There are two notable seaside resorts called Newquay in the United Kingdom.
largest, and most well-known, is Newquay on the north coast of Cornwall. This is
probably one of the most famous tourism destinations in the whole of Britain, and very
popular with young surfers, especially, as the Atlantic rollers sweep onto its beautiful
Newquay, Cornwall is therefore quite a big tourist resort, with a lot of hotels, restaurants, pubs and all sorts of visitor attractions associated with one of Britain's busiest holiday destinations.
However, there is another, less well-known, tourist resort called New Quay, in the UK.
It is a small, picturesque fishing harbour on the shores of Cardigan Bay, in the county of Ceredigion, West Wales.
These two resorts are very different. Note that, to begin with, there is a major difference in the name! Whilst Newquay, Cornwall, is always written as one word, New Quay, Ceredigion, is always written as two separate words.
inevitably confuse the two resorts, because they only inquire for the name, without
realising there are more than one. If their geography is a bit weak, they can end up at a totally unplanned holiday destination .......in the wrong part of Britain!
Ceredigion is known to many, especially the older generation, by its former name of Cardiganshire. The name Ceredigion is historically even older. It derives from the Welsh for"kingdom of Ceredig".
Ceredig ruled this land, largely west of the River Teifi [or River Tivy],
during the Fifth Century AD. The anglicised names, Cardigan and Cardiganshire also derive from Ceredig.
Adjacent to the sheltered harbour, is the larger of New Quay's two beaches, just below
the centre of the town. Then, further round the bay, towards the north, between New Quay and
Cei Bach, is a third,even bigger, beach called Traethgwyn or White Beach in English. This is
especially very popular with the hundreds of visitors holidaying in the large caravan parks located conveniently just behind it.
There are several very good caravan sites on the roads leading down to New Quay from the A487, Cardigan to Aberystwyth, trunk road. They are well-kept and provide excellent facilities for holidaymakers. Most have club-houses and play areas, providing good family entertainment.
The population of New Quay increases dramatically during the summer months, as the caravan parks fill up. It is a bustling resort during the school summer holidays, especially, and is particularly popular with visitors from South Wales and the English Midlands.
New Quay is a very pretty place. Its picturesque houses, pubs, restaurants and gift shops cling to the hillsides overlooking famed Cardigan Bay, the biggest bay in the British Isles.
The town has narrow streets rising in terraces. Several of these were known as "ropewalks" in the town's maritime past. For example,there were three ropewalks in use here in 1859. Making long lengths of rope for shipping, by twisting it along the ropewalks was an important occupation during New Quay's heyday as a ship-building centre in the days of sail.
Sail-making, foundry work and all sorts of industries linked to building ships also thrived here in the past.
Early on, New Quay had been a little fishing and smuggling port, then later an important shipbuilding industry really developed from the 18th Century onwards, reaching a peak in the middle of the 19th century.
From 1779 to 1882, well over 200 vessels of varying sizes were built in New Quay.
In reality, there were three shipbuilding centres in the area; New Quay itself that developed
rapidly as a maritime community with its houses rising in steep terraces from the well-sheltered
harbour; Traethgwyn, the curving bay just to the north of New Quay and Ceibach, a long stony
beach below wooded cliffs, sheltered from the wind by Llanina Point.
Nineteenth century shipping registers distinguish between these three shipbuilding centres, that flourished tremendously until the 1860s.
The many shipbuilders not not only produced small smacks and schooners that were designed for sailing along the coast, but they were also concerned with building larger vessels that sailed across the oceans to North and South America and even as far as China and Australia.
Towards the end of the 19th Century maritime activity went into rapid decline and tourism gradually took over with time. Steam was taking over from sail and railways were handling more and more of the ships' cargoes.
During the days of sailing ships, New Quay and the surrounding villages were well-known for their strong maritime traditions. Many of the fine houses in New Quay were built by master mariners, or ships' captains, from the area. Their house names reflect the names of their ships and of far-flung ports across the globe.
One interesting house name is Majoda, a name derived from a compilation of the Christian names of the owner's children. It stands on the edge of New Quay, overlooking the sea at Traeth Gwyn.
It was here that the world-renowned Welsh poet, Dylan Thomas, lived during 1944-45. His most famous work, "Under Milk Wood" is largely based on New Quay.
There is a "Dylan Thomas Trail" here featuring places he frequented regularly, such as the Black Lion Hotel, his favourite watering hole.
A new film, called "The Edge of Love" was shot in New Quay, during May 2007, starring Matthew Rhys as Dylan Thomas, Sienna Miller as his wife, Caitlin Thomas and Keira Knightley as Vera Killick, a married lady who was reputedly a little too friendly with Dylan!
Her husband, an army captain on active service, came home on leave in March 1945 and fired his machine gun at Majoda, whilst Dylan was inside!
Not long afterwards, Dylan and Caitlin Thomas left New Quay!! What one might call a very hasty retreat!!
The solidly built stone pier is one of the main features of New Quay. It now provides a safe harbour for both the pleasure craft and the moored fishing boats, from northerly storms, which can blow up at any time of year, but not often in summer.
The stone pier also protects the central beach, below the town, from cool sea-breezes and makes it a much better, warm place for sun-bathing.
Since prevailing winds are from the South West, New Quay is very sheltered much of the time.
It can get very warm on the beaches on a sunny summer's day, with an off-shore wind blowing only lightly.
New Quay is a great place to spot Cardigan Bay's bottlenose dolphins, as they come in close inshore to feed, especially during early evening on calm days. Everybody loves to see the dolphins!
Boat trips are available from the harbour, always in the hope of spotting seals and dolphins out in the bay.
Speaking of which, one of the best places to view both seals and dolphins in the wild, anywhere in the UK, is Cardigan Island Coastal Farm Park at Gwbert, Cardigan, 19 miles south-west of New Quay. There are more details on www.cardiganisland.com.
The seals breed in the caves below the farm park and can be seen from the safely-fenced cliffs most days.
There are also emus, rheas, wallabies, llama and Vietnamese
and Kune Kune pigs , as well as more conventional British farm animals, to feed.
Children....of all ages .... love it!
There are also lovely sandy beaches not far from New Quay.....at Llangranog, Cwm Tydu, Penbryn, Tresaith and Aberporth. It is a wonderful, superb coast!
The pretty sea-side town of Aberaeron, with its very fine, pastel-coloured Georgian houses, is only 5 miles from New Quay. This is a really attractive little town. See www.visitaberaeron.com.
Another attractive town is Cardigan, half an hour south of New Quay. It has some lovely little family shops. See www.visit-cardigan.co.uk.
New Quay is a wonderful centre for exploring the whole of South Ceredigion and North Pembrokeshire in West Wales.
So why not give it a try, the next time you plan a holiday or week-end away from home have a think about coming to New Quay in west Wales.