Do you ever feel like you need to get away from it all? As an introvert, cities easily overwhelm me and while I am a fan of London, think Cardiff is cool, and loved Liverpool, Aberystwyth was like a breath of fresh air. Just over an hour’s train ride from Swansea, Aber [as the locals call it; Aberystwyth is just too hard to pronouce] is a haven for Welsh speakers [of which I am not], mountain bikers [I did my fair share of mountain biking although no mountains were actually biked], and trail walkers [trails were most definitely walked]. Much of the beauty of Aberystwyth lies in its isolation. Swansea is 70 miles away; Shrewsbury is 75 miles away. Cardiff is over 100 miles away and London is more than 200 miles away.
So what is there to do in this historic outpost in middle Wales, you may ask? Allow me to show you…
Aber has a pretty nifty castle. I think I could see a hundred castles, and still be amazed by the architecture and craftsmanship that went into building said castle.
Aberystwyth is located on the Atlantic Ocean in the Ceredigion region of Wales, and has an approximate population of 15,000 people.
Perhaps you are a train nerd, or just want to imagine you are on your way to Hogwarts. Aberystwyth has something for you as well. [Fun fact: I actually, at one time, had a hardback, UK printed, first edition copy of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone because I went to a book store to pick up something to read between Stafford and Edinburgh. Oh how I wish I had that book now]. It’s a steam engine train that runs from Aber to Devils Bridge, a distance of 12 miles on a narrow gauge track [see, train nerds?].
More into hiking or biking than trains? That is quite OK, me too, Aber has you covered on that front too. Just past the borders of the town lie the Cambrian Mountains, and probably hundreds of different hiking trails, biking paths, sheep roads? that you could take to truly make the hike [bike?] trek your own. Also, not coincidentally I think, cardigans got there start nearby.