Walk: New Quay, Ceredigion
Dylan Thomas spent one of the most poignant years of his life in New Quay, from 1944–45. A little over 60 years later, his tale was told in film. Explore the romantic coastline where it was shot.
Partly set in New Quay, The Edge of Love (2008) tells of a fictional love triangle between Dylan Thomas, his wife Caitlin and Dylan’s first love, Vera Killick.
Starring Matthew Rhys, Keira Knightley and Sienna Miller, the story is set around a real shooting incident on 6 March 1945, when Vera’s husband William fired shots into Dylan’s bungalow, believing Dylan and Vera were having an affair.
New Quay’s Dylan Thomas Trail links the poet’s favourite places and includes several film locations. The walk is also a great way to see Mother Nature’s supporting cast.
New Quay town walk
3.6 miles/5.8km | 2 hours | easy–moderate
Stroll in the footsteps of Sienna Miller and Keira Knightley along the split-level stone harbour wall, which reaches out like a comforting arm into New Quay Bay. Pause here for a glimpse of Cardigan Bay’s other stars: its seals and bottlenose dolphins. For an encore, indulge in a wildlife boat trip, which depart regularly from the harbour.
The trail climbs Rhes Glanmor (Glanmor Terrace), with fine views across the bay, and passes the Cardigan Bay Marine Wildlife Centre, worthy of a best supporting Oscar itself for its dolphin cams and live video feeds of sealife.
The Black Lion, Dylan’s favourite pub, takes a leading role in the climb to Sgwar Ucheldir (Upland Square). From here, the trail negotiates New Quay’s narrow clifftop streets, with shops reminiscent of those Dylan describes in Under Milk Wood.
Dylan’s New Quay
Dylan’s 10-month stay in New Quay was immensely creative. The town inspired his most famous work, Under Milk Wood, set in the fictional town of Llareggub, whose landscape and characters mirrored those of New Quay’s.
2. Beach Bound
Dylan frequently walked along Lôn Treathgwyn (Brongwyn Lane), his main high-tide route between home and town. This narrow route accesses the beach via a metal walkway and steps, where the sand and pebble shoreline stretches to Llanina Point. On blustery days, the air is littered with the cinematic shrill call of oystercatchers, the repetitive chattering of gannets and the sharp shriek of herring gulls. It is the soundtrack that accompanied Caitlin when she frequently bathed here.
At Llanina Point breakwater, a concrete path follows the Afon Llethi, passing St Ina’s Church to reach a narrow lane beside Llanina Woods. In spring, this mature woodland is awash with wood anemones.
3. Majoda Moment
Running parallel to the bay, the lane climbs to a large green field. The production company built a replica of Majoda, Dylan and Caitlin’s wooden bungalow, here. Further along, a modern bungalow occupies Majoda’s true site. Its neighbour, Ffynnon Feddyg, is where Vera and William lived.
4. Bay Bound
At the B4342, a tarmac path returns to New Quay, perfect for a curtain-calling ice cream or a drink in one of Dylan’s many watering holes.