Aberystwyth: An Overview

Home of Aberystwyth University and the National Library of Wales, Aberystwyth town is perfectly nestled between the mountains and Cardigan Bay.

Aberystwyth is a lively university town and a home-from-home to 9,000 students. Throughout the year the vibrant town is filled with students from around the world or buzzing with tourists, enjoying Aberystwyth’s sights, creating an evident cosmopolitan feel to this Welsh seaside town.

Colourful Victorian seafront houses glance down over the graceful 2km sweep of the promenade, where students, locals and visitors mingle as they jog or walk along. The town retains much of its Victorian character and architecture, and many hotels and student residences are located along the seafront.

Tradition dictates that visitors and students alike ‘kick the bar’ at the northern most point of the promenade underneath Constitution Hill (or ‘Consti’ as it’s known to locals), a tradition that dates back to the early twentieth century, though its origins are unclear.

The town is often visited by Bottlenose Dolphins which are usually seen feeding off of South Beach at dawn or dusk.

Aberystwyth town is visited by many to sample the numerous cafes, bars, and restaurants. It was the first town in Wales to win the coveted Purple Flag for a welcoming and safe nightlife.

Aberystwyth castle straddles two sides of the town’s promenade. The once impressive structure now lies in ruins; most of the decay was caused by centuries of storms from the Irish Sea.

For those looking for a panoramic view of the town, Constitution Hill is the best place to take in the seaviews. The mountains form a backdrop to the town and University itself. For those not keen on walking up Constitution Hill a seasonal alternative is in place; The Electric Cliff Railway is the longest electric cliff railway in Britain. It runs every few minutes during the spring, summer and early autumn. 

The summit reveals an amazing panorama which on a clear day extends as far as the Preseli Hills in Pembrokeshire to the mountains of Snowdonia to the North.   

The Cliff Railway also provides the simplest start to the beautiful walk over the cliff-tops to Clarach Bay, part of the All-Wales Coastal Path.


Adventures in Aberystwyth

Aberystwyth as a town lends itself to numerous outdoor adventures with three beaches surrounding the town and the Plumlumon and Cambrian Mountains within easy distance just waiting to be explored.

Sea adventures

Surfers and paddle boarders can be seen daily off the coast of Aber.  Triathletes in training can be seen working on their sea swimming. Kayakers can be found paddling amongst the bottle nosed dolphins. Numerous clubs and societies are linked to the university’s Student Union and the union’s website is a great place to start your next adventure.

Beach activities

Aberystwyth is surrounded by beautiful beaches, North Beach, South Beach as well as Tanybwlch Beach across the river in Trefechan. North beach, a designated blue flag beach, is most commonly used by students, locals and families, with the backdrop of Constitution hill and the bandstand, there’s no better place to kick off your shoes and feel the sand beneath your feet.

South beach is more commonly used by water sport enthusiasts and BBQ enthusiasts. In the summer South beach is packed full of students and locals watching the sun go down with a small fire or a BBQ.

Land based activities

Located around 10 miles from town, Bwlch Nant-yr-Arian Forest Visitors Centre is a must visit for any walking or mountain bike enthusiast with over 9km of red (hard) graded mountain bike trails. All University accommodation is equipped with safe bike storage while Fferm Penglais is also equipped with bike showers for our Mountain Biking enthusiasts. An hour away by car is Coed y Brenin, one of the best mountain biking centres in Europe.

The National Library of Wales

Home to over 7 million book and publication, the National Library of Wales’ impressive neo-classical façade overlooks the town. One of 6 copyright libraries in the UK, the Library hosts numerous events, and impressive exhibitions throughout the year. A wonderful resource right next door to the University’s Penglais campus, the resource-only library is free to use, boasts an impressive café for those all-important study breaks.