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A Sandcastle With a Welsh Flag

Renowned for their crystal-clear waters, golden sands and dramatic cliffs, it’s easy to see why the beaches of Cardigan Bay are so popular.

Home to some of the most spectacular beaches in Wales, there’s no better place to enjoy a coastal adventure than Cardigan Bay.

From the bustling sands of Aberporth to the sheltered cove at Penbryn Beach, you’re sure to find your favourite.
A haven for surfers, holiday makers and coastal ramblers alike, read on to discover our guide on Cardigan Bays best beaches

1. Newport Sands (Traeth Mawr)

A Boat on the Water at Newport Beach.

The largest of Newport’s beaches, Newport Sands is positioned across the estuary from the town in which it takes its name. One of Cardigan Bays most popular beaches, Newport Sands is perfect for a traditional beach holiday.

Stretching over a mile of flat sand, this Cardigan Bay beach is accessible to those with limited mobility. With adapted beach wheelchairs available for hire, Newport Sands is one that the whole family can enjoy.

The swell from the Irish Sea is optimal for water sports, whilst the allocated swimming area is safe for bathing.

Its smaller neighbour, Parrog Beach, can be reached at low tide. From here, join the Pembrokeshire Coast Path to explore more of your spectacular surroundings.

Facilities: Public toilets, a café & refreshment kiosk open during peak season
Pet-friendly: Yes, all year round
Lifeguard: Yes, between July-August
Car Park: Yes
Postcode: SA42 0RE

2. Penbryn Beach (Traeth Penbryn)

View of Penbryn Beach From Cave.

Owned by The National Trust, Penbryn beach stretches a mile of multi-award-winning golden sand.

Accessible via specially adapted wheelchairs, this Cardigan Bay beach is one that the whole family is sure to enjoy. Areas of the beach are pet-friendly year-round, so why not bring your four-legged friend to join the fun?

Famed as the backdrop behind James Bond’s Die Another Day, it’s easy to see why Penbryn beach is one of Ceredigion’s favourites. The spectacular scenery includes flower-lined woodland, craggy cliffs and far-reaching views across Cardigan Bay.

Rockpooling, swimming and meandering the Wales Coast Path are just some of the activities available here. However, at low tide, a cave hidden at the far end of the beach is open for adventures.

Those feeling brave can even make their way around the headland to find a secluded beach. Be sure to check the tide times, however, as there’s no other route of escape!

Facilities: Café and shop available at The Plwmp Tart; toilets available for customers
Pet-friendly: Yes, however restrictions are in place in areas between 1st May-30th September
Lifeguard: No
Car Park: Yes
Postcode: SA44 6QL

3. Mwnt Beach (Traeth Mwnt)

View of the Sunset at Mwnt Beach.

This hidden gem is set off the beaten track, a short distance from Mwnt. Accessed via a series of steep steps, this picturesque beach sits below the Foel y Mwnt headland.

This sheltered cove is adorned with golden sand and turquoise waters and is enveloped by soaring cliffs. Owned by The National Trust, Mwnt beach offers an idyllic escape from the more crowded beaches of Cardigan Bay.

The area is brimming with marine wildlife. Eagle-eyed ramblers may spot basking sharks, dolphins and porpoise from the Wales Coast Path that passes behind.

All you need for an enjoyable day at the beach can be found at the Caban Mwnt kiosk. Big kids can tackle the waves on a bodyboard whilst the little ones build castles in the sand! After an afternoon of adventure, refuel with a choice of seasonal foods and drinks.

Facilities: Seasonal kiosk selling food, drink & beach-going essentials (buckets and shades, bodyboards etc)
Pet-friendly: Yes, however pets are not permitted between 1st May-30th September
Lifeguard: No
Car Park: Yes
Postcode: SA43 1QH

4. Tresaith Beach (Traeth Tresaith)

A View Of Tresaith Waterfall From The Rocks On The Beach

This small, sandy beach takes its name from the River Saith that cascades over the cliff edge toward the beach.

Positioned between the livelier beaches of Aberporth and Penbryn, Tresaith provides a peaceful alternative from the usual hustle and bustle.

Afternoons can be spent surfing, swimming, rockpooling or simply soaking up the spectacular sights across the bay. For a truly unique experience, step foot behind the waterfall at low tide where a hidden beach reveals itself.

The beach backs onto a handful of amenities, from a well-stocked shop to a friendly village pub. Make a day of it and stop by The Ship Inn for a pint or a bite to eat.

Facilities – Wheelchair accessible public toilets, café, shop, first-aid centre & beachfront pub
Pet-friendly – Yes, however restrictions are in place in areas between 1st May-30th September
Lifeguard – No
Car Park – Yes, however very limited
Postcode: SA23 2JL

5. Llangrannog Beach (Traeth y Pentref)

A Man Kit Buggying On The Beach At Sunset.

Next on our list is Llangrannog beach, easily one of the best beaches in Cardigan Bay.

This Blue Flag award-winning beach is a haven for both families and watersports enthusiasts, owing to its incredible surf and sand. Fresh winds make for ideal surfing, sailing, and kayaking conditions, while lifeguards on duty during peak season ensure safety for all.

Alternatively, walkers can join the Ceredigion Coast Path toward the rocky headland of Ynys Lochtyn. From here, marvel at the sweeping bay views and catch sight of the seal colony living off the coast.

At low tide, you can wade the shores to Cilborth Beach, a hidden delight well worth visiting.

A collection of amenities line the beachfront, meaning ice cream, fish and chips and beach-going essentials are never far away.

Facilities: Beachfront pubs, cafes, takeaways & general store
Pet-friendly: Yes, however pets are prohibited between 1st May-30th September
Lifeguard: Yes, in peak season
Car Park: Yes
Postcode: SA44 6SN

6. Aberporth Beach

View of Aberporth Beach and Cardigan Bay.

The Blue Flag award winning sands of Aberporth Beach rest on the coast of Ceredigion, moments from the pint-sized village of Aberporth.

Made up of two sandy beaches, Dyffryn and Dolwen, this Cardigan Bay beach is ideal for a traditional seaside staycation. Renowned for its excellent water quality and safe swimming, it’s easy to see why Aberporth Beach is popular with holidaymakers.

There’s plenty to see and do away from the water here. Explore the headland where a hand carved wooden statue of a dolphin overlooks the bay. You can even catch sight of the real deal playing in the water with a scenic stroll along the coastal path.

Various cafes and restaurants can be found just a short walk from the beach. Serving lobster and crab caught right off the coast, be sure to sample the local cuisine while you’re there!

Facilities: Public toilet & café
Pet-friendly: Yes, however restrictions are in place in areas between 1st May-30th September
Lifeguard: Yes, between July-August
Car Park: Yes
Postcode: SA43 2DB

7. Poppit Sands (Traeth Poppit)

A Panoramic View of Llangrannog Beach and Cardigan Bay

The final beach on our list is Poppit Sands. Positioned on the outskirts of Cardigan Bay, this beautiful beach is the closest to the town of Cardigan.

Stretching half a mile, this Cardigan Bay beach is great for watersports. The hard sand caused by the high tide provide optimal conditions for land boarding or buggying.

Alternatively, you can spend hours exploring the hills and dunes that the beach backs onto with your four-legged friend in tow.

The beach benefits from level access, with beach wheelchairs available for hire from Crwst Poppit Sands Beach Café. The beach café serves baked goods, savoury treats, and vegetarian and vegan food. Where better to refuel following an afternoon of coastal adventures?

Facilities: Poppit Sands Beach Café & public toilets
Pet-friendly: Yes, however restrictions are in place in areas between 1st May-30th September
Lifeguard: Yes, between July-August 10am-6pm
Car Park: Yes
Postcode: SA43 3LR

Ready to embark on a coastal adventure? Pack your bucket and spade and secure your stay with a Cardigan Bay Holiday Cottage. Alternatively, for more inspiration further afield, why not give our Ultimate Guide to West Wales Beaches a read?

Image Credits:  Anthony Parkes(CC BY-SA 2.0)