Ceredigion received its name from Prince Ceredig, son of the leader who reclaimed this area for the Welsh from the Irish invaders. This part of the country still retains its strong Welsh roots and language. Geographically, it consists of two different but equally scenic areas, the Cardigan coast and the countryside. Ceredigion Attractions
The countryside spotlights beautiful landscapes of mountains, lakes, forests and rivers-many remote and sparsely settled. As a result there are a number of unique habitats that attract rare species of wildlife, plants and birds. Among them is the rare red kite, a bird of prey considered to be the most agile flyer of all the European birds of prey.
Old drovers' routes lead over the mountains and provide views that reach south to the Brecon Beacons and north to Snowdonia. The narrow, twisty mountain road leading from Tregaron to Llanwrtyd traverses part of Ceredigion. Like all of Wales' mountain roads, it should only be driven in clear weather-for safety reasons and to take advantage of the view.
The scenic Vale of Rheidol road leads to the famous Devil's Bridge, 12 miles (19.3km) east of Aberystwyth. At this spot two rivers, the Rheidol and the Mynach, meet. The resulting series of waterfalls are over 300 ft. (91.5m.) high. Located in a wooded and rocky gorge, they are not easily accessible. Three bridges, built one on top of the other, cross the gully.
Ceredigion's coast is 50 miles (80.5km) long-much of it designated Heritage Coast. Towns, ports and small villages are strung along the bays, reflecting a seafaring and smuggling past. Beaches, boat trips and marine life provide entertainment. Many of the smaller villages are isolated at the bottom of narrow dead-end roads leading down steep clifftops. They are well worth a visit for those who don't mind the drive.
Easily accessible towns are also part of the picture. Cardigan is a very busy market town, serving a large agricultural community. Its long main street is lined with shops and hotels.
The town has 900 years of recorded history and boasts that it is the site of the first National Eisteddfod, held in 1176. It was once the second most important port in Wales.
Aberaeron is as picturesque a town as you could hope for. Its multi-hued terraced houses and shops are spread over several areas: across from a tree-lined, cobbled parking lot, on opposite sides of a wide green, and overlooking the water. Look for builders' trademarks, still in the keystones of many of the homes. St David was born near the town.
Further north, Aberystwyth, a large bustling town, is host to the National Library of Wales and the University of Wales. The Library is a rich repository-over 5 million books-for the literature and culture of the country and houses both permanent and temporary exhibitions. One of the masterpieces of medieval literature, the Mabinogion, a collection of Celtic myths, is here. The library's hilltop location provides a view over the town and waterfront.
Strata Florida Abbey, located in a quiet and remote valley, was once the most important abbey in Wales. Its picturesque arch designates the burial place of several Welsh princes.
St Dogamelís Abbey is another historic abbey worth a visit. Founded c1115, it became an abbey in 1120 and followed St Benedictís way of life. The church has parts surviving from the 12th century, but 13th and 14th century ruins are also in evidence. The north transept is Tudor.
If you like riding the rails on steam be sure to take the Vale of Rheidol Railway trip. The carriages are vintage and they go from Aberystwyth to Devilís Bridge, taking in spectacular scenery along the way. (one hour in each direction with an hour allowed at Devilís Bridge)
The Llanerchaeron Welsh Gentry House and Estate is an interesting peek into the lives of ten generations of one family. Thereís the house with its interesting collections to explore as well as a walled garden, grounds, a church, and a lake. It makes for an interesting day out.
For opening times and full details of attractions see the Attractions section of our website.
Aberystwyth; on the A44
Cae Hir Gardens
Cribyn, near Lampeter; off the B4337
Tel. 0570 470 839
Caer Penrhos (Llanrhystyd) ringwork
In countryside near Penrhos, on the B4337
Cardigan, on the A487
Cardigan Visitor Centre Museum
Teifi Wharf, at Cardigan on the A487
Tel. 0 1239 614 404
Castell Gwallter Castle
One half-mile west of Llandre, on B4353
Catherine Lewis Gallery and Print Room
Hugh Owen Library, Penglais Campus
University of Wales, Aberystwyth; on the A487
Tel. 0 1970 622 399
Arts Centre, University of Wales Aberystwyth; on the A487
Web: Ceramic Gallery
Terrace Road, Aberystwyth
On the A487/A44; next to Tourist Info Centre
Tel. 0 1970 633 088
Cors Caron National Nature Reserve
North of Tregaron, between Lampeter and Aberystwyth Ceredigion
Car park on the B4343
Hafod Estate and Church
Pont-rhyd-y-groes, 15 miles south-east of Aberystwyth, Ceredigion
Tel. 0 1974 282 568
Web: Hafod Estate
Llanerchaeron Welsh Gentry House and Estate
Ciliau Aeron, Llanerchaeron
2.5 miles southeast of Aberaeron, on the A482
Tel. 0 1545 570 200
Landre (Llanfihangel); 5 miles north of Aberystwyth
Talsarn, Lampeter; on the B4337
Tel. 0 1570 470 900
Llywernog Silver-Lead Mine Museum
Ponterwyd; on the A44
Tel. 0 1970 890 620
Nanteos Landscaped Park
Rhydyfelin, Aberystwyth; on the A487
Tel. 0 1970 615 403
National Library of Wales
Aberystwyth, on the A487
Tel. 0 1970 632 800
Web: National Library of Wales
Pant-yr-Holiad Woodland Garden
Tel. 023 975 493
Plas Llidiardau Garden
Llanilar, Aberystwyth; on the B4575
Tel. 0 1974 241 434
St David Church
Llanddewi Brefi near Tregaron, on the B4343
St Dogmaelís Abbey
St Dogmael village (Llandudoch in Welsh)
On the A487 near Cardigan
Tel. 0 1239 615 389
Web: Coach House Visitor Centre
St Non's Church
Llanerchaeron, off the A482
St Padarn Church
Aberystwyth on the A44/487
Strata Florida Abbey
Located off the B4343
14 miles (22.5km) southeast of Aberystwyth
Vale of Rheidol Railway
Park Ave, Aberystwyth
Tel. 0 1970 625 819
Web: Vale of Rheidol Railway
Walled Garden at Pigeonsford
Llangranog, on the B4334
Off the A487
Tel. 0 1239 654 360
Winllan Wildlife Garden
Talsarn; 8 miles north of Lampeter, on the B4342
Tel. 0570 470 612
Ystrad Meurig Castle
Ystrad Meurig village, on B4340
Photos of Cardigan by Chris Downer, courtesy Geograph Britain and Ireland
Photo of National Library of Wales courtesy Vist Wales
Other photos © by Barbara Ballard
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