New Quay Wales Travel Guide (2024)

written by local expert Catrin Lynn

Catrin is a history enthusiast based in Wales. Her passions are her animals, exploring the Welsh mountains with her husband, wellness, and traveling to different European cities.

If you’re anything like me, you’ve got a soft spot for those hidden gems that tug at your heartstrings every time you visit. For me, that’s New Quay, Wales. Nestled along the stunning Cardigan Bay, this picturesque town has been my go-to escape since I was a child.

From being chased by a seagull as a child, to enjoying paddleboarding as an adult, New Quay has offered me countless memories over the years.

Whether you’re a first-timer or a fellow New Quay lover, I’ve got a treasure trove of personal recommendations, fun activities, and hidden spots just waiting for you in this article. 

Where is New Quay Wales?

New Quay is a gorgeous seaside town within the county of Ceredigion which is located on the west coast of Wales. This popular destination is nestled along the stunning Cardigan Bay, with its lovely beaches, marine wildlife, and scenic views.

Dolau Beach in New Quay Wales
Dolau Beach in New Quay, Wales

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Things to Do in New Quay

New Quay can get extremely busy during the summer months (May until the end of August). However, despite the crowds, I’ve always found a space and something to do here. 

This makes it a worthy contender for a place to visit after a city break in Swansea. Alternatively, you may opt to visit New Quay after hitting up the best things to do in South Wales or checking off your Tenby bucket list! After all, there are some amazing beaches in Tenby.

Dolphin Watching

One of the most enchanting experiences in New Quay is spotting the playful dolphins that frequent Cardigan Bay. The town is often dubbed the “Dolphin Capital” of Wales and for a good reason! For the best sightings, head to the harbor wall early in the morning or late afternoon. 

One of my favorite things to do is find a bar to sit and relax with a wine and watch the dolphins from a distance. I highly recommend The Sup Shack for this with their outdoor seating.

If you’re keen on getting up close, consider booking a boat tour that specializes in dolphin-watching excursions.

Harbour Beach:

Location: Right at the heart of New Quay, this stunning beach is easily accessible and a favorite among locals and tourists. 

Features: A sheltered sandy cove with calm waters make it ideal for swimming and water sports like paddleboarding, kayaking, and windsurfing. The harbor wall provides a scenic backdrop and is also a popular spot for dolphin watching.

Facilities: Nearby parking, toilets, and a range of eateries make it convenient for a full day out.

Harbour Beach in New Quay
Harbour Beach in New Quay

Traeth Gwyn (White Beach)

Location: To the north of the main harbor, it can be reached via a short walk from the town center.

Features: As the name suggests, Traeth Gwyn boasts stretches of white sand. It’s larger than Harbour Beach, offering more space for beach games, sunbathing, and picnics. At low tide, it connects with other beaches, providing an expansive area to explore. 

Don’t make the mistake I made and try and cross the beach when the tide wasn’t out far enough, the rocks are pretty awkward to scramble over if you’re caught unprepared! 

Facilities: Limited facilities on the beach itself, but the town’s amenities are within easy reach.

White Beach Traeth Gwyn
White Beach

Dolau Beach

Location: South of the harbor, this is a smaller, more secluded spot. Dolau Beach is often less crowded than the other beaches. I recommend this beach if you head to New Quay in the summer months as it tends to be less manic than Harbour Beach.

Features: A mix of sand and pebbles, Dolau Beach is framed by rocky outcrops, making it a picturesque spot for relaxation. Rock pools often form at low tide to discover marine life.

Facilities: Being a quieter beach, facilities are limited. However, its proximity to the town means you’re never too far from amenities.

All beaches in the area share the unspoiled beauty that New Quay is renowned for. Whether you want to soak up the rays, take a refreshing dive, or simply listen to the waves crashing, New Quay’s beaches are the ideal coastal vacation.

visitors in Dolau Beach
Visitors enjoying Dolau Beach in New Quay, Wales

Walking Trails in New Quay

Ceredigion Coast Path:

Distance: Spanning an impressive 60 miles, the Ceredigion Coast Path is part of the more extensive Wales Coast Path.

Route: Starting from Cardigan in the south and stretching to Ynyslas in the north, this trail offers varied terrains and breathtaking views. The section near New Quay is particularly scenic, with cliff-top paths, secluded coves, and panoramic vistas of Cardigan Bay.

The highlights of this walking trail are:

Dolphin Spotting: The trail around New Quay is one of the best places to spot dolphins. The viewing areas along the road provide a wonderful and undisturbed opportunity to witness these magnificent creatures frolicking in the waters.

Heritage: Along the path, walkers will encounter remnants of the area’s rich history, from ancient hill forts to lime kilns.

Flora and Fauna: The diverse habitats along the coast support a wide range of wildlife. Birdwatchers can spot species like choughs, peregrines, and red kites. The woodlands are also home to various plants and flowers.

Facilities: There are several towns and villages along the path, including New Quay itself. This is where walkers can find amenities, pubs, and cafes.

Ceredigion Coast Path
Ceredigion Coast Path

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Local Trails around New Quay:

New Quay to Llangrannog: This is a moderately challenging walk of around 7 miles, offering spectacular views of the coastline, hidden coves, and the chance to see seals and dolphins.

New Quay to Aberaeron: A slightly longer route of about 8 miles, this trail takes walkers through a mix of coastal heaths, woodlands, and farmlands. The picturesque harbor town of Aberaeron is a perfect spot to rest and grab a bite to eat.

Tips for Walkers in New Quay:

Footwear: The paths can be rugged in places, so it’s essential to wear sturdy walking boots.

Weather: Coastal weather (along with British weather) can be unpredictable. It’s advisable to check the forecast before heading out and to carry waterproofs just in case.

Safety: Always inform someone about your walking plans and estimated return time. You will walk near cliff edges on these walks so please stick to the track and stay safe! 

Activities and Adventures in New Quay, Wales

Water Sports in New Quay

You will be spoilt for choice for water sports in New Quay! The calming seawater gives the perfect opportunity to learn a new skill. You’ll find the bay is usually filled with people enjoying some exhilarating water sports.

Plus, watersport activities are without a doubt some of the best outdoor activities in Wales!

Paddleboarding: The tranquil waters of New Quay offers both novice and expert paddleboarders a chance to glide across the bay. You can hire a paddleboard and explore at leisure or take structured lessons to grasp the basics.

For a tailored experience, one-on-one sessions are available. And if you’re looking to combine paddling with wildlife spotting, the center’s tours provide an opportunity to see dolphins and seals.

Paddleboarding in New Quay offers a unique perspective of the coastline. As you stand on your board, with the vast expanse of the ocean around and the sky above, it’s a moment of tranquility and exhilaration.

Water Sports in New Quay
Beautiful views in New Quay, Wales

Sailing: Feel the wind in your hair and the thrill of the waves beneath you. If you’re a pro or a beginner, the bay is the perfect playground. With calm waters and steady winds, New Quay offers ideal conditions for both learning and mastering the art of sailing.

Kayaking: Paddle your way around the bay, exploring hidden coves and maybe even making a new seal friend or two. The coastline around New Quay is dotted with intriguing nooks, making it a kayaker’s dream.

Windsurfing: For those who love a bit of speed and excitement, windsurfing in New Quay’s waters is a must-try. The bay’s consistent winds ensure that every ride is exhilarating, making it a hotspot for windsurfing enthusiasts.

Windsurfing: A newer addition to the water sports family, windsurfing promises a unique experience. Harnessing the power of the wind with a handheld wing, it’s an innovative way to ride the waves of New Quay.

Powerboating: Feel the adrenaline rush as you zoom across the water on a powerboat. Explore the vastness of Cardigan Bay, visit nearby islands, or simply enjoy the thrill of speed on the open water.

Waterskiing & Wakeboarding: Glide, jump, and make a splash! Whether you’re skimming the water on skis or a board, it’s pure fun. New Quay’s clear waters and dedicated training centers make it a top choice for both beginners and pros alike.

Fishing Trips in New Quay

They offer a range of experiences, from general fishing trips to specialized sea fishing charters. Whether you’re aiming to catch a shimmering mackerel or the elusive sea bream, their trips cater to both novices and seasoned anglers.

With the added bonus of potential wildlife sightings, including dolphins and seals, it’s not just about the catch but the whole enriching experience on the waters of Cardigan Bay.

Local Festivals Near New Quay

New Quay Music Festival

Location: New Quay

Every August, New Quay turns into this epic music hotspot with the New Quay Music Festival. Imagine jamming to some cool tunes right by the sea – sounds dreamy, right?

It’s all happening at the New Quay Football Club. From indie vibes to foot-tapping folk, there’s a bit of something for everyone.

Cardigan River and Food Festival

Location: Quay Street Car Park, Cardigan (a short drive from New Quay)

This festival is a treat for foodies. You can sample local goods, see cooking demos, and enjoy a variety of entertainment along the river to celebrate the region’s rich culinary tradition.

Tresaith Regatta and Beach Party

Location: Tresaith Beach (close to New Quay)

Every August, a lively event combines boat races and beachside parties. Various sailing and rowing competitions take place during the regatta, while the beach party features music, dance, and a lively environment.

These occasions combine tradition, community spirit, and the natural beauty of the Cardigan coast. They provide a unique look into the region’s heart and soul. 

Culinary Delights

When in New Quay, indulging in seafood is a must. The town is known for its fresh catches, straight from the ocean to your plate. 

I absolutely love The Lime Crab! It’s not just about the seafood here; it’s about the experience. Imagine eating some of the freshest fish and chips while gazing out at the bay. The ambiance, service, and, of course, the food make it a must-visit for seafood enthusiasts.

Another notable mention is The Captain’s Rendezvous. This chip shop is a great spot for a quick seafood fix. Their fish and chips have been dubbed by many as the “best around.”

If you’re looking for a bar to drink and watch the sea, then I’d recommend the Jitterbug. It’s this super cool spot where the vibes are just right.

Think funky interiors, a killer drinks menu, and the friendliest crew around. Whether you’re up for some dance floor action or just wanna chill with a cocktail, this is the place to be.

My family’s favorite is The Sea Horse Inn. This place is a local hot spot and often buzzes with energy. It’s a must-visit with great drinks, friendly staff, and a cozy atmosphere. 

I also recommend The Penwig which is located right by the seafront. The Penwig offers some fantastic views and it’s a great spot to chill with friends, especially during the summer months.

New Quay, with its stunning coastline, vibrant nightlife, and rich cultural offerings, is a true gem tucked away in Wales. Whether you’re looking for excitement on the waves, a taste of the best seafood, or a peaceful area to watch the sunset, New Quay has you covered!  

FAQs about visiting New Quay, Wales

Is New Quay Wales worth visiting?

Yes, New Quay Wales is definitely worth visiting. If you’re looking for a relaxing holiday or seeking a thrill, there is something in New Quay for everyone!

Is New Quay in England or Wales?

New Quay is a town on the Cardigan Bay coast of Ceredigion in Wales. There is a Newquay in Cornwall in England, so be aware of the difference in spelling.

What part of Wales is New Quay?

Located in the county of Ceredigion, New Quay is located in West Wales. 

Is New Quay Wales beach dog friendly?

Dolau Beach and Traeth Gwyn in New Quay are dog-friendly all year round. Dogs are allowed from the beginning of October to the end of April on Harbour Beach.

Is there a town in New Quay Wales?

Yes, New Quay is a charming seaside town within the county of Ceredigion. 

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