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Sep 2013

Aberystwyth Coat of Arms

The place name pretty much tells you how to get there but what about how long to get there? Easy, just head for the nearest significant settlement and you're just shy of two hours away.

Remote it may be but they've laid on enough to make your trip worthwhile. This is looking at Constitution, 'Consti', Hill from near a war memorial and a castle but more on that in a minute.

You can walk up Consti if you like or take the funicular electric cliff railway, which is claimed to be the longest of its kind in Britain[1]. You enter by what looks like an old Working Men's Club and it's manned, rather worryingly, by a student with a winch.

[1] See also every other piece of old, operating machinery in the UK that will make a similar claim.

Nice view of 'Aber' from the top of Consti although the sweeping promenade might look a bit different now close up.

During a particularly stormy battering in early 2014[1], most of the heavy paving was replaced with what was previously the beach and a big, prompt effort was required to clean this up.

[1] Storm Brian provided another one towards the end of 2017 but unlike back in 2014, they didn't have to completely rebuild the rebuilt shelter on the promenade.

Behind and to the north is Borth, supposed inspiration for Morrissey's gloomy '80s lament  Everyday Is Like Sunday. A hairy B road will get you there if you want your clothes nicking off a bench.

Borth also provided the scenery for episodes of  S4C's Y Gwyll, which sort of means dusk and has its roots in gloaming. Broadcast inexplicably as  Hinterland on BBC Wales, the bilingual cast doubled up on the dialogue.

A little like a Welsh  Wallander, this Cymraeg-noir has a troubled cop living in a caravan on a cliff with each pair of episodes just a little too procedural for this pair.

  Rummers Wine Bar (Bridge Street)

Meanwhile, back in Aberystwyth, 'Wine Bar' might be pushing it a bit but they've some outdoor seating down by the river and is near to one of the locations for a pair of Hinterlands.

You know, the one where it was the mother what did it.

This was once a popular seaside resort but the old-skool attractions are largely confined to the pier and the beach is best described as, erm, serviceable.

It's a student town now and the population nearly doubles during term time. Many old buildings along the seafront belong to the university including this former hotel.

Students occupy the old guest houses further up the promenade and provide a youthful energy amongst the caravanners and the casually curious such as us. Many of these buildings bore the brunt of the 2014 battering and thousands of traffic cones were reportedly swept out to sea from their flooded bedrooms.

  Baravin (Marine Terrace)

Modern Italian in a nice location on the promenade. Attempts to get in here were refused twice but nothing against the English, it seems, they were just fully booked both times and this was midweek.

This was once Aberrheidol Castle, two rivers here, you see. The whole place should really be called Aberrheidol as the River Rheidol runs closest to town and could easily have the Ystwyth in a fight or a flood.

Speaking of the Rheidol, don't forget the  Vale of Rheidol Railway, a 12-mile steam-powered operation that climbs 700 foot. It takes you to Devil's Bridge and back although that can't be commented on, went there in a car and it was drizzling.

Speaking of steam and things that might blow your head off, there used to be a decent tandoori in the town's train station. That can be commented on, went there on foot and it was sizzling.