Prior to 1807, Aberaeron was just a cluster of houses at a turnpike intersection. In that year, Reverend Alban Thomas-Jones Gwynne was granted permission to rebuild the harbour and pier and subsequently Edward Haycock was employed to design the layout of the new town. The result is an attractive Regency settlement of brightly coloured houses built on a grid plan around a square and two harbours, which gives it a structure quite different to the older fishing hamlets that neighbour it. Aberaeron, billed as ‘The Jewel of Cardigan Bay’, was voted Best Place in Wales by the Royal Town Planning Institute Cymru in 2016.
Walking through the town you will pass many of its historic buildings before crossing the harbour by its inland wooden bridge – it’s a colourful and happy place if you choose to stay the night here!
Aberaeron has a well-deserved reputation for the quality of its independent retailers, local produce and restaurants - you really are spoilt for choice here when it comes to cuisine. The town is famous for its seafood and in August hosts the Cardigan Bay Seafood Festival.
You’ll also find plenty of local produce at the country markets held at Alban Square on Tuesday mornings, at New Quay Memorial Hall on Friday mornings, and at the farmers market held on the first Saturday of the month throughout the summer.
It is thought that the Welsh architect John Nash may have had a hand in the design of Aberaeron – he certainly designed the beautiful Georgian villa of Llanerchaeron at nearby Cilau Aeron.
Nash had returned to his native Wales after he was declared bankrupt in 1783 at the age of 31. The successful completion of Llanerchaeron gave Nash the success to return to London and from here he went on to design many successful projects including Regent Street and Buckingham Palace.
Llanerchaeron is now run by the National Trust, and for those who choose to have an extra day here, you can walk the 2.5 miles here using a superb woodland trail along the River Aeron and then through woodland to reach the house.