Thursday, 7 April 2016

10 Things To Do Near Aberystwyth

It was my birthday at Easter and we had booked to go to Aberystwyth. Then as the Easter weekend got closer storm Katie was forecast.We were a bit unsure whether to travel but decided the worse that could happen was we'd have to spend the weekend in a pub somewhere so feeling optimistic off we went.

10 Things To Do Near Aberystwyth. The sea front

Everyone else seemed to come to Aberystwyth too. On the Saturday the town was gridlocked with not a place to park. We eventually found a council pay and display car park, booked into our hotel and had a walk around Aberystwyth. The next day was Easter Sunday and we drove out of Aberystwyth to Devil's Bridge.

There is so much to do here that we just didn't get time for and I imagine it is a fantastic place in the summer. Here are a few things we found to do despite the rain, hail, wind and snow.

1. Aberystwyth Sea Front

Aberystwyth gets the first of the storms across the Irish Sea and the waves batter the sea front. This makes for fantastic waves and lots of foamy sea. There is a pier with the usual entertainment, a pub and a night club but we didn't get to visit.

Waves and beach

pier and tie is out

2. Aberystwyth Castle

This is free and is up on the headland. It's not very far to walk and gives great views over the bay

tower looking straight up

ruins against sky and sea

canon next to wall

view of Aberystwyth from castle

3. The Cliff railway

The railway is an electric funicular railway that takes visitors up and down the cliff. It costs £3 one way or £4 return. It was so windy when we went we just had the ride up, stayed 10 minutes and took the next carriage down. Views at the top are stunning and there is a cafe for a cup of tea. There is a footpath but where's the fun in that?

tracks going uphill and carriage coming down

inside of carriage

4. Hinterland/ Y Gwyll locations

Hinterland the TV series is filmed here so lots of the places were a little familiar. If you are very keen there are organised walks taking in the locations.

pavilion on Aberystwyth sea front

old dark building featured as police station in TV show Hinterland
This empty building is the Police Station

5. Devils Bridge

A few miles out of Aberystwyth is the Devils Bridge and waterfalls. There are three bridges all built on top of one another. The first in the 11th century, the second in 1753 and the third in 1901. The legend has it that only the devil could build a bridge across the river and he agreed to build a bridge but demanded payment of the soul of the first living thing to cross it. Once it was completed an old lady threw bread onto the bridge, her dog ran across the bridge and became the first life to cross it.

It costs £1 to go through turnstyles and descend the steps to see the bridges. There are also nature walks that take visitors past more waterfalls for an additional fee.

three bridges, each on top of the other

water swirling in two depressions made by water

6. Vale of Rheidol Railway

This little train travels from Aberystwyth to Devils Bridge. It stays at Devils Bridge for an hour and returns to Aberystwyth.Timetable and prices are on their website.

train at station

7. Ysbwty Cynfyn Stone Circle

Just past Devils Bridge is a little church that would be unremarkable except that within its churchyard walls are five standing stones. They are thought to be from the Bronze age, around 1,500 BC.

standing stone in an old stone wall

very tall standing stone in old wall

8. Look out for Red Kites

We were lucky enough to see lots of Red Kites on our travels. Whilst visiting the stone circle one hovered just feet away, not bothered that we were there at all. We guessed this was because of the contact they have at the Bwlch Nant yr Arian Visitor Centre where they feed the Red Kites every day at 2pm (GMT) so in summer at 3pm.

red kite flying against blue sky
Unfortunately this is not my photo. They were too fast for me.

9. Strata Florida Abbey

The ruins of this abbey are managed by CADW and there is an entrance fee of £3.50 per adult. The abbey was founded in the 12th century and has a chequered history. Thought to be sympathetic to Owain Glyndwr it was seized by King Henry IV and plundered. It was used as a military base and and then returned to the Cistercian monks.

It was dissolved by Henry VIII and left to deteriorate.

ruins in the rain

ruins of two arches

statue on hill in distance and ruins in front
On the hill is a statue of a pilgrim walking to the abbey

10. The A44

Drive along the road out of Aberystwyth through the Cambrian Mountains. The road is twisty and the views wonderful. We had snow!

snow on hills

snow on the road

We will definitely be back because we loved it. Do you have any suggestions for my next visit?


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