Mwnt is one of my favourite places to visit locally. From when I moved here at nine years old it quickly became one of my favourite beaches, there’s something about Mwnt that’s hard to describe to others but once you’ve visited you’ll understand. The views from Mwnt are simply idyllic and stretch out across Cardigan Bay. From the top of Foel y Mwnt (Mwnt Hill) the views sweep further across the bay. Mwnt is managed by the National Trust and is one of three beaches locally managed by them. If walking the Coastal Footpath in Ceredigion you will also pass through Mwnt.
Mwnt is also a very special place for dad of 3 and myself, as we were married in the 14th Century Church, Church of the Holy Cross and the three boys were later christened there. Mwnt is an ancient Holy Site and the church served as a Sailor’s Chapel of ease as well as a refuge for medieval pilgrims on their journey to St David’s where the Patron Saint of Wales shrine is. They would also visit Mwnt en route to Bardsey Island in North Wales and Strata Florida Abbey near Tregaron. In 1155 Mwnt experienced a bloody event when invaders from Flanders unsuccessful raided. The event is still marked now by Sul y Coch y Mwnt (Red Sunday).
A fortnight ago we decided to take advantage of the dry weather and went for a walk at Mwnt. We decided to take Pip with us and planned to walk up Foel y Mwnt, something I’ve surprisingly never done before. We parked in the car park which costs £3 for two hours before 4.30pm and £2 for two hours after 4.30pm. The car park was quite busy although a few cars were leaving as we arrived.
We then crossed over the road and headed for Foel y Mwnt, there are two paths up around the hill but we choose to walk up the nearest path which had views over the beach below. It’s quite a steep path and it’s quite close to the edge in places. It was a bit slippery under foot in places the day we were there so we decided not to continue to the top but to walk across the hill to the other side. The views out into the bay towards Aberporth are equally as stunning. We stopped briefly to locate a geocache and enjoy the views before heading back down the hill to the Church of the Holy Cross.
The Church is often left open for visitor to go inside and it was the first time Erin had been inside. She was amazed when we explained to her that we had been married there. We weren’t able to take Pip in to the church so I waited outside with him while the four children and dad of 3 went in. We then made our way across the open expanse of grass towards the path which leads down to the beach.
As we made our way back along the road and then down the path to the toilets and kiosk at the top of the beach we could see that the beach was quite busy. We decided it wouldn’t be far to take Pip down onto a busy beach so instead I said I would buy us all an ice cream and we could sit by the old kiln overlooking the beach. This suggestion was welcomed by the children after the walk.
The children desperately wanted to go down and play on the beach so we promised to visit again soon and enjoy some time on the beach. From the kiosk and toilets the path down to the beach consists of several flights of steps down the cliff to the actual beach. Coming back up the steps after time on the beach is quite taxing! There is a stream that runs along the near side of the beach down to the sea and it’s a firm favourite with children for paddling. As a child I spent a lot of time on Mwnt but since moving back here we have not managed to visit as much as I would hope to but it’s something we will be rectifying. Hopefully on one of our next visits we may be lucky enough to spot a Dolphin or basking shark which are often seen at Mwnt. With ice creams devoured we made the walk back towards the car with the children giving wistful glances down the sand below. So until next time Mwnt, I promise it won’t be so long until our next visit….