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Places to visit in West Wales

Our Cottages are well situated for visiting many of the attractions in West Wales. There are beaches, walks, museums, and interesting towns and villages. 

To the north, a day trip could include the Centre for Alternative Technology at Corris. To the south there is 'Middleton' the National Botanic Garden near Cross Hands and the Oakwood theme park with its white knuckle rides. Inland from Aberystwyth is the Plynlimon Mountain range with its many disused lead and silver mines and Devil's Bridge with its famous bridges and waterfalls. You can visit Devil's Bridge on the Rheidol steam railway. South again is Cardigan, Cilgerran Castle and Cenarth on the river Teifi.

New Quay  - 'Cei Newydd'

... with Its picturesque houses, pubs and restaurants clings to the sides of the hills rising above the blue waters of Cardigan Bay on the coast of West Wales. The town has narrow streets rising in terraces - between several of which were 'ropewalks' for twisting rope in New Quay's heyday as a shipbuilding centre (see: New Quay's history). The sheltered harbour and safe beaches - the focus of activity in the summer when New Quay becomes a bustling and vibrant holiday resort where sailing, fishing, watersports and relaxation, are among the main attractions. Click Here to see more photos of New Quay. Click on the photo for more 

 Aberaeron an attractive  Georgian town planned by Alban Thomas Jones Gwynne by Act of Parliament in  1807 . During the ensuing decades, the town as we know it today took shape around the harbour and what was once a small fishing village gradually grew into one of the major trading ports along the Cardigan Bay coast. The structure of the town, earned the town the reputation of being "one of the best examples of a planned township of small scale in Wales". Many of the houses surrounding the harbour were owned by the local sea-captains and many are named after those far flung destinations. Click on the photo for more views.

Cilgerran Castle just to the east of Cardigan. There is canoeing in the Gorge below. The Castle stands on a precipitous, craggy promontory overlooking the river Teifi where it merges with the Plysgog stream. The Teifi here is just at its tidal limit, so the castle was able to control both a natural crossing point and the passage of seagoing ships. We cannot be sure when this strong site was first fortified. It may be the same time as a Norman castle called 'Cenarth Bychan' . Cilgerran is first mentioned by name in 1164, when the Lord Rhys captured the castle.


Mwnt beach is near Cardigan. A beautiful National Trust Beach with lots of parking and an ancient 6th century  church. Click on the photo for more beaches.

This is a National Trust Property and has a large pay car park on top of the cliffs. There is a small gift shop part way down the path to the beach.


The town of Aberystwyth is the largest town in West Wales. As well as having a wide variety of shops and a market, 'Aber' hosts the National Library and the Ceredigion Museum. Also worth visiting is the cliff railway and the Camera Obscura on Constitution Hill. The Rheidol Valley steam railway runs tourist trips from Aberystwyth station.

Aberystwyth Castle was built by Edward I  in 1277 and is now largely ruined.

The Rheidol Valley steam railway 

- runs tourist trips from Aberystwyth station for 11 miles from Aberystwyth to Devil's Bridge. The terminus is adjacent to the national network station at Aberystwyth, and on the hour-long journey passengers have spectacular views of the wooded Rheidol Valley - views unseen for decades until the railway began its renovation programme ten years ago. AT Devil's Bridge you can view the famous '3 bridges' and take a walk through the valley to view the falls - see below.

Tel: 01970 625819

Devil's Bridge and the Three Bridges 

Devil's Bridge is named after a local legend from medieval times - there's not enough space for it here! The first bridge was built in the 11th century and the 2 more modern bridges built above it. Thee is a pay turnstile to view the bridges and the river gorge below it, and another on the other side of the road to walk the trail down the valley and back to view the falls. The long trail is quite strenuous and not suitable for those who don't like long steep tracks. The scenery around Devil's Bridge is quite spectacular and the mountains in this area were the location of an important lead and silver mining operation in the 18th and 19th centuries.

The Cwmystwyth Valley

In the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, Mining was economically very important in Cardiganshire. Centered on the Plynlimon Mountains inland from Aberystwyth. The mines are now all largely derelict with almost none of the buildings intact.

Anyone interested in mining could spend an interesting half day wandering about the valley. Alternatively you could visit the Llywernog mine and Museum which is open to the public and features a tour of the old mineshaft - see below.

Llywernog Silver / Lead mine - Museum and caverns

This is an authentic 18th century silver mine. A visit to Llywernog offers a fascinating insight into life nearly 200 years ago, when the mine employed over 60 people. Today, Llywernog is a fascinating and educational family adventure, and continues to be developed as a major all-weather attraction. On the A44 - 15 minutes drive from Aberystwyth . 45 minutes from Aberaeron, Machynlleth & Rhyader. Click on the photo to visit the Llywernog website.

Tel: 01970 890620

Cenarth and Cenarth Falls

The charming conservation village of Cenarth, huddled around its spectacular falls, is a real beauty spot. On the river Teifi between Cardigan and Newcastle Emlyn, it has a number of museums and attractions including the National Coracle Museum. The falls, a multitude of low waterfalls cascading over rock and boulders, punctuate the River Teifi as it tumbles to its estuary at Cardigan Bay.

Cardigan Island Coastal Farm Park - Gwbert, Cardigan, Ceredigion,
This unique farm park is stunningly located on a scenic headland, overlooking the nature reserve of Cardigan Island, which is just 200 yards off-shore, so it can be clearly viewed from the park.

Fantasy Farm Park, Llanrhystud, Aberystwyth
Fantasy Farm Park - a fun day out for the whole family; the all day adventure in the heart of beautiful countryside. Over 10,000 sq. ft. under cover. 

Dyfi Furnace

When traveling between Aberystwyth and Machynlleth, there is a convenient stop at Furnace where you can view the old Dyfi Furnace. There is adequate parking here on the other side of the road.

The furnace here was constructed around 1755 for smelting iron ore, with fuel  from local woods. The waterwheel  powered a huge pair of bellows which supplied the air for the blast furnace. 

Pentre Ifan

One of the  most popular archaeological sites in Wales, Pentre Ifan is a splendid megalithic burial chamber with a huge capstone carefuly balanced on three uprights. Pentre Ifan means Ivan's Villagea, although it has been known as 'Arthurs' Quoit'. Pentre Ifan dates back to  3500 BC and  stands on  a ridge above the Nevern Valley near Newport in Pembrokeshire. The  capstone weighs over 16 tons and  is 16ft 6in  long and 8ft off the ground. 

Pentre Ifan is easily accessed from a minor road over a good footpath.

Aberglasney Gardens

Between Carmarthen and Llandeilo, Aberglasney is a magnificent restored Jacobean formal garden. 

Spectacularly set in the beautiful Tywi valley of Carmarthenshire, Aberglasney House features one of the finest gardens in Wales. Aberglasney Gardens have been an inspiration to poets since 1477. The story of Aberglasney spans many centuries, but, the house's origins are still shrouded in obscurity.

Cors Caron (Tregaron Bog)

Two miles to the north of the village of Tregaron and to the south-east of Aberystwyth, Cors Caron is a nature reserve run by the Countryside Council for Wales. There are boardwalks across the bog.

12,000 years ago mid-Wales was in the grip of the last Ice Age. As the climate warmed, the glaciers receded and a large shallow lake occupied this valley. A huge reed bed and woodland developed, but the climate became cooler and wetter, allowing the sphagnum mosses to invade and begin the process of building three raised bogs.


Centre for Alternative Technology

C.A.T. is at Corris, just north of Machynlleth. It has many exhibits relating to renewable energy resources and sustainability. 
They offer solutions to some of the most serious challenges facing our planet and the human race, such as climate change, pollution and the waste of precious resources. They demonstrate practical ways of addressing these problems. Leading by example, they aim to show that living more sustainably is not only easy to attain but can provide a better quality of life.

Tel: 01654 705988


Dolaucothi Roman Gold Mines. Pumsaint, Llanwrda.

Unique Roman gold mine set amid wooded hillsides on the road from Lampeter to Llanwrda. Guided tours take visitors through the Roman and the more recent underground workings. 

There are splendid views of the beautiful Cothi Valley and three estate walks, as well as a New exhibition on mining history.

Tel: 01558 650177

The National Botanic Garden of Wales, Llanarthne.

Working with the National Museum of Wales and the Countryside Council for Wales, the Garden is collecting the seeds of, and propagating, some of Wales's rarest plants. These include Britain's rarest and most critically-endangered trees.

The Great Glasshouse, the Garden's iconic visitor attraction which houses plants from the Earth's Mediterranean climatic regions, doubles up as a refuge for some of the world's rarest plants.

Tel: 01558 668768

The Welsh Wildlife Centre, Cilgerran, Cardigan

260 acre nature reserve owned and managed by The Wildlife Trust West Wales with extensive footpaths (many suitable for all abilities) leading into woodland, reed beds, meadows and along the river Teifi. New 'Waterworld' exhibition - mini-beasts and water wildlife. Wildlife events for all ages, group visits welcomed and enquire about our educational programme. Open daily including Bank Holidays: 10.30am-5.00pm. Signposts, from Cardigan, for `Wildlife Centre' - follow A478 to Cilgerran.

Tel: 01239 621600

The Ynys-hir Reserve Eglwysfach, Machynlleth

...partly re-opened on Sat 5th May providing public access to the visitor centre will and the ungrazed woodland section of the reserve. The reserve is on the south side of the Dyfi estuary and offers a wide range of habitats: salt and freshwater marsh, reed bed, peat bog, woodland and open hillside. Sixty-seven species of bird breed here regularly, including pied flycatcher, wood warbler, garden warbler, blackcap, tree creeper and three species of woodpecker. The Reserve is open daily. The visitor centre is open daily 9.00am-5.00pm March-September and weekend opening October until February. Signposted from Eglwysfach on A487 north of Aberystwyth.  

Tel: 01654 781265

Nant yr Arian Visitor Centre,
Llywernog, Ponterwyd

Enterprise Wales' Nant yr Arian Visitor Centre will be opening in time for the Easter holidays following the results of a detailed risk assessment over foot and mouth. Visitors will be able to enjoy the spectacle of Red Kite feeding - at 3pm every day - walks in the forest and snacks in the lakeside visitor centre. Open year round except Christmas day and boxing day: 10.00am-5.00pm (longer in summer months). Walks and picnic sites are open all year. East of Aberystwyth on the A44 near Llywernog.  

Tel: 01970 890694

Llanerchaeron , Ciliau Aeron Aberaeron SA48 8DG 

This is a small 18th century Welsh gentry estate which has survived virtually unaltered. The house was built by John Nash in 1795. Consisting of the house, servant's quarters, stables, farm buildings and walled garden, Llanerchaeron is a traditional rural estate that has remained in the same family for ten generations. The house was commissioned from John Nash in 1789 by Colonel William Lewis.

Tel: 01545 570200

Black Covert Forest Walk, Trawsgoed, Aberystwyth

Located off the B4340 from Aberystwyth to Trawsgoed. Black Covert Picnic Site is 1 kilometre south of Abermagwr. Turn right over the bridge (signed Llanilar B4575) then turn immediately left and left again into the car park. Black Covert is an attractive forest plantation by the river Ystwyth. The first half of the walk follows the Ystwyth valley downstream, with some sections by the river, and others higher up the south slope above it. It passes Trawsgoed mansion, and through well-tended farmland overlooking the broad lower valley, before returning through the village of Llanafan, and along the valley path back to Blaen-y-ddl.

Borth Animalarium

One of the top attractions of mid Wales with a Wales Tourist Board seal of approval. Here you will experience a unique and close encounter with the Animal Kingdom. You will see the antics of the colony of Capuchin monkeys and the lemurs. In the paddock, you will find wallabies, capybaras etc. Inside the buildings you will find reptiles, insects, bird aviaries, plus the usual children's favourites.  Daily; Easter-September: 10.00am-6.00pm; October: 11.00am-4.30pm.

Tel: 01970 871224

The Kite Centre, Tregaron

Information Centre for red kites and other local wildlife including Tregaron Bog Nature Reserve. Live video film of red kites, otters, owls, bats and small birds at their nesting sites. Kite feeding in winter. Museum of local history featuring history of Tregaron and way of life in rural communities. Welsh tea room serving traditional Welsh food made from local produce. Open April-September: Monday-Saturday, 10.00am-5.00pm. Open by appointment in winter. 200 yds from Tregaron Square, on road to Llanddewi Brefi.

Tel:01974 298977/298415

Felinwynt Rainforest and Butterfly Centre, Aberporth.

Enjoy a visit to the tropical house, near Cardigan, where visitors can wander amidst exotic plants and butterflies.

Open first Sunday in May-end September from 10.30am-5.00pm. West of Blaenannerch on A487, turn to Aberporth on the B4333 and follow Rainforest Centre signs.

Tel: 01239 810882

New Quay Honey Farm, Maesnewydd, Cross Inn

Open daily Spring Bank Holiday-mid September: 11.00am-1.00pm; 2.00-5.00pm. The farm is open to visitors and has a shop, tea room and live bee exhibition, and travelers from all over the world have witnessed one of nature's most fascinating processes and sampled at first hand a wonderful range of natural hive products. Now the largest in Wales, New Quay Honey Farm attracts over 35,000 visitors a year, and in 1999 a meadery was added to produce some delicious honey wines which have quickly found favour with the most discerning palates.

Tel: 01545 560 822

Penglais Nature Park,  Penglais, Aberystwyth

(Welsh: Parc Natur Penglais) is a woodland situated in Aberystwyth, Ceredigion in Wales. The park is a combination of both woodland and a disused quarry. In spring, it boasts a carpet of bluebells in common with the many other bluebell woods.

Opened in 1995 it covers 27 acres (109,000 m), it was the first Nature reserve to open in Ceredigion and is the only UNESCO Man and Biosphere urban reserve in Wales.

Tel: 01545 572142

Tynybedw Forest Walk, Llanafan, Aberystwyth

From Aberystwyth follow the B4340 to Trawsgoed. Follow this road through Trawsgoed until the road crosses the Afon Ystwyth and turn immediately left following the river.

Tynbedw is a Forestry Commission picnic site by the river Ystwyth. Our route follows a small road and a riverside path along the flood plain of the River Ystwyth SSSI. The bare shingle has interesting invertebrates, and the more stable areas of shingle heath are dominated by mosses, liverworts and lichens, including a number of nationally rare species. The walk then uses forest paths, often beside attractive streams, returning along forest roads and scenic field paths


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