I studied abroad in Birmingham, UK in September 2016 to pursue my Masters degree, my goal (okay, not my primary goal, because primary goal is to graduate… with distinction) is to travel around the UK.
I thought it would be fun to write about the places I visited in the form of UK from A to Z, so for A, we have… Aberystwyth.
But since I can’t drive and there are only so many times that I can bribe my classmate to drive me around. I am limited by the places I can get to by public transportation. Luckily, the UK train system ain’t bad, albeit a bit expensive.
So after one semi-random dinner trip with my friends, we were hanging around the train station (Birmingham New Street Station is pretty nice to hang around in, by the way), because one of my friends was waiting for his train, I found myself looking at the signboards with all the different train schedules and stuff. Since Labor Day bank holiday coming up and we wanted to go somewhere, but didn’t really have any idea where to go. I just randomly picked one off the signboard.
The first challenge is how to pronounce it? Aberystwyth. Google says it’s in Wales, it’s by the sea, it has a beach. Coming from the Philippines, I love the sea and the beach. So Abery-something is a go!
A quick check of train prices… Since it was on the signboard, that also means it’s a direct train (I hate changing trains, because even though the trains are pretty decent, they still get delays). And then a quick check of hotel prices… Both aren’t bad. So Abery-something is definitely a go!
Yes, before we actually got on the train to Abery-something, we still had no idea how to pronounce the name. I told people that I’m going to Aberys-sss.
The train journey is quite long, but looking out the window… it’s beautiful. I’m a city girl, so I don’t see nature often.
We arrived a little before lunch time, then we checked into the hotel. Check out the view!
Then since we weren’t hungry yet, we walked on the beach then we went on a little hike. The view from the top of a hill (that’s almost like a mountain) is amazing.
Aside from the beach, Aberystwyth also has a castle (the ruins of a castle anyway).
Then we had lunch and walked around city center.
One of our favorite things to do is actually buy a whole lot of snacks from Tesco and then just eat in the hotel room, which we did.
Afterwards, we decided to attempt going in the water. But nope, it was too cold and it was low tide. So we actually got to walk quite far into the water. We wanted to look for crabs in the rocks, but all we saw are dead jellyfishies.
We had a quiet dinner at the pub, and then we actually went to their cinema to watch Baby Groot. Their cinema was packed (that never happens in Birmingham). Then we retired for the night.
The next morning, we attempted to go in the water again. Still, nope, too cold.
So we went to ride a steam train instead that took us further into nature, where there are sheep, the Devil’s Bridge and water falls, and more hiking.
And the mandatory selfie.
And a chocolate dragon, because Wales.
And then we took the steam train back, had dinner at Wetherspoon’s and then finally took a train back to Birmingham.
I’m not usually a nature girl, but it’s nice once in a while. Overall, I’d say it was a pretty good trip.
Until next time!
(Take a guess what B might be… Actually, there might be a few Bs- Birmingham, Bath, Bristol, Brighton and Bicester Village).