Our Aberystwyth student accommodation must be up there as one of the best locations for students in the whole of the UK. It is located in one of the most picturesque locations in Wales, with stunning views of the West Wales coast stretching north and south from this amazing town.
Not only that, but Aberystwyth provides a community that is easy to plug into as a student, with plenty of arts and culture to inform and entertain, wonderful sandy beaches and coastal paths to walk, hike, and cycle along, the Cambrian Mountains on the doorstep and much more in the town. Aberystwyth is a small town, but it certainly makes up for it in student nightlife, with plenty for students to enjoy in terms of pubs, bars and student club nights in town or at the university.
There are three main campuses at the University of Aberyswyth, for the Arts and Social Sciences, Business and Physical Sciences, and Earth and Life Sciences. It is a university that is well regarded as providing high levels of learning environment and quality teaching that helps to instil a community that thrives on a love of shared learning. In 2019 Aberystwyth University was awarded Gold in the Postgraduate category for the second year running, and Silver in the University of the Year and International Categories at the WhatUni Student Choice Awards.
Penglais and Llanbadarn campuses are within easy reach of the Aberystwyth student accommodation you’ll be living at with us, and the town centre, whilst the Gogerddan campus is home to the Institute of Biological, Environmental and Rural Sciences and is research-focused. Right on the seafront is the Old College, which was originally the home of the University, but it has since been refurbished to become a rehearsal space for students. The School of Art is located within a beautiful Edwardian building in the centre of town, and is home to a gallery and museum.
AberWorks is a service the university provides students where part-time and casual work is offered throughout the institution. AberForward is a scheme that offers summer work experience across the many different departments and functions at the university. A focus on post-graduate life is key to the student support services at Aber, with extensive one-to-one support available, as well as workshop sessions, to help students source and apply for part-time work during term time, as well as look for long-term skills and networks for future work and careers through AberConnections (including 12-month internships and full-time graduate roles through a network of local, national, and international work opportunities).
The Students’ Union has been voted the Best in Wales as recently as 2017, and is located right in the heart of the Penglais Campus. For student support the Students’ Union is set up to provide an extensive array of services, including welfare support through the Advice centre. There is also a wide range of social and sporting facilities of a high standard, and a great union bar! All of this is organised by an entertainments team, putting together weekly events at the Union and beyond, as well as providing access to over 100 clubs and societies ranging from rugby and football, to paintball, film, debating, environmental groups, and anything else you would wish to explore.
It’s important to let any new students to Aberystwyth know about the challenge of ‘The Hill’, the daily walk up the hill towards the main campus. Aberystwyth is a town with a few hills, so always be sure to give plenty of time to get to lectures!
If you love food then there is plenty to enjoy as a newcomer to Aberystwyth, and there is plenty to suit budgets of all kinds, meaning you can try out something a little fancier when you’ve first got your student loan through, but know that there are plenty of cheaper good food options when things are a little tighter later on in the term.
One of the first things that we should mention is the fantastic fish restaurant called Pysgoty. It’s taken an interesting concept by renovating an old toilet block that overlooks the beautiful South Beach harbour and is home to some lovely fish and seafood dishes. This place is a must-visit during your time studying at Aberystwyth. Another great restaurant is Ultracomida, which offers a surprisingly delicious fusion of Spanish and Welsh cuisine in the form of a tapas bar. It has a warm and welcoming feel throughout, with friendly staff and a relaxed vibe.
We know that the number of vegetarians and vegans continues to grow and Aberystwyth has always been ahead of the curve in this regard. Treehouse (which was a finalist in the 2015 BBC Food and Farming Awards) is a vegan and veggie friendly restaurant located on Baker Street, under a ten-minute walk from our comfortable Aberystwyth student accommodation on Alexandra Terrace. Another firm favourite with Aber locals is Baravin (which means ‘bread and wine’. There are some superb pizzas on the list, including a blue cheese and pulled pork topped pizza, and it is a café bar that is really calm, warm, welcoming and an interesting place to spend a lunch hour or an evening after studying all day.
If Italian is more your thing there are two absolute gems in Aberystwyth, including Little Italy on North Parade, with its menu of classic Italian pasta dishes, and Agnelli’s Trattoria & Deli on Bridge Street, which is a classic small Italian deli and coffee shop with a selection of tasty Italian treats, panini and fantastic deserts. For casual dining in central Aberystwyth Le Figaro is one of the best places in town to get a Sunday Roast and also offers a range of good pub grub such as burgers, fish and chips and other pub fare.
Alongside the restaurants and cafes you’ll also be happy to know that there are plenty of student-friendly takeout options, including kebab shops and Chinese restaurants. It’s just a shame that you can no longer get the infamous Burger Pizza from Marco’s that was a student staple for years in Aberystwyth.
As a small university town Aberystwyth was rumoured to have more pubs and clubs per student than any other university town in the UK (we think this might be apocryphal but there are loads of pubs here!). There are plenty of places in town that are open seven days a week, so you can get your fix of a night out whenever it best suits you. You’re never going to be far away from a quiet pint, a student club night, or a cocktail bar or club in town.
There really is something for everyone, but in an environment that is welcoming and very safe when compared to big city life. In fact, Aberystwyth has achieved Purple Flag status. What this means is that it has been recognised nationally as a town where you can enjoy an entertaining, diverse and enjoyable night out in complete safety. Through the many student societies and clubs there is always the chance to make new friends and get involved in a themed night out.
The Arts Centre on campus is the main place for gigs and theatre, but it is also home to a bar that has a great atmosphere for punters to enjoy. If you can manage to get there in time to get a window seat you have some spectacular views to sit with a drink and watch the world go by.
Away from the university and into the town you can go on a great pub-crawl any night of the week, all on foot, and within easy reach of both campus and your student accommodation. Terrace Road and the surrounding areas are full of pubs and bars to explore. Scholar’s is one of the most beloved student-friendly old-fashioned pubs in Aberystwyth, with a range of beers and a friendly atmosphere. The Cambrian is a welcome stop on a tour of pubs in town for students looking for dirty cocktails at a decent price, whilst the cocktails at The Libertine are also highly recommended. For a fancier cocktail Y Bañera is a place to make a lengthier stop on a tour of pubs and bars in Aber. There’s a giant red dragon on the outside of the building, making it a prime spot for some fun selfies and Instagram posts.
Rummers is a great pub that offers fantastic pub grub and a fine and varied selection of real ales, whilst the Ship and Castle is a good, old-fashioned pub that is a great mix of locals and students, friendly and welcoming staff, a pool table, and most importantly, late closing.
The Why Not Bar & Lounge on Pier Street is open 9pm-4am and is a place that students go to drink, dance, and have fun over the course of the weekend. There are always plenty of drinks deals and promotions to help you stretch your student budget and Why Not is also home to many big societies and sports clubs nights out throughout the year. The other big club in Aber is Pier Pressure, which offers a great night out at a spectacular location. It has been recognised as the Best Club in Ceredigion at Best Bar None Awards on multiple occasions, with pre-bookable party booths, VIP areas and great sound design.
Aberystwyth’s location on the coastline of Cardigan Bay makes it an absolutely amazing place to live, with stunning views along the coast and many miles of coastal pathways to trek, hike, cycle, and explore during your stay in the town as a student. The beachfront is a popular destination for those looking to keep fit through jogging, running, waling, or even skating and rollerblading. There is also ample opportunity to explore watersports such as kayaking, kitesurfing, and bodyboarding.
In fact, just on the outskirts of Aberystwyth you can find Aber Adventures. This is a great place to go if you are a beginner with watersports, offering 1st time beginner lessons for surfing amongst other things. There are also intermediate and elite level surf courses available if you are a seasoned veteran of the waves. Coaching is tailored to individual needs, ensuring safety at all times and equipment hire, including warm UK winter wetsuits.
For spectator sports look no further than Park Avenue where Aberystwyth Town Football Club play in the Welsh Premier League. This is a must visit for any football fan, with the ground holding up to 5,000 people and the league providing plenty of passionate support and an ever improving standard of play.
Back to competing and taking part in sports and the University sports clubs are open to everyone who wants to participate, regardless of experience or ability. The sports facilities are of a high standard, including a floodlit 3G pitch, gym, spinning room, dance room, climbing wall, swimming pool, and over 50 acres of green playing fields for multiple sporting endeavours. The University Sports Clubs number over 150 in total, so there will certainly be something for you if you are interested in taking part. You’ll meet new people, learn new skills, find fun in a hobby, and stay fit and healthy in the process. Whether you are looking to take part just for the fun of it, or look to compete in the inter-university sports leagues (BUCS), there is something for you to enjoy.
The Sports Centre on campus is also a great place to keep fit on an individual basis, with fitness classes of a wide and varied kind available to all students, including a personal training programme to help you get into top levels of fitness.
As it is such a small town on the coast, Aberystwyth does not have all the big name brands and high street shops that you would expect in a big city when studying at university. Despite that it does have some brand names and supermarkets, such as Marks & Spencer and a big Tesco superstore. It’s handy to know that you have these ready to buy supplies for your comfortable Aberystwyth student accommodation.
Aside from that though there is definitely more of an independent retail environment to explore in this beautiful town – with local bakers and butchers supplying you with food, bookstores and craft boutiques, fashion boutiques and music stores. The independent shopping scene here is in good health and it really shows as you walk through the streets of Aberystwyth. There really are some fantastic vintage shopping experiences to be had, and hidden gems to pick up. You’ll also find some specialist cheese retailers, great coffee, authentic sweet shops, great seafood, organic produce from the local region and an award-winning farmers’ market that is a champion of local produce.
For contemporary ladies fashion and other accessories Polly Boutique can be found on Chalybeate Street and is a real favourite here. Coastal Vintage is another popular shop with plenty of stunning vintage clothing to be found. Cactws is a menswear store that is full of quirky items and must have fashion items (it also has great artwork in the windows from local artist Lizzie Spikes and her driftwood designs).
Away from fashion there are some rather beautiful independent stores for different areas of retail. Ystwyth Books is a great place, a treasure trove of second hand books. It’s easy to find an afternoon has slipped by as you browse the racks and racks of books that are stuffed into this vintage store. Siop y Pethe means ‘Shop of Things’ and it is certainly that, selling crafts and bits and bobs on Sgwar Owain Glyndwr, whilst Rhiannon is the perfect place to go to find exquisite Celtic designed jewellery for all occasions. Meanwhile, over on Portland Street, Ystwyth Music is a musical instrument shop should you be in the market for a new guitar as you start up a uni band with new friends!
There are many great local attractions to be found from your base at our student accommodation in Aberystwyth, such as Constitution Hill, Ceredigion Museum, Aberystwyth Castle and Pen Dinas (an ancient hill fort). A fun day out with spectacular scenery can be found on the Rheidol Valley Steam Train to Devil’s Bridge, but most of the annual events and touring productions and concerts come to Aberystwyth Arts Centre in the heart of the University campus.
The Arts Centre is an award-winning venue and is home to major touring productions on a national and international scale, as well as being home to plenty of in-house performances and productions. The on-site cinema shows big releases throughout the year, as well as art-house, foreign-language releases. It is also an events venue where many gigs take place, from jazz musicians, blues artists, rock bands, chart music, as well as the BBC National Orchestra of Wales and the University’s Philomusical to cover classical music needs.
Outside of the city is such a fascinating and beautiful part of the world to explore, along the cost or into the Welsh countryside. One such place is the Silver Mountain Experience, which is well worth the trip to the Cambrian Mountains. Here you can indulge in Welsh mythology and history, experiencing a guided tour of a Miner’s Life, take in the theatrical experiences of A Dragon’s Tale and the mysterious Black Chasm, as well as the accurate history of the Mining Museum.
Back in the city, Aberystwyth Castle was built in the 13th century and is well worth a visit, whilst Pen Dinas Hill is worth the walk to see the memorial to the Duke of Wellington that was erected in the 1850s. But what about the Cliff Railway we hear you cry? At the northern end of the promenade, right at the end of the street your Aberystwyth student accommodation is actually, Constitution Hill is a dramatic hill that provides spectacular views of the town, of Cardigan Bay and the 26 mountain peaks across the length of Wales on the clearest days. The best way to enjoy this scenery is to take the relaxing funicular electric cliff railway (the longest of its kind in the UK), which opened in 1896. The visitor centre at the top has been refurbished in recent years to ensure that it is a friendly and welcoming space for visitors, and a place to stop and take in the view for as long as you need.