Inspiration for holidays on the west coast of Wales
The Coastal Way follows the roads, hugging the coastline around Cardigan Bay, from St Davids in the south to Aberdaron in the north. It’s amazing how much you can see of a country from its roads. With glistening blue seas on one side and towering mountains on the other, it’s easy to understand why Wales is considered one of the most beautiful countries in the world.
The route passes through some stunning scenery, as well as countless picturesque fishing villages, pretty harbour towns and traditional seaside resorts.
Golden beaches, towering cliffs and hidden coves are yours to explore if you make the west coast your home or home from home. Here we pinpoint some of our top attractions along the west coast …
St Davids is famous for being the smallest city in Britain, with a population of just 1600.
The city status comes from its magnificent cathedral, which nestles in a hollow, alongside the ruins of the Bishop’s Palace, the dramatic backdrop for open-air theatre performances in the summer. It’s a short walk into the centre of the city from the cathedral. As cities go, it may not be a thriving metropolis but it has its fair share of excellent places to eat and drink, as well as a good selection of shops and galleries.
Porthgain, about seven miles from St Davids, is a pretty little harbour village, with a renowned fish and chip restaurant and a couple of art galleries. It’s also a great place to launch a kayak… or alternatively launch a walk along the Pembrokeshire Coast Path to Abereiddy Beach. Here you’ll find the Blue Lagoon, a former slate quarry that was abandoned and flooded in 1910, and is now a watersports mecca.
(pic courtesy of Visit Britain)
The ancient town of Cardigan sits on the estuary of the River Teifi at the base of Cardigan Bay. Cardigan Castle was the birthplace in 1176 of the Eisteddfod, the Welsh cultural festival that continues to this day and you can find out about the history of the gathering in the present day “castle”. In reality the building is more of a mansion house than a traditional fortress; that
said, if battles and conflict are your thing, you won’t be disappointed.
Also worth your time is idyllic Mwnt Beach. From the summit of the hill that rises above the sands, there are sweeping views across Cardigan Bay.
The beach itself is reached by steps alongside a tumbling stream. This whole stretch of coast is incredibly rich in wildlife, from seals to puffins – and if you are lucky you’ll see Britain’s biggest pod of dolphins.
The ancient market town of Aberystwyth is home to the National Library of Wales and the Vale of Rheidol Railway – a relaxing way to explore the Rheidol Valley by steam train.
Visiting Snowdonia National Park
Famous for Mount Snowdon, Snowdonia National Park is a haven for outdoor enthusiasts. But there’s another side to this part of the world that is often overlooked.
Snowdonia boasts 200 miles of glorious coastline where you’ll find secluded bays, sheltered harbours and vast open beaches.
Barmouth is a popular coastal resort in southern Snowdonia, with big beaches, a picturesque harbour and splendid views. The sunsets over Barmouth can be spectacular.
A highlight of this area is the extraordinary village of Portmeirion.
Set on its own private peninsula, and designed by architect Sir Clough Williams-Ellis in the 1920s, it represents his fantasy of a classical Italianate village in the Mediterranean, transplanted to a romantic clifftop location. The 50 pastel-painted buildings and the grand piazza are a treat for the eyes, and there are 70 acres of woodland and sub-tropical gardens.
A few miles from Portmeirion, the seaside resort of Porthmadog is the biggest town in this part of northwest Wales. A few miles further west is the village of Morfa Bychan and walking here affords views across to the coast at Black Rock Sands.
The beach here is wide and open – you can actually drive onto the beach.
Gwynedd is also home to the well-known Llŷn Peninsula, the stretch of land pointing out from Wales’ northwest corner. Here you will encounter the pretty seaside village of Criccieth, which has its own castle perched above the bay. Further along the coast is the village of Abersoch which has great beaches and fashionable bistros for some relaxation time.
(pic courest of Visit Britain/Joe Cornish)
The coastal village of Aberdaron hosts a sandy beach for evening strolls and the picturesque St Hywyn’s Church, which sits yards from the beach with waves crashing on the shore and Bardsey Island rising from the sea in the background.
Depending on how you holiday, we have a magazine to suit you:
- MMM magazine is Britain's best-selling motorhome magazine and is packed with inspiring tours to help you get the most from your motorhome
- Campervan magazine is, as its name suggests, dedicated to helping those who prefer to seek their adventures in a campervan
- Camping magazine is for everyone who loves to sleep under canvas
- Caravan magazine inspires those of us who love to tour with a caravan and car
- Park and Holiday Home Inspiration magazine is written for people who love to holiday in purpose-built holiday accomodation or are lucky enough to own their own holiday home