Translating as “mouth of the Aeron”, Aberaeron is a picturesque coastal village between Aberystwyth and Cardigan. It was the site of a 12th-century fortification built by King Cadwgan and is a rare example of a planned Welsh town. Colourful houses, independent boutiques and craft centres now cluster around its harbour, which connects to the dolphin-filled waters of Cardigan Bay.
Things to do in Aberaeron
Aberaeron can be visited while hiking the Wales Coast Path, a long-distance walking trail that stretches for 1,400 kilometres from Chepstow in the south of the country to Queensferry in the north. For a shorter stroll, head to the pebbly shores of Aberaeron Beach where the River Aeron flows into Cardigan Bay.
Cardigan Bay is just one of two places on the British coastline where bottlenose dolphins can be seen in the wild, with the numbers peaking during September and October. Several companies offer dolphin spotting cruises from the nearby village of New Quay. In addition to exploring the Cardigan Bay Special Area of Conservation, they include insightful narration about dolphin behaviour and lifecycles.
A short drive inland from Aberaeron is the National Trust-owned Llanerchaeron, a traditional Welsh estate that remains largely unchanged since the 19th century. It features an elegant villa designed by John Nash, as well as servants’ quarters, horse stables and a walled kitchen garden. In addition to admiring the Victorian greenhouse, you can get up close to Llanwenog sheep and Welsh black cattle on the estate’s working organic farm.
Getting around Aberaeron
Aberaeron is around 30 minutes’ drive from Aberystwyth and 1.5 hours from Swansea while Cardiff Airport is two hours away. Buses connect from Cardiff to Aberaeron and the town is small enough to explore on foot. A long-distance walking trail connects to the coastal villages both north and south of Aberaeron.