Holidays in Cardigan Bay

Published: Sunday 14th Jul 2013

Written by: The Best of Wales Team

A holiday in Cardigan Bay offers the most fantastic natural scenery with an amazing selection of beaches. It stretches from Ceredigion down to Pembrokeshire and is a Conservation Area for wildlife. This time  we are using New Quay as a base to explore just a few of the fabulous beaches and local towns. If you are visiting Wales on holiday Cardigan Bay is a great place to visit. It really shows off the best of Wales.

New Quay in Wales, just in case you are reading this and thinking of Cornwall is a lovely seaside town. It offers a mix of restaurants and coffee shops where you can sit and enjoy the view along the stunning coastline that makes holidays in Cardigan Bay so special. New Quay has a busy harbour and two beaches, both with easy access for everyone.

Great to see the pretty ‘ice cream’ coloured houses from the sea. Or maybe sit on the harbour wall and enjoy fish and chips while watching for dolphins. Cardigan Bay is well known for dolphins and on my visit lucky enough to see so many. Will blog abut the dolphins in a separate post as they are a bit special.  A dip in the sea was on the cards but a wet suit but wish I had worn a wet suit. 

Driving south on my holiday in Cardigan Bay led me to Llangrannog to revisit lots of happy childhood memories. Sand castles on the beach, parents cooking in the cottage on the front. The Morgan, The Ship and  other coffee shops, great to see it is still so lovely. The rock or Carreg Bica is a distinctive and makes Llangrannog easy to identify among the Cardigan Bay beaches. It has weathered many storms over the years, not sure if it is leaning a little more perhaps. The village is in a small steep valley with a waterfall and has a lovely church dedicated to St Caranog whose grandfather was Ceredig- which is where the county of Ceredigion orginiates. It hosts the Urdd Eisteddfod every year, which great for young people to meet and share the Welsh culture.

No holiday visit to Cardigan Bay is complete with stopping off at Mwnt. A church has stood on this site since the 6th century. It was a resting place for pilgrims on their way to St David’s. It has the most stunning views, which are worth the drive along the very narrow lane. Just make sure you can reverse. It is part of the National Trust and has a stepped path down to the beach. Bottlenose dolphins and seals can be spotted from the bay towards Cardigan Island. You might like to follow the Coastal Path towards Cardigan and on the right you can see Poppit Sands and St Dogmaels. Just above Mwnt lies Cardigan Golf Club where if the golf is not of championship standard it really didn’t seem to matter.

One of the wide flat beaches on Cardigan Bay. This is a really easy beach to access. You can simply park within a few yards and it is wide open with St Dogmaels and Poppit on the left. The sea seemed warmer here, just paddling not swimming but great to see families playing in the sea. Saw a few dogs swimming as well and then it was time for lunch. I had seen a sign at the Golf Club- Lunch- All welcome, so it would have been very rude not to accept. Spent a while on the patio with a light snack, had to save space for the ice creams later.

Aberporth is a larger village than you might expect.  The views along this stretch of Cardigan Bay are simply stunning. It is about 6 miles north of Cardigan along Cardigan Bay, so gradually working down the coast. The village is basically a horseshoe with two beaches in the centre. It was a new day and by the time I reached the village, coffee was calling. Found a little car park almost on the beach and watched people swimming and dogs playing on the other beach. The debate was to swim or not, no wet suit but feeling brave. Once in the water it was fabulous. Life Guards are on duty and safe swimming is clearly marked. It as relatively quiet with plenty of space and people with the occasional canoe passing by. Swimming certainly works up an appetite and the pub almost on the beach was more than happy to solve that problem. Holidays in Cardigan Bay give lots of opportunity for eating and drinking. Good to be able to walk it off afterwards.

So much choice and amazing to see stunning views, great coastline and the weather is fantastic. The  day was completed with a return to New Quay and fish and chips, someone wanted to share as I watched the dolphins playing off the harbour wall. Sadly he was unlucky but as sun set the bottlenose dolphins for which Cardigan Bay is famous were out to play. 

We have a fabulous selection of holiday cottages in Cardigan Bay  makes a great holiday or possibly a short break.


Kate Pierce

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