The Coastal Way
Get to know the Welsh coastline by taking a road trip along our new Coastal Way. It’s part of the Wales Way, a recently launched family of three national routes – the Coastal Way, the Cambrian Way and the North Wales Way – that guide you through some of our country’s most striking scenery. Each touring route is designed to introduce visitors to the best of Wales. They’re packed with suggestions on things to see and do as you travel, giving you the local knowledge to venture off the beaten path and create your very own Welsh adventure.
The Coastal Way runs in an unbroken sweep along Cardigan Bay through the counties of Gwynedd, Ceredigion and Pembrokeshire. It’s a stunning seaside road trip with serious star power. Stretching from Aberdaron on the tip of the wild Llŷn Peninsula in the north to the miniature city of St Davids in the south, it’s an epic coastal journey through an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, two National Parks and protected Heritage Coast. Along the way you’ll encounter an unmistakably Welsh landscape of sandy beaches, pretty harbour villages, sublime estuaries, hidden coves and mighty castles.
Get to know the Coastal Way
There’s so much to see along the Coastal Way it’s difficult knowing where to start. To point you in the right direction we’ve created a series of themed itineraries showcasing the best the Coastal Way has to offer. From week-long odysseys to short two- and three-day breaks, these guided tours take in the sights, sounds and tastes of our spectacular shorelines.
The Coastal Way in Snowdonia Mountains and Coast
Here we’re featuring over 100 miles of the Coastal Way, extending from Aberdaron (the deeply Celtic ‘land’s end’ of Llŷn) in the north to the cosmopolitan little resort and sailing centre of Aberdyfi and the Dyfi Estuary in the south. It lies within the area known as Snowdonia Mountains and Coast in the county of Gwynedd.
It’s a route studded with highlights. Here are just a few, from north to south.
Wildlife-rich Bardsey Island, the holy ‘Isle of 20,000 saints’, lies just off Aberdaron. Nearby Plas Glyn-y-Weddw at Llanbedrog combines amazing art with beautiful gardens.
The battle-scarred ruins of Criccieth Castle occupy a prime spot overlooking Cardigan Bay. Then comes the magical – some say surreal – village of Portmeirion, an Italianate fantasy of brightly coloured cottages and unique architectural flourishes set on the water’s edge.
Harlech Castle (a UNESCO World Heritage Site) commands huge views across Snowdonia’s mountains and coastline, as does Dinas Oleu, which became the National Trust’s very first acquisition back in 1895. Take the short, steep walk from Barmouth up to this inspirational headland and you’ll be treated to grandstand vistas of Cardigan Bay and the lovely Mawddach Estuary, where mountains meet the sea.
Picturesque Aberdyfi lies at the mouth of another alluring estuary, carved by the swirling waters of the River Dyfi.
As you travel, you’ll find a great choice of places to eat and sleep, plus a huge range of outdoor activities (everything from walking and wildlife spotting to watersports and cycling). And if you don’t fancy driving let the train take the strain by riding the scenic Cambrian Coast railway along the northern shores of Cardigan Bay.
That’s not all. Our Coastal Way also runs close to many other places to visit that make for great days out, including Snowdonia’s Zip World attractions, the activity-packed Coed y Brenin Forest Park, iconic Caernarfon Castle (another World Heritage Site), the National Trust coastal village of Porthdinllaen and the National Welsh Language and Heritage Centre at Nant Gwrtheyrn.