Aberystwyth – A Place for Outdoors
Nestled between the Irish Sea and the Cambrian Mountains, Aberystwyth is a place of rare beauty, a place for outdoors. Whether you are a seasoned walker or simply an enthusiast looking to engage with your surroundings, Aberystwyth has something for you – even in the town centre! For example, did you know that Ceredigion has three local nature reserves: Coed y Cwm, Pen Dinas & Tanybwlch and Parc Natur Penglais?
Parc Natur Penglais is situated just off Northgate Street, in Penglais Woods and the disused quarry there. The quarry itself was last worked in the 1800s and provided the stone that built some of the town’s buildings. The woods formed part of the Penglais Estate, which was built in the 18th century, and some of the old stone boundaries can still be seen. The woods are well known locally for their spring bluebells, but a fine variety of plant life can be seen there, from stitchwort to red campion, dog rose and Lady fern, and a variety of fungi during the autumn months.
Pen Dinas & Tanybwlch is a place of astonishing historical interest dating back thousands of years. Hunter-gatherers used part of the beach nine thousand years ago as a flint factory; field boundaries date back to the mid to late 18th century. The site is one of Special Scientific Interest, and sea radish and a prostrate blackthorn, thought to be 200 years old grow here. Atop Pen Dinas is, of course, the monument to the Duke of Wellington placed there in 1852.
If walking isn’t your thing, the 18-mile Rheidol Cycle Trail leads from Aberystwyth Harbour to Devil’s Bridge through the Rheidol Valley, passing Coed Geufron and with routes to Bwlch Nant yr Arian. Or there’s the Ystwyth Trail (which you can both cycle and walk): a 20-mile marked route that follows the Aberystwyth to Tregaron train line, at the foot of the Cambrian Mountains.
If none of those things appeal, you might wish to have a quiet drink on the seafront and do a spot of dolphin watching in Cardigan Bay, over a glass of something, as the sun goes down.