Although Aberystwyth is a relatively small town (population 16,000), not all parts are equally nice or equally convenient as places to stay. If you come for summer holiday, you will probably prefer a hotel in the central area and near the coast. On the contrary, the main tourist area may be a bit too far away from the university campus, in case you are coming to Aberystwyth for a university event.
Basic Orientation in Aberystwyth
The key points of orientation are the following:
- The sea is in the west.
- The cliff is in the north.
- The river Rheidol is in the south.
- The university campus and hospital are in the east (away from coast).
- The train and bus stations are in the middle.
The main centre of Aberystwyth is the area between the train station and the coast. Due to the rugged coast’s shape, the town centre is actually bordered by the sea on both the southwest and northwest. There is also the river Rheidol in the south and all the surrounding water makes Aberystwyth town centre feel quite compact. There are numerous little streets with small shops, cafes and hotels. Quality, comfort and prices vary; you can find everything from very cheap hotels and B&B’s (it’s a student town after all) to 4 star hotels.
Places to Stay in Aberystwyth Town Centre
Some of the most popular streets and areas include the following:
Terrace Road – This one goes from the railway station straight to the (northwestern) coast. The tourist office is located in this street (close to the coast), as well as a Tesco.
Promenade / Marine Terrace – The streets along the coast, which stretch all the way around the town centre in the southwest and northwest, are naturally a popular place to take a walk and also have several good accommodation options.
Victoria Terrace – the section of coast leading to the cliff (in the north part of town) may be a bit quieter and a nice place to stay. There are several hotels on the seafront.
There are also some good hotels and guesthouses in the small streets around the cinema and library, such as Portland Street, Bath Street and Queen’s Road. These are just behind the seafront terrace.
Some Hotels Are Very Far from Town
If you come without a car, make sure you find a place to stay in the city centre or near the university campus. Although Aberystwyth is a small town and it is easy to walk from one end to the other, many of the hotels and guesthouses you will find online are located in the surrounding villages, while still being marketed as Aberystwyth hotels. Make sure you always check the location when considering a place to stay.
If you do have a car, accommodation in one of the surrounding villages can actually be the perfect option. It will expand your range of available properties significantly, as there are plenty of B&B’s and guesthouses within short (5-10 minutes’) drive from Aberystwyth. The countryside in this part of Wales is one of the most beautiful you can find. Without a car, find something directly in town.
Mind the University Event Dates
Keep in mind that Aberystwyth is a university town, as well as a popular tourist destination. This means that finding accommodation can get complicated around university events (especially graduations and to a lesser extent open days), as well as in the summer season, when people from all parts of Britain come for holidays. Book well in advance – most of the hotels let you cancel for free if you change your plans.