The coast of Ceredigion (pronounced 'Kerrer-diggy-on') is bounded by the rivers Teifi to the south, and the Dyfi to the north. The terrain is very hilly and the 72-mile long coastal path particularly so, with three sections several miles in length remote from any towns or villages. In spring the hedgerows are delightfully adorned with masses of gorse and wild laburnams.
The county's southern coast is mostly rocky, north-west facing with small sandy bays. Proceeding north, the beaches become longer, more west-facing and are usually good for surfing. Aberystwyth is the main resort and university town, and the terminus of British Rail's Cambrian Coast line and the narrow gauge Vale of Rheidol line.
The new county of Gwynedd lies north of the Dyfi river and takes in the former counties of Merioneth and Caernarvonshire. Merioneth's beaches are generally long, sandy and west-facing. The main resort town is Barmouth - famous for its half-mile long timber railway viaduct across the Mawddach estuary. Six miles further north is Wales' only naturist beach at Morfa Dyffryn. Heading inland, the terrain soon becomes mountainous, with deep wooded valleys, lakes, plenty of camp-sites and the high peaks of Rhinog Fawr (2362 feet) and Diffwys (2460 feet). British Rail's Cambrian Coast line follows the coast from Aberystwyth to Pwllheli, and has stations within walking distance of most of the beaches.
Gwynedd (Llyn Peninsula)
Jutting out into the Irish Sea is the Llyn Peninsula. The beaches on its southern shore are mostly long and sandy, whilst the northern coast up as far as Porth Dinllaen is indented with numerous secret coves and smaller sandy beaches. North of Porth Dinllaen the beaches become longer, more pebbly and backed by banks of boulder clay. A colourful variety of pebbles can be found on the shores, including white quartz pebbles, red jasper, purple slates and black siltstones. The western tip of the Llyn is an area of winding lanes, good footpaths, plenty of camp-sites but very few shops or cafes. In summer, boat trips operate to Bardsey Island.