Considered by some as the ‘true capital’ of Wales, Aberystwyth is a small, quaint town sitting at the edge of the Irish Sea. It derives its name from the Ystwyth River which flows nearby, though only the Rheidol River actually passes through the town. Aberystwyth is a rather isolated town with the closest sizeable settlement being Swansea, some 110km away. The town is best-known for the reputed Aberystwyth University, which has become an important center of learning since its inception in 1872.
Since Aberystwyth is not a very large town, it does not have its own airport. The closest is at Swansea, though most visitors catch a direct train from the airport at Birmingham – roughly a 3-hour journey. Within the town, one can use the public buses or taxis, though locals’ advice that one is better off on foot here. However, if one is here on a long trip it would be best to rent a car in Aberystwyth, since it allows one to go on day trips to nearby towns such as Cardiff, Shrewsbury, and Wrexham.
There are three things within the confines of the small township of Aberystwyth that no one should miss. The ruins of the Aberystwyth overlook the town’s bay area and a war memorial was erected close by; the war memorial is surrounded by picnic tables open to the public. Do enjoy a beautiful morning at the ruins; it shall be a remarkably soothing experience. The Aberystwyth Arts center is amongst the largest art centers of UK, with a theatre, concert hall, cinema, studio, and several gallery spaces. The National Library of Wales, the pride of Aberystwyth, has over four million printed volumes including some rare ones on Welsh and Celtic cultures. If you hire a car in Aberystwyth, make sure these places are the first stops!
Aberystwyth is a seaside town and has several beaches which make for good sunbathing and water-sporting spots. There are several organizations that handle boating and fishing trips up the Cardigan Bay, which would be quite a treat for those who love the sea. Other than this, tourists must also make sure they sample the lovely brews served at the unique pubs of Aberystwyth; if not for the drinks per se, the pubs here are visit-worthy due to the entire experience they offer. But for those who want more adventure and fun – take your car for rent in Aberystwyth and go on road trips to the numerous secluded settlements within a 15km radius of the town.
Amongst the various tourist towns of Wales, Aberystwyth is probably the most understated and simple and this is its greatest charm. Enjoy it using a rented car, or on foot, and a memorable time is a surety.
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