With the Summer holidays officially upon us (can’t you tell by the rain), here is the first of a few posts I’m gonna do about places to visit in Wales. They’ll focus on my little part of the country at first and expand as I travel around (and by that I mean, once I learn to drive).
Aberystwyth is the last stop on the train line, a popular place to visit especially if you’re from the West Midlands and on the edge of nowhere. The best time to visit in my opinion is between May and June. After the students have left and before the kids have broken up. But if you have kids, then there are a lot more activities on during the summer holidays including the Big Tribute Festival and The Sea2Shore Food Festival.
Here are just a few of the things to do and see in and around Aberystwyth.
Places To Visit In Aberystwyth
Constitution Hill is home to the Cliff Railway and the Camera Obscura. You can walk up the hill (I actually got engaged on Consti) or take the funicular railway that has been there since 1896. Either way up, the views from the top are amazing. There is a cafe at the top too, and a games room that has ten pin bowling. The railway is open seven days a week during the summer.
Aber Arts Centre is one of the largest in Wales and has a cinema, theatres, a cafe and art exhibitions. There is always something going on at the arts centre as they have a full schedule. During the summer there are often arts and craft classes for kids too.
The Castle is all ruins now but offers great views of the area. it’s a great place to have a picnic and there is a park nearby and when it’s open mini golf. It’s a fun place to run around for a while and get some sea air.
National Library of Wales
The National Library collects and preserves Welsh history. there are often exhibits and events. and guided tours also workshops based on items they have. There is reading access to but you need to contact the library about that beforehand.
The Museum moved a couple of years ago and is now bigger and better than ever. With exhibits about the area, a large cafe and events and even a small cinema it’s going from strength to strength and definitely worth a visit.
The Prom/North Beach
North Beach is a shale beach, with a jetty and lifeguards during the summer. there are a lot of events on the prom or in the bandstand (nicknamed the Madonna since the new bandstand was built). There is also a cafe and ice cream on the prom and it’s not too far from the shops or more cafes and restaurants.
Things To Do
The Leisure centre has a gym, squash courts and a swimming pool. the Pool is open to the public all summer but they still have certain swimming times for lanes and lessons. On Saturdays, they have a fun swim with floats and things. There is also a small soft play we often take our son too.
There is a huge sand pit on the prom! It used to be a paddling pool once upon a time but to be safe it needs extensive and expensive work that may not actually work 100%. So they filled it in with sunny sand and huge deckchairs. There are toys or you can bring your own!
The Commodore has been open since and usually shows a different film every week (sometimes two), there are matinee viewings on Saturdays all year round and often matinee viewings most days during the summer. check their site to see whats on. The price of a ticket is really reasonable and there is a bar and snacks.
The pier has a bit of everything. The arcade has been around since and is your typical arcade. It also has a bar with snooker and pool tables, a restaurant upstairs (a pretty good one that’s really nice inside and looks better than the outside), pizza and a nightclub. Recently they put in bumper cars in the nightclub during the day. Eight bumper cars on an indoor track.
Rheidol Steam Railway
The stream railway travels between Aber and Devel’s Bridge and is an absolutely gorgeous trip. But expensive. If you can drive and aren’t fussed about the train trip you can still enjoy the scenery by driving up there. The road runs parallel to the train line for much of the way and then you can spend as much or a little time in Devil’s Bridge as you want.
More and More
There’s more of course, especially once you venture out into the county a little. There is Bwlch Nant Y Arian and The Butterfly House. There are dozens of places to eat but I personally recommend Sophies or Sophie Bach (the dog cafe). Also, Baravin and Medina are both very good.
There are even more places to stay, depending on if you want a hotel or a B&B, or a campsite. Or even one of the caravan parks dotted about the place. Every village has something, depending on where you want to stay and how far you want to be from Aberystwyth itself. You can pick a B&B right in town, or stay in a village like Llanrhystud.
Have you been to Aberystwyth? What would you recommend?