National Library of Wales


On a hilltop east of town with a sensational view of Cardigan Bay, the National Library is a cultural powerhouse. Founded in 1916, it holds millions of books in many languages – as a copyright library it has copies of every book published in the UK. Among its 25,000 manuscripts are such gems as the 13th-century Black Book of Carmarthen (the oldest existing Welsh text), a text of Chaucer penned by his scribe Adam Pinkhurst and a 1st edition of Paradise Lost.

Other galleries display an ever-stimulating set of changing exhibitions featuring the library's collection and Welsh heritage in general.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Ceredigion attractions

1. Ceredigion Museum

0.67 MILES

This museum is in the three-storey Coliseum, which opened in 1905 as a theatre, then from 1932 served as a cinema promising 'amusement without vulgarity'…

2. Clock Tower

0.74 MILES

Commanding the junction of Great Darkgate and Pier Sts, Aberystwyth's clock tower is a replacement for the 1858 original, which had fallen into disrepair…

3. Royal Pier

0.82 MILES

A much-truncated version of the 242m pleasure pier opened in 1865, the Royal Pier, repeatedly shortened by storm damage, lumbers 91m out to sea under the…

4. Old College

0.84 MILES

Built around a late-18th-century John Nash structure, this Gothic-revival building flaunts castellated towers, conical spires and flamboyant gargoyles. It…

5. Aberystwyth Castle


Erected between 1277 and 1289, Aberystwyth Castle was captured by Owain Glyndŵr at the start of the 15th century, then retaken by the future Henry V using…

6. Camera Obscura

0.93 MILES

A re-created 'relic' of the Victorian era, the camera obscura is an immense pinhole camera allowing you to see practically into the windows of the houses…

7. Constitution Hill

0.95 MILES

Constitution Hill rises from the northern end of the seafront promenade; on a clear day you can see the Llŷn Peninsula from its blustery top. After you've…

8. Llanerchaeron

15.08 MILES

This beautifully maintained Georgian country estate offers a fascinating insight into the life of the Welsh gentry and their staff 200 years ago. The…