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FionaOutdoors
FionaOutdoors

What else is there to do: Ceredigion Coast Path?

We continue our series of What Else Is There To Do blogs that reveal the other things to discover while walking  the Ceredigion Coast Path. Of course, much of your time will be spent walking the route but there may be times – or days – when you would like to stray a little off course and visit tourist attractions and natural hotspots.

Walking the Ceredigion Coast Path

Wales boasts hundreds of miles of stunning coastline, with dozens of easy-to navigate walking trails to choose from. One of the lesser-walked sections takes walkers from Cardigan to Ynys-las, on the Ceredigion Coast Path. This walk takes in a 60-mile route on the naturally stunning Ceredigion Heritage Coastline, which although not as well-known as the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park, offers similar walking and views. There are also plentiful opportunities for spotting wildlife as you hike the shoreline, seabirds, grey seals and dolphins. The walk is split into day-long hikes of around 10 miles and heads between villages and towns where accommodation is booked ahead for you. One of the many advantages of a Macs Adventure holiday is that your luggage is transported fro you between overnight spots so you can walk light and enjoy the experience all the more.

Day 1: Cardigan to Aberporth - 12 miles

There are so many things to do in the town of Cardigan that you could easily arrive two or three days prior to your walking trip to make the most of the attractions. Visit heritage sites, including the National Wool Museum, Dyfed Shire Horse Farm, New Quay Honey Farm and Castell Henllys Iron Age Fort or potter around several galleries and craft shops. Nearby watersports schools offer a range of sea-based activities, such as sailing, power boating and windsurfing with Cardigan Bay Watersports.  A wildlife spotting trip is also highly recommended. Check out companies such as New Quay Dolphin Spotting Boat and A Bay to Remember – Wildlife Boat Trips.   The day’s walk also takes you to Mwnt, which takes its unusual name from the nearby conical hill, Foel y Mwnt nearby. Mwnt is actually best known for its beautiful beach. The beach has earned a Green Coast Award (an award similar to a Blue Flag beach Award but for rural beaches). The coast here is also rich in wildlife and a regular summer home to dolphins, seals and porpoises. [caption id="attachment_10485" align="alignleft" width="300"]Iron Age Fort Iron Age Fort[/caption] At Aberpoth, the small village at the end of the day’s walk, you’ll discover yet more fabulous beaches. Two beaches sit between the rocky headlands of Trecregyn and Fathgarreg and are separated by a smaller rocky outcrop. The more southerly beach is popular with families and for sunbathing, while the northern beach is an active beach with boats, kayaks and canoes on offer.

Day 2: Aberporth to Cwmtydu - 10 miles

If you did not have a chance to stroll the beaches of Aberporth, why not take a look before heading off on your day’s walk? Next on the list of “other things to do” while walking this costal route is a magnificent waterfall at the village of Tresaith. The water cascades from the River Saith over the cliffs into the sea. Another highlight just further on is the spectacular beach of Penbryn, with its wonderful sand dunes. Stop for an energising picnic before you complete the slightly more strenuous walk up and down the coast to Cwmtydu. The cove of  Cwmtydu is a highlight destination in itself. The bay was once popular with smugglers who hid French brandy in the many caves and then ferried their contraband by horse further inland. The caves and rocks at Cwmtydu are also known locally as Seals Bay. There are an estimated 5000 grey seals in west Wales and their pups are born between September and December. Seals Bay is a popular place to sight this amazing creatures. Another attraction at Cwmtydu is a restored lime kiln, which was originally used to burn limestone brought by boat from Pembrokeshire and Cornwall for use by farmers as fertiliser on their land. 

Day 3: Cwmtydu to Aberaeron - 10 miles

Highlights of today’s walk include Bird Rock, acclaimed as Ceredigion’s most important breeding area for seabirds. You are likely to see a range of seabirds, including guillemots, fulmars and razorbills. url-3Walkers also take in New Quay, on this Welsh coastal route. Not to be confused with the Cornwall holiday hotspot, New Qay in Wales is a quiet and picturesque village renowned for dolphin spotting. You can take a boat trip to see these wonderful sea creatures or even Adopt a Dolphin. Aberaeron boasts a pretty harbour that is well worth a stroll, especially on a warm summer’s evening. Each July, the harbour plays host to the Cardigan Bay Seafood Festival  when visitors welcome the chance to see and taste the best of local seafood, fish and other produce.

Day 4: Aberaeron to Llanrhystud - 8 miles

[caption id="attachment_10486" align="alignleft" width="184"]Lime kilns Lime kilns[/caption] Today’s walk includes a feast of fabulous coastal views and also the Craig-las, where you can see four ancient lime kilns in a row. A century ago these kilns were in full use and a dozen vessels were engaged in carrying limestone and coal to this coastal location. The lime industry flourished until about 1860 before the kilns were left to fall to ruins.

Day 5: Llanrhystud to Aberystwyth - 10 miles

The walk today feels more remote and is a little more challenging. You can look forward to the Penderi Cliffs, where thousands of seabirds come to nest. Nature has created another sight here in the shape of the sessile oak trees. These trees have been stunted in growth due to strong winds. The day ends at popular Aberystwyth, a major holiday resort and the administrative centre of the west coast of Wales. The town is also home to a university and the National Library. There’s a lot to see and you might like to take a day or two to explore. Highlights in Aberystwyth include castle ruins, a pier and a harbour. On Constitution Hill you will discover the Aberystwyth Electric Cliff Railway, which  is the longest electric cliff railway in Britain. The trains run every few minutes during the spring, summer and early autumn and provide the perfect transport for taking in superb panoramic views Constitution Hill is also home to a camera obscura. The surrounding hills of Aberystwyth play host to the remains of an iron age fort and also a monument to Wellington.

Day 6: Aberystwyth to Ynys-las - 10 miles

The walking trip finishes today in Ynys-las (although you are then transported back to Borth for your accommodation). Ynys-las is highly recommended as a place to explore further. Here you’ll find a National Nature Reserve comprising made three parts: Cors Fochno, an internationally important peat bog; Dyfi Estuary, an internationally important feeding ground for thousands of wading birds; and the beach and sand dunes of Ynyslas. The Ynyslas dunes are a remarkable natural attraction. They are still growing, millimetre by millimetre and offer a home to many rare plants and insects. In the summer, the sand dunes are transformed into a colourful carpet of wild flowers and are acclaimed for their rare orchids. Another natural highlight is the remains of a submerged forest, which can be  seen only at low tide when the tree trunk suddenly appear. It’s said that the forest was the inspiration for the famous story of the lost land of Cantre'r Gwaelod. And don’t forget to look out to sea at Ynyslas, where you might be lucky enough to spot playful dolphins or porpoise.
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