This week’s travel post takes us to the lovely and idyllic town of Aberystwyth.
Aberystwyth is a University town and the largest town in Mid Wales. It is home to the prestigious National Library of Wales, which has the largest collection of books, maps, archives, bibliographies, pictures, photographs and rare manuscripts in Wales. It also holds guided tours, events and several different exhibitions at any one time.
For the best view of the town climb the steep Constitution Hill, either on foot, or aboard the Aberystwyth cliff railway; the longest funicular electric cliff railway in Britain, that has been sparing weary legs since opening in 1896; a truly vintage experience and surely the most relaxing way to get to the top. On a clear day you’ll be rewarded with views of Cardigan Bay, and as far as Pembrokeshire.
Long before the first Norman castle was built in Aberystwyth, Iron Age settlers used the hilltop named Pen Dinas, to build a huge fortification which still dominates the skyline as you approach Aberystwyth, from the south. The first Norman castle was built in the early 12th century, however this was later replaced by a castle built by the Welsh themselves led by Llywelyn the Great, and used by Owain Glyndŵr as a revolutionary base in 1404.
The top three things to do/see in Aberystwyth:
Take a ride on Wales’ one and only Cliff Railway
The Aberystwyth Electric Cliff Railway is the longest in Britain, and the only one in Wales. Its 778 feet undulating track and tilted carriages are the unique work of Victorian engineer G. Croyden Marks. It opened in 1896 operating on the water balance system, but since 1921 a powerful electric motor and 2 high tensile steel cables, have hauled the carriages at a stately 4 miles an hour.
See the sunset from Consitution Hill
Head towards Constitution Hill and either walk or take the Electric Cliff Railway, up to the top of to see fantastic views of Aberystwyth and Cardigan Bay.
Explore Aberystwyth Castlehe Castle, now ruined, that was built in the late 13th century. It was begun during Edward I’s first Welsh campaign.
When it comes to food in Aberystwyth, cheese is very popular and you can’t go wrong with these locally made cheeses:
Gorwydd Caerphilly is a Welsh cheese hailing from Ceredigion. The cheese is made from raw cow’s milk and it’s left to mature for 3 months. Right underneath its thick moldy rind, there is a mushroomy layer, and as the texture goes towards the centre, it becomes chalky, creamy, and open.
Teifi is a traditional Welsh cheese originating from Ceredigion also. The semi-hard cheese is made from raw cow’s milk and there are several varieties, depending on the maturation period (2 to 9 months). This gouda-style cheese has a natural rind, and underneath it the texture is dense, creamy, and smooth. As it ages, the texture becomes stringy and flaky. The aromas are rich and intense, while the flavours range from deep, savoury, mild, spicy, and sweet. Teifi is also available in smoked versions, and some cheeses are flavored with onions, sweet peppers, cumin, garlic, or seaweed
Hafod is again a Welsh cheese produced in Ceredigion. The cheese is made from the raw milk of Ayrshire cows and ages for 12 months. Hafod was created by Sam Holden in 2008 using a cheddar recipe. It often comes wrapped in cloth and has a mouldy rind.
I hope you enjoyed reading all about this fascinating town in Wales, look out for another exciting destination next week.
Researcher and Writer