This is a place for those of us who don't like being herded around airports, patronised by tour guides etc. It's in the country of Wales, UK in the vicinity of Aberystwyth, a university town and home to a unique library. The place is called Borth and it is here you can find deserted sandy beaches, rocky bays and miles of sand dunes. OK, the weather isn't predictable, but there's plenty to see and do when you do get rained off.
Borth is to the north of Aberystwyth, in the county of Dyfed (also known as Ceredigion) and is off the A487. It has three miles of clean, shingle-backed, sandy beach with water so clear that marine life is happy to form there, such as sea gooseberries and sea urchins. The beach is also quite flat which makes it safe for children to paddle.
The whole area is backed by the Cambrian mountains, and is a haven for wildlife. The Ceredigion dolphins are regularly seen, as are seals and if you're lucky and in Borth at the right time of the year, you might even spot a rare peregrine falcon or a red kite, although these are more reliably seen inland at Nant yr Arian, on the A44 where they are fed every day at 2.00pm.
Things to Do
Mainly chill out! The beach is wide enough at low tide for beach cricket, frisbee throwing and so on. There is one refreshment stall - but only in the high season - two amusement arcades the size of an average lounge and a few cafés and chip shops. Beach fishing is reputedly good and there is an excellent tackle shop in the village. Families could visit the Animalarium to see wallabies, an intriguing collection of creepy-crawlies and some endangered species which they're trying to breed there. For golf fanatics, there are long-established golf links in between Borth and Ynyslas. Hazards include sheep and cars as the course is set either side of the road. Shopping in Borth is limited to traditional gift shops and the aforementioned tackle shop, although there is a small mini-market and a butchers for those who are self-catering.
Where to Stay
There is a Youth Hostel, a hotel and several bed and breakfast establishments but the main tourist accommodation is either self-catering flats or on one of the caravan sites. The tourist information office is open from Easter to October and can furnish further details.
Parking in Borth is available close to the beach if you get there early enough, otherwise near the post office at the south end of the village.
Just further up the coast, there are sand dunes and a nature reserve on the mouth of the Dovey. Swimming and paddling here can be treacherous. Parking is good at Ynyslas, on the estuary; just make a £1 donation to the nature reserve.
Welsh is a phonetic language with only the vowels varying between long and short sounds and the stress is on the penultimate syllable.
Aberystwyth is Aber-IST-with, ('th' as in breath)
Dyfed is DUH-ved or DIH-ved
Ynyslas is INIS-las
Nant yr Arian is simply Nant-ir-Arian
And don't forget to roll those Rs.