Aberystwyth / Ceredigion? Welsh/English?

Hello All.

Tomorrow I’m likely to be finding out if my wife and I will be moving to Aberystwyth. We’ve been inching towards going up there for years but actually have some house viewings tomorrow.

All of our previous visits/stays have been as a 100% English speaker so admittedly, I’m a little embarrassed to say I’ve never looked out for the Welsh tongue anywhere.

I know Ceredigion as a county has something like a 50% Welsh speaking population (and there are plans in place to make all school leavers bi-lingual within 3 years) however I know that Aber is a massive student town with a big temporary population.

What is Aber like for a Welsh learner? Will be there enough opportunities there for us to continue speaking with real life Welsh speakers or would we need to travel out of the town a bit?

Any Ceredigion folks here who fancy a pint in about 6 weeks?! lol


Have you read @aran s book? seek them out :slight_smile:


Depends where you go. You have to look for people to speak Welsh to; there’s a large student population, and many of them don’t speak any Welsh at all. Of the locals, enough speak Welsh that you’ll probably find a few in some of the pubs. Y Cwps is decent for that, if memory serves.


The police speak Welsh - well the one who arrested me did.


Hehehe. I was hoping not to get that close to them tbh :slight_smile: :smiley:


Yes, absolutely. It’s one of those places where if you don’t speak Welsh, you can swan around without even noticing it exists, really - but if you make the effort, and start to build your Welsh-speaking network, it’s also a place where you can (with a little conscious decision-making) live without much need for English… :slight_smile:


@aran superb! I’ll make an effort of hunting all of the Cymros and Cymraes out if/when I get there!


I had only been in Aberystwyth for a couple of hours on my first visit to the town when I was arrested in the Pier Hotel on suspicion of having burgled the nearby Chinese restaurant. After furious arguments with the pub landlord and the owner of the B&BI was staying at (in Welsh in the latter case), the police believed me and I was released to go out and practice my Welsh under more tranquil conditions.

Aberystwyth offers plenty of of opportunities to practice Welsh .and there is a very good Welsh bookshop, Siop y Pethe, on the High Street. The owners of the B&B I used to stay at, in King Street, opposite the Hen Goleg and just down the road from the Pier Hotel, both spoke Welsh and were more than happy to do so with guests. However I’m talking about over 25 years ago so they may not be there any more. The Coopers Arms aka The Cwps is also a bastion of the Welsh language.


That is hands down the best introduction to Aberystwyth I’ve ever heard of. I salute you, sir.


Thanks and thanks to all. I’m actually writing this from Y Cwps now having spoken nothing but Welsh for the last couple of hours.

Lovely little pub.

Will definitely be back here in a month!


If you’d read my book, you’d know that sentence is all you need.


Just over a year ago, I attended a (bilingual) interview at Aberystwyth University for a job which I unfortunately did not get. But I also introduced myself to the security staff at the gate entirely in Welsh. I was rewarded for my efforts by being handed a map-and-guide to the University Campus and the Town which (like my self intro) was entirely in Welsh, too.

Signs around the University were bilingual and I would have thought it likely that the map and guide would be bilingual, too. For whatever reason (maybe to save ink) they made a Welsh-only version and I can only assume there must have been an English-only version for Saesneg speakers, too.

I was wrth fy modd (chuffed to bits) that the security staff gave me the Cymraeg version with no fuss at all, despite my (then) still rather clumsy Welsh. Maybe they just thought I “talked funny because I was a Gog” :smile:


@aran funny you should type that as I’ve just (about 2 mins ago) purchased a copy!


Aberystwyth is of course the most wonderful town on earth; I lived there for 6 years. However I wasn’t learning Welsh then, I never found the time! You do hear Welsh spoken on the street. One of things that struck me was how invisible Welsh can be, it emerges when you seek it out. I went to the National Eisteddfod last year and bumped into loads of people I knew from Aberystwyth, who were fluent speakers, yet we had never exchanged a word in Welsh beyond ‘Nos da’ whilst I was living there. There are Welsh language church services, a Welsh medium school, Welsh language choirs. You can immerse yourself in Welsh as much a you like really. The National Library staff all speak Welsh and are really friendly, if you just want someone to talk to.
I did make an attempt to learn Welsh, I did half of the Mynediad course. The problems of the Welsh for adults courses, are discussed elsewhere.
Above all enjoy living in Aberystwyth, it’s just an amazing place to live!


Gwynedd is the only real place Ive found that truly has Welsh in your face and makes you feel pressure to learn.
Aberystwyth has many Welsh speakers…but they seem quite invisible (like most mid and south Wales) unless you know who speaks it :wink:
There is a Welsh meetup in Y caban cafe every thursday morning I think


I hope you get through it without too many scars…! I meant to put a wink at the end of the previous post, so it didn’t sound quite so much like an order…:wink:

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My wife and I have loved Aberystwyth for many years. We’ve both got our own different links to the town really. I used to holiday in New Quay a lot as a kid so always visited Aberystwyth, while my wife’s father went to Uni in the town during the 70s, so it’s always been important to us.

We were going to do it at some point, but just took the plunge.

Should find out in the next couple of days if/when we are going to be there from!


Sorry for the late reply, I don’t check the forums that often anymore.

I’ve been lucky enough to spend 3/4 years in Aberystwyth when I was studying for my Welsh degree and Welsh is certain to be found should you look for it! As the good old saying goes “dechreuwch pob sgwrs yn Gymraeg! Start every conversation in Welsh!”

A lot of the companies and other services in the town have staff who speak Welsh such as the local bank branches, secretaries of the doctors’ surgeries, shopkeepers, post office, council officers, taxi/bus drivers and so on. There’s also services provided by the University such as events held in the Arts Centre and further education programs which can either be Welsh medium or have Welsh speaking staff there should you wish to ask questions.

During my time in Aber, thanks to knowing people from the Welsh department, I was able to spend days without using English unless I had to visit the Spar, McDonald’s or other shops manned by students and migrants (English and Cymry di-gymraeg migration included). If you ever have the misfortune to be hospitalised like I’ve been you can be safe in the knowledge that the nurses on your ward in Ysbyty Bronglais speak Welsh too ;).

Aberystwyth is the sort of town where you can happily try starting pob sgwrs yn Gymraeg and if they don’t speak you’re likely to get a “sorry I don’t understand Welsh” than a slightly more embarrassing “erm what language was that?” or the more extreme “please speak English” that you may encounter elsewhere.

The best way to build up your crew Cymraeg has to be visiting the Cwps and Yr Hen Lew Du, both of which are kinda classed as the Welsh pubs of Aberystwyth. Other than that just starting in Welsh is another great way and you’ll be surprised how many of the Aberystwyth people will speak back in Welsh. Also although accent can at times be a good indicator of whether someone can speak Welsh, don’t rely on it too much, I’ve got some proper Brummie friends who’ve learnt to speak Welsh in Aber as well as heavily accented people from other English regions.

Pob lwc gyda symud tŷ os ti dal i symud i Aberystwyth!


I suppose the police and their police station bore no resemblance at all to Y Gwyll!! :wink:
To @brynle agree about Gwynedd. That’s where my bits of Gog came from! About the first thing I saw on arriving at my ‘auntie’s’ was some graffiti making a helpful suggestion to incoming English! All we had on Gower was the odd green painted road sign!

Just to bump this thread - I’ll be visiting Aber this weekend (7-10 June) with a small group of friends. Has anyone got any advice of where to go to use/hear Welsh? I know the town fairly well (though a lot has changed since I went to uni there), so I know the Lew Du, Cwps, National Library, the museum/tourist info, but are there other places that Welsh speakers tend to frequent? Any shops, restaurants, pubs that are run by Welsh speakers?