Aberystwyth, Wales is one of the main holiday resorts in Wales. There are three hills and two beaches that surround this picturesque city. On one of the hills there are remains of an Iron Age fort and a monument to Wellington. It is also the administrative center for the west coast of Wales. The University of Wales Aberystwyth and the National Library can be found here, also. For those people who would prefer to see the historical part of the city, there are castle, ruins along with piers and harbors.
Along the waterfront of Aberystwyth runs the Seafront. This area of the town has many three and four story buildings designed in the Victorian and Edwardian style. There is a promenade that runs between these buildings and the Irish Sea. This promenade is a great place to sit, catch some sun or to walk along.
Constitution Hill is located at the north end of the promenade. This is the quieter end of the beech. There is a cliff railway that runs to the summit, where, on a clear day, Preseli Hills in Pembrokeshire may be seen. The train, which is the longest electric cliff railway in Britain, runs every few minutes in the spring, summer and early fall.
Marine Terrace and North Beach
Marine Terrace is considered to be the busiest part of the seafront. There are hotels, homes and student halls behind this area and a beautiful view of the bays to the front. North Beach has a dark, shingled sand and the sea is clean but cold. The promenade includes a child’s pool and a bandstand where events with local bands, performers and choirs can be seen throughout the summer. Aberystwyth Pier is also found here. It was constructed in 1864 and has remained a popular attraction. Here can be found nightclubs, an ice cream parlour, arcade, snooker club and a brassiere.
The New Promenade was finished in the early 1900s. It begins at the pier and goes around the edge of the castle grounds, a war memorial, St. Michael’s church and the Old College. The Old College was built in 1870 as a hotel. When that business venture was not successful the University founders decided it would make a good permanent home for the school. Today there are still a few University activities that take place in this building.
Construction on the castle began in 1277, after Edward I defeated Llywelyn ap Gruffydd, the son of Gruffydd ap Llewelyn, who was known as “Llewelyn the Last.”. While it was being built it survived two Welsh uprisings. In 1404, the castle fell to Owain Glyndwr. The castle was already crumbling at the time of this takeover. Then in 1408, the English recaptured it by canon. Soon after the English decided that the castle held very little strategic value to them, so the monarchy would only allow minor repairs to be completed. Throughout its life it has served many purposes from being a seat of government, to a prison, to a Royal Mint. The locals began to use some of the stone from the outer walls in their houses, then 1649 it was decided to blow the castle up. What remains today, inside the castle is a circle of stones, one for each of the old counties, built during the 1916 Eisteddfod. It is also the home of a war memorial from Italy that was commissioned in 1919.
Vale of Rheidol Railway
The Vale of Rheidol Railway is a steam train that runs through the Rheidol Valley for visitors to Aberystwyth. Originally this train was a link between the lead mine and Aberyswyth’s harbour. This was the last steam railway operated as part of the national rail network before being sold in 1989. Along the ride there are many beautiful views of the countryside. The trip ends at Devil’s Bridge where a return trip can be made or a visit to Mynach Falls, Devil’s Punch Bowl and Jacob’s Ladder may be planned.
The Ceredigion Museum is the home of many artifacts of Aberystwyth and County Ceredigion. It is located in the old Coliseum Theatre. Throughout the museum, life from prehistoric time to today can be observed. Some of the topics included are seafaring, home and work life, and agriculture. This is also the home of a 19th century Welsh cottage and the mechanisms of the old town clock.
National Library of Wales.
The National Library of Wales is one of the United Kingdom’s copyright libraries. It houses many collections, archives, galleries and displays. The library was founded in 1907 and is entitled to receive a copy of every book published in the United Kingdom. The collection consists of approximately four million books. Included in the collection of books is the first book to be printed in Welsh and “The Black Book of Carmarthen. There are also over a million maps plus photographs, paintings, and recordings. Permanent exhibits in this building provide insight into the Welsh heritage and culture.