Monday, 16 June 2014

ABERYSTWYTH

Aberystwyth has been on our TV screens a lot lately. First, during the awful storms of last winter, when the town's seafront made the national news after suffering extensive damage. The damage was so bad that the occupants of all the seafront houses were forced to evacuate. Then, more recently it appeared in the excellent TV crime drama Hinterland, when the town was the location of the police headquarters. The series was shot before the storms, and there were glimpses of the seafront with its 1920s shelter intact - sadly the shelter was badly damaged during the storms, but it has been reported that the shelter will be rebuilt.

Occupying a central position on Cardigan Bay, Aberystwyth has been a popular resort since the late 1800s following the arrival of the railway to the town. The town has a pier - which is known for its impressive starling murmurations at certains times of the year - and also a cliff railway, opened in 1896, which climbs to the top of Constitution Hill at the northern end of the resort, from where there are lovely views over the town, and there is a Camera Obscura and a restaurant. Aberystwyth is also the terminus of the Vale of Rheidol heritage railway, which chugs up to the beauty spot known as Devil's Bridge Falls (which featured in the first episode of Hinterland). The Ceredigion Museum is housed in a former Edwardian music hall, which still has its stage and balconies on view. On the headland to the south of the town are the ruins of a 13th-century castle.

However, Aberystwyth is more than just a resort; it is also an important university town. The University opened in the 1870s, the first Welsh university to open its doors. The Welsh Language Society is also based in Aberystwyth. Continuing the learned theme, the town is home to the National Library of Wales, with a huge collection of books and material relating not only to Wales but the wider Celtic world. The collection includes examples of early Welsh poetry and laws. The presence of the university makes Aberystwyth one of the most vibrant resorts on the Welsh coast, with a wide variety of bars and clubs aimed at the student population and visitors alike.

To find out more about the locations used in the Hinterland series, why not take a look at my other blog, Britain On Page And Screen.

Map of the area.

File:Aberystwyth seafront - geograph.org.uk - 243595.jpg
Photo by David Stowell, via Wikimedia Commons

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