The Coastal Way runs in an unbroken sweep along the whole of Cardigan Bay. It's a 180 mile (290 km) route stretching from Aberdaron on the tip of the Llŷn Peninsula along the coast of Snowdonia to the miniature city of St David's in the south west. It’s an epic coastal journey through a protected Heritage Coast, an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and two National Parks.
Around 70 miles of the Coastal Way lie within Ceredigion, sandwiched between the mouth of the Dyfi Estuary in the north to the historic market town of Cardigan (in Welsh Aberteifi, the ‘mouth of the Teifi’) in the south. Along the way you’ll be enchanted by unmistakably Welsh landscapes of sandy beaches, pretty harbour villages, sublime estuaries, hidden coves and mighty castles.
The Coastal Way in Ceredigion
For wildlife enthusiasts, the Ceredigion stretch of the Coastal Way is particularly inspiring. Birds and animals thrive in protected waters and there are plenty of ways to get a closer look. Spot porpoises, dolphins and grey seals on a boat trip, and explore the marshland home of kingfishers and otters on the Teifi estuary, or spot ospreys in summer and greenland geese in winter on the Dyfi estuary.
Nearby is Ynys-hir, the first RSPB reserve in Wales. If you travel by train to Aberystwyth, you'll pass close to the osprey's nest and you'll see the RSPB reserve's bird hides as you cross into the huge Dyfi National Nature Reserve, whose sand dunes and saltmarshes are internationally important for their birdlife. Underlining their importance, this cluster of three sites sit within Wales’s only designated UNESCO Biosphere.
If conditions are right, you may catch a glimpse of Borth’s submerged forest, an otherworldly collection of ancient tree remains stretching for nearly three miles along the shore. According to legend, they are part of the lost kingdom of Cantre'r Gwaelod (sometimes known as the ‘Welsh Atlantis’).
Aberystwyth is the thriving ‘capital’ of Ceredigion and Mid Wales with the university, arts centre and National Library of Wales and at its heart, as well as romantic castle ruins and an ancient hillfort testament to it strategic position on the coast.
Take a trip away from the coast here on the narrow-gauge Vale of Rheidol Railway and re-live the romantic age of steam as you ride up to Devil’s Bridge, where you’ll find dramatic waterfalls hidden in a deep gorge. You can continue to the Hafod estate and Cwmystwyth, or head south along the inland route to Strata Florida abbey to discover its remarkable history and enjoy is tranquil surroundings.
You'll also want to visit the market towns of Lampeter and Tregaron as well as the little harbours of Aberaeron, New Quay and Aberporth – they have Ceredigion’s country charm and salty seafaring heritage written all over them.