Aberystwyth

Aberystwyth

Aberystwyth is in the county of Ceredigion, in Wales.

Understand

Aberystwyth, called the true capital of Wales by some, is a smallish town on the Ceredigion coast, just below the Dyfi estuary. Politically, it's in the heart of Nationalist Wales, and is the birthplace of Cymdeithas Yr Iaith Gymraeg, the Welsh Language movement. It is home to one of the oldest parts of the University of Wales, which is attended by some 9,000 students. It is also home to the National Library of Wales, one of the UK's few copyright libraries, meaning it has the right to claim a copy of every book published in Britain, which also means that it has one of the highest figures for books per head of population in the world. Its other notable - and notorious - feature is the remarkable number of pubs in the town.

Generations of first year students have been brought up on the promise of a pub for every week of the year. True in that there exist over 61 separate physical locations with public bars in the small Welsh town . Aberystwyth has a fairly unique student atmosphere - during term-time the vast majority of young adults are undergraduates and the remoteness of the location creates a more vibrant social life than experienced on most campuses.

Get in

By train

'Aber' is at the end of the line, in many senses of the phrase. Direct trains run from Birmingham International. 2 hours from Shrewsbury, 3 from Birmingham. A branch line from Machynlleth provides connections to the coastal towns of West Gwynedd.

Arriva operates the only regular rail service to Aber. Arriva's service is sometimes criticized by locals and students. Arriva promises improvement.

By car

There are two main routes to Aber by road: the A44 comes from the East, and the A487 goes North to South through the town. The best way to actually get there from any particular point is a subject of much debate. Buy a map and have fun. Minimum 3 hours from Birmingham, 2 hours 40 mins from Cardiff, 2 hours 5 mins from Swansea - highly dependent on the number of tractors on the roads.There is also a Park and Ride facility.

By bus

Arriva CymruExpress service 40 links Aberystwyth to Carmarthen daily (and hourly M-Sa), with some journeys extended to Swansea (service 20) and Cardiff (service 10). The X32 is the northern equivalent, providing a link to such exciting places as Machynlleth, Dolgellau and Bangor at least twice a day. Traveline: 0871 200 22 33

One daily National Express 409 service to/from Birmingham and London Victoria.

By air

Presently, Swansea is the nearest airport, light aircraft only. Birmingham International is most useful for Aberystwyth - it's about 3 hours 30 mins away by direct train.

Get around

Aber is a very compact town; walking is by far the easiest way to get around.

If you require motorised transport, taxis are plentiful and relatively cheap.

Buses also run up Penglais hill (where the main University campus is) and to Llanbadarn Fawr (the other campus, and the Morrisons supermarket - largest of its ilk locally).

Parking is a problem in the centre of Aber, but a Park and Ride operates from Park Avenue, with a free bus service every 15 minutes M-Sa.

See

National Library of Wales
The National Library of Wales is one of the six legal deposit libraries in the British Isles and has a collection of more than four million printed volumes. In addition, it has collections concentrating in Welsh and other Celtic cultures. The Entrance Hall Exhibition Area and Gregynog Gallery feature regular exhibits, primarily of work by Welsh artists. The Peniarth Gallery and World of the Book feature changing exhibits of items from the library's collections.

Do

A good place to start is the Tourist Information Centre at the seafront end of Terrace Road.

Aberystwyth, and the region east to the Cambrian Mountains, provides and excellent base for cycling. The range of terrain ensures that there is something for any level of ability or appertite. The Ystwyth Trail follows a disused railway track and is easy going. The Rheidol Cycleway takes you along country lanes from Aberystwyth to Devil's Bridge, with an optional strenuous climb at the end for those who like a challenge. For adrenaline junkies, there is mountain biking in Nant yr Arian Forest.

Eat

Drink

Sleep

Budget

Mid-range

Splurge

Stay safe

Aberystwyth offers a very safe environment and is probably one of the few places remaining in Britain where an unlocked door doesn't guarantee burglary.

Friday and Saturday nights can be a bit boisterous during the summer, though incidences of drink related violence are still far less than in large cities.

Also, the sea can be a cruel mistress (see above: Glengower Hotel).

Go next

This article is issued from Wikivoyage - version of the Monday, January 19, 2015. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.