You’re probably wondering why there’s an illustration of a bird on a post about the best things to do in Aberystwyth…
But I’ll come to that later.
The town itself sits on the mid-west coast of Wales and it’s where I spent the best part of my final teenage years and early 20’s studying at uni.
I’ve probably explored every nook and cranny that the small Welsh seaside town has to offer, and so I thought I’d share my favourite bits.
Let’s get into it…
9. Get some ice cream on the pier
Listen, I couldn’t not put ice cream on this list.
Right on the seafront of Aberystwyth on the pier, near the arcade, is a tiny little ice cream parlour conveniently called ‘Pier Ice Cream Parlour’ (I’ll be disappointed if you forget the name of it to be honest).
It serves arguably the best ice cream I’ve ever had, with loads of different flavours to choose from.
Trust me when I say this, go here first and give it a shot for yourself.
You won’t regret it.
Now… on to some actual activities that you can do in Aberystwyth…
8. Visit the National Library of Wales
If you’re into books, you’re in luck because Aberystwyth is home to the largest library in Wales, aka the Welsh National Library, which has well over 5 million books inside its doors.
The library sits right at the top of ‘the hill’ (as its infamously known by students who hate climbing it) and so if you’re not into books, it’s still worth a visit because there’s a pretty decent view of the town when you get up there.
7. Explore Aberystwyth Castle
In the very heart of the town near the seafront is Aberystwyth Castle; or what remains of it at least…
Built in the late 1200’s, it was destroyed by Oliver Cromwell in the mid 1600’s and it remains exactly as it looked over 400 years ago to this day, which is pretty cool when you think about it.
More importantly, it’s free to explore (although you might argue rightly so considering half of it has been destroyed).
6. Walk up to Pen Dinas
If you’re anything like me, you’ll love a good walk.
Fortunately, with Aberystwyth being one of the only major towns for miles, there’s plenty of walks and plenty of countryside for you to explore.
One of the best walks is the walk up to Pen Dinas, which is an extremely quiet walk that’ll take you to the very edge of Aberystwyth.
At the end of the walk you’ll reach an Iron Age, Celtic hillfort, upon which the Wellington Monument now sits, where as an extra treat you’ll get a pretty decent view of the entire town.
5. Chill out on the promenade
Now… about that bird that you can see at the top of this post.
There’s a reason for it…
Aberystwyth pier is famous for its huge cluster of starlings, which typically gather near the end of the pier at sunset during the autumn and winter months.
If you visit Aberystwyth during this time, I’d fully recommend venturing out and waiting near the promenade as the sun starts to set so that you can catch a glimpse.
Just be mindful of being poo’d on because there are quite literally 100’s of birds flying above your head.
Not all bad if you get poo’d on though… it’s supposed to be good luck 😊.
4. Walk along the coastline to Clarach
At the top of Constitution Hill (more on this later) there’s a path that’ll take you to the small bay of Clarach.
The walk will take roughly an hour to complete and along the way you’ll be treated with a very picturesque coastline.
By the end of your journey you’ll reach a quiet beach where you can sit, chill and swim if you dare enter the freezing cold Welsh waters.
The walk to Clarach actually forms a small part of the Ceredigion Coast Path, which will take you further up the coastline to Ynslas.
3. Catch the Aberystwyth Cliff Railway train
This one’s a bit of a cop out because it forms a part of number 1, but we’re specifically talking about the railway and not the view once you get to the end of the track.
Rather than walk up Constitution Hill (again, more on this in a second), you can catch a short train up instead, which is honestly more fun that it sounds.
There’s no need to pre-book tickets; just rock up on the day and you should be able to hop on the next train no issue.
2. Ride the steam train to Devil's Bridge
Appreciate it seems a bit odd recommending to get out of Aberystwyth on a post about the best things to do in Aberystwyth…
But nevertheless, if you’re in Aber, I’d fully recommend hopping on the steam train to Devil’s Bridge.
The journey itself is pretty cool (especially on a summer’s day), but what’s waiting for you at the end is even cooler.
You’ll be able to climb down and get up close to a gigantic waterfall (the one that you can see below).
It costs £4 for adults to enter and £2.50 for children, but trust me when I say it’s well worth-it.
It’ll probably take you 30 minutes to an hour to get around, depending on how slow you want to take it, but be warned that there are lots of steps involved (especially one section as you go down into the gorge), so it might not be suitable for everyone.
You can check out timetables for the Aberystwyth to Devil’s Bridge steam train here.
1. Walk up Constitution Hill
You’ve probably sensed the theme by now…
If you visit Aberystwyth, there’s going to be a lot of walking involved; made even harder by its seemingly never-ending hills.
However, there’s one walk that beats all: the walk up Constitution Hill.
When you get to the top of the hill you’ll get an incredible view of the entire town and miles upon miles of the Ceredigion Coastline.
There’s even a cafe that opens up during the summer months along with some benches where you can sit and chill.
If you can only do one thing in Aberystwyth, make sure it’s the climb up Constitution Hill.