New Quay is a fortunate seaside resort with not just one beach but three beautiful beaches and two harbours. New Quay, or Cei Newydd, is located on the Ceredigion coastline between the towns of Aberaeron to the north and Llangrannog and Aberporth to the south. Originally, a fishing village New Quay later developed as a shipbuilding centre, reaching its peak in the middle of the 19th Century. In bygone days the residents would hope to catch herring, mackerel, crabs and lobsters, while today, although a small fleet of boats sails from the harbour, the prime catch is tourists.
The beautiful location of New Quay, nestled in the bay between New Quay Head and Llanina, has helped in no small way to make New Quay a successful holiday resort, while the increasing interest in wildlife and activity holidays make New Quay a popular choice with visitors. A stroll along the harbour wall will often be rewarded with sightings of bottlenose dolphins. Indeed, in my experience, and probably that of the patient anglers who crowd the harbour walls, the dolphins are more common off New Quay harbour than the mackerel or the bass!
There is no doubt that the attractive harbour and golden sands of the harbour beach are the centre of the resort. The majority of the boats tooing and throwing are leisure craft, but a fair number of working boats scour the Cardigan Bay coastline for fish, lobsters and other crusty crustaceans. Local fishmongers display lobster, scallops and a selection from the ever growing battalion of giant spider crabs. Restaurants offer a wide variety of cooked sea foods, my wife Eira Wyn enjoyed a delicious grilled mullet in the Hungry Trout restaurant, while I gorged on baked halibut (well, not "gorged" as, although the meal was tasty, it was more "nouvelle cuisine" than fish and chips.)
The following day I “gorged” …on fish and chips and mushy peas at the traditional fish and chip shop next to the harbour. They don't half load the plates these days!
New Quay is renowned for it's association with Dylan Thomas, the famous Welsh poet and famous Welsh boozer, and I wasn't surprised to find a good number of pubs in New Quay. The more traditional pubs, the Dolau Inn, the Black Lion, and the Sea Horse are on the Dylan Thomas Trail while the Penwig Arms, a "gastro-pub" as my daughter calls it, offers great food, great beer and a great view, all at a very reasonable price.
Walks, Cycle Trails and Other Activities
Following all this indulgence maybe some exercise is called for, and New Quay won't let you down in this respect. There are beautiful coastal walks, indeed the newly opened Ceredigion Coastal Path cuts through New Quay on it's way from Aberaeron in the north to Llangrannog and Aberporth in the south. This is soon to incorporate the “All Wales Coastal Path.”
If water sports is your thing then New Quay can offer a wide variety of options, with sailing, canoeing, sea kayaking, surfing and windsurfing all available from the small harbour beach close to the Lifeboat Station (the proximity of the Lifeboat Station may seem ominous, but better safe than sorry). With the increasing availability of sea kayaks and canoes for hire or sale, more and more are taking to the waters off New Quay. No longer is the sea considered the sole domain of yachts and motor boats, and families and indeed anglers employ these smaller crafts to explore the coastline.
Marine Wildlife Centre: Boat Trips are available from the busy little harbour, and those with their sea legs have an excellent opportunity for wildlife and dolphin spotting. The Marine Wildlife Centre offers dedicated boat trips to study the wildlife of Cardigan Bay.
Families are well catered for in New Quay with three glorious safe beaches and miles of golden sands, including Cei Bach, Traethgwyn Beach and the harbour beach. The harbour beach is a picturesque beach with golden sands and excellent quality of water. The beach is popular for swimming, sailing and fishing. Due to it's popularity there are zoned areas for beach and water-sports. Facilities include toilets with facilities for the disabled. There are also cafes and shops close to the beach. Souvenir shops selling children's fishing nets, beach balls, and buckets and spades are close by. Moreover, there is no shortage of ice cream vendors around the harbour area. In the unlikely event that it rains, although it never rains in Wales, they have an amusement arcade at the top of Glanmor Terrace, but New Quay is definitely not a Blackpool!
Cei Bach and Traethgwyn Beaches are less accessible than the harbour beach and do not offer the same facilities, but have the advantage of being less crowded during the high season.
Accommodation and Services
Much of the accommodation on offer in New Quay and vicinity is in caravan parks and camping sites but should you prefer more homely luxuries then there are a number of guesthouses and hotels, and a wide range of self catering accommodation in holiday cottages and holiday bungalows.
A one way system controls traffic speeds on the narrow roads within the town, and car parking is available both close to the beach and on the hill above the town centre.