New Quay is a lovely, little town in Cardigan Bay, which was once a flourishing fishing port. It has no less than three beaches and all are beautiful but very different so you’ll definitely find something to suit everyone.
How To Get To New Quay
New Quay sits between Aberystwyth and Cardigan, right in the middle of Cardigan Bay. Whether travelling from Cardigan, in the south, or Aberystwyth, in the north, it is easily accessible from the A487 (coast road).
From Cardigan it is about a 40 minute journey mainly along the A487 and then turning left onto the B4342 which takes you into the centre of New Quay.
When travelling from Aberystwyth it takes about 50 minutes, again on the A487, and you then turn right onto the B4342.
There are a few car parks to choose from in New Quay, and on a busy day, in the height of the summer season, they can get quite busy. Our favourite when visiting was Church Road car park which is quite large and just on the outskirts of the town centre. You follow the road the car park down hill past a few shops and cafes before you reach the sea front, an easy walk on the way down but a bit more challenging on the way back up.
New Quay Beaches
New Quay has three separate beaches, all with their own appeal and character. From the wilder Traeth Gwyn to the busier Harbour Beach there is something to suit everyones tastes.
Harbour Beach has lovely, soft golden sand and sits between the harbour wall and the cliffs, so it is really sheltered even on some of the windiest days (we felt it was a few degrees warmer as soon as our feet hit the sand). It has been given The Blue Flag Award making it an ideal spot for taking a dip in the sea and there is a lifeguard service from June to September.
From the beach you can see little boats bobbing up and down in the harbour in one direction and in the opposite direction Traeth Gwyn, with Llanina woods in the distance. Quite a unique spot, with such clean and calm water for the kids to play in.
The beach is only a short walk from the main town down a ramp, past some public toilets which were well maintained and extremely useful on a family day out. There is a cafe on the beach itself where you can buy hot and cold drinks, snacks and any beach paraphernalia you may have forgotten to bring.
Dogs are not permitted on this beach from 1st May to 30th September, however both of the other beaches allow dogs all year round.
Dolau beach can be found on the other side of the harbour wall and is a much smaller beach. This beach is made from rocks, pebbles and coarser sand than harbour beach. The atmosphere here was much quieter, and there was more space for kids and dogs alike to have a good run around. We also noticed, when we were there, that the waves seemed better for bodyboarding as it is less sheltered.
Traeth Gwyn is the long stretch of sand (about a mile) that runs from Harbour Beach, all the way up to Llanina point. At low tide it is a wide swathe of sand backed by shingle and boulders but at high tide it can become cut off. It’s a popular place for dog walkers and if you take a stroll along this section you are likely to be following in the footsteps of Dylan Thomas, who lived in New Quay from 1944 to 1945.
New Quay Town
New Quay is a pretty little town that was originally a bustling fishing port. It still has a small harbour, which is home to small fishing vessels and pleasure boats. The town itself is mainly centred around the harbour and the main street leading away from the harbour, where you will find a selection of cafes, restaurants, pubs and shops. Perfect for whiling away an hour or two wandering round and stopping for some refreshment.
The Lime Crab sits right by the harbour and offers up fish and chips with a twist. As well as your normal cod and chips, you can get a seafood plater, mango chilli prawns and vegetarian and vegan options. Even better, this chip shop serves cold beers, ciders and wines to accompany their tasty fare. If you’re lucky you can grab an outdoor table with a view over the harbour.
On the opposite side of the road are a selection of cafes including an amazing ice cream parlour called Creme Pen Cei which serves up a massive selection of different flavours catering for all dietary requirements (even doggy ice cream!). When we visited there was a queue all the way down the road but it was definitely worth the wait.
If you’re enjoying your time on the beach and just want to grab a quick snack then Pasty Pasty is a great option. They have a range of interesting fillings such as breakfast pasties, vegetable curry, chicken and chorizo, just to mention a few. They also serve delicious barista coffee to wash it down with…..in my mind the perfect beach combo.
Activities In New Quay
Harbour beach is home to Cardigan Bay Watersports, where you can go paddle boarding, kayaking, windsurfing, sailing and water skiing. You have the option to book a taught session or simply hire the equipment if you are already an expert.
If you want to go out on the water, but aren’t feeling that energetic or adventurous, then there are a few different boat trips you can book from New Quay. These include dolphin spotting trips where you can try and catch a glimpse of some of the many dolphin pods that live in Cardigan Bay.
Crabbing is a favourite pass time of many children, and adults alike, and can provide hours of entertainment for little cost. If you haven’t already got your crabbing gear then a few of the shops in town sell crabbing nets, buckets and bait. We never normally have much luck with crabbing but New Quay was our most successful crabbing expedition to date. It was also a lovely place to sit, dangling our legs off the harbour wall in the afternoon sunshine.
Why We Love New Quay
New Quay is a cute little town with three brilliant beaches. It is big enough to have a mooch around, looking in the cute little shops and stopping for a drink or snack in the many cafes. The Harbour Beach, nestled behind the harbour wall and under the terraces of the town, is the perfect place to sunbathe, build sandcastles and splash in the sea knowing that all the facilities you need are only a stones throw away.
Laura loves travelling across the UK and abroad. She has two children and a husband who are often her travel companions. Beach holidays, cosy cottages, treehouse adventures and brunching are just a few of her favourite ways to spend her travel time.