In 1171 the castle was captured by Rhys ap Gruffydd and he held the first National Eisteddfod at the grounds of the Castle in 1176.
The town of Cardigan maintained its prominent place in West Wales and in 1227 a weekly market was established, which continues to this day. It continued to be a centre point for trade and fishing. During the industrial period of the 18th Century Cardigan was the commercial centre of the area and it developed into a bustling sea port, exporting slate, oats, barley and butter. This continued up until the 20th Century, when the shallow estuary made it difficult for the large sea vessels to enter the port.
Now the town stands as the gateway to the Teifi Valley, and the Ceredigion and Pembrokeshire coastal paths. Sitting around 38 miles south of Aberystwyth, 26 miles west of Carmarthen and 28 miles north of Haverfordwest.
Work began to restore Cardigan Castle in 2011 and it opened its doors to the public in 2015 as a stunning heritage site and events venue.
This beautiful town remains unspoilt and rich in heritage. Cardigan provides a nostalgic setting to a thriving culture of arts and crafts, music events and festivals, and is the ideal base to live and to discover Ceredigion, Pembrokeshire and Carmarthenshire. The highstreet is a bustle of original boutique shops, traditional family run businesses and regular highstreet occupants.
The town itself benefits from: both Primary and Secondary schools, a Further Education college, several high street banks, places of worship, many pubs, rich in character; independently owned cafés and restaurants, offering a charming place to meet with your friends and family. There is also a leisure centre, cinema, theatre, swimming pool, a Tesco and an Aldi supermarket, convenience stores, opticians, dentists and a newly built Integrated Care Centre and so much more.
Within a short drive you reach the West Wales coastline and beautiful sandy beaches of Poppit Sands, Mwnt, Aberporth, Penbryn, Llangrannog etc. Also just out of town is the Welsh Wildlife Centre which hosts a large nature reserve with many trails for walking or biking. On site is also the beautifully designed visitor centre and Glasshouse café.
For information on the local schools please visit Ceredigion County Council
For Tourist Information on the town please visit – Visit Cardigan
Traws Cymru have a bus service that is run hourly from most of the local towns and villages on the Ceredigion Coast route. For time tables and locations of bus stops please follow the following link: Traws Cymru T5 bus route.
For information on public transport visit: Traveline Cymru or phone 0871 200 22 33.