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Cardigan Bay in West WalesWest Wales Ceredigion Wales
Cardigan Bay is an inlet of the Irish Sea with a shoreline that includes much of the west coast of Wales. It is defined by the Llyn peninsula to the north and the Pembrokeshire peninsula to the south. If Wales had a Maritime National Park then it would surely be Cardigan Bay. The beautiful clean seas enable a wide diversity of wild life to thrive including Dolphins, Porpoises and Seals. Indeed in August 2005 a pod of dolphins two thousand strong was sighted in Cardigan Bay. A visit to New Quay (wales) may not deliver such a large number of sightings but from my own experience a walk along the harbour wall almost always delight the eye with dolphins feeding close to shore.| But the waters of Cardigan Bay are host to even more exotic creatures than dolphins and porpoises. In September 1988 a giant leatherback turtle was washed ashore close to Harlech beach in the north of Cardigan Bay. Sadly, the turtle had drowned after being trapped by fishing lines. It was approximately 100 years old when it died and attracted worldwide attention as it was the largest and heaviest turtle ever recorded, measuring almost 3m (9ft) in length and weighing 914 kilos (2,016 pounds). I have often thought that the visits of the giant leatherback turtles to the west wales coast go some way to explain the Welsh stories of afancs, monstrous sea-serpents, that are told to the children who live on the shores of Cardigan Bay.| There is a wide variety of coastal features along the bay, including rock headlands, sandy beaches, beautiful estuaries, and marinas, with traditional seaside resorts, small fishing ports and safe harbours. Major rivers flowing into the bay include the Afon Mawddach, Teifi, Rheidol, Dyfi, Aeron, Dysynni and the Glaslyn. Attractive towns and villages line the coastline, from St Davids and Cardigan in the south, through Aberporth, Llangrannog, New Quay, Aberaeron, to Aberystwyth, Borth, Barmouth, Harlech, Criccieth, Abersoch and Aberdaron in the north. It can be no surprise that Cardigan Bay is a popular tourist destination with resorts varying from traditional seaside towns to quiet harbour villages. Popular with surfers, windsurfers, beachcombers, anglers, sailors, and those who just like messing about in boats. For those who don't like to get their feet wet there are fabulous walks along Cardigan Bay from the beaches of the Llyn Peninsula in the north through to the Pembrokeshire cliff tops in the south.