The Sunken Forest at Borth
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5 of Ceredigion’s must-visit gems

Wales is famous amongst avid travellers and adventure-seeking families for a multitude of reasons, from the breathtaking coastline along with Pembrokeshire, the rolling hills in the Brecon Beacons to the rocky mountains of Snowdonia National Park that attracts thousands to hike up its rough terrain for the opportunity to look out over unspoiled landscapes. Aberystwyth's old castle However, whilst these areas are perhaps the most popular areas of Wales, there are countless other locations in this spectacular country worth exploring and perhaps one area that you should put on your list is Ceredigion, a hidden gem nestled in Mid Wales. The spectacular coastline fringes the county, whilst inland there are some attractive countryside landscapes to marvel at. In this feature, we list some of the hidden beauties around Ceredigion that make it a worthwhile visit for anyone wanting to experience a new, often overlooked part of Wales. A perfect lookout spot in Ceredigion 1. Aberystwyth Aberystwyth is arguably one of the main destinations within Ceredigion and has a very legitimate claim as the cultural capital of Wales. Aside from Aberystwyth University, it also boasts the hugely respected National Library of Wales, and The Aberystwyth Arts Centre which is a focal point for contemporary Welsh language and culture. Aberystwyth is a bustling and lively student town at the foot of rolling hills and boasting two beautiful beaches, ruins of a historical castle, a harbour, and pier. From Aberystwyth, on a clear day, the dominating presence of Snowdon can be seen in the distance. The harbour itself was once the busiest in Wales, now it is a little bit quieter but still has a vibrant atmosphere due to its university and the countless cafes, bars, and restaurants that line the streets. Aside from a cultural reference point, one of the town’s more jovial claims is that it boasts over 50 public houses in a little over a square mile, making the most densely ‘taverned’ areas in the UK. The town of Aberystwyth 2. Mwnt  When you visit Mwnt, it will be to enjoy this secluded beach, possibly all to yourselves on one of your allocated beach days. This little cove boasts postcard-worthy views across the water, the beach itself is enclosed around with cliffs and there is a charming white chapel perched above. Take a picnic with you, along with a water cooler, and spend some well-earned quality time with your loved ones. Off the beaten track, Mwnt is also a popular place to spot dolphins enjoying the waves playfully in Cardigan Bay. The white church overlooking Mwnt 3. Tregaron A must-visit for those who are captivated by nature, the Cors Caron National Park, also referred to as the Tregaron Bog, houses a number of habitats that make it ideal for a wealth of wildlife. The park itself has been credited as an SSSI (Site of Special Scientific Interest). Birdwatchers can expect to see Eurasian sparrow hawks, merlins, peregrine falcons and buzzards, to name a few, soaring through the sky or perched by the water’s edge watching the otters and fish play in the water. The site itself is made up of three raised bogs that comprise deep layers of peat that have taken an impressive 12,000 years to form. You can walk around the area via the boardwalks, allowing you to be in the heart of the action and giving you a better chance of seeing the wildlife up close. Tregaron Bog in Ceredigion 4. The Sunken Forest An interesting visit for everyone has to be the Sunken Forest at Borth, but be sure to visit during low tide to get a good glimpse of this intriguing attraction. The Bronze Age forest is submerged under copious amounts of sand and concealed by the playful sea at high tide, but at low tide, you can spot the tops of the trees poking out from the sea-bed. The forest itself is believed to have died around 1500 BC, however, it has been preserved in the peat due to the acid conditions. Unsurprisingly, the forest has become the topic of folklore and legends. The Sunken Forest at Borth 5. The heritage of Welsh Quilting In Lampeter, in the old town hall, you will find the Welsh Quilt Centre, a working museum and heritage centre in the Teifi Valley dedicated to the simple but distinctive craft of quilting. During the 17th and 18th Centuries, the quilted bedcovers that existed were nearly all utilitarian and made of heavy worsted material or woollen fabric encasing an old woollen blanket. This began to change in the 18th Century with the emergence of decorative quilts, and so a crafting lineage was born. The museum itself was founded by Welsh quilt collector and historian Jen Jones in 2009 and officially opened by The Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall in 2010. Jones came to Wales from Massachusetts in 1971, and though she had been collecting and making her own traditional Welsh quilts for some time, at the time she arrived, the Welsh weaving traditions were at a basic standstill. Since this time, she’s helped spread the word and revive appreciation for this most precious textile traditions. In addition to the museum, she runs a café and a shop selling vintage Welsh quilts and blankets along with books, gifts, and items by contemporary textile artists and craftspeople, and an exhibition that enthralls even the most uninitiated of visitors to the centre. Welsh quilting traditions in Ceredigion Gareth Robinson is General Manager at Quality Cottages. Quality Cottages is a leading Wales-based holiday lettings agency established in 1961. If you would like to be a guest blogger on A Luxury Travel Blog in order to raise your profile, please contact us.

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  1. I had never heard the story of the sunken forest. It must make for some very eerie photos when the light is right.

  2. I’ve just read that the government may still ban travel even to countries that are on the green light. Foreign travel may be even more of a lottery than it was last summer. I think it’s sensible to start seriously researching places like Ceredigion.

  3. One of the few good things to come out of the pandemic is that it is encouraging us to make the most of our own country. We had a great holiday in South Wales last year and it made us think that we are in no great hurry to race abroad until things have really settled down. Reading this makes me think that this summer maybe we should head for North Wales.

    1. Absolutely. Nothing wrong with expanding our horizons over so many years, but now is the time we ook to what we have in our own back yard and there is so much good out there.

  4. 50 years ago the beach at Mwnt was beautiful and secluded. The author of this article obviously hasn’t been there in at least the last 10 years. The headland is surrounded by caravan sites with huge traffic jams. The area is an unmitigated disaster. You’ve got more chance of peace and tranquillity in the middle of Piccadilly Circus.

    1. Have been there the last few weekends. Yes its busy now, it’s busier than it used to be for sure, but much of Ceredigion is still a place to uncover some places that many people still don’t know about.

  5. I agree, Wales is very famous for their coastlines and they made it very special for travellers to enjoy the views of the open seas with well-located resorts that offer spectacular views. I’ve come across Aberystwyth from watching the TV series Hinterland. It looks and feels very remote and cold (maybe it’s the series’ ambience). But I wonder how it is in more warmer sunnier season.

    1. Hinterland was a great show but used the bleakness of the sparse areas around Aberystwyth to set a scene. But for sure, it’s very different in the summertime. Ceredigion has some amazing coastline, Cardigan town and the castle are great attractions and you can see dolphin pods and (sometimes if you’re lucky) orca’s off the coast of New Quay. Beach holidays are the norm; Llangrannog and Mwnt especially are captivating for families, so don’t be put off by Hinterland – be inspired by it. And if you’re an avid fan of the show, Devil’s Bridge is a great must-visit.

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