Virtual Tour of Wales - Ceredigion
This part of the country still retains its strong Welsh roots and language. Geographically, it consists of two different but equally scenic areas, the Cardigan coast and the countryside.
The countryside spotlights beautiful landscapes of mountains, lakes, forests and rivers-many remote and sparsely settled. As a result there are a number of unique habitats that attract rare species of wildlife, plants and birds. Among them is the rare red kite, a bird of prey considered to be the most agile flyer of all the European birds of prey.
Strata Florida Abbey, located in a quiet and remote valley, was once the most important abbey in Wales. Its picturesque arch designates the burial place of several Welsh princes.
Easily accessible towns are also part of the picture. Cardigan is a very busy market town, serving a large agricultural community. Its long main street is lined with shops and hotels. It has 900 years of recorded history and boasts that it is the site of the first National Eisteddfod, held in 1176. It was once the second most important port in Wales.
The Welsh Wildlife Centre and Teifi Marshes Nature Reserve, outside the village of Cilgerran, is a 265 acre (107ha) wildlife habitat There is a Visitor Centre with information panels. Trails lead to a spectacular gorge, water meadows, woodlands and the banks of the River Teifi. Over 130 species of birds, including the red kite, and over 20 mammals-otters, badgers, deer, water vole,water buffalo and others-call this area home.
Further north Aberystwyth, a large bustling town, is host to the National Library of Wales and the University of Wales. The Library is a rich repository-over 5 million books-for the literature and culture of the country and houses both permanent and temporary exhibitions. One of the masterpieces of medieval literature, the Mabinogion, a collection of Celtic myths, is here. The library's hilltop location provides a view over the town and waterfront.