When we were planning our Big Move to Wales we did some exploring around the area and the beaches and harbour towns of Cardigan Bay were one of the deciding factors in us choosing to move to Lampeter. So for our first trip out in March 2020 we really wanted to take Ziggy for a walk at Penbryn Beach. We had been before in September when we had our second viewing of the Cottages so we already knew what a magical place it is.
“Social Distancing” was already in force but we weren’t yet in lockdown, so we were allowed to head to the beach for our daily exercise. Penbryn is looked after by the National Trust, so there is a proper car park which you pay a couple of pounds for and this goes towards the upkeep (and there are loos there too). The beach is a walk downhill – you have two choices here. You can walk down the road or go through the woodland. We chose to go the road route as we wanted to get to the beach asap.
As you reach the beach there is a stream that runs right down into the sea. Ziggy couldn’t wait to get wet…he loves water but won’t swim – he panics if he goes out of his depth. When we lived in Reading we were so far from the sea that we only took Ziggy to the beach once. He loved it, but couldn’t understand why the water tastes so bad ? At Penbryn he went crazy running on the sand – he loved the wide open space…and we were virtually the only ones there.
The beach is about a mile long so you can have a decent walk along it. There is a cave to explore at the right hand side of the beach if you visit at low tide. At very low tide there is another beach further around the headland, but beware as there is no other way to get off this cove so if the tide turns you could be stranded!
We took the scenic route back up to the car park through the enchanted valley. It really is a wonderful walk although it is quite steep in places. But there’s no rush. Take your time and enjoy the meandering pathways that take you through woodland and fern-clad terrain with a stream babbling below you.
Then just as you thought it couldn’t get any better, you come upon a bridge and a waterfall! Seriously, if fairies are real, this is where they live.
Penbryn is about a 40 minute scenic drive from our cottages. If you want to make a full day of it you can also get onto the Wales Coast Path from Penbryn in both directions and offers gorgeous views across the bay. We like to visit the Plwmp Tart Cafe next to the car park for a spot of lunch or a cake after our walk.
The remote location and lack of light pollution make this an ideal spot for stargazing in the summer months – Penbryn Beach is a designated Dark Skies Discovery site and dusk is a great time to see seals and barn owls in the area.
Penbryn’s Claim to Fame is that it was used for a scene in the James Bond “Die Another Day: movie! You can see why in the clip below – it looks stunning.