A guide to Mwnt Beach & Foel Y Mwnt

by Jan

Mwnt Beach is one of the prettiest, sandy beaches on the Ceredigion coast and one you must visit if you’re in West Wales.   It has a charming, historic chapel and is one of the best spots for dolphin watching and coastal walks.  Mwnt Beach is only five miles from Cardigan but has a hidden cove which remains off the beaten track.

Here’s everything you need to know if you are planning a day out at the lovely Mwnt Beach.

Parking at Mwnt Beach

Mwnt Beach is owned by the National Trust.  On arrival you’ll find a large car park in a field.  Parking at Mwnt is free for National Trust members or £5 a day for non-members.  From here it is just a short walk to the beach or Foel y Mwnt.

A walk to Foel y Mwnt

foel y mwnt, Wales, UK

Looking down on the car park and beach is the conical hill from which Mwnt gets its name.  Rising to a height of 76m (249 ft), you can see this rocky landmark for miles around and it provides an excellent vantage point for spotting wildlife.

The walk around the cirucumference of the hill is only about 1km in total from the car park.  It is an uneven path that can be steep in places.  The sides of the hill are covered in wildflowers, and gorse, but the summit offers a rugged ledge of exposed rock.

The outset of the walk takes you past a picturesque, white-washed chapel, Eglwys y Grog, on the right.

Eglwys y Grog (Church of the Holy Cross)

Eglwys y Grog Church of the Holy Cross, Mwnt, Wales, UK

The Church of the Holy Cross (Eglwys y Grog) dates from the 14th century when it served as a sailors’ chapel of ease.  However, historians believe that the area has been a holy site for far longer and early Christians may have come on their pilgrimages as early as the fifth centuries.

We had a look round the church but could not enter because of covid restrictions.

Dolphin spotting at Foel y Mwnt

Dolphin spotting, Mwnt, Wales, UK

One of the top reasons for visiting Foel y Mwnt is for the wildlife.  In fact, Foel y Mwnt is one of the best places for watching dolphins in Wales.  We were keen to see dolphins, so arrived early.

Unfortunately, we were not in luck first thing.  However, a local wildlife photographer advised us that the dolphins usually come closer to shore during tidal changes.  This is when the fish are more abundant, which attracts the hungry dolphins.  We left our post and decided to come back.

The next tidal change was predicted for 11am, so we headed to the beach and returned to the hill later.  This time we were lucky enough to see two dolphins and a seal.  Dolphin-spotting requires patience, and there’s no guarantee you’ll see any, but it was extremely exciting when we did.

Cardigan Bay one of the last remaining havens for dolphins in the UK.  Although you can see the dolphins all year round, you have a better chance between May and September.  You may also spot the smaller Harbour Porpoises and Atlantic grey seals who live off the shores of Cardigan Bay.

The cliff tops near Mwnt are also a good place for sea birds, including the rare chough.  This is black bird from the crow family, which can tell by its red beak and legs

Even if you don’t spot any dolphins Foel y Mwnt offers fantastic views of the Welsh coast, including an excellent view of Cardigan Island and Mwnt beach.

Discover more:  Dolphin watching in Cardigan Bay, West Wales

Facilities at Mwnt beach

Facilities at Mwnt Beach, Wales, UK

After our climb up Foel y Mwnt, we retraced our steps and headed down to the beach.  This is just a short 5-minute walk in the other direction from the car park.

You have to walk down about 120 steps to access the beach.  There are no facilities on the beach itself, so it’s best to use them at the top whilst you can.

Mwnt beach has a small kiosk which sells sandwiches, drinks, and ice-creams.  They also sell a variety of beach equipment, including kids’ wetsuits and body boards.  There are also toilets by the shop.

Mwnt Beach (Traeth Mwnt)

Mwnt Beach, Wales, UK

Mwnt beach has been described as one of Europe’s top-secret beaches and it’s easy to see why, as it’s incredibly beautiful.  However, although it is off the beaten track, it is not really a secret.  In fact, it can get extremely busy in high season.

There is a very reason why Mwnt Beach is so popular.  As well as looking stunning, Mwnt is also very family-friendly beach and is a Green Coast and Seaside Award beach.  The secluded cove has soft, golden that is perfect for sandcastles.  There is a small stream at the bottom of the steps, which was a popular play area for children.

The beach filled up quickly in the morning, but as the tide went out, there was plenty of space for everyone.

Unlike many of the other beaches in the Cardigan Bay area, there are no RNLI lifeguards on the beach.  However, as the beach is not particularly wide, it’s easy to monitor kids and the water was extremely popular.  The gentle waves were ideal for body boards and wave jumping.

The low tide also left a small sandbank and shallow paddling pool of sea water, which proved popular with toddlers.

Dogs are not allowed on Mwnt beach between 1st April and 30th September but can go on the hill and coastal path.

There are steep steps leading down to the beach, so it is not accessible for wheelchairs or buggies.

The coastal path at Mwnt

Coastal path, Mwnt, Wales, UK

After a day watching dolphins from Foel y Mwnt and enjoying the marvellous beach we set off on a coastal walk along a section of the Wales Coast Path.  The Ceredigion Coast Path runs for 60 miles from Cardigan to Ynyslas, near Aberystwyth.  We headed in the direction of Cardigan towards Gwbert.

The trail starts with a steep ascent to the headland, from where we had dramatic views over Foel y Mwnt.  It’s a very scenic route with a variety of wildflowers, gorse, and many butterflies.

Coastal path, Mwnt, Wales, UK

Directions to Mwnt Beach

Mwnt beach lies on the coast between Cardigan and Aberporth in South Ceredigion, West Wales.  The postcode for Mwnt Beach is SA43 1QH.

You can get to it by road on the A487.  The last stretch of the journey is on a very narrow, single-track road, but there are passing points in case you meet oncoming traffic.

Alternatively, you can get to Mwnt Beach by foot on the Wales Coast Path.  It is about 7 miles from the Quay at Cardigan and 4 miles from Aberporth.

Have you been to Mwnt Beach & Foel y Mwnt?  We’d love to hear your comments below.

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Avatar for Jan
Tilly Jaye Horseman 7th October 2021 - 11:28 pm

Ooo, this reminds me of lots of lovely trips I’ve made to Mwnt over the years! Love this beach and area of coast!

Avatar for Jan
Jan 8th October 2021 - 7:08 am

Yes, there are some fantastic beaches on this coastline. We loved Mwnt!


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