Things to do in Aberystwyth
Known simply as ‘Aber’ to the locals, Aberystwyth is nestled between the Cambrian mountains and the Ceredigion coast.
This bustling town is jam-packed full of natural wonders, history, and lively culture in equal measure, making it spot on for visits away from our Quay West Holiday Park. Here are some interesting things to do near Aberystwyth that you can't miss!
This castle may be centuries old, but in fact, the original Aberystwyth Castle was built around a mile south of where it now stands. Originally made from timber and stone, it changed hands several times during battles between the English and Welsh. Edward I built the version of the castle that stands today.
Much of this 13th-century castle is in ruin, but it’s a beautiful place to have a stroll with no admission fee. It’s ideal for families with dogs to explore, plus there are fairly flat, well-maintained gardens that make Aberystwyth Castle a pretty spot for a picnic on a sunny day. From here, you get a picturesque view of the town, seafront, and rolling hills. If after all that exploring you’re feeling peckish, there are plenty of places to eat nearby.
National Library of Wales
Just look at this mighty building! The first stone was laid in 1911 and has continually been added to over the decades. It’s home to a massive collection of books and artefacts displayed as stunning exhibits.
The library is open to all ages and is fully wheelchair accessible, with a play area and fun activities for little ones, too! As there’s so much to explore inside, you’re bound to get hungry. Although you can't bring your own food and drink into the venue, there’s a warm and conformable cafe serving light bites and hot and cold drinks.
Amgueddfa Ceredigion Museum
In an old Edwardian Theatre, you’ll find this museum that preserves Ceredigion county heritage in over 60,000 artefacts! It’s a fascinating experience for kids and adults alike, with permanent and temporary displays. There’s wheelchair access throughout most of the venue, with lifts and accessible toilets. Plus, did we mention it’s free to enter?
You could lose yourself among the displays for a few hours, but don’t fret — the museum’s positioned in the heart of town, so there’s plenty to eat and drink when bellies start to rumble.
Enjoy true Victorian entertainment in one of the world’s largest camera obscuras! It’slocated on the promenade on the castle grounds. Although the original one was taken down in the 1920s, it was rebuilt in 1985 and now offers a stunning view of 1000 square miles of land. Entry is around a quid — you’ll plunge into darkness and get to view a live projection of the surrounding area. As attractions in Aberystwyth, this is certainly a novelty!
Walk along the prom
What would a trip to Aberystwyth be without a stroll along the Victorian promenade? Starting at the castle end of the prom, you can make your way down past the war memorial statue and along the seafront where you’ll breathe in that fresh salty sea air and take in the beautiful Ceredigion rolling hills.
There’s everything you'd expect from a typical seaside resort here, including fish and chips, ice cream, and an amusement arcade. As you make your way along, enjoy views of the beach, plus restaurants such as Baravin and the Prom Diner.
Bwlch Nant yr Arian Visitor Centre
On your hunt for places to visit near Aberystwyth, you’ll find this Visit Wales Gold Award-winning centre nestled between the Cambrian mountains and Cardigan Bay. If you love the outdoors, this is well worth a visit. Watch the tradition of feeding the red kites or amble along one of the many trails here on foot, mountain bike, or even on horseback. For toddlers and older kids, there are two play areas so they can climb and slide to their heart’s content.
For a break from your adventures, stop in at the cafe for a bite to eat. They serve up hot and cold refreshments every day. Did you bring your spending money? There’s a gift shop here too, selling local crafts, jams, and beers.
The Silver Mountain Experience
Have you ever wondered what it was like to be a miner? Mining is a huge part of Ceredigion heritage, so stop by the Silver Mountain Experience to get up close to the history and legends that are ingrained in the culture here. It’s located at a preserved silver mine, with a mining museum that you can wander around at your own pace — there are guided tours available, too.
That’s just the beginning — solve puzzles on the trail around the centre, dig for fossils, and even pan for gems! There’s a unique experience for kids and adults within Woo Hoo Woods, where you can play giant instruments, build dens, and explore the magic of the woodland.
You’re bound to be tired after all that mining, so stop at the Miner’s Rest Cafe for a hot or cold drink and a bite to eat.
Magic of Life Butterfly House, Rheidol Valley
In the heart of Rheidol Valley a little way from Aberystwyth, you can experience tropical, free-flying butterflies in their hundreds. The Magic of Life Butterfly House is run by botanists who house and breed around 100 varieties of tropical butterflies. When you visit, they will flutter along with you as you explore the venue and you can feed them in the palm of your hand!
This is a registered charity where you’ll also find many varieties of tropical beetle, coral, and plants that inspire wonder in our natural world. Dogs are welcome to come along for the journey. It’s a good idea to bring a picnic and your own refreshments for a break after you’ve enjoyed the centre.