In 2011, the Daily Mail placed Mwnt beach at the top of its list of “Europe’s top ten loveliest hidden beaches.” I agree with the first part – it is a gorgeous sandy beach with no debris or litter in site, though how hidden it is these days with the number of people who know about it I don’t know!
Mwnt is a small community and ancient parish in south Ceredigion. It is situated on the Ceredigion coastal path, one of the most varied stretches of the Wales Coastal Path, 4.5 miles north of Cardigan.
It might be off the beaten track but it still gets busy in the height of summer. Go out of season like me though and you’re likely to have the place to yourself, which makes Mwnt all the more magical and makes you feel special – as if you’re the only person in the World that knows about the place! I’ve been to Mwnt 4 times now and each time I’ve felt the same way.
The approach to Mwnt is down tiny back roads and the landscape is beautiful, a taste of what’s to come.
Parking is situated in a field above the beach and there are many steep steps leading down to the beach which unfortunately means it’s inaccessible to wheelchair users and pushchairs.
From the car park, peer over the edge to get your first view of the beach, then set off to the right towards the picturesque 14th century brilliant white Church of the Holy Cross: tiny but startling in its simplicity. It should be open so go in and take a look.
Then head off on the obvious path that leads away from the beach and round the conical hill of Foel y Mwnt.
You’ll get fabulous views to the North East and out to sea and as you continue to circle around the hill, Mwnt Beach comes into view from a completely different perspective to that seen on exiting the car park. As you get back to where you started, turn left up the well worn path that leads directly to the summit. Here you’ll be greeted by a sweeping 360 degree panoramic view across Cardigan Bay and the coastline. Keep an eye out for unusual plants and lichens on your walk.
It’s up to you what you do next – either head on down the steps to the beach, or set off on the coastal path in either direction. If you choose west, you’ll get fabulous views looking back on Mwnt beach and Foel y Mwnt, one of the most stunning views in the area. Get hold of OS map 198 which covers the area and see what you fancy.
Managed by the National Trust, Mwnt is a Cardigan Bay Special Area of Conservation, protected for the diversity of its wildlife. Apparently it’s great for spotting bottlenose dolphins, seals and basking sharks; though I confess I haven’t seen any before. On the trip photographed below – I think I was too engrossed in writing in the sand!
Have you discovered Mwnt yet?
Do you agree with the Daily Mail – would you place Mwnt in the ‘top ten loveliest hidden beaches’ in Europe?
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