A marine life haven
The name ‘Ceredigion’ takes a bit of explanation. The town of Cardigan gives its name to the surrounding bay, but the county now uses the Welsh word for Cardiganshire – Ceredigion, pronounced with a ‘dig’. Cardigan Bay itself is a large inlet of the Irish Sea and stretches from Bardsey Island to Strumble Head. With many beaches and a unique marine life, it’s the place to come to spot bottlenose dolphins, porpoises and Atlantic grey seals. The area is a Special Area of Conservation (SAC), designated under European law to protect its species and habitats. The Ceredigion coastal path is also a major attraction.
Much of the surrounding land is fertile farmland, dotted with towns and seaside resorts such as Fishguard, New Quay, Aberaeron, Aberystwyth, Borth, Aberdyfi, Barmouth and Porthmadog. It’s also a section of coast that major rivers flow into, including the Afon Glaslyn, Teifi, Rheidol, Dyfi, Aeron, Dysynni and Mawddach. Historically, the area supported a strong maritime industry. Cardigan was a major hub, once having more than 300 ships registered in its port, seven times as many as Cardiff. Due to being something of a backwater, in many ways this area remains charmingly unspoilt. The nearby heather-clad Preseli Hills are an additional delight.