Beaches of Cardigan Bay from Cardigan to Aberystwyth.
Poppit Sands is a very
wide sandy beach at the estuary of the River Teifi near Cardigan in
Wales. It is close to St Dogmaels and the northern end of the
Pembrokeshire Coast Path starts there. The area is a gathering spot for
surfers and boogie-boarders.
The beach is sloping so the sea is shallow a long way out. Due to the
estuary there are unpredictable currents at the far end of the beach.
Mostly bathing is safe within the patrolled area and there are rock
pools. An RNLI lifeboat station operates from the beach as well as RNLI
lifeguards for beach patrol in the summer months. The lifeboat perform
drills about twice a week. There is a large area set aside for dog
walkers in the summer months.
Mwnt is a National Trust beach.
There is a large pay and display car park above
the beach and a shop and toilets partway down the
path leading to the beach. It gets its name from the prominent steep
conical hill, a landmark from much of Cardigan Bay, that rises above
the site of an unsuccessful invasion by Flemings in 1155, and its
defeat was long afterwards celebrated on the first Sunday in January as
"Sul Coch y Mwnt". It is said that the bones of the defeated invaders
would occasionally be visible under the sand when uncovered by windy
conditions in the early 20th century.
of the Holy Cross (Welsh: Eglwys y Grog) is an example of a medieval
sailor's chapel of ease. The site is said to have been used since the
Age of the Saints, but the present building is probably 14th century.
In the 16th century, Aberporth was a subsidiary
landing point for the port of Cardigan. Boats, nets and salt for
preserving were brought in from Ireland. It developed rapidly in the
late 17th and early 18th centuries as local people began to take part
in the maritime trade. It became a very active port with the
northernmost of the two beaches extending into the river valley and
provided a safe anchorage. Limekilns, coalyards and warehouses were
built on its south shore.
Aberporth developed into one of the main centres of the herring fishing
industry in Wales. Drifting and netting were both employed and at one
time at least 20 full time herring smacks went to sea regularly. The
industry persisted until the beginning of the First World War when fish
stocks declined. Crab and lobster fishing continues on a small scale to
Legend relates that a certain king of Ireland had
seven troublesome daughters. Failing to exercise control over the
princesses he finally lost his patience and told his servants to put
his daughters on an open boat and cast them adrift. The Irish Sea
currents took the craft towards the coast of Ceredigion where it
beached. The seven princesses landed safely, fell in love with the sons
of seven local Welsh families, married and settled down. This is why
the settlement is called Tresaith (Welsh 'the Town of Seven').
The village is of recent origin. Until the mid 19th century it
consisted of 2 dwellings, a thatched cottage and the Ship Inn. The
Parry family who ran the inn were ship owners and their first vessel,
the New Hope, was built at on the beach at Tresaith in 1827. Later,
several smacks of about 25 tons operated from here, bringing in coal,
limestone and culm. In the last few decades of the 19th century the
village became popular as a seaside holiday destination and
contemporary newspapers referred to it as the Second Brighton.
Penbryn Beach, between Llangrannog and Tresaith is
owned by the National Trust and was used for location filming for the
James Bond film Die Another Day.
Near the village is the Corbalengi Stone, a monument of the Early
Christian period inscribed: "CORBALENGI IACIT ORDOVS". "Ordovs" is
generally agreed to be the local tribe the Ordovices but "Corbalengi"
is not found elsewhere, and there are many theories as to the
significance of the inscription.
Llangrannog lies in the narrow
valley of the little River Hawen, which falls as a waterfall near the
middle of the village. The earliest parts of the village (the "church
village") lie above the waterfall and are hidden by a twist of the
valley so that they cannot be seen from the sea. This protected them
from the attention of sea marauders, the Vikings and the Irish. After
the mid-eighteenth century the sea became safer and a "beach village"
and small seaport developed. By 1825 Llangrannog commercial activity
was largely concerned with the sea, including the shipment of coal. A
number of ships were built on the sands, the largest being the "Ann
Catherine" a brig of 211 tons. The most recent developments, in the
1860's, were the "ribbon village" which connected the beach and church
villages and an extension of the beach village onto the southern slopes
of the valley.
beach there is a shop, two pubs The Ship and the Pentre Arms and two
This interesting beach is on the coastal path.
There are the remains of an iron age fort on the flat section beyond
the beach. There are also some spectacular folds in the mudstone rock
It is believed
that the 'island' was a part of the iron age fort, but that it has been
separated by erosion from the sea since that time.
are often seen in such secluded coves along the Ceredigion coast.
'Secret' Beach - Traeth Soden
This beach on the Coastal Path can be reached by
footpath from Nanternis. It lies at the mouth of the little river
Soden. This valley is an important site for the endangered Pearl
Bordered Fritillary butterfly, which thrives on the dog violets that
grow on the slopes.
Soden is said to be a 'Smugglers Beach' where salt - which was heavily
taxed, was brought ashore in the eighteenth century.
Dolau Beach, New Quay
Just to the south of
the pier, Dolau beach lies below the main car park. and close to the
southern terraces of Rock Street, Marine Terrace and Lewis Terrace.
Close to the top of the path leading to the beach
are New Quay's three fish and chip shops, the Mariner, The Lime Crab and the Captains
Fish and chips on the pier or on Dolau beach is a local favourite
not to be missed by visitors.
New Quay Harbour Beach
Lying between the two
piers at New Quay, the Harbour beach is the area's most popular beach
in the summer as it within close walking distance of the centre of New
Quay where there are many self catering cottages and Guest Houses.
Click on the links at the top of this page for a
comprehensive selection of accommodation in New Quay and the local area.
| Traethgwyn, New
extends from Llanina Point to the New Quay lifeboat station and is a
wide sandy beach at low tide. Public access is from New Quay by walking
along the beach from the lifeboat station, however care must be taken
as people can be stranded on the rocks by the incoming tide.
is also via the Quay West Caravan Park, or from the footpath beside
Llanina Mansion. There is public parking here in the grounds of the
ruined mill and pig farm owned by Dwr Cymru (Welsh Water).
Cei Bach (Little Bay) is just to the north of
Traethgwyn at New Quay and separated by that beach by the rocky
promontory of Llanina point. In the last century, there was a church on
the point that was washed away by the sea. Cei Bach was important for
ship building in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries,
and there were several lime kilns above the beach. Sadly, because the
majority of the cliffs are made up of glacial deposits of boulder clay,
there has been considerable erosion and the remains of the lime kilns
have now been lost to the sea.
Cei Bach is an entirely pet friendly beach.
Llanrhystud is a small
seaside village on the A487 , nine miles south of Aberystwyth. It is
named after the early Christian Welsh saint Rhystud.
There is a narrow road opposite the filling
station that leads through farmland to the car park above the beach.
The beach is a narrow shingle bank at high tide, but becomes wide and
sandy at low tide.
To the south of the beach are several lime kilns -
some of the best examples in the county.
| all photos © Rod Attrill