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 Wales > Walks in Wales  >   A walk in New Quay on the Dylan Thomas Trail, Ceredigion, West Wales

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the hairy legged hiker walking in WalesWhere is it?  In the town of New Quay, Cardigan Bay, Ceredigion
How long will it take ? :  3 miles, 5 km, Approximately 2 hr. But it depends on how many pubs you visit along the way
What's the attraction? : See the town that inspired Dylan Thomas to write about the village of Llareggub (say it backwards) in "Under Milk Wood"
Essentials : Stout footwear might help crossing the stream
Rating : Easy. Its mostly tarmac roads but there is a short section across the sands.
Car Parking : Park the car in the central car park above the harbour in New Quay. Charges 2.00 per 8 hr day as of 2008
Facilities : Refreshments available in several pubs and cafes along the way. Good fish and chip shops near the harbour. Toilets close to the harbour


Directions :   [ Map of Dylan Thomas Trail New Quay Walk location ]
New Quay is in Ceredigion West Wales. Take the A487 Aberystwyth to Cardigan road, at Synod Inn take the A486 to New Quay. It's a small town with a one way system with a 20 m.p.h. speed limit.
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Lets Go !

The hill of windows as Dylan Thomas described Llareggub, or was it New Quay ?The Dylan Thomas Trail is rather like Dylan's life, a bit of a pub crawl, with four public houses to be visited along the way. The idea of the trail is based on the assumption that Dylan was inspired to write his play "Under Milk Wood" by his stays in New Quay in the 1940's.

The trail starts close to the harbour at the Tourist Information Centre where there is a colourful information board that shows pictures of the route and from where you may pick up an information leaflet on the walk. Immediately opposite the TIC is London House the one time home and shop of Norman Evans who inspired the Nogood Boyoe in Under Milk Wood. A few yards up Church Street is the Dolau Public House said to be the favourite pub of Dylan's hard drinking and long suffering wife Caitlin. Caitlin would complain in later years that all the heavy drinking was doing her more harm than Dylan as she was physically unable to down the pints of beer and would have to drink the more alcoholic shorts.

Fresh Fish Shop in New QuayAfter visiting the pub it is often a good idea to to visit the toilets. These are to be found round the corner past the entrance to the harbour. Once the Lifeboat Station Dylan knew them as the regular haunt for old sea dogs to meet up and have a chat. Today, besides being the toilets, there is a small Fish Shop extension to the building where 21st Century characters can still be seen having a natter.

But back to the pubs and across the road is the Blue Bell where Dylan drank with a young Richard Burton. The Blue Bell was up for sale when we visited in 2008 but with it's prime position in New Quay I'm sure it will be back in business in no time.

        ------------------------------------------ Click to enlarge the Pictures ---------------------------------------

From the Blue Bell we head up the winding Glanmor Terrace. On the right we pass the Hungry Trout restaurant that used to be the New Quay Post Office. Here Dylan would post his scripts to London and where Jack Lloyd, or Willy Nilly, Milk Woods' postman would have worked. (I can recommend the Hungry Trout for it's excellent seafood where we enjoyed a baked halibut and delicious char grilled mullet). Across the Bay can be seen Llanina Point and Majoda the house were Dylan once lived.

Black Lion Inn, New QuayFurther up the hill and on the left hand side of the road we come to Dylan's favourite pub, the Black Lion, where there is a collection of pictures and memorabilia of Dylan. Across the road is Gomer House where Captain Tom Polly lived, the original Captain Cat.

On the corner at the top of the hill, past the amusement arcade, is the Seahorse Inn. The Seahorse was originally called the Sailor's Home Arms which inspired Milk Wood's Sailor's Arms. But unlike in Dylan's day most of the drinking now seems to be done outdoors with benches on the side walk to satisfy the new anti-smoking laws.

From the Seahorse bear right toward the Towyn Chapel across the Car Park. The minister of Towyn Chapel was a poet and a preacher and probably the inspiration for Milk Wood's Eli Jenkins. Carry on past the chapel along a leafy lane, Towyn Road, to Wendower. This was the home of Dylan's Aunty Elizabeth and his cousin Theodosia ,(what a glorious name) whom he would visit in the 1930's.

Leaving Wendowel, it's rather disappointing, we back track along the lane as far as the Seahorses. From here we take Margaret Street through to George Street. In Dylan's day this was the busy shopping street. The yellow Costcutter store was a Bakery in Dylan's day and inspired the tales of Dai Bread and his two wives. Bethel Chapel became Bethesda. While the next house Arnant was a cobblers where Dylan liked to sit and gossip. Close by is Manchester House, now a fishing tackle shop, which was then a drapers like the one in Llareggub. Mrs Organ Morgan's ironmongers may have been modeled on Sheffield House, an ironmongers next to Manchester House.

From George Street take Brongwyn Lane, still a leafy lane that at one time led all the way to Dylan's and Caitlin's home Majoda. Dylan would walk this lane no doubt passing the courting couples and maybe inspiring him for Goosegog Lane in Milk Wood.

Unfortunately for us and more so for the landowners the lane has disappeared into Cardigan Bay. To continue our trail take the steps down to the beach and bear right along the sand to Llanina Point. At the Point you may have to get your feet wet as a small stream crosses our path. After crossing the stream follow the path upstream through the woods. After a few hundred yards bear right to join the path that leads to Plas Llanina.

Plas Llanina was owned by Lord Howard de Walden a patron of the arts who allowed Dylan to stay at Apple House at the bottom of the garden. Next to Plas Llanina is St Ina's church which is well worth a visit while in the neighbourhood.

To continue the trail get back to the path and bear right at the junction with the tarmac road (hump back road on your left). Follow the road uphill and you will soon come to the site of majoda the house were Dylan and Caitlin lived from 1944 to 45. It is at Majoda that Dylan made a start on Under Milk Wood. The original timber and asbestos shack has been demolished to make way for the present bungalow.

Further along the lane is Ffynnonfeddyg the house where Dylan's one time friends Vera and William Killick lived. (William Killick was to be tried and found not guilty of of the attempted murder of Dylan and his friends).

Well that's the end of the trail, to return to New Quay either retrace your steps back to the beach or alternatively follow the directions on the map above. Carry on along the lane to the junction with the B4342. Veer right at the junction and this will take you back to New Quay. Unfortunately this can be quite a busy road and as there  is no pavement you have to be extra careful.
The safest return route is back along the beach. And if you are fortunate to have timed your walk to coincide with low tide then it is possible to walk all the way along the beach to New Quay harbour.

Please -- click on the pictures -- for enlarged pictures of the walk near Dylan Thomas Trail, New Quay, Wales, UK.

© All pictures copyright Bernard Wellings

Dolau Inn the favourite pub of Caitlin Thomas You pass Newquay harbour on the Dylan Thomas Trail
Dolau Inn the favourite pub of Caitlin Thomas
 
You pass beautiful Newquay harbour on the Dylan Thomas Trail
Four friendly locals at the Fresh Fish Shop. This is attached to the building by the harbour that was once the lifeboat station   Hungry Trout restaurant in New Quay, formerly the Post Office
Four friendly locals at the Fresh Fish Shop. This building by the harbour was once the lifeboat station
 
Hungry Trout restaurant in New Quay, formerly the Post Office
Dylan Thomas' favourite pub the Black Lion on Glanmor Terrace The Sea Horse, the inspiration for the Sailor's Arms
Dylan Thomas' favourite pub the Black Lion on Glanmor Terrace
 
The Sea Horse, the inspiration for Milk Wood's the Sailor's Arms
The Towyn Chapel   Wendower the home of Dylans's Aunt and cousin Theodosia
The Towyn Chapel
 
Wendower the home of Dylans's Aunt Elisabeth and cousin Theodosia
The Costcutter shop opposite the Seahorse Inn After Brongwyn Lane we come to Traethgwyn, New Quay's beautiful second beach
The Costcutter shop opposite the Seahorse Inn
 
After Brongwyn Lane we come to Traethgwyn, New Quay's beautiful second beach
Boats on the beach at New Quay  
Plas Llanina where Dylan stayed for a short time
Boats on the beach at New Quay
 
Plas Llanina, near Llanina Point, where Dylan stayed in a cottage in the grounds for a short time
The Church of St Ina at Llanina Point
Majoda , the house on the site of the old timber and asbestos shack where Dylan and Caitlin lived for some years
The Church of St Ina at Llanina Point
 
Majoda, the house on the site of the old timber and asbestos shack where Dylan and Caitlin lived for some years
Ffynnonfeddyg  
Ffynnonfeddyg further along the lane
 

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