Click images
 below for more
 


Out and About
Places to Visit


The Beaches of
Cardigan Bay


Local Walks

 
Wildlife of the
New Quay Area


Local History


Community


Property for sale

 

Translate this page
  This Welsh translation uses InterTran. The new page takes a little while to load Welsh
  French
  German
  Italian
  Spanish



 

The New Quay Cliff  Walk immortalised  in 'Quite Early One Morning'
 

Chapel Street from the Indian Restaurant

There is an excellent  walk from the centre of New Quay immortalised in the Dylan Thomas poem 'Quite early one morning'. It takes the visitor high above the town where the sounds of the community  can be heard from a considerable distance.

From the Tourist Office on the sea front, walk up Church Street as far as the Indian Restaurant and then turn right in to Albion Terrace. When you come to a cross roads, continue straight across into Lewis Terrace.

View from the top of Lewis Terrace. Continue to the end of Lewis Terrace where the photo on the left was taken, and where you will see a footpath sign. From here the path becomes very steep, zigzagging up the edge of the cliff.  
The Quarry at New Quay from which the rock for the 'new' pier was taken As you climb this path, you will see the quarry below on your right where the rock for the 'New Pier' and many of the houses in New Quay was quarried. Below Lewis Terrace is Rock Street, so named as it was the road from the quarry to the pier.
Click here for a larger photo
Click on the photo for a larger image 
In the poem 'Quite early one morning' Dylan mentions the path along the cliffs to the south of New Quay:  ' I walked on to the cliff path again, the town behind and below waking up now so very slowly; I stopped and turned and looked....' .

From the top of the path there is an excellent view of New Quay. This is also a good place to see the rare cliff-dwelling red-billed crow called the Chough. There are only a few dozen pairs of this bird in West Wales, yet we saw ten or more along this path one day in April.

Dylan Thomas continues: 'Smoke from another chimney now. They were burning their last night's dreams. Up from a chimney came a long-haired wraith like an old politician. Someone had been dreaming of the Liberal Party. But no, the smoky figure wove, attenuated, into a refined and precise grey comma. Someone had been dreaming of reading Charles Morgan. Oh! the town was waking now and I heard distinctly, insistent over the slow-speaking sea, the voices of the town blown up to me. And some of the voices said.............'
View north from the coastal path At the very top, the path levels out giving a fine view of the whole of the Ceredigion coast to the north. On a clear day one can see the whole of Cardigan Bay as far north as the Lleyn Peninsula. Snowdon, Plynlimon, and Cader Idris are all prominent mountain peaks.
Lichens on the rocks are an indication or pure air The path here is bordered by Blackthorn and Gorse. On the left an old stone wall is heavily encrusted by a white lichen - testimony to the purity of the air in this region.

Bird life here includes the Stonechat, Peregrine, Kestrel, Chough and various species of gull. The Butterflies we saw were the Green-Veined White, Small Copper, Common Blue, Painted lady, Small Tortoishell and   Skipper.

Moira watches dolphins near Bird Rock Care must be taken, for at times the path comes perilously close to the edge of the cliff, especially above Bird Rock.  Pausing at one of the viewpoints, look carefully for Grey Seals on the rocks below or swimming close to shore. Seals can often be seen near fishing boats and you may have  an excellent view of the Bottlenose Dolphins that frequent the coastal waters here.
The National trust sign for Bird Rock Soon you will see the National Trust sign for 'Craig Yr Adar'  - Bird Rock. Take the lower path where the sign designates an alternative path - but be careful as it passes very close to the edge of the cliff. 
Bird Rock Bird Rock is named after the large number of seabirds there. When we walked the path on September 24th, the seabird nesting season had finished, but many Cormorants were perched on the flat rocks to the right of this photo.
The view from the lookpout point at Bird rock Just past Bird Rock is the Coast Guard Station and the Cardigan Bay Lookout Shelter. inside the shelter are identification boards for local wildlife as well as a panorama identifying places on the coast to the south. Also the following extracts from the Coastguard log:
Christmas Day 1926 - Lifeboat called out to the wreck of schooner 'Guiding Star' of Plymouth which was found stranded under the cliffs at Tregynan Isaf Farm with all sail set, no-one on board. Search was made but no trace of crew was found.
29th January 1946 - Reported at 11.25 that a Spitfire Pilot had baled out over Tresaith and was drifting into Bay. Lifeboat searched extensively for parachute and returned at 15.40 having failed to locate pilot and aircraft.
4th and 5th February 1946 - H. M. submarine 'Universal' drifting casualty. Crew taken off by Fishguard and Aberystwyth lifeboats. Coastguard staff kept watch and stood by on being retired from watchman duties. Altogether a good show as far as readiness was concerned.
Looking north towards Ynys Lochtyn and Aberporth There are now 3 choices. You can either turn around and return to New Quay the way you came, pass through the gate by the shelter and return to New Quay through Penrhyn Farm and then along the main Llandyssul Road, or continue along the path to Cwmtydu - another three miles of coastal path. The photo on the right shows the view to the south. Ynys Lochtyn is the peninsula in the distance. Just beyond it is Llangrannog. Aberporth is on the horizon.

Click here for the continuation of the walk to Cwm Tydu


The Penrhiwllan Inn with the Smugglers Haunt Restaurant - very convenient for a swift pint after a long walk.

We chose the circular route to return to New Quay. Opposite the lookout shelter is a gate leading on to the track to the Coastguard Station. Follow the track until you reach a farm - then following the signs around Penrhyn Farm and on past the caravan park to the main road. On the corner is the Penrhiwllan Inn with the Smugglers Haunt Restaurant - very convenient for a swift pint after a long walk.

Follow the main road downhill towards New Quay. Part way down the hill there is a small shop on a corner. Take this road on the left and you will find the Church of St Llwchaiarn. 

The Church of St Llwchaiarn.  There was a very ancient church here, possibly dating back to the 9th Century. Unfortunately this was replaced in 1865 by a newer church - shown here on the right. In the graveyard are many memorials to seamen of New Quay and interestingly the grave of John Patrick and his wife Sophie - the  Grand parents of 'Jack Pat'  - Dylan Thomas' friend Jack Patrick, Proprietor of the 'Black Lion' in New Quay.
Leaving the church, we returned to the narrow streets of New Quay and recalled the words of Dylan Thomas once again as we passed the pristine cottages overlooking the sea: 'And I walked in the timeless morning past a row of white cottages almost expecting that an ancient man with a great beard and an hour-glass and a scythe under his night-dressed arm might lean from the window and ask me the time. I would have told him: 'Arise old counter of the heartbeats of albatrosses, and wake the cavernous sleepers of the town to a dazzling new morning.'Which is exactly what it was that day!  

Leaving the church, we returned to the narrow streets of New Quay and recalled the words of Dylan Thomas once again as we passed the pristine cottages overlooking the sea: 

'And I walked in the timeless morning past a row of white cottages almost expecting that an ancient man with a great beard and an hour-glass and a scythe under his night-dressed arm might lean from the window and ask me the time. I would have told him: 'Arise old counter of the heartbeats of albatrosses, and wake the cavernous sleepers of the town to a dazzling new morning.'

Which is exactly what it was that day!

Continuation of the walk to Cwm Tydu
The path becomes quite steep in places past the lookout point and some sections may be muddy when it has been wet. In the spring there is an incredible display of wind-sheared blackthorn which clings to the slopes like a blanket of snow.

In the photo, a walker is shown ascending the steep path through the Blackthorn.

In places, the path passes through fields where the slopes below are inaccessible. 
Peregrine Falcon This walk gives the visitor the chance to see some of the more unusual birds of the area. We were fortunate to watch a Peregrine Falcon sitting by its nest on the cliff near Coybal. We also saw a number of Choughs - the rare coastal crows with red beaks and red feet. A number flew close above us on the path. The Stonechat also is frequently seen sitting on a projecting branch making its distinctive call.
We also saw two of our resident reptile species on the walk. On the left is a so called 'Common Lizard' - not so common and rarely seen these days. We also stumbled upon a couple of adders basking in the sunshine on the path. Unfortunately, they moved so quickly that I was unable to photograph them.

 

2003 / 2006  Rod Attrill 

 

 

Advertise    I    Disclaimer     I     Links   I     Contact