Cardigan lies on the estuary of the River Teifi, hence its Welsh name Aberteifi. The river separates the Western counties of Ceredigion and Pembrokeshire. It used to be a walled town with a medieval castle built in 1093 by Robert Montgomery. In 1176 the first National Eisteddfod was held at the castle. The town went on to become a thriving maritime centre, and was at one point the second most important port in Wales. Many goods were exported from the port and there was a large herring fleet. The port was also a major departure point for emigration to North America, with ships such as The Active and The Albion taking passengers to New Brunswick in Canada, and the Triton heading to New York. One of the families who emigrated from here was that of the architect Frank Lloyd Wright. The Cardigan Bay Maritime History Project known as 'Over the Waves' is dedicated to recording the area's seafaring past.
Today, Cardigan is a busy market town, with a pleasant mix of independent shops and galleries. Many of the buildings have their original Georgian and Victorian frontages. The Neo-gothic Guildhall contains an indoor market and a gallery, while other places to view arts and crafts include the Custom House shop and gallery and Pendre Art Gallery and Cafe. There is entertainment to be had at the Theatr Mwldan, and there are events and festivals throughout the year, including a River and Food Festival and a Film Festival. For nature lovers, just upstream from the town is the Welsh Wildlife Centre, with walking trails meandering among the marshes and hides dotted about for viewing the birds and other wildlife. One of the more unexpected sights at the centre is a herd of water buffalo, and if you are very lucky you may spot an otter.
For a list of events in Cardigan and the surrounding area follow this link.
Map of the area.
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