Cardigan is a very busy market town in Ceredigion, where past and the present meet in harmony.
Although the town possesses all the facilities of a modern town, its mediaeval castle, narrow streets and natural beauty embodies the essence of the magic that makes West Wales one of Britain's most popular holiday destinations.
Cardigan is an important cultural centre 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, although today you are more likely to find the occasional fishing boat on the river. Cardigan, home of the national shrine of the Roman Catholic Church in Wales, is visited by thousands of pilgrims every year. To find out more about the history of Cardigan why not visit 'Hanes Aberteifi Heritage Centre, where you can view the interesting displays and use the interactive computer.
Cardigan Island Coastal Farm Park has magnificent views overlooking the nature reserve of Cardigan Island. Visitors have the opportunity to view and 'feed' several species of animal life at close quarters. The Welsh Wildlife Centre and Teifi Marshes Nature Reserve, outside the village of Cilgerran, has a visitor centre. Its network of footpaths lead you to a spectacular gorge, water meadows, woodlands and the banks of the River Teifi and over 130 species of birds and over 20 mammals including otters, badgers, deer, water vole and water buffalo, call this area home.
Cardigan's own theatre, 'Theatr Mwldan' has a varried programme live entertainment and the latest blockbuster films, as well as housing the Tourist Information Centre, which is open all year round. The town also stages an annual arts festival - 'Gwyl Fawr Aberteifi'
For those of you who enjoy shopping, Cardigan has plenty of unusual shops as well as larger National shops. Custom House shop and gallery is well worth a visit, with its three large ever changing exhibition spaces filled with arts, crafts and contemporary design, many produced by local artists and craft makers. If you prefer original jewellery pieces, John and Victoria Jewellery in Llechryd may have something you fancy.
Cardigan also has its very own eighteen-hole golf course at Gwbert-on-Sea, just north of Cardigan town, which was the venue for the 1996 Welsh Team Championship.
To the south of Cardigan, on the way to the popular beach at Poppit, is St. Dogmaels with its working water mill near the ruins of the ancient abbey. Nearby, the rugged ruins of 13th century Cilgerran Castle, built in a most romantic setting on a rocky bluff overlooking the river Teifi. In a bygone age, the castle guarded the once important trading route between inland Ceredigion along the Teifi to Ireland and beyond.
To the north, lies the Ceredigion Heritage Coast as well as a large number of sandy beaches. Cardigan Bay is famous for its seal and dolphin populations, which can often be seen along this coast along the marine protected area of the Cardigan Bay Special Area of Conservation (SAC), which extends 12 miles out to sea from Aberarth to just south of Cardigan.
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