Cardigan Bay Overview
- Fisherman’s friend
- Coast life
- Scenery, sandcastles and sunsets
Cardigan Bay, like the knitwear of the same name, is a comfy-cosy, sit-back-and-put-your-feet-up kind of place. But that’s not to say the area lacks drama.
Fringing hidden coves and sweeping river estuaries, Blue Flag-clean sand connects coastal walkways, and the clifftops offer a spectacular panorama of views over the ever-present sea. The Georgian fishing villages and towns – such as Aberaeron – that dot this charm-packed coastline have been smartened up, but behind their brightly-painted, pretty façades, they remain low-key, laid-back, and as warm-hearted and welcoming as ever. The sprucing up of these time-locked coastal havens has also brought trend-tapping boutique hotels, delis and craft shops, sprinkling just the right amount of style dust over the scenic surrounds. Certainly not the place to start a revolution – but probably the perfect place to escape one…
Completely Cardigan Bay
Britain isn’t exactly famed for its safari-scale fauna, but Cardigan Bay’s many pods of bottlenose, Risso’s and common dolphins, harbour porpoises and minke whales – not to mention grey seals – prove you don’t have to circumnavigate the globe to see big, fast creatures prowling for their dinner. So, when beach-strolling, keep your eyes peeled and your binoculars ready for any sleek cetaceans as they zip by. Do your bit for wildlife conservation and adopt a Cardigan Bay dolphin with the Sea Watch Foundation (www.adoptadolphin.org.uk).
- For getting around locally, try minicab firm Dyfi Cabs on on +44 (0)7831 551538 or +44 (0)7773 385335. Otherwise, ask your hotel to book one for you.
- Packing tips
- A good pair of binoculars: the bay is full of marine life, and it’d be a shame not to spot that passing pod of dolphins. Inland, red kites and kestrels glide through those big blue skies.
- Recommended reads
- Malcolm Pryce’s comic noir series, with enticing titles like Aberystwyth Mon Amour and Last Tango in Aberystwyth, follows private eye Louie Knight as he parades his Trilby around the town’s seedy underbelly. Whitbread-nominee Richard Collins’ The Land as Viewed from the Sea is a dark tale of two friends on a small farm.
- Regional specialities
- Cambrian Mountain lamb and Welsh black beef feature on many menus. Have the latter with a dollop of the sweet, scarlet and fiery Welsh Red Mustard – the condiment of choice in any of Wales’ ubiquitous Brains chain of pubs. Or buy a jar from butcher Morgan’s of Aberystwyth (www.morgansofaberystwyth.com). Glorious Holgate’s Honey Ice Cream, served at Hive on the Quay in Aberaeron, comes in myriad fresh-fruit flavours, each one sweetened with deliciously delicate Welsh honey instead of sugar (+44 (0)1545 570445).
- Pound sterling.
- Time zone
- Dialling codes
- Country code for the UK: +44. Aberdovey: 01654; Aberystwyth: 01970; Cardigan: 01239.
Don't go home without...
… getting your photo taken by the Llanddewi Brefi sign. Although the town, on the Dewi Road between Tregaron and Lampeter, was made famous in Little Britain, it’s still the only sign in the village.