The resort villages of Borth and Clarch, as well as the nature reserve at Ynyslas, can be found just up the coast from Aberystwyth.
Borth seafront viewed from the coast path.
Borth itself is a long, narrow village fronted by sandy beaches. During summer its many campsites and holiday parks are home to hundreds of visitors to the area - many of whom have been returning here for years.
One of the main draws at Borth is its long sand and shingle beach which is popular with a mixture of families and surfers.
Away from the beach, Borth Station Museum features displays of local railway history in an attractive setting including a restored 1950s ticket office.
There is also Borth Animalarium, a zoo in miniature that's been entertaining locals and tourists for years. It's home to a mixture of exotic and unusual animals such as monkeys, wallabies, snakes and crocodiles and more domestic animals that visitors can pet and feed.
At the southern end of the beach, you can sometimes see ancient remains of a submerged forest. Some people like to think that these are remains of Cantre'r Gwaelod, a legendary Welsh land that was flooded and lost through the carelessness of its night watchman.
Sand dunes at Ynyslas.
Ynyslas is a particularly attractive stretch of Mid Wales coastline that provides quite a contrast to the stony beaches at Aberystwyth.
Situated a short drive north of Borth, the Ynyslas National Nature Reserve is dominated by an ever-changing sand dune landscape, which is home to an array of rare plants and wildlife, including colourful orchids early in the summertime. You may also see creatures such as lizards and wading birds in the area.
With views inland and across the estuary to Aberdyfi, Ynyslas is a great spot for walking or relaxing with waymarked boardwalks, trails through the dunes and a visitor centre open from Easter till September that has more information about the plants and wildlife of the area.
Though not a safe place to swim, the estuary is a popular spot for kite-flying, and many an informal driving lesson has taken place on the flat, sandy expanses, too!
Clarach Bay is the next bay north from Aberystwyth, just the other side of Constitution Hill.
Apart from a couple of houses, Clarach Bay is solely a holiday resort with a safe, sheltered beach. The bulk of the resort is made up of the hundreds of static caravans and chalets. The holiday parks have quite good leisure facilities for guests and paying non-residents.
If you're staying or living in Aberystwyth, there's little in Clarach Bay to make it worth a special visit. However, you can enjoy a very pleasant cliff-edge walk from Aberystwyth to Clarach Bay. Starting at the end of the Promenade, make your way to the top of Constitution Hill, then simply follow the well-worn path along the hillside.
Clarach Bay is only a short drive from Aberystwyth and is reached by taking the main A487 road up Penglais hill towards Machynlleth, then turning left at the crossroads at the top of the hill.
5 miles north of Aberystwyth by road. Railway station in Borth; bus route 512 calls at both.