We honestly cannot pick a favourite beach from the huge choice we have in Ceredigion (Cardigan Bay). It just depends on our mood and what we want from the day, whether that be amenities, activities, quieter beaches, a bit of a walk etc. The Ceredigion Coastal Path takes in many of these beaches and The Cardi Bach bus service no. 552 takes in all of the beaches from Cardigan to New Quay.
Here are our closest seven:
Along with Llangrannog this is our closest beach. A 10 minute drive away, you park in a National Trust car park and walk approximately 5 minutes down a, fairly steep, hill to the beach though you can drop off and pick up at the bottom. Also in the car park are toilets, the start of an enchanting (steep in places) walk through the woods to the beach (or continue on to Tresaith Beach) and the lovely Plwmp Tart Café. We feel this is our most unspoilt beach: Blue Flag, sandy, great for walking along, a scramble on the rocks to the next bay when the tide is out (check tide times to allow yourself enough time to return) and usually safe for paddling and swimming* in.
A popular, yet unspoilt, seaside village, Llangrannog has a picturesque, Blue Flag, beach, 2 pubs, Caffi Patio (great for cakes and ice cream), the relaxed Beach Hut restaurant with a separate fish and chip shop and public toilets. Kids love the stream that runs out onto the beach, the spooky cave and a bit of boogie boarding here. When the tide is, safely, out you can walk around the corner to the next little beach - great for exploring. Walk up the hill to where Sant Carannog stands to take in the views. There is parking near the beach front or a free car park which is around a 10 minute walk away uphill (there is a park and ride bus service to this car park in the Summer: £1/1.50 one way/return for adults) and there is a lifeguard service in Summer months.
A wonderful, Blue Flag, sandy beach with a hidden waterfall just over the rocks to the right. We love coming here for the outstanding scenery, the safe paddling and swimming* and the facilities: the shop which sells ice creams, teas and bacon baps, public toilets and The Ship Inn gastro pub which overlooks the beach (be prepared for fairly long waiting times at The Ship). The parking is a bit of a pain as it's up some fairly steep steps around 6 minutes away: as you drive towards Tresaith, turn left just before the bus stop and it's an innocuous left turning into some scrub land between the houses- it has a £2 honesty box. There are a couple of disabled parking spots and 2 non-disabled on the sea front and you can drop off and pick up here.
New Quay is close to our hearts as our favourite chip shop: The Lime Crab, and ice cream parlour: Crème Pen Cei, are here! We also enjoy a drink in the Black Lion Hotel's garden which overlooks the sea and has a children's play area. The beaches are lovely, sandy and safe* and once again, Blue Flag. The boat trips to see the Bottlenose Dolphins are brilliant (though sightings cannot be guaranteed) and rock pooling is fun here, though the rocks can be very slippery. There are quite a few bars, cafes and restaurants to try out and several shops to potter around.
One of the prettiest and most colourful towns in the area with a pleasant harbour walk and a good amount of shops, cafés and restaurants. It was recently voted Best Place in Wales by the Royal Planning Institute. Try crabbing from the harbour wall when the tide is in, explore the rocky beach front, do a spot of shopping, get fish and chips at the (child friendly) New Celtic Restaurant or take the kids to the park in the centre of the town, just off the main street North Road. Close by is a 2.5 linear cycle track to Llanerchaeron, a National Trust Property.
There are 2 pleasant beaches to explore in Aberporth, one of which Dolwen, is Blue Flag. The rock pools are enjoyable, the views lovely and the swimming safe*. There are a couple of car parks and cafés dotted around the village. The walk along the coastal path to Tresaith is, for the main part, accessible and tarmacked (though the last part is not) and takes in stunning, panoramic views.
Blue Flag, sheltered, gorgeous and unspoilt: Mwnt is one of the most popular beaches in Cardigan Bay - though the times we have visited haven't been packed. The steps to the beach from the National Trust car park are steep, a little hard going and unsuitable for pushchairs and wheelchairs though both can reach the refreshment kiosk. The toilets are in the car park - so go before you head down to the beach!
*In respect of water safety, please check out further which beaches are safe to swim at and whether they have dangerous currents and riptides as we are not proficient enough to guide you on this.
Also check out:
Small, quiet, pebble beach, with a café and parking: look out for seals and their pups in late Summer/early Autumn though please keep your distance and dogs on leads.
Lovely seaside town, set in The Pembrokeshire Coast National Park, with some nice places to eat. The beach is accessed by turning right before the town (signposted 'Traeth'), following the road over the bridge and taking a left to the golf club.
An expansive, sometimes windswept, beach great for long walks followed by a large slice of cake and a cuppa at Poppit Sands Beach Café and Shop. Surfing here is, apparently, good though hit and miss.
We've only visited Gwbert once and whilst we, personally, wouldn't say it was your sunbathing type of beach, it has amazing views over the estuary and our two young boys had great fun exploring and climbing over the rocks (it's both sandy and rocky). Park on the beach at The Teifi Boating Club. Though we've never been, you can have a bite to eat at the Flat Rock Bistro 2 minutes away (turn left out of the Boating Club), which has stunning views.
Two good sites for further information on our local beaches are:
For timetables for the T5, Cardi Bach 552, Bwcabus (we are 'North') & other bus services, click below & scroll down the page: