Mwnt Bay, Ceredigion
History, tourist information, and nearby accommodation
Mwnt is a secluded bay on the beautiful Ceredigion coast, a few miles north of Cardigan. The bay features a popular sandy beach and a medieval church on the clifftop above. The beach at Mwnt topped a recent newspaper poll as the best-hidden beach in Europe.
The beach and the surrounding headland is owned by the National Trust, who operate a cafe and shop during the summer months. From the cafe near the top of the cliffs, you climb down a set of broad steps to the golden sand below. In addition to the cafe and shop, there are public toilets run by Ceredigion Council.
Mwnt beach is popular with families, and you can usually find a few dozen people enjoying the sand on sunny summer days. The water can be relatively cold even in summer, but if you're brave you can enjoy swimming - our family did, and it was wonderful!
Mwnt is a very popular place to watch for dolphins, seals, porpoises and whales. Dolphins, in particular, are regularly spotted playing and feeding off Foel y Mwnt, a conical hill that rises 76m (249ft) above the beach on the north. The National Trust holds an annual Dolphin Watch, with members of the public invited to help the Trust's rangers monitor the dolphin population.
If the weather is clear you can see north as far as Snowdonia from the top of Foel y Mwnt. Or, if you come late in the evening, the top of Foel y Mwnt is a popular place to enjoy the sunset.
At the top of the steps that lead down to the beach stand the circular remains of a lime kiln.
Dogs at Mwnt
Many people have asked about taking dogs to the beach. Dogs are not allowed on Mwnt beach from May through September - the peak period for visitors - but are allowed at other times of the year. Just be considerate and pick up after your dog as you would in any other public place.
At the foot of Foel y Mwnt stands the picturesque whitewashed Church of the Holy Cross. The church began as a medieval chapel of ease for the parish of Llangoedmor and was frequently used by sailors. It has its origins in the Age of the Saints (roughly 400-700 AD) but the present building dates to the 14th century. Inside is a 12th-century font made of stone quarried in the Preseli Hills. The church is usually open daylight hours.
A Flemish Invasion
In 1155 a force of Flemish soldiers landed at Mwnt but were defeated. Victory over the invaders was celebrated in later centuries by a festival known as 'Sul Coch y Mwnt', or Red Sunday, a reference to the bloodshed during the invasion. A nearby stream still goes by the name of Nant y Fflymon (Flemings' Brook). Bones of soldiers who died in the fighting were still being discovered within living memory.
There is a large National Trust pay and display parking area at the end of the road, between the church and cafe. We found it rather pricey, to be honest, but National Trust members can park for free. Just have your membership card with you and scan it at the pay machine. We didn't find anywhere to safely park outside the Trust's parking area, because the lane leading to the beach is so narrow.
Mwnt beach is not signposted until you get quite close. The easiest way to get there is by taking the A487 north from Cardigan towards Penparc, then turn left onto the minor road signposted to Cwm and Mwnt. Alternatively, from Cardigan take the B4584 towards Gwbert and turn right on a minor road towards Mwnt as you reach the northern outskirts of the town.
The bay is also located directly on the Wales Coastal Path, so if you enjoy walking you can make a visit to Mwnt part of a longer hike. The coastal views are simply spectacular.
The beach doesn't have a postcode of its own, but if you use the postcode SA43 1QH on your sat nav it should get you close.
About Mwnt Bay
Address: Ceredigion, Wales, SA43 1QH
Attraction Type: Countryside - Beach
Location: National Trust parking at the end of the signposted road to Mwnt, off the A487 north of Cardigan.
Photo Credit: David Ross and Britain Express
NEARBY HISTORIC ATTRACTIONS
Heritage Rated from 1- 5 (low to exceptional) on historic interest
Mwnt, Holy Cross Church - 0 miles (Historic Church)
Cardigan Castle - 3.9 miles (Castle)
St Dogmael's Abbey - 4.3 miles (Abbey)
Cilgerran Castle - 5.5 miles (Castle)
Cilgerran, St Llawddog's Church - 5.5 miles (Historic Church)
Internal Fire Museum of Power - 6.3 miles (Museum)
Cenarth, St Llawddog's Church - 7.9 miles (Historic Church)
National Coracle Centre, Cenarth Falls - 7.9 miles (Museum)
Nearest Accommodation to Mwnt Bay: