Things to do in Ceredigion

Penned on the 26th January 2023

Things to do in Ceredigion

On the west coast of mid-Wales, with Cardigan Bay on one side and the Cambrian Mountains on the other, you’ll find the ancient county of Ceredigion. Vast, beautiful and uncrowded compared with some of the country’s busier tourist destinations, Ceredigion is a haven for those wanting to explore unspoiled countryside and coastlines. Whether you’re wildlife spotting, hiking the coast path, dining at one of it's lovely eateries or soaking up Welsh culture and history, Ceredigion promises plenty of off-the-beaten-track things to do for all kinds of visitors. Here are some of our favourites.

Go wildlife spotting in Cardigan Bay

Dolphin spotting in Cardigan Bay

The stunning Cardigan Bay is the largest bay in the British Isles, stretching 50 miles along the Welsh coast. The waters are home to a rich diversity of marine life, including Europe’s largest population of bottlenose dolphins. You might be lucky enough to spot them from the shoreline or cliffs – but for a closer encounter, you can join a Dolphin Survey Boat Trip from New Quay. As well as getting the chance to observe these magical creatures in their natural habitat, the expert volunteers onboard will teach you about the amazing work that goes into maintaining this Special Area of Conversation. And on any given trip you might see Atlantic grey seals, harbour porpoises, marine birds and even minke whales or thresher sharks too.


Walk the Ceredigion Coast Path

The Ceredigion coast path in gorgeous golden sunlight

Ceredigion's 60-mile-long Coast Path has one of the most varied landscapes and terrains of all the coast path in Wales. There’s a wealth of wildlife and geological and historical features to explore along the way, as well as incredible views – north towards Snowdonia and south towards Pembrokeshire. Whether you’re looking for a full day’s hike or a gentle stroll, there are plenty of gorgeous sections to choose from, many of which end up in a town or village where you can find a refreshing drink or a hot meal. On the 11-mile Cardigan to Aberporth route, for example, you can reward your hard work with a hearty sausage and mash or burger and chips at The Ship Inn above Dyffryn Beach.


Ride the steam train on the Vale of Rheidol Railway

Vale of Rheidol Railway in Ceredigion

For a magical way to soak up the beautiful Ceredigion scenery, catch the steam train on the Vale of Rheidol Railway from Aberystwyth to Devil’s Bridge. This 11-mile narrow gauge railway track opened in 1902 to serve local lead ore and timber industries and nowadays welcomes visitors to step back in time and enjoy a relaxing ride on the heritage train. The hour-long journey twists and turns through mountains, fields and woodland in the Rheidol Valley, before arriving at the beautiful Devil’s Ridge where you stop for a coffee and cake at the Two Hoots Cafe and explore the magnificent waterfalls (see below!).


See the waterfalls at Devil’s Bridge Falls

The bridge at Devils Bridge Falls in Ceredigion in the spring sunshine

This popular tourist attraction is home to breathtaking 300-foot waterfalls set deep within an ancient wooded gorge in the heart of the Cambrian Mountains and it has been alluring visitors since the 18th century. The falls can be viewed from one of the Nature Trails, with two different walks to choose from (an easy 10-minute route or a more challenging, uneven 45-minute route) with a small entrance fee at a turnstile. According to legend, Devil’s Bridge Falls got its name because it was built by the Devil himself, who constructed the bridge for an old lady in exchange for her soul… but she outwitted him. You can buy a Guide Book for 50p at the gift shop to read the full story and get a map of the area.

Where to stay nearby: Ffion, a picturesque hut in walking distance to these magnificent falls, tucked away amongst the Cambrian mountains. 


Go stargazing at a Dark Sky Discovery Site
 Beautiful star constellations being admired through a telescope

Ceredigion’s unspoiled countryside means it has naturally dark skies that are perfect for stargazing. In fact, there are several special Dark Sky Discovery Sites around the county, from the mountains to the coast. There’s something special to spot all year round – but springtime is an especially good time to go when the temperatures are a little warmer than winter and the days haven’t lengthened too much yet. You won’t have to stay out too late to see an incredible starlit sky on a clear night. And if you’re visiting in mid-late April, you might even be fortunate enough to witness the spectacular Lyrid Meteor shower. Make sure you download a Stargazing app or take a night sky guidebook to help you pick out the planets and other phenomena. 


Look for birds at RSPB Ynsy-Hir

Redshank drinking water in nature

The RSPB Ynys-hir Nature Reserve in the Dyfi valley is rich with wildlife including a huge array of birds. The woodland, wet grassland and salt marsh habitats attract ducks, geese, egrets, kingfishers, lapwings, redshanks, finches, woodpeckers and more, depending on what time of year you visit. And there are over three miles of walking trails and seven different hides in the reserve, so you can enjoy a peaceful few hours of birdwatching undercover. There are even bird feeding stations at the car park and bird pools at the picnic benches, so it’s a true haven for nature lovers. Plus it’s home to the BBC Springwatch programme!


Spend a day at the beach at Mwnt

Mwnt beach on a quiet sunny day

This beautiful secluded cove, owned by the National Trust, is a little tricky to access down a steep, single-track lane – but it remains popular with families in the summer and it’s easy to see why. The golden beach is perfect for building sandcastles, at low tide, it’s great for rock pooling and it’s a lovely spot for swimming – although be aware that it isn’t lifeguarded. There’s plenty of wildlife to look out for, including bottlenose dolphins out to sea and peregrine falcons overhead. There’s a kiosk selling ice creams for when the inevitable craving comes too! And after all of that, if you fancy a walk to get a better look at the spectacular surrounding coastline, head around the headland of Foel y Mwnt. 


Admire the colourful houses at Aberaeron

The colourful houses at Aberaeron captured beautifully by Phillip Mcgraa

Aberaeron has deservedly been described as ‘the prettiest town on the coast of Wales’ by respected Welsh broadcaster Huw Edwards. This former fishing town was built in the early 19th century and is now renowned for its charming, colourful Regency-style buildings on the harbour. Wander along the harbourfront and choose your favourite colours, before ducking into the picturesque restaurant The Hive for a satisfying brunch of Welsh Rarebit or ‘Eggs Benny’. Once you’ve had your fill, there are plenty of quirky independent shops and craft centres to browse too. 


Go mountain biking at Bwlch Nant Yr Arian

Friends enjoying mountain biking routes in Ceredigion Wales

Bwlch Nant-yr-Arian Forest just inland from Aberystwyth is an epic playground for mountain bikers, with trails heading into the breathtaking Cambrian Mountains. There’s a Mountain Bike Skills Park as well as four different grades of purpose-built trails here, from the low-level family-friendly Arian Trail through to the wild, rugged and challenging 35km Syfydrin Trail for experienced riders. Once you’ve worked up an appetite, the Bwlch Nant-yr-Arian Cafe serves home-cooked meals as well as their signature cream tea. The visitor centre is well-known for its long-established tradition of daily feeding of red kites too, so make sure you catch that!


Sample award-winning cheeses in the Teifi Valley

Cheese tasting in the Teifi Valley

Caws Teifi Cheese in the gorgeous Teifi Valley is the longest-established artisan cheesemaker in Wales and the most highly awarded in Britain. Since 1981 they’ve been making cheese on Glynhynod Farm using their raw milk process which is said to taste better, have all kinds of health benefits and be better for the environment. Their mouthwatering selection includes Natural and Heritage classic Teifi cheeses, as well as a whole range of different flavours including sweet pepper, cumin, nettle and seaweed. You can visit the farm shop to buy, or you can book a tasting experience where you’ll learn all about the farm and its history, as well as sample some of the delicious cheeses with crackers, chutney, and gin or rum! 


Explore the estate at Llanerchaeron
 Llanerchaeron walled garden

Near the coastal town of Aberaeron, you’ll find Llanerchaeron Estate, an elegant Georgian Villa built by John Nash in 1790, now managed by The National Trust. For over three centuries the estate was home to ten generations of the same family – and it’s remained largely unaltered for over 200 years. On your visit, you can explore the rooms, servant’s courtyard (including a dairy, laundry and brewery), the 18th-century walled garden and the waymarked paths in the parkland and woodland surrounding the estate. Stop by the reception before you leave to pick up some seasonal veg or fresh cut flowers, or pick out a gem from the secondhand bookshop. 


Get a culture fix in Aberystwyth 

Aberystwyth in the golden evening light

This bustling seaside and university town is perfect for a day out soaking up Welsh arts and culture. The Aberystwyth Arts Centre is one of the most vibrant arts centres in the UK, so is a good place to start. There’s always plenty to choose from in their vibrant programme of theatre, cinema screenings, dance, comedy, music, exhibitions and more. The acclaimed Wales One World film festival is hosted here in March, as is the International Ceramics Festival in July. Book lovers must visit The National Library of Wales too, where you can view some of the nation’s treasures. Over 6.5 million books and periodicals are housed here, so it’s a wonderful place to immerse yourself in the country’s stories and culture. And you can round off your Aberystwyth visit with a cocktail at The Libertine, a bar aptly decorated with cosy leather chairs, art on the walls and shelves laden with books.


See the autumn salmon leap at Cenarth Falls

Salmon jumping out of the water

On the border of Ceredigion, Pembrokeshire and Carmarthenshire you’ll find the village of Cenarth and its stunning focal point, Cenarth Falls. These waterfalls and pools on the River Teifi are particularly famed for the natural spectacle in the autumn, the salmon leap. For hundreds of years, the migration of these fish in the river has been a core part of local life and fisherman’s income and attracted visitors far and wide. Cenarth is also one of the few places left in Britain where coracles are still used. These small, traditional round-bottomed boats are designed to drift down the river and catch salmon – and if you’re interested in the history you can learn more at The National Coracle Centre in the village.


Discover the past at Cardigan Castle

Cardigan Castle in Ceredigion

Cardigan, on the shores of the Teifi Estuary, is the second-largest town in Ceredigion and home to the historic Cardigan Castle. The castle was neglected for years but after a recent refurbishment, there’s plenty here for history lovers to explore across many eras,

from medieval walls and remains to the Georgian mansion and Regency gardens. It’s a place of particular importance for Welsh culture too because it was the venue for the first of the country’s National Eisteddfods in 1176. Nature lovers will love the ‘bat-cam’ too – a live feed of a colony of greater horseshoe bats that live in the medieval cellar! And once you’ve worked up an appetite head to 1176, the onsite cafe and restaurant, for a lunch with local ingredients and lovely views.


Staying in Ceredigion

Gorse yurt offers luxury glamping in the heart of Ceredigion

What better way to enjoy a visit to Ceredigion than with a glamping break in the stunning countryside? From quirky yurts nestled amongst the trees and rolling green fields to a cosy shepherd’s hut with idyllic views of the Cambrian Mountains, we have multiple magical accommodation options to choose from. Take a look at our full collection of hideaways in Ceredigion and plan your escape to nature here.


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