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Sandwiched between the sprawling Cambrian Mountains and the vast blue of Cardigan Bay, Ceredigion in West Wales is a wild and unspoilt region known for its abundant wildlife, rich culture and mind-blowing beaches.
Start your Ceredigion adventure in Cardigan, near the county’s border with Pembrokeshire. This compact town is a fine base from which to explore the River Teifi – on rafts, canoes or stand up paddleboards – and scope out the local beaches. Little Mwnt Beach is particularly beautiful, with golden sand and cliffs on three sides; it’s known for being a great place to spot dolphins and seals.
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To learn more about Ceredigion’s marine life, head to Cardigan Bay Marine Wildlife Centre in New Quay. Here you can join an eco-friendly boat tour (from Easter to October) to get the best chance of spotting bottlenose dolphins, porpoises and Atlantic grey seals, or browse the interactive displays on dry land at the visitor centre.
All that fresh sea air can work up an appetite. Venture inland to Caws Teifi, an artisanal cheesemaker, to sample traditional Caerffili cheese (among others) as well as their homemade gin and whisky. The farm shop is open Monday to Friday – call ahead to check opening times.
16 miles east of Caws Teifi, the small, rural town of Lampeter has a big history. Its university is the third oldest after Oxford and Cambridge, and features architecture similar to the Oxbridge quadrangles. It’s worth sticking around for the Welsh Quilt Centre, a relatively new museum (opened in 2009) that celebrates traditional Welsh textiles with century-spanning exhibitions and hands-on workshops.
Culture vultures will love the National Library of Wales in Aberystwyth, a buzzy student town by the sea. Its mission? Collect a copy of every book, photograph, song or film created in Britain and Ireland. Their stores include over 6,000,000 books and newspapers, 60,000 works of art and 250,000 hours of video and there are regular exhibitions celebrating Welsh culture.
From Aberystwyth, it’s possible to embark on a scenic excursion to Devil’s Bridge, 12 miles away. Riding along the heritage Vale of Rheidol Railway on a vintage steam train, an hour’s journey unravels a tapestry of verdant valleys, rushing rivers and forested hillsides until you reach Devil’s Bridge. A five-minute walk from the station you’ll find the village’s famous falls – a series of powerful cascades with numerous bridges and viewpoints.
Five miles away, Bwlch Nant yr Arian awaits. Not only is this forested wilderness a haven for local birdlife – including red kites, which you can watch being fed for free every afternoon – it’s also a mountain biker’s paradise. The heathered hills are criss-crossed with hiking and biking trails, plus a skills park for practising; you can hire bikes at Summit Cycles back in Aberystwyth.
Save time for Ynyslas Sand Dunes, part of the 2,000 hectare Dyfi National Nature Reserve. Found at the very north of Ceredigion, the dunes are continuing to grow, and protect a whole host of rare insects, birds and plants. Get clued up on the local habitat at the Ynyslas Visitor Centre before setting out on a coastal walk to experience it for yourself.
Our 101 team have been working with local tourism, business, community and Council initiatives to bring you some of the best ways for you to live your connection to Ceredigion.