Aberystwyth is a stunning town in Wales, filled with beautiful countryside and greenery, ideal for walks and exploring. Colloquially known as “Aber”, the town sits smack bang in the middle of the Ceredigion coastline. The seafront is the oldest pier in Wales, making it a must see is you are studying in Aberystwyth.
The largest town in mid Wales is home to the prestigious National Library of Wales, which has a fabulous selection of books, maps, archives, bibliographies, rare manuscripts, and many more. Understandably, the weather isn’t always going to be perfect in Wales, when it rains it rains!
Luckily for you, there’s loads of fun activities available to keep you occupied when the weather is miserable. We’ve compiled a list of 10 fun things to do in Aberystwyth when it rains to keep you busy:
1. Magic of Life Butterfly House
This all-weather butterfly zoo is super popular in Aber! Located near the town in Rheidol Valley, visitors can walk among free-flying butterflies in a tropical environment. The centre is filled with hundreds of colourful butterflies as well as giant caterpillars and bizarre insects to keep you occupied!
Once you’re done in the Butterfly House, why not take a scenic walk around the waterfalls nearby the stunning Rheidol Valley? If it isn’t raining too much that is!
2. The National Library of Wales
The biggest library in Wales is a must visit when studying in Aberystwyth, especially when it rains. The National Library of Wales holds over a whopping 6.5 million books and is also home to a collection of Welsh manuscripts.
Collections also include 250,000 hours of video, 60,000 works of art, and 1,500,000 maps…that’s certainly enough to keep you busy!
3. The Cinema
Everyone loves a trip to the cinema, and what better time to go when the weather is miserable! Going to watch a movie with your friends is always a great option, especially because you can fill up on all the best cinema snacks whilst you’re there.
The Commodore Cinema in Aber is a quaint independent cinema showing all the latest mainstream releases with a lounge bar too for refreshments.
4. Fairbourne Steam Railway
This idyllic railway travels two and a half miles between Fairbourne and Penrhyn Point, where it connects with a ferry which takes passengers across the Afon Mawddach to Barmouth.
Since opening in 1895, the line has provided a service between Fairbourne Village and Penrhyn Point and is incredibly popular to this day for tourists.
5. Ceredigion Museum
This museum is set in the most beautiful building, the aesthetics are bound to impress you, let alone what’s inside. The coliseum was originally a theatre, but now holds all the culture and history of the county itself.
As well as being a super informative museum, film nights, performances and workshops are also available, with a delicious café to keep you refreshed. Located in the centre of Aberystwyth, you won’t have to get too wet when travelling here from your accommodation.
6. Blue Island Ceramics
Approximately 8 miles north from Aberystwyth, Blue Island Ceramics lets you get creative and paint your own pottery. It’s a great way to create a personalised gift for a loved one, or just to create some decoration for your student accommodation!
There’s a varied selection of pottery available to paint, including plates, pots, ornaments, boxes, mugs and cups. There are also light refreshments available during your stay, perfect to keep you occupied on a dull day, brightening it up with colour.
7. National Botanic Garden of Wales
This one may require some travelling so you’d have to make a day out of it (takes around 1 hour and 20 minutes by car) but it’s definitely worth it, especially if the weather is miserable! There’s a fabulous indoor area, home to some of the world’s most endangered plants.
Adult entry is around £11.49, and they even have a Birds of Prey Centre for an extra £3.50. The Centre has over 20 species of British raptors and thrilling flying demonstrations. Other highlights include The Apothecary’s Garden filled with beautiful healing herbs, and an Aqualab, where you can learn all about the natural world.
8. National Wool Museum
Again, this involves a bit of a drive (approximately an hour), but with free admission and some really interesting information on offer, why not visit the National Wool Museum? The museum tells the story of the Woollen Industry through working machinery, archive material and hands-on displays with a textile gallery.
It also houses a wide variety of machinery used in the woollen mills of Wales, as well as extensive information on The Carding Engine, which was invented in the 18th century and used to comb the wool after it had been willowed.
Visiting here would give you a great opportunity to learn some history about Wales, perfect for a rainy day.
9. Dolaucothi Gold Mines
These unique gold mines are set within deeply wooded hillsides overlooking the Cothi Valley. Enjoy expertly guided historical tours that allow you to experience the conditions of the Roman, Victorian and 1930s underground workings.
You can see and hear the old 1930s mine and mine machines and even have a go at searching for some gold yourself. The gold mines are about an hour away from Aber, but you won’t be disappointed!
Prices for adults are £9.25 and tours run throughout the day, free of charge.
10. Go Out For Dinner
There’s nothing better than going out for a nice tasty meal when the weather isn’t so great, there’s plenty of places in Aberystwyth for you to try, that aren’t too far away from your student accommodation either.
We’d have to recommend Pysgoty on the harbour, which has some delicious sea food options. Popular dishes include the coconut fish curry and the smoked halibut, but there’s so much on offer to sink your teeth into, perfect when it’s a miserable day outside and you want some warm, hearty food.
Another restaurant worth mentioning is Backyard BBQ on Baker Street, highlights include the ribs and the burgers which are absolutely huge!
They also offer a takeaway service too, so if it’s a little too rainy outside for you, you can enjoy the BBQ goodness in the comfort of your own student accommodation.