Best things to do in Cardigan & Cardigan Bay holiday cottages

Best things to do in Cardigan & Cardigan Bay

Laura Mackenzie 08 December 2022

With its beautiful landscapes, rich heritage, wonderful wildlife and fantastic positioning, Cardigan Bay is a mecca for those looking for coastal adventures in West Wales. 

Enjoy a seaside holiday here and explore Cardigan’s historic harbour and pretty market. Discover a vibrant creative arts scene, gorgeous Georgian buildings, intriguing independent shops and a great choice of cafes, pubs, and restaurants.

Once the fun is done, retreat to one of our comfortable cosy cottages in Cardigan and Cardigan Bay for some quality R&R.

Skip to:

Outdoor activities in Cardigan

Cardigan Bay dolphin spotting

 New Quay

Bottlenose dolphins frequently visit New Quay throughout the year, with increased activity in the summer. 

Cardigan Bay is famous for being home to the largest population of bottlenose dolphins in Europe making it an excellent spot for some wonderful wildlife watching! 

Cardigan Bay is also the largest bay in the British Isles and spans approximately 62 miles all the way from the Llyn Peninsula in the north to Strumble Head in the south. It is also the mid-point of the Wales Coast Path

The shallow and sheltered habitat of Cardigan Bay is ideal for playful bottlenose dolphins, and they favour this location to raise their calves year after year. 


There’s even a life-sized bottlenose dolphin sculpture carved from Welsh oak that can be found at Aberporth, a bustling coastal village with two sheltered sandy beaches nestled at the southern reaches of Cardigan Bay. 

Dolphin boat trips in Cardigan Bay

Dolphin boat trips Cardigan Bay

There are several boat trip providers that can take you to the renowned dolphin hot spots.

A Bay to Remember runs dolphin and wildlife-watching trips that depart from Gwbert, just outside of Cardigan. It utilises purpose-built boats for speedy access to the surrounding waters, increasing the chances of seeing all that the bay has to offer.

New Quay Boat Trips runs leisurely dolphin spotting cruises, private charters, and evening cruises within Cardigan Bay. With over 65 years of experience and fully guided dolphin spotting trips, the company is also dog friendly and caters for large groups. 

Cardigan Bay Marine Wildlife Centre


Based in a heritage building in the heart of New Quay with views of the beautiful beach and harbour, the Cardigan Bay Marine Wildlife Centre is a fascinating place to see when visiting Ceredigion

You can also book a dolphin surveying boat trip that supports the centre’s research. Dolphin Survey Boat Trips offers exclusive boat trips for 12 passengers and departs from New Quay. Enjoy the seals, birds, dolphins and porpoises while learning from the expert onboard researcher.

The Welsh Wildlife Centre & Teifi Marshes

The Welsh Wildlife Centre & Teifi Marshes

The Welsh Wildlife Centre is an award-winning visitor centre situated in the beautiful 264-acre Teifi Marshes Nature Reserve. 

Discover the wonders of nature in this adventure playground, full of themed nature trails. Will you spot the vibrant kingfishers, playful otters and wading birds? 

Discover the diversity of habitats, adventure play area and planned activities such as pond dipping and bird ringing. 

After all the fun, enjoy the scrumptious food at the striking Glasshouse Cafe with stunning views across the nature reserve to the river. 

Get back to nature with a cosy stay in the heart of the Teifi Marsh Nature Reserve: 

Cardigan Bay water sports

Cardigan Bay water sports

Try your hand at a spot of sailing, windsurfing, wind surfing, paddleboarding, kayaking, keel boating, water skiing and powerboating with Cardigan Bay Water sports.

Cardigan Bay Active also offers coasteering, canoe trips, paddle boarding, white water tubing, sea kayaking, climbing and much more!

Adventure Beyond also provides adventure activities on land and sea across West Wales. Why not try a spot of surfing, white water kayaking, gorge walking or some teambuilding adventures with raft building?

Things to do in Cardigan Bay with dogs

Poppit Sands Beach

Poppit Sands Beach

Pristine Poppit Sands is Cardigan's closest beach and offers stunning views of Cardigan Bay. This sandy dune-backed beach is an ideal spot for exploring the start or end of the Pembrokeshire Coast Path that will take you 186 miles around Pembrokeshire’s beautiful coastline to Amroth.

Adventure seekers can enjoy a range of activities from kitebuggying and landboarding to kitesurfing and power kiting. Poppit Sand’s plentiful wide-open hard sand is ideal for buggies, boarders, and pups to frolic to their hearts content! 

Enjoy the whole of pretty Poppit Sands from October to April and avoid the western section of the beach with your pooch from May 1st to September 30th because of seasonal dog-exclusion zones.

Mwnt Beach

Mwnt Beach

Mwnt is an idyllic secluded bay with a golden sandy cove and is a popular spot for spotting dolphins and other wonderful wildlife! Set off the beaten track, Mwnt is worth the effort for a well-deserved day at the beach with your four-pawed pal.  

Foel y Mwnt rises above this popular beach and a walk to the top is a must to take in the panoramic views over Cardigan Bay. You may even catch a glimpse of Eryri/Snowdonia’s marvellous mountains in the distance!

Enjoy the whole of this hidden gem with your doggo from October to April. Dogs aren’t permitted from May 1st to September 30th, but don’t let that hold you back! Read on for some amazing coastal walks you and your pup can enjoy together all year round. 

Ceredigion Coast Path

Ceredigion coast path

A walk with your excited dog along Ceredigion’s varied coast path is sure to offer up some fantastic views and interesting sniffs!

Ceredigion's coast path is 60 miles long and follows a varied route between the Teifi and Dyfi estuaries. 

Experience some great views towards dramatic Snowdonia in the north and pretty Pembrokeshire in the south. There’s also a wealth of wildlife and a colourful history to discover along the way including iron-age hill forts and 19th-century harbours.

Indoor things to do in Cardigan

Cardigan Castle

Cardigan Castle

Set in the heart of Cardigan with magical views across the River Teifi, the commanding Cardigan Castle conjures the ideal backdrop for a memorable day out.

With the title of being the birthplace of the Eisteddfod, Wales’ biggest cultural festival of poetry and music, along with its strong medieval walls that hold years of stories, Cardigan Castle is a must-visit. 

Explore the grand Georgian mansion and learn all about the people from the castle’s intriguing history with an amazing tour where the guides will bring the castle’s rich history to life. 

Dine in style in Cegin 1176 Kitchen, the on-site cafe and restaurant that combines locally sourced produce with superb views and sympathetic contemporary design.

If you fancy heading outside, then Cardigan Castle is also home to stunning regency Grade II-listed gardens. The gorgeous grounds are packed full of rare and interesting plants that are guaranteed to delight budding botanists.



This theatrical treat is Wales’ only completely independent multiplex cinema. Mwldan is a fantastic arts, theatre and production venue with a programme packed full of the latest movies, music, drama, opera and visual art.

Mwldan also produces professional productions and touring projects, specialising in world music, traditional music and drama including successful tours for the internationally renowned local Welsh harpist, musician and composer Catrin Finch.

Please enable cookies via the cookie preference centre to view this content.

Things to do with kids near Cardigan

Cardigan Island Coastal Farm Park

 Cardigan Island Coastal Farm Park

Enjoying spectacular views across to Cardigan Island, the unique Cardigan Island Coastal Farm Park also overlooks the terrific Teifi Estuary and the pretty Pembrokeshire Coast National Park.

Say hello to the friendly farm animals that include chickens, pigs, ponies, and llamas! Take the clifftop walk to look out for Atlantic grey seals and their cute pups. Head out to the headland and you’ll also get the chance to spot the visiting dolphins splashing about in the waves. 

The gift shop has a selection of toys, books and local Welsh crafts and kids will love the indoor and outdoor play areas. Refresh and have a bite to eat in the cosy cafe where you can also enjoy the spectacular scenery.

Silver Mountain Experience

Things to do with kids near Cardigan

Venture further afield to the western Cambrian mountains approximately 11 miles from Aberystwyth and discover the amazing Silver Mountain Experience where history, myth and legend combine for a fantastic family day out. 

Explore the fascinating history of the Silver-Lead Mine with an imaginative tour kids will love. Choose from A Miner’s Life, A Dragon’s Tale, or the fearsome Black Chasm! 

There’s also plenty more to discover like the play area with climbing frames, slides, a sandpit with diggers and the Silver River Water Play. Lose yourself in the magical Woo Hoo Wood and enjoy building your very own den. There’s also gem painting, fossil digging and trail quizzes.

Stop at The Miner’s Rest Cafe and enjoy the delicious range of hot food, snacks, hot and cold drinks. Sit indoors or outside in the beautiful outdoor seating area and take in the stunning views.

Things to do in Cardigan & Cardigan Bay map

Enjoy a day at the coast and plan your route to these top things to do in Cardigan and Cardigan Bay.

Please enable cookies via the cookie preference centre to view this content.

Stay in Cardigan Bay

Cardigan Bay holiday cottages

Our holiday cottages in Cardigan Bay are perfectly positioned for some wild West Wales coastal adventures. 

The amazing Cardigan Bay properties pictured above are: 

Choose from a variety of self-catering stays including sea-view apartments, family-friendly retreats and dog-friendly cottages in Cardigan Bay.

Take a look at our wider range of Ceredigion holiday cottages and holiday cottages in West Wales for even more holiday inspiration. 

Disclaimer: Whilst every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information at the time of writing, please ensure you check carefully before making any decisions based on the contents within this article.

Like it? Share it...

Read more like this

Dog-friendly pubs and restaurants in Saundersfoot

Tuck into these fantastic dog-friendly restaurants in Saundersfoot

7 of the best dog-friendly pubs and restaurants in Tenby

We've rounded up these seven top dog-friendly pubs in Tenby to enjoy as a pack.

A local's guide to coasteering in Pembrokeshire

Dive into our guide to coasteering Pembrokeshire where we look at the best places and guides for coasteering in Pembrokeshire
The Travel Chapter Limited trading as FBM Holidays is an appointed representative of ITC Compliance Limited which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (their registration number is 313486) and which is permitted to advise on and arrange general insurance contracts as an intermediary.
The Travel Chapter Limited trading as FBM Holidays | The Travel Chapter Limited is registered in England and Wales. | Registered office Travel Chapter House Gammaton Road Bideford EX39 4DF Company No. 02431506 | VAT reg: 143053210.