Bordered by Cardigan Bay on one side and the Cambrian Mountains on the other, Ceredigion (pronounced with a 'dig', not a 'didge') is an ancient Welsh kingdom founded by the 5th-century chieftain Ceredig. The rural communities here escaped the population influxes of the south’s coal-mining valleys and the north’s slate-mining towns, and, consequently, the Welsh language is stronger here than in any other part of the country except Gwynedd and Anglesey.
The lack of heavy industry also left Ceredigion with some of Britain's cleanest beaches that, with no train access south of Aberystwyth, tend to be pleasantly uncrowded. Adding to the isolation is the natural barrier known as the 'Green Desert of Wales' – the barren uplands of the Cambrian Mountains. Despite recent interest fuelled by the locally made bilingual detective series Hinterland/Y Gwyll, Ceredigion's sandy coves, river valleys, quiet market towns and arid mountains are as off-the-beaten-track as Wales gets.