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Places to visit in West Wales


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 are the focus of activity in the summer. 
 

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Aberaeron

Aberaeron is 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. 

 

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Cilgerran Castle


Cilgerran is 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. . Cilgerran is first mentioned by name in 1164, when the Lord Rhys captured the castle.
 

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Mwnt

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.
 

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Aberystwyth

Aberystwyth

 
The town of Aberystwyth is the largest town in West Wales. As well as having a wide variety of shops, 'Aber' hosts the National Library and the Ceredigion Museum. Also worth visiting is the cliff railway and the winter Starling murmurations at the pier. The Rheidol Valley steam railway runs tourist trips from Aberystwyth station.
 

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The Rheidol Valley Steam Railway 

The railway runs tourist trips from Aberystwyth station for 11¾ 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.
 

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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 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.
 

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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 Silver Mountain Mine and Museum which is open to the public and features a tour of the old mineshaft.
 

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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.
 

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Pentre Ifan

One of the most popular archaeological sites in Wales, Pentre Ifan is a splendid megalithic burial chamber with a huge capstone carefully balanced on three uprights. Pentre Ifan means Ivan's Village, 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. 


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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 Natural Resources Wales. There are boardwalks bird hides and lookout points. 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.

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Centre for Alternative Technology (C.A.T.)

C.A.T. is at Corris, just north of Machynlleth. It has many exhibits relating to renewable energy resources and sustainability.  CAT offers 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, and aim to show that living more sustainably is not only easy to attain but can provide a better quality of life.
 

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Dolaucothi Roman Gold Mines. Pumsaint, Llanwrda.

Unique Roman gold mine set amid wooded hillsides on the road from Lampeter to Llanwrda. National Trust 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.


 

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The National Botanic Garden of Wales, Llanarthne.

This spectacular 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
 

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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.


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Nant yr Arian Visitor Centre, Llywernog, Ponterwyd

Bwlch Nant yr Arian Visitor Centre sits at the head of a dramatic valley and has commanding views of Cardigan Bay and the Cambrian Mountains. The visitor centre is the starting point for a range of waymarked trails for walkers, mountain bikers, runners and horse riders.
It is well-known for its long established tradition of daily feeding of red kites, Wales’s National Bird of Prey. East of Aberystwyth on the A44 near Llywernog.  


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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.
 

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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.


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