holds more than three million printed works, forty thousand manuscripts, and four million deeds, as well as holding works of art, photographs, and audio visual material.
Walks, Cycle Trails and Other Activities
Aberystwyth has more to offer than your typical seaside resort. The rugged coastline is popular for all types of water sports; sea kayaks and canoes; wind surfing; and boat trips to name a few.
Close by is the dramatic scenery of the Rheidol Valley. The Valley extends several miles inland from the mouth of the Afon Rheidol at Aberystwyth to Devil's Bridge. From here, you can follow the Rheidol to its source at Llyn Nant y Moch, a massive reservoir in the shadow of Plynlimon Fawr (752m), one of the Cambrian range of mountains.
You have several options to view the lush scenery of the Rheidol Valley: take the cycle route (approximately 12 miles to Devil's Bridge); walk the valley if you are feeling energetic; or let the train take the strain.
The Vale of Rheidol narrow gauge railway, departs from the train station in the centre of Aberystwyth and continues for 11¾ miles until it reaches Devil's Bridge.
At Devil's Bridge there is much to see and do: the Devil's Punchbowl, a raging torrent of water passing below Devil's Bridge; Mynach Falls; and Jacob's Ladder.
For Mountain Bike enthusiasts there are the Syfydrin (35km), Summit (16km), and Pendam (9km) trails in the Nant y Arian Forest located between the lower Rheidol valley and the Nant y Moch reservoir. The rugged tracks are carved into the steep valleys and ridges of the forest to create challenging routes for even the more experienced Mountain Bikers.
Castles and Forts
Aberystwyth Castle stands on a rocky promontory between the new marina and the town of Aberystwyth. Work on Aberystwyth Castle commenced in 1277 during King Edward I's first Welsh campaign, and was completed in 1289. (www.cadw.wales.gov.uk). It has a dry moat to the west and round towers to the inner and outer wards. There is an inner gate tower to the west with an outer gate beyond. The twin tower gateway has a pointed entrance, chase for portcullis, battlemented parapet, and splayed stair turret. There is a dungeon to the southwest and a mural tower on the south side of the inner ward.
Today, although much of the castle lies in ruins, the north tower gateway at Aberystwyth stands as an impressive reminder of one of the English King's furthermost outposts.
Scroll down the page for pictures of Aberystwyth and vicinity where you will find plenty of things to do and places to see in Aberystwyth, Wales.
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