Base Camp Journal: Aberaeron
We learned of Bargoed Farm when we met the owners in Dorset a few months ago. Being just a few miles from Aberaeron and a few other locations of interests along the coast of west Wales, we thought it's worth spending a few days here. Andy and Tony joined us for this one, and were staying in their Tab on the neighbouring pitch.
As the name suggests, Bargoed Farm is an actual functioning farm, with barns and fields and a few animals here and there - our pitch was visited a few times by two cats and a group of chickens. It looked as if the owners were having something developed near the lake behind the reception area, and just past the barrier, and I'm guessing they're planning to make the site look more like Love2Stay.
The pitches are full-serviced, each with their own water supply, drainage point, a good electricity outlet, and some have their own hot tubs. They are also immaculately clean, but that's also true of most places we've been so far.
Also on the site there's a nice little shop that sells all sorts of produce, most of it home made. Next to that is a bistro/bar, which isn't a bad place to spend an evening or two, as Robby and I did. The food was excellent and the staff very helpful.
If one needs gin, cigarettes, diesel, etc., there is a petrol station just half a kilometre down the road from the site entrance.
On our first evening there, the four of us went exploring for a couple of hours around Aberaeron. It's a harbour town, with not much else apart from a couple of bars, a well-known ice cream shop called The Hive, and a famous chippy that Charles and Camilla once visited. I'd imagine th e town would look quite pretty when the weather is nice.
The next day we travelled to another harbour town called 'New Quay'. The sea front there is cross between a beach, harbour and marina, and there are just a couple of rows of bars, gift shops and cafes. The beach itself wasn't crowded, and there was plenty to explore along it. We also saw a dolphin and a seal quite close to the beach on our first visit.
I recommend The Old Watch House for drinking, as it's the most friendly bar in the area. The cafe overlooking the beach is also very nice.
The town felt somewhat old fashioned, and most things were closed on Sundays (we couldn't enter the castle, but it looked interesting from the outside). The estuary, where we parked, was sort of picturesque, and a tourist boat service runs along it.
Carlyon Bay this place definitely wasn't. It's the most depressing site when the weather is damp, and so was the pub we spent an hour in. Aberporth does have a fairly large beach that might be worth looking at if you're already on the coastal path.
I'm surprised that many people are aware of this place. Tresaith is essentially a beach at the foot of a tall mountain, with quite a nice pub - The Ship Inn - overlooking the bay.
The weather was still pretty miserable, but the geology of the beach was quite interesting, with softer sediment layers having been eroded from harder rock to produce small coves.
During summer this beach would be pleasant, but getting there would require a several kilometre walk along the coastal path from the nearest available parking space.
Next on the list of places to look at was Aberystwyth, a few miles north along the coast. It's the best place we have been since arriving at Bargoed Farm. Parking spaces were hard to come by, even in mid-September, but we did find one.
Aberystwyth could be a seaside town, since it has a beach and a pier, and the pier does have an amusement arcade and a bar with an outdoor seating area that would look pretty at night.
The main tourist attraction was Constitution Hill, which is at the end of the sea front, because one can see the whole of Aberystwyth from the top of it, and also see the coast of Hell's Mouth to the north. A cable car will take visitors there for ~£5, but it's easy enough to climb on foot.
Away from the sea front, Aberystwyth has a fairly busy town centre, with the usual high street establishments. Robby bought a trans flag to put up outside the Base Camp, though trans politics isn't really my cup of tea. And I'm not fussed on the particular shade of blue in the flag.
Unfortunately the weather took another turn for the worse by the time we returned to the Base Camp, and we decided to extend our stay for another night to give the awning time to dry out.
Are we glad that we reserved the extra day here! We made the most of it by visiting Cenarth Falls and returning to New Quay while it was sunny.
Cenarth Falls is a beautiful woodland trail running alongside a section of Afon Teifi, with a moderately interesting waterfall along the way. It seems quite popular among old people and photographers. In fact, Andy took some really nice pictures there.
It dawned on me, as we saw the trail littered with dead leaves, that Autumn is almost upon us again.