THE LOCAL AREA
Although the cottage and grounds make for a very special stay in themselves, the local area has a wealth of places to explore and be inspired by. Good local eateries are numerous and there is a vast range of things to do and see if you do want to get ‘out and about’! We have happily tried, used or visited all the below ourselves over the years and details are currently correct, however, it is always worth checking opening hours with businesses directly as things can change. Let them know you found them via us, and feel free to let us know of others, or comment on the suggestions!
Whilst our travel distances below mainly relate to travel by car (or occasionally walking), it is worth noting that there is a network of scenic cycle routes in the area. Should you not feel like driving, the popular Cardi Bach bus service runs through the summer months, and (roughly) follows the coast, stopping at points from New Quay to Cardigan. Glan yr Afon is directly on its route, so you can hail the bus and then disembark at your favourite beach, returning later in the day (there are only a few services a day, however, so don't miss the bus back)!
THE NEARBY COAST
A walk through the woods from the cottage, via a stream, leads to arguably the most spectacular section on the Ceredigion Coast Path - The section between National Trust beach Cwmtydu, and wonderful Llangrannog. The section features the iconic Ynys Lochtyn as well as jaw-dropping views up and down the coast.
In the opposite direction, the path traverses Cwm Soden (an important geological site), and Birds Rock (the old Coastguard lookout) which is a spectacular place from which to view marine wildlife and seabirds. ¬MORE INFO
(3 miles/10mins. by car)
Popular, picturesque seaside village with great Blue Flag beaches (including our favourite 'hidden' beach, Cilborth) and interesting rock formations. Great for walking, swimming (Lifeguards in Summer), bodyboarding, low tide rockpooling and beach campfires! Wonderfully atmospheric in the Winter months. Very good places to eat & drink too (see separate section). You may even see dolphins traversing the bay! ¬MORE INFO
(3 miles/10mins. car or 35min. walk through the woods from our front door - Waterproof boots suggested!)
A lovely National Trust owned, mostly pebble (but some sand) beach, also known as Seals Bay. At the end of the steep-sided wooded valley where Glan yr Afon sits, Cwmtydu, and its surrounding coves, are popular places for seals to rear their pups. A disused Lime Kiln can also be seen (apparently once popular with smugglers!). Public toilets, and small, friendly café nearby. ¬MORE INFO
(5 miles / 15min)
A small, pretty, seaside town with harbour and 2 sandy beaches. A 19th century ship-building town, New Quay is now renowned for dolphin-watching, its' literary links to Dylan Thomas and the pretty coloured houses wrapping around the cliff. The harbour is excellent for crabbing! We especially love New Quay in low-season months as the wintery light seems to light up the bay and the glow from the town lights looks magical. There are good dolphin & marine-life spotting boat trips based here (recommended too for getting a view of the dramatic coastline from offshore). Dolphins can frequently be seen from the harbour walls in calm waters (we’ve seen most around 4pm-6pm in Summer)! Good for ice cream & fish and chips as well as great food at the lovely Blue Bell Deli & Bistro. The Cardigan Bay Regatta in August is a fun, 3-day affair. ¬MORE INFO
(Just over 15mins via car)
We rarely stay at the cottage without several trips to Aberaeron. This small, vibrant harbour town is a great all-year round destination. Full of iconic cheerfully painted coloured Georgian houses and a picturesque harbour, Aberaeron is a lovely, friendly place to while away some time, go crabbing in the harbour, drink good coffee, eat great food, and with some decent shops too (Seld is a favourite for Welsh interior items). Home to Cardigan Bay Seafood Festival in July, the Festival of Welsh Ponies & Cobs and a very good Saturday market with local produce, Aberaeron is definately worth hopping up the road to. There are several good places to eat & drink (see separate section) which are open all year round such as the stylish Harbourmaster, and The Hive - Home to delicious honey ice cream! ¬MORE INFO
(5 miles/15 minutes by car)
This beautiful, quiet, long sandy beach is owned by the National Trust. The car-park (and toilets) are a 5 minute walk away from the beach which adds to the tranquil feeling. There’s a lovely café in the car park, cheekily named The Plwmp Tart, which serves delicious food (worth checking opening hours out-of-season though first to avoid disappointment!).
(7 miles / 20 minutes by car)
Pretty seaside village with lovely sandy beach, good for sea-kayak hire in Summer months. A popular place to eat/drink is The Ship at Tresaith for sundowner drinks on the terrace with spectacular views over the bay, and dolphin-spotting.
Mwnt & Aberporth
(~20 minutes by car)
At National Trust owned Mwnt, you will find a very pretty sheltered sandy cove - It offered stunning views from the cliff top and has a much photographed little chapel perched on the hill. We love swimming here - It is generally calm and the sheltered nature of the location seems to keep the wind at bay...most of the time!
The small seaside town of Aberporth is worth a visit - 2 large sandy beaches (ideal for young swimmers), cliff top café, great fish and chips, and pretty houses make it a delightful place.
(25 minutes by car)
The recently re-opened Cardigan Castle is worth a visit and in the months from May - October, the fabulous Pizzatipi takes residence by the river with great pizzas, beers, firepits, hay bales and live music. Bara Menyn is a delicious, stylish bakery and cafe tucked away in the town. Crwst is a great newcomer to the town offering bistro style food and amazing cakes baked on the premises. There are lots of local, organic food producers based in the area and regular markets feature many of them. There is a fantastic theatre/small cinema which is worth checking out
At the mouth of the Teifi estuary, the wide open flat space at Poppit Sands is popular for walkers and is a lovely place for a picnic or sailing.
The university town of Aberystwyth is home to the National Library of Wales which holds interesting exhibitions and artefacts. The castle, pier and seafront are all popular as its the Valley of Rheidol Railway up to the spectacular waterfalls at Devils Bridge. A host of good eating places have opened recently: Baravin, Ultracomida, Medina, Pysgoty are all recommended.
South of Cardigan is North Pembrokeshire - We love visiting Newport (great little cafés and gallery), Old Fishguard and small hidden coves and beaches, such as Aberbach Cove.
FOOD & DRINK
Just a few of our favourites food and drink places near to Glan yr afon. More info (and other, further afield establishments) can be found in our cottage welcome folder. Do let us know of your experiences and good ‘finds’ too!
Bara Menyn Bakehouse & Cafe, Cardigan
Based in one of Cardigan's old Customs House buildings, this lovely place defines ‘artisan bakery’. The fresh sourdough loaves and delicious menu have gained a huge local following.
The Harbourmaster, Aberaeron
A stylish stalwart in Aberaeron! The old Harbourmaster's house is a restaurant and bar serving locally-inspired fine-dining in its restaurant, and a very good bar menu (all day from breakfast through to dinner) in the relaxed, trendy bar area. Restaurant takes reservations, the bar area doesn’t. Buy a drink and sit outside to watch the sunset over the harbour!
The Beach Hut, Llangrannog
Usually open from Easter to end-October, this lovely cafe/ fish & chip shop has a lovely, light beach-y (is that a word?) decor, relaxed vibe and a menu to match. Always in the mix are a selection of locally caught fish & seafood dishes which rarely disappoint. Good coffee, beers and wines too. Or take away some fish & chips and eat them on the beach….
Caffi Patio, Llangrannog
Merv and Julia’s ever popular beach front cafe and ice-cream parlour. Lots of tables outside too. Menu offers all manner of panini, jacket potatoes, bacon rolls, delicious soups, great cakes - But the real draw is the homemade gelato, which is made daily on the premises. A lovely place to sip tea, eat cake & watch the waves. Featured in Rick Stein's ‘Food Heroes’ series. Open usually from February to November but call to check: (01239) 654502
The Pentre Arms, Llangrannog
A friendly, traditional pub on the seafront, popular with locals and tourists alike, which offers a very warm welcome all year round. Classic pub food with many homemade dishes. In Summer, the simple fresh, local fish dishes are worth snapping up. A very cosy retreat in Winter! Open all year round - Tables can be booked in the dining room, or sit by the picture window and watch the waves!
The Ship Inn / Y Llong, Llangrannog
Decent pub grub and a friendly welcome! It’s worth keeping an eye out for the live music outside on occasional summertime evenings.
The Hive, Aberaeron
A fun, relaxed, harbourside grill and restaurant which serves burgers, ribs, salads and fresh fish (it runs an on-site fishmongers in season). Live music on most Fridays, downstairs. Also good just to pop in for a coffee...or a cocktail. Lots of tables outside too. It is also the home of honey ice cream - Absolutely delicious! Open all year round - Worth booking in the summer months.
The Lime Crab, New Quay
Great little 'modern' fish & chip place on New Quay harbour. As well as very good classic fish & chips, it also offers delicious tempura prawns, lobster, scallops and tasty veggie options.
Pizza Tipi, on the banks of the River Teifi, Cardigan
Fantastic place to hang out, have a beer, meet friends, relax and eat great wood-fired pizza around the firepits. On a sunny evening, it's a chilled out, idyllic place for a drink and a pizza! The Pizza Tipi is generally open from about April to October but check first. Live music often on Friday nights. Can be a long wait in peak times but it has such a great atmosphere it does really matter. They have launched a ‘live cooking times’ info on their website to give a better idea.