Welsh language and culture continues to thrive in Lampeter. The town is best known for the University of Wales, Lampeter (formerly St David's University College), originally founded in 1822 as a theological college. Its central building is modelled on an Oxbridge quadrangle and was completed in 1827. Lampeter University is the third oldest university in Britain, after Oxford and Cambridge.
The earliest written reference to Lampeter is believed to be 1187, when Owain Gwynedd destroyed the English King's castle of Pont Steffan ('Stephen's Bridge' in Welsh). The castle's remains later formed the foundations for the college building and still forms part of the university campus.
From London (Paddington Station), train to Carmarthen (a few trains are direct, but generally will need to change in Swansea). Bus from Carmarthen to Lampeter. There is only one bus each way on a Sunday and the last bus leaves Carmarthen at 8PM on a weekday. The bus to catch is the X40 service operated jointly by the Arriva and First bus companies. It stops outside Carmarthen Railway Station.
From Birmingham (New Street Station), catch train to Aberystwyth then catch bus from Aberystwyth to Lampeter (Arriva or First route X40).
Train times are available from National Rail Enquiries, telephone 08457 484950 from within the UK. Bus times are available from Traveline, telephone 0871 200 22 33 (+44 871 200 22 33 if dialling from outside the UK).
Since the closure of Lampeter's train station a number of years ago, travel options in and around Lampeter are restricted to buses and taxis. Buses are reliable though fairly irregular, and go to the nearby towns of Aberystwyth and Carmarthen.
Lampeter is a small town; vehicles are not necessary to explore the town itself, only to travel to other towns and cities.
Conti's Café, 5 Harford Square, tel 01570 422223. The best ice cream in the world! Home-made and additive free. Specialist coffee, home made food and light lunches, family owned and run for the last 40 years.
The Ram Inn, Cwmann, Lampeter, Dyfed, SA48 8ES, tel 01570 422556. The Ram Inn has in recent years been voted Best Pub in Wales and fourth best in Britain.
Shapla Tandoori, 8 College Street, tel 01570 422076. You might not expect to find top notch Indian food in a small West Wales market town, but Shapla really does the business. All the usual British curry-house favourites, alongside some interesting house specials. Good service too. Take-away available.
Haulfan Guest House, 6 Station Terrace. 01570 422718. Adjacent to the University and close to the town centre. Threee double and 1 single rooms. Lovely Guest House, well run by a charming local couple. Attentive service and one of the best breakfasts you could hope to eat.
Best Western Falcondale Mansion, Falcondale Drive. 01570 422910. About a mile out of town, up its own private drive. Country House Hotel in 14 acres of grounds. Built in an Italianate style in the 19th Century as a private house, and converted to a hotel in 1980. Nineteen rooms, all en-suite with wifi internet access. Restaurant and Brasserie open to non-residents.