I'm a freelance writer from Auckland, currently travelling across the UK with my family. I'm here to share adventures for kids and adults who enjoy food, culture and a kiwi perspective on travelling around the British Isles. Visit rochellesewell.com
Published August 21st 2017
Beautiful Llangrannog in the Heart of the Cardigan Coast
Llangrannog is a small village in Western Wales. It's nestled in a little bay where gentle waves roll in all day and colourful stone cottages are dominated by the steep slate cliffs that surround the valley. We found ourselves here, visiting friends whose family has a long history with this part of the Ceredigian Coast.
Swimmers and boogie boarders are watched over by RNLI lifeguards in their red jackets, and the red and yellow flags ensure that there is always a safe area for swimming. Surfers too enjoy this bay, although we haven't seen significant inshore swells this week. The golden sand is plentiful enough for giant sandcastles and space to inhabit the shore for an entire afternoon.
The British weather was typically mercurial during our visit, although the locals informed me that Llangrannog has its own special micro climate that can deliver four seasons within an hour. We were lucky enough to experience enough sun for enjoyable beach time. When wet, the beachside bus shelter provides room to store dry bags or allow visitors to sit sheltered from the rain and gaze out to sea. The shelter is also a collection point for the minivan, transporting summer visitors from their cottages up the hill to the beach. For the bargain price of a pound, they'll even transport all of your beach kit and boards. An essential service for a place where the bay is at the bottom of the hill and the beachfront is largely clear of cars.
The Beach Hutt café provides good quality meals and barista coffee, as well as the kids' favourite "Beach Front Special"; an oversized hot chocolate resplendent with white marshmallows and a chocolate flake to garnish. The Patio Cafe sells wonderful homemade gelato ice cream, some 50 flavours are on offer, and the Y Cabin serves generous helpings of cod and chips. Then there's the two pubs, the Ship Inn and the beachside Pentre Arms Hotel, which are great for sipping a late afternoon ale on the outside tables while the children play on the beach.
For those stopping by for more than a few days, the general store offers basic essentials that you could survive on for a week. The local farm store is just 5 minutes' drive out of town, and sells fresh produce and free range eggs. You won't go hungry in this place that's for sure!
Llangrannog offers plenty for those wanting to get outdoors. There's some fantastic jogging routes through the tree lined paths around the valley, and the Llwbr Arfordir Coastal Path offers spectacular views along the coast. The path is steep and challenging in parts but our 5-year-old, the youngest member of our walking party, managed to navigate the walk without complaint. It helped that she could enjoy a summer crop of blackberries on route.
Llangrannog is a magical place, offering just a small slice of the beautiful Welsh coastline and friendly hospitality from the locals. We're certain to return.