The unique raised bogs of Cors (Welsh for ‘bog’) Caron near Tregaron (around 8 miles from the Cottages) is a must-see, representing the most intact surviving example of a raised bog landscape in the whole of the UK. There are around 44 different species groups inhabiting the area including various land and aquatic plants, fish, insects, crustaceans, lichen, fungi, terrestrial mammals and birds. The bird hide is fantastic for observing rare birds and wildlife at close range via a 3km circular route or a 7km riverside walk on a raised path. Alongside the reserve is a cycle path using the disused trackway of the former Aberystwyth to Carmarthen railway, which forms part of the Ystwyth Trail.
No visit to this area is complete without taking a trip to see the magnificent sight of Wales’ National Bird, the Red Kite, feeding at Bwlch Nant Yr Arian Visitor Centre, near Devil’s Bridge. There is also the Red Kite Centre and Museum in nearby Tregaron.
The UK’s largest pod of dolphins live in Cardigan Bay and are a unique and special sight. Bottlenose dolphins and harbour porpoises can be seen from June through to October either by joining an organised boat trip in Aberaeron or New Quay or from the harbour wall in New Quay, where daily sightings mean that you’re almost guaranteed to see one. There are also lots of Atlantic grey seals all along Cardigan Bay.
There are many wonderful gardens around the area, romantic, historic, formal and informal. For sheer scale and variety, the dome at the National Botanic gardens is a must. Don’t miss Hafod or Aberglasney; the lost garden regaining it’s former glory. And for something different, nearby Norwood is a totally new garden carved out of bare landscape.