BEACHES

The coast of Wales has some fine beaches, from tiny coves surrounded by towering cliffs, to wide expanses of sand. Below are a selection from St Davids in Pembrokshire to Aberdovey in Gwynedd to the north.
 

Newport (Parrog)

Newport in Pembrokeshire, is a pretty little town between Cardigan and Fishguard. The River Nevern (Afon Nyfer) enters the sea here at the Parrog.

Newport is known today for its beaches, for the Carreg Coetan Arthur burial chamber and for the West Wales Eco Centre. The town also lies on the Pembrokeshire Coast Path, has a youth hostel and is popular for walks in the Preseli Hills. Carn Ingli hill, home to an Iron Age hillfort and some Bronze Age hut circles lies just outside the town.


Poppit Sands

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.

Backed by low dunes, the top of the beach comprises about 80m of dry, very loose sand, making it very popular with families. Lower down it is hard-packed. The beach slopes gently, and therefore the sea is shallow for quite a long way out. Even at high tide there is plenty of soft sand exposed.

On the eastern side of the dunes, erosion has formed sand cliffs over 4 metres (13 feet) high. New dunes are now building up close to the access boardwalk.


Mwnt

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 beach.

The beach gets its name from the prominent steep conical hill (Foel y Mwnt), a landmark from much of Cardigan Bay, and from where there are fine views of the coast to the north and south including Cardigan Island.

At the bottom of the hill is Mwnt church, the Church of the Holy Cross (Welsh: Eglwys y Grog) which  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.

 


Aberporth

In the 16th century, Aberporth with its two fine sandy beaches, was a subsidiary landing point for the port of Cardigan. Boats, nets and salt for preserving were brought in from Ireland.

There are two beaches at Aberporth separated by a rocky point, at the top of which there is a public car park.

Bottlenose dolphins are seen frequently close to shore. In 2006 orcas and harbour porpoises have also been seen but such sightings are rare. Even rarer was a turtle seen in 2005. Sunfish and basking sharks are often seen offshore in the summer.

 


Tresaith

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').

 


Penbryn

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.

Although the road will take you right to the beach, there is only a turning circle at the end, and parking is at the National Trust car park by the cafe a few minutes walk from the beach. Penbryn is a wide sandy beach enclosed by rocky headlands at each end.


Llangrannog

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.

 


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 Rendezvous. Fish and chips on Dolau beach or on the pier is a local favourite.

 


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.

New Quay is a centre for sailing and other water sports and kayaks, dinghys and windsurf boards can be rented from the watersports centre above the beach,

 


Traethgwyn, New Quay

Traethgwyn extends from Llanina Point in the north to the New Quay lifeboat station in the south 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.

The popular Quay West Caravan Park, lies along the top of the slope above the beach and there are several paths down to the beach from the park.

At Llanina is a rocky outcrop, Careg Ina, where there are some excellent rock pools with an abundance of marine life.

 


Cei Bach

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, it is said that 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, the remains of which have now been eroded by the sea.

 


Llanrhystud

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.

 


Borth

Borth is north of Aberystwyth on the edge of a very flat area of watermeadow and bog to the south of the Dyfi estuary. The older part of the town is on the hill to the south, and the more recent part forms a strip development along the seashore stretching towards the dunes at the mouth of the river.

The beach is a favoured by watersports enthusiasts especially surfers and kite surfers.

 


Aberdovey

Aberdyfi, or Aberdovey - the Anglicised spelling is still in common use, is a village on the north side of the estuary of the River Dyfi in Gwynedd.

The village was founded around the harbour and shipbuilding industry, but is now best known as a seaside resort with a high quality beach. The town centre is on the river and seafront, around the original harbour, jetty and beach but it stretches back from the coast and up the steep hillside in the midst of typical Welsh coastal scenery of steep green hills and sheep farms.