New Quay, Cardigan Bay
Whether you want to hike along towering cliff tops, past sweeping bays and ruined castles, or gaze out to sea with a plate of fresh seafood and a glass of wine, Cardigan Bay is a magical place to visit.
Some of Wales’ most dramatic coastline can be found between Bardsey Island, at the northern tip of Cardigan Bay, and Strumble Head, at its southern end. This is a land of rugged cliffs, sandy beaches and fertile farmland, with a scattering of coastal towns and resorts such as Fishguard, Aberystwyth, Aberaeron and New Quay. Many of the area’s towns have elegant promenades, piers and a wealth of Victorian architecture. Cardigan Bay is a fantastic area for walking. The Ceredigion Coast Path follows 65 miles of rugged coastline from Cardigan to Ynyslas. This dramatic route passes sea caves, storm beaches and sandy bays, and offers walkers the chance to catch a glimpse of bottlenose dolphins, grey seals, harbour porpoises and even sharks. Whether you’re looking for non-stop activity or the chance to unwind in one of the country’s most beautiful regions, Cardigan Bay is an enchanting place to explore.
Cardigan Bay is home to the UK’s largest pod of dolphins. One of the best places to spot these magnificent creatures is from the harbour wall, in New Quay, where they are seen almost every day from June to September. The excellent Cardigan Bay Marine Wildlife Centre runs boat trips which give visitors a good chance of spotting dolphins and a variety of other creatures, including Minke whale, puffins and sunfish.
Lower Town, Fishguard by Ed Webster - CC BY 2.0
If you’re after a fun, family day out, visit Cardigan Island Coastal Farm Park, home to thousands of seabirds and a flock of wild Soay sheep. In the waters around the park, you can spot seal pups and dolphins, while inland, visitors can enjoy close encounters with Welsh mountain ponies, Bruce the Wallaby and Llinos the llama, who occasionally takes visitors by surprise by spitting her food at them.
“Whether you want to hike along towering cliff tops, past sweeping bays and ruined castles, or gaze out to sea with a plate of fresh seafood and a glass of wine, Cardigan Bay is a magical place to visit.”
Scattered along the coast, in the towns and villages of Cardigan Bay, you’ll discover some wonderful places to eat and drink. The elegant Caemorgan Mansion Restaurant serves beautifully presented meals, cooked with local ingredients, such as sautéed scallops with bacon, sage and white wine. Another good option is Fernhill Lodge, where you can expect log fires, crystal chandeliers and some of the region’s best food. If you’re after homemade cakes, pastries of a good cup of coffee, check out Café Mwlda, which has a welcoming family atmosphere and a nice outdoor seating area.