• Summer Kiernan

WILD WALES: Part 2

Updated: Jul 21


I’m back with part 2 of Wild Wales!


Wales is Britain’s best-kept secret, with dramatic coastlines and amazing underwater scenery it is perfect for water people craving adventure, and lucky for us Brits it’s not far from home.


With numerous dark sky reserves and national parks, the Brecon Beacons and Snowdonia being the most famous, there are plenty of adventures to be had above the water too!


Wales is best seen via road trip, but for those with more time and stamina, Wales is the only country in the world to have a waymarked hiking path that spans its entire coastline. It would take an experienced hiker ~ 6 weeks to walk, but for those who want to take their time, the average is 2-3 months.


I was lucky enough to live in Wales during 2020, and experience some of its most wondrous parts while part of a natural history documentary film crew. In my next few posts, I will show you some of my favourite places to go above and below the water.


A county near and dear to my heart is Ceredigion, I hadn’t heard about it before but it became home for most of summer 2020 and now I’m trying to convince all my friends to go.



Cardigan


An absolute gem of a town – I can’t recommend it enough! It has everything: beautiful scenery, excellent restaurants, wonderful wildlife, and water adventures on tap.


If you enter Cardigan via a large bridge over the river Teifi, look to your left and you’ll see Cardigan Castle, right on the water’s edge. Further along, you can see a sign for Adventure Beyond, an outdoor adventure centre, where you can arrange for some amazing activities, like white water rafting, coasteering, and climbing, but if you, like me, you can’t resist the call of the river, they also hire kayaks, canoes, & paddleboards.


The River Teifi is known for its wildlife, and if you spend the day paddling on the river you’ll see some beautiful wildlife, and maybe even a kingfisher or the infamous otter! I’ve spent many a wonderful day paddling around this river and jumping off the rope swings.


Cardigan is also surprisingly “hip” considering its location, with lots of cool independent shops, and quite a few restaurants that cater to vegans, my favourite is El Salsa - I have eaten their burritos too many times to count! But I can’t forget Crwst either, with some of the best vegan doughnuts I’ve ever tasted!



Poppit Sands/St Dogmaels


Poppit Sands is a bit of a hidden gem, it’s a gorgeous sandy beach, perfect for a paddle or sometimes even a surf. It’s also good for walking as it’s quite a large beach.


Nearby St Dogmaels is a quaint little village. I recommend the drive from Cardigan to St Dogmaels, it’s not far at all and you get to see some more quirky shops along the way, or you can always Kayak!



Cenarth Falls


A great set of waterfalls which you can see from the car park, one of the most accessible natural wonders I have experienced. Famous for salmon & trout jumping when the conditions are right!



Traeth Mwnt


Can’t decide if you are a beach or mountain kind of person? You don’t have to.


Mwnt is a stunning cove beach with a mountain right next to it. I recommend going at sunset with a picnic to hike up the mountain. Both times I’ve visited at sunset I’ve seen a pod of dolphins, presumably travelling from dining at Strumble Head back to New Quay.


It has nice public toilets and the steps down to the beach follow a beautiful waterfall, can you spot it in the photo?



New Quay


Famous for its resident Bottlenose Dolphins, you can catch a boat trip out to spot them for yourself! They are known to be a boisterous bunch, so hopefully, you’ll catch an aerobatic display.


I recommend a trip with Wildlife Trust Cardigan Bay Marine Life Centre, which are dedicated to the conservation and research of these dolphins. Equally, many kayakers are lucky to spot them at sunrise & sunset, so if you have a watercraft you can go out for a paddle and cross your fingers as I did!


It is important to note that there are many places & activities I have yet to see & do in Ceredigion, primarily Aberystwyth & Borth!


If you have any suggestions for places I should go, please send them my way!



TO BE CONTINUED…






Written by Summer Kiernan



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