Aberdyfi (sometimes spelt Aberdovey) is a village in Gwynedd. It lies at the mouth of the river Dyfi, from which it derives its name. Aberdyfi is a holiday resort, traditionally popular with golfers and sailors but also with more adrenaline-driven sportspeople, and is home to Britain's Best Beach Donkey. The village marks the southern edge of the Snowdonia National Park. It is set by the mouth of the river Dyfi which is a UNESCO world biosphere reserve.
Aberdyfi is served by the Cambrian Line, operated by Arriva Trains Wales. There are 2 stations, the request only 1 Penhelig station at the eastern end of the village, and 2 Aberdyfi station (Aberdovey station), at the western end of the village.
Aberdyfi Harbour has facilities for visiting yachts. The Harbour Master can be contacted on +44 1654 767626.
The Bells of Aberdyfi
The Bells of Aberdyfi (Clychau Aberdyfi) is a well-known folk song, popular since the mid-19th Century. The bells referred to are not those of the church in Aberdyfi itself, but those of the mythical town of Caer Wyddno, capital of the lost land of Cantre'r Gwaelod (Lowland Hundred) which was lost beneath the waves. There are numerous versions of the story, common to all is that Cantre'r Gwaelod was the most fertile land in Wales, and was protected from the sea by a series of dykes. Sluice Gates were used to allow the rivers to flow out to the sea at low tide, and the gates were shut as the tides rose. The villain of the piece in most versions is named Seithennin, a drunkard. Some versions have him as a visiting nobleman, seducing the lovely Mererid, daughter of King Gwyddno, who was responsible for closing the gates. In other versions, it is Seithennin himself who was given the job of closing the gates by his father Gwyddno, in the hope that the responsibility would make him grow up. The most obvious "evidence" for the myth is the existence of the Sarnau, long parallel causeways which stretch well out to sea just below the surface, and at some locations are exposed at low tide (local sailors are well aware of them as they can present a hazard). The Sarnau are now thought to have been caused by glacial action, but it's easy to see how they could have been thought to be manmade. The southernmost of these is Sarn Cynfelin, which extends from the coast just south of Borth, on the opposite side of the Dyfi Estuary from Aberdyfi. The town of Caer Wyddno is said to have been located close to this causeway. The petrified forests which can sometimes be seen at Tywyn and Borth beaches, when storms wash the sand away from them, also lend credence to the tales.
Aberdyfi is easy to get around on foot, though some streets away from the harbour front can be quite steep.
is available in nearby Tywyn
- Dyfi Cabs, ☎ , .
- Aberdyfi Outward Bound Center (Aberdyfi Outward Bound Centre), ☎ . The golf course is the 3rd best course in Wales and is in the new Top 100 Golf Courses of the World listings for Wales (2014), after the two Royals – Royal Porthcawl and Royal St Davids.
- Aberdovey Golf Club, ☎ . A popular Championship links course.
- Dovey Yacht Club, ☎ .
- Walk up to the Bandstand on the hill above the village centre, for great views acrosss the village and the estuary.
- For a more strenuous walk, but one which will reward you with even better views, follow Copperhill St uphill from the village and keep on walking as it turns into a steep country lane. Eventually this leads to the mythical Bearded Lake (Llyn Barfog), scene of a battle between King Arthur and a monster called the Afanc. Arthur's horse left its hoofprint in a nearby rock known as Carn March Arthur. The lake is also the scene of another well-known legend regarding a local farmer and his herd of magic fairy cows. Follow signs to the nearby Echo which is mildly entertaining. If you have a car you can drive up the hill until the tarmac runs out, and leave the car. From here it's only a short walk to the lake.
- Fish for crabs off the jetty. Hooks, Lines and bait can be bought from shops around the harbour, including Dyfi Marine (see "Buy").
- Dyfi Donkeys, Next to the Children's playground by the beach, ☎ . Every weekend May-Sep, daily during school holidays including Easter. Donkey rides for children along the beach. Aberdyfi beach had been without the traditional donkeys for many years, but they returned in 2005. Note there is a maximum weight limit of 8 stone (51 kg). In 2008 Del-Boy was named Britain's best beach donkey by The Donkey Sanctuary at their annual awards.
- Outward Bound Aberdyfi (Outdoor Activity Centre), ☎ . Also have centres in Cumbria and Scotland. They offer courses for companies, schools, families and individuals.
- Aberdovey Language Teachers & Aberdovey Language Tuition. Learn Welsh. 30% of the population speak Welsh.
- The Gallery, 11 New Street, ☎ . Aberdyfi has long been popular with artists and The Gallery always has a good selection of works on sale
- Dyfi Marine (Yacht Chandler. Also sells some fishing tackle and bait), Copperhill St, ☎ .
- Y Bwtri Blasus (Tasty Pantry), Sea View Terrace, Aberdyfi, ☎ . Open 7 days per week from 09:00, and 10:00 on Sundays. Cafe and delicatessen serving morning coffee, light lunches and afternoon teas. Their homemade puddings are a highlight.
- The Penhelig Arms, ☎ . Awarded UK Seafood Pub of the Year in 2005. Not just for fish-lovers though. You can eat in the bar or the adjacent restaurant (booking recommended).
- The Britannia Inn, ☎ .
- The Sea Breeze Restaurant, ☎ .
- The Penhelig Arms, ☎ .
- The Dovey Inn, ☎ .
- The Britannia Inn, ☎ . Lovely terrace overlooking the harbour - arrive early for a seat here if the weather's good.
There's a wide choice of B&B and self-catering accommodation. Campers may need to head north towards Tywyn.
B&B and Guest Houses
- Sea Breeze, 6 Bodfor Terrace, Aberdyfi, ☎ . Check-in: from 14:30, check-out: 10:00. 8 rooms (all en-suite, 5 have sea-views) in a seafront townhouse close to the village centre. Double sea view room: £75 per night inc breakfasts.
- Cartref (On the Tywyn road, close to Aberdyfi station), ☎ . 4 guest rooms (all en-suite) in a recently (2008) refurbished Edwardian house just a few minutes walk from the beach and village centre. Double room: £75 per night inc breakfasts.
- Brig-Y-Don, Balkan Hill, Aberdyfi, LL35 0NH (Just up Church Street), ☎ , e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Stunning views, beautiful gardens, secure car parking and modern facilities. Double En-suite & Sea View Room from £65 inc breakfasts.
- Smugglers Cove, Smugglers Cove, Frongoch Boatyard, ☎ , e-mail: email@example.com. Self catering holiday cottage with 7 bedrooms
- 1 The Penhelig Arms, 27-29 Terrace Road, ☎ . Acclaimed 18th-Century Inn overlooking the estuary at the eastern end of the village.
- Trefeddian Hotel, ☎ . Half a mile or so out of town, on a hillside above the main coast road heading towards Tywyn. The largest hotel in the area with 59 rooms, overlooking the golf course. Heated swimming pool, tennis courts, 9-hole putting green, snooker room, beauty salon. WTB 3-star.
- 2 Aberdovey Hillside Village, Church St (Turn right in square, past front of chapel and continue straight up Church St for approximately 200 metres, ignoring left dog-leg and continue to metal gates.), ☎ , e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. "The Village" is a cluster of specially designed houses and apartments which blend naturally into a south-facing hillside with views. Pet friendly, with landscaped grounds which lead into the open countryside. The shops and beaches are within 300 m.
- Tourist Information Centre, Wharf Gardens. +44 1654 767321.
The area dialling code is 01654. To call from overseas, dial +44 1654 XXXXXX
- Tywyn Library, Neptune Road, Tywyn. (In Tywyn, 4 miles to the north). Opens 10:00-17:30 (Mo/Th/Fr), 10:00-19:00 (Tu), 10:00-12.30 (Sa). Closed for 13:00-14:00.. 4 PCs with free broadband internet access..
Aberdyfi's Post Office is at Penrhos Service Station, close to Aberdyfi train station. +44 1654 767530.
- Cambrian News. Local English-language newspaper, published weekly. Covers Ceredigion, North Powys, South Gwynedd. Renowned for its occasionally bizarre headlines.
- Dail Dysynni. Welsh-language monthly newspaper, dedicated to the Bro Dysynni area.
- Radio Ceredigion 96.6-97.4 FM. Bilingual community radio station, broadcasting from Aberystwyth to the Cardigan Bay area.
- BBC Radio Wales 882 and 657 AM.
In an emergency, dial 999 or 112 (ideally from a landline) and request ambulance, police or fire service.
- Bronglais District General Hospital, Aberystwyth. +44 1970 623131. The nearest Accident & Emergency unit. Open 24 hours.
- Tywyn Memorial Hospital, Aberdyfi Road, Tywyn. +44 1654 710411/0845 8501362(Out of Hours). Local Cottage Hospital. Medical cover is provided by the local GP surgery during the hours of 08:30 to 18:30 hours. The care is then taken over by the Out of Hours Service. The Minor Injuries Unit is open from 09:00 to 24:00 hours and is manned by a Clinical Practitioner.
- Neptune Dental Surgery Neptune Road, Tywyn. +44 1654 710607. NHS and Private dentist. Has an attached dental laboratory for any denture repair work.
- Medical Hall Aberdyfi Glandyfi Terrace, Aberdyfi. +44 1654 767227. The friendly and helpful pharmacy, right on the sea front in the village.
Beaches and Coast
Due to the fact that is part of a tidal river estuary, the beach at the village itself can be subject to strong and unpredictable currents, so care should be exercised in the water. Better to head half a mile or so north, away from the river mouth. The beach stretches all the way to Tywyn and has a safe reputation due to its gently-shelving nature, though of course sensible precautions should still be taken.
General advice for safe swimming:
- A red flag means danger. Do not enter the water if the red flag is flying
- Consider bathing at a beach that's under lifeguard protection
- Don't swim alone at a deserted beach
- Don't use inflatables. They are easily swept away by strong currents
- If you see someone in trouble, call 999 and ask for Coastguard
- Inquire about swimming conditions at local tourist offices prior to venturing to a beach without lifeguard cover
- Read warning notices posted near beach access sites
Snowdonia's mountains claim lives every year. The weather can change very quickly in this part of the World, and this is especially true in the mountains. Make sure you are wearing suitable clothing and footwear, and always carry a suitable map. Ordnance Survey 1:25000 scale Explorer Map OL23 Cadair Idris and Bala Lake is ideal, alternatively the 1:50000 scale Landranger series sheets 124 Dolgellau and Porthmadog and 135 Aberystwyth and Machynlleth.
Follow the Mountain Safety Code:
Before You Go
- Learn the use of map and compass
- Know the weather signs and local forecast
- Plan within your capabilities
- Know simple first aid and the symptoms of exposure
- Know the mountain distress signals
- Know the country code
When You Go
- Never go alone
- Leave written word of your route and report your return
- Take windproofs, woollens and survival bag
- Take map and compass, torch and food
- Wear climbing boots
- Keep alert all day
- Avoid disturbance to farming, forestry and field sports
If There is Snow On The Hills
- Always have an ice axe for each person
- Carry a climbing rope and know the correct use of rope and ice axe
- Learn to recognise dangerous snow slope
- Machynlleth is a pleasant market town with an "alternative" feel, 11 miles to the east. It hosts a regular street market every Wednesday, as well as being home to the Museum of Modern Art (MOMA). The Centre for Alternative Technology, a few miles north of the town, is well worth a visit. Just a short distance further north lies the village of Corris, with a number of craft shops.
- Tywyn, just 4 miles to the north by train or the main A493 road (possible to walk there along the beach) is home to the World-famous Talyllyn Railway.