Cardigan to Aberporth
This section runs through farmland to the north of the River Teifi before following a roadside path along the side of the estuary to Gwbert before turning inland for a while, returning to the coast for the iconic vista on the approach to Mwnt.
The next stretch is a clifftop route overlooking quiet coves and caves, and is a great area to spot dolphins, seals and porpoises. From the glacial meltwater channel of Cwm Gwrddon the path skirts around the Ministry of Defence base before descending into the village of Aberporth.
Distance: 11.7 miles (19.1km).
Map:Cardigan to Mwnt
Map: Mwnt to Aberporth
Above left: the beach at Mwnt. Above right: Penpeles rocks between Mwnt and Aberporth
Aberporth to Llangrannog
Characterised by high cliffs and secluded beaches, much of this section is designated Heritage Coast. The waterfall at Tresaith is probably the most spectacular of the many coastal cliff waterfalls along Cardigan Bay. There are fine views of the sandy Penbryn beach and the iron age promontary fort at Ynys Lochtyn. The most challenging stretch of this section of the Ceredigion Coast Path lies between Penbryn and Llangrannog, with two sharp climbs and corresponding descents at Traeth Bach, and up to the ramparts of an iron age fort of Castell-bach, before descending into the village of Llangrannog.
Distance: 4.8 miles (7.7km).
Map: Aberporth to Llangrannog
Above left: the waterfall at Tresaith. Above right: Penbryn beach.
Llangrannog to New Quay
Arguably the most spectacular part of the Ceredigion Coast Path, this section is Heritage Coast and includes the iconic Ynys Lochtyn, the folded rock formations of Cwmtydu and Cwm Soden. Near New Quay, Birds Rock is a great area for spotting both marine wildlife and seabirds.
Distance: 9.4 miles (15km).
Map: North of Llangrannog, with alternative inland route
Map: South of New Quay
Above left: Cwmtydu cove. Above right: looking south towards Ynys Lochtyn from Bird Rock, New Quay
New Quay to Aberaeron
A popular stretch of the Coast Path, which includes a stretch along Traethgwyn beach at low tide to Llanina - a favourite route of the poet Dylan Thomas. Check tide times before taking the beach route (map 2 shows an alternative route). From Llanina the route continues via the sheltered Cei Bach and Cwm Buwch, where the meandering Afon Drywi carves some interesting topography before becoming a waterfall.
Distance: 6.5 miles (10.5km).
New Quay to Aberaeron
Map 2: alternative route option between New Quay and Cei Bach
Above left: Traeth Gwyn, New Quay. Above right: Afon Drywi, between Cei Bach, New Quay and Aberaeron
Aberaeron to Llanrhystud
The gentlest stretch of the Ceredigion Coast Path lies along the top of soft cliffs on the coastal flats between Aberaeron and Aberarth. The now quiet hamlet was once the centre of a busy coastal shipbuilding industry, which took place on the beach. A natural haven, Aberarth was the site where the monks of Strata Florida imported the honey coloured Bath stone from Bristol. The ever industrious monks also built fish traps or ‘goredi’ to catch salmon, sprats and mullet when the tide went out. You can still see the stone remains at low tide.
Take a short detour away from coast path to the hilltop church of Llanddewi Aberarth, where there is a carved stone with distinctive Viking patters - a clue to the hidden history of this quiet stretcch of coast.
From Aberarth, the Ceredigion coast path starts climbing over Graig Ddu ("black rock") for great views over the next stretch of coastal flats at Llanon. Along the foreshore between Llanon and Llanrhystud are the remains Craig-las limekilns and related buildings. This once industrious site is unusual in having six distinct kilns where the limestone and culm would have been burnt in preparation for being transported inland for farmers to use on their land to balance the soil's natural acidity. The site has interesting lime -loving plants.
Distance: 7.4 miles (11.9km).
Map: north of Aberaeron
Map: Llanon/ Llansanffraid alternative route options
Map: south of Llanrhystud
Llanrhystud to Aberystwyth
The route between Llanrhystud and Aberystwyth is a challenging but dramatic and rewarding section of Ceredigion Heritage Coast,. This section of the Ceredigion Coast Path includes the 'hanging woodlands' of Penderi Cliffs nature reserve,. 'Deri' means 'oaks' and the main species of tree growing here is the sessile oak, though there are also other species including the small-leaved lime. The normally tall canopy trees have been stunted by the strong sea winds.
There are no settlements along this section of the path, therefore it has become an important habitat and breeding ground for a wide variety of seabirds, including a colony of cormorants. You can spot chough, kestrels, peregrine falcons and ravens too. The rock platforms below are a secluded nursery for atlantic grey seals.
Look out for 'Twll Twrw' (the noise hole) also known as Monk's Cave. Enjoy the fantastic view of Aberystwyth town and castle, and beyond to the mountains of Snowdonia as you descend Allwen ridge. The final approach towards Aberystwyth harbour is along the shingle beach of Tanybwlch nature reserve, which lies below the distinctive Pendinas hill and iron age fort.
Distance: 10.6 miles (17km).
Map: north of Llanrhystud
Map: south of Aberystwyth
Aberystwyth to Borth
The Coast Path route between Aberystwyth and Clarach passes over Craig Glais, or 'Constitution Hill'. The Cliff Railway can take the effort out of a steep climb to the summit, and the Camera Obscura is an alternative way to enjoy the panoramic views of Cardigan Bay and the town of Aberystwyth below. The next 3 miles (5km) section between Clarach and Borth is the hardest, with several big climbs to tackle. Look out for the pebble 'causeway' of Sarn Cynfelyn stretching out to sea at Wallog. As you approach Borth you will be rewarded with expansive views over the Dyfi Estuary and the mountains beyond.
Distance: 4.9 miles (7.8km)
Map: north of Aberystwyth
Borth to Ynyslas
At Borth, the route of the Wales Coast Path diverges from that of the Ceredigion Coast Path.
This is where the Wales Coast Path and the Ceredigion Coast Path diverge as the route approches the wide estuary sands of the Dyfi estuary. In order to cross the wide sands of the river Dyfi's estuary, the Wales Coast Path route turns inland, whilst the Ceredigion Coast Path heads for the sandy headland at Ynyslas, the northernmost point of Ceredigion.
To cross the Dyfi you need to head up the valley towards Machynlleth, by crossing Cors Fochno (Borth bog) marshes towards Tre Taliesin and Tre'r Ddol, and onwards to Eglwysfach, where you'll find the RSPB reserve, a furnace from the age of silver-lead mining in the Cambrian Mountains and Derwenlas, which was once a busy little port on the river.
The Ceredigion Coast path takes you to Ynyslas promontory, where you can enjoy views across the sands towards Aberdyfi in Gwynedd, the slopes of mighty Cadair Idris, and across the valley towards Talybont and the Cambrian Mountains.
You can walk along the beach at low tide, and seek out the remains of the submerged forest which gave rise to the legend of Cantre'r Gwaelod. Look out for the Bellringers Stone sculpture on the promenade at Borth.
You are now in the Dyfi Biosphere, surrounded by the Dyfi Ynyslas Nature Reserve
Distance: 4.9 milltir (7.8km)
Map: Borth to Ynyslas
Walk (or run, as the first recipient of the Ceredigion Coast Path Challenge Certificate did in January 2016) the Ceredigion Coast path in its entirety and find the answers to seven questions along the route to claim a personalised completion certificate.