Ask anyone and they'll tell you, I'm totally in love with Aberystwyth. Having studied there for several years, it slowly etched itself into my heart and, even though I was born in Birmingham, I actually consider Aberystwyth as my home.
So, when we headed to Machynlleth for our glamping trip over the summer holidays, we (quite naturally!) ended up spending a day in beautiful sunny Aberystwyth…
When we arrived (which was pretty early in the morning!) we decided to park by the marina. I wanted to take George and Molly to see the boats so we could hear them tinkle and chime and I thought it was best to start off here and eventually head over to the other side of the seafront and up Constitution Hill. This meant we could come full circle and explore a lot of the seaside town in just one day.
For me, it was like giving my little family a guided tour of my hometown, the place that gave me peace and happiness during the time I lived there. We had a lovely (albeit short) stroll along the seafront until we came to Aberystwyth Castle.
We were all very excited at the sight of it, with its many layers and nooks as well as the cannons that point out to sea.
Once we had exhausted every view point and I had taken a few photos of the crazy bunch, we headed to the little park beside the castle. This park is just so amazing- I love it! I have never seen a park so well taken care of, with varying equipment for various age ranges. There are lots of benches dotted around for the adults and some mini-benches for the kiddies- this is a really cute feature of the park. This isn't a massive park, but they have included everything you need! George and Molly loved exploring and climbing, and they were always in view, which meant we weren't constantly worrying about where they were.
Oh, one thing that I thought was pretty important when heading out for a long day trip like this is the toilets! There are public toilets behind the park, and these are very clean and orderly, unlike most of them we find on our travels… I think planning ahead and knowing/finding out where public toilets are is really important when going out as a family, and Aberystwyth have spaced them out perfectly!
After George and Molly had exhausted every element of the park and been to the toilet, we headed for the Crazy Golf! This is situated right by the park and castle, overlooking the seafront. It cost less than £2 per person and it was great fun! George in particular loved this part of the day, and even though Molly became restless towards the end, the length of the course isn't exhausting and you can get through it at a reasonable pace, plus it doesn't cost the earth to play- win, win!
Afterwards we headed towards the Pier for lunch. Warren and I had decided long before the trip to have pizza on the pier, it's the best pizza we have ever tasted and I was worried that we would be disappointed as it had been a few years since we ate there, but it was even more delicious than I remembered. They are between £3.60 and £4.60 for an individual sized pizza, and it really is all you need for lunch… you can always add a side of chips if you are feeling a bit more peckish ;)
After we had eaten, we headed down the seafront towards Constitution Hill and I spent this time talking to the children about Aberystwyth's tradition 'kick the bar'. The bar lies at the north end of the beach, and the tradition is seen as good luck, so we all had a go at kicking the bar and the kiddies loved it!
We then decided to walk up Constitution Hill… We were worried at first that the kiddies wouldn't make the walk up, but they surprised us, as usual! If you don't think your little ones would make it up then there is the option to use the Cliff Railway but we were on a very strict budget so we chose the 'free' option! To be honest, it is a beautiful (but steep) walk… and even though it took us a while to get up to the top, it was totally worth it. The views are stunning, but keep children close as it does have a very sharp long drop off the edge. I remember as a kid nearly going over the side, but as a kid you have no fear, so I made sure I kept George and Molly close by.
At the top of Constitution Hill we found a lovely café/restaurant called Y Consti and ordered hot chocolates as well as picking up a token for bowling. Bowling cost less than £5 and there was also air hockey and other games for us to play once we had finished bowling. At the time of our visit there was also a free bouncy castle which George and Molly thoroughly enjoyed!
We then headed back down the hill and onto the beach. It was a glorious day and we ended up kicking off our shoes and having a little stroll along the sand. For August, the beach was fairly quiet and it was lovely to not feel overrun by tourists (yes, I know I am a tourist now too, sob…). Once we had spent a little time on the beach we headed into the main shopping area and stopped at the wonderful 'Stars' shop to buy some souvenirs for George and Molly and their nannies. I just love this shop and could stay their for hours admiring the vast array of trinkets, jewellery and gifts.
By this time we were feeling peckish but still quite full from lunch, so we headed to reliable and convenient Subway. The staff here were amazing, especially with the kiddies. We all wolfed down our individual subs and then it was time to take a gentle stroll back to the car. We passed the local market this time instead of going via the seafront and this took us right towards the castle, which was very useful indeed.
We were all utterly shattered from all the different activities, the lengthy walks and the brilliant sunshine. But we were also, oh-so happy to have spent such a wonderful day in the warm and welcoming arms of Aberystwyth… the place that just feels like home xxx
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