Summer star gazing walk at Penbryn Beach

Penbryn, Ceredigion, Wales

Route details and mapDownload as a print friendly PDF
Dusk is a good time to try and spot a seal playing in the surf © northeastwildlife.co.uk

Dusk is a good time to try and spot a seal playing in the surf

Ideal for star gazing, Penbryn beach is a mile long with no light pollution © Joe Cornish

Ideal for star gazing, Penbryn beach is a mile long with no light pollution

Look out for the distinctive barn owl hunting at dusk © northeastwildlife.co.uk

Look out for the distinctive barn owl hunting at dusk

Route overview

On a clear night you can see some 4,000 stars sparkling in our universe. Perfect for families and anyone unfamiliar with astronomy, this guide will introduce you to star gazing at Penbryn Beach. Reached through the woods of a fern-clad valley, it's an ideal location for star gazing. Print off a copy of our Star Guide to take with you and find out what’s in the sky this month…

Route details

See this step-by-step route marked on a map

Route map for Summer star gazing at Penbryn Beach, Ceredigion
  • Directions
  • Route
  • Bus stop
  • Parking
  • Toilet
  • Viewpoint

Start: National Trust car park, Llanborth Farm, grid ref: SN295521

  1. From the car park, take the road with the farmhouse on the left and the farm buildings on the right. The valley, known as Cwm Lladron (the Robber's Valley), is steeped in history and was a well known destination for illicit Irish cargo in the 18th century.

    Show/HideSummer Triangle

    Look up to see the Summer Triangle. It is made up of three bright stars positioned in a triangle shape, directly overhead. The stars are called Deneb, Vega and Altair, and also form part of other constellations. Dusk is a great time to spot seals feeding and playing in and around the surf. Seals spend most of their time at sea, but you might see them popping their heads out of the water, curiously watching you on the shore.

    Dusk is a good time to try and spot a seal playing in the surf © northeastwildlife.co.uk
  2. Walk along the road until you reach the beach. Alternatively take the footpath designated by the figure post at the woodland end of the car park, go down the steps and over the bridge and follow the path through the woodland to the beach. Star gazing spot: lay a blanket anywhere on the beach and take in the views of the wide open sky.

    Show/HideNorth Star

    The North Star, also known as the Pole Star or Polaris, is a very bright star and is always fixed above the north point of the horizon. It has been used for over 2,000 years to help navigators at sea and on land find their way. Penbryn beach is perfect for star gazing, being almost a mile in length it has wide open skies and little light pollution. Come back in the daytime to enjoy bathing in its shallow waters and building sandcastles on its deep golden sands.

    Ideal for star gazing, Penbryn beach is a mile long with no light pollution © Joe Cornish
  3. Return back through the woodland or the road to the car park.

    Show/HideMilky Way

    Try and spot the Milky Way, a ribbon of millions of stars, threading its way across the night sky. The light you see from a twinkling star has travelled across the universe for millions of years to reach you; so when looking at a star, you are actually looking back in time. You may be lucky and see the distinctive barn owl hunting for voles and mice on your starry walk; youre most likely to spot them at dusk. These large birds are found all over England and while their numbers have declined rapidly over the last few decades, fortunately they are now rising again.

    Look out for the distinctive barn owl hunting at dusk © northeastwildlife.co.uk

End: National Trust car park, Llanborth Farm, grid ref: SN295521

  • Trail: Walking
  • Grade: Easy
  • Distance: 1 mile (1.5km)
  • Time: 30 minutes
  • OS Map: Explorer 198; Landranger 145
  • Terrain:

    The walk along the road is 0.25 miles (0.4km), along a tarmac road. There is a steep climb down to the beach and back up to the car park. The walk along the footpath in the woods is 0.5 miles (0.8km) with several steep steps and moderately rough terrain. The beach is over 1 mile (1.6km) long depending on the tide. Choose a clear night, and take binoculars and a torch to follow in Galileo Galileis footsteps...

  • How to get here:

    By bus: Number 600 Cardigan - Aberporth - Quay West. Last bus: Penbryn - Cardigan 5.50pm, Penbryn - New Quay 3.36pm

    By road: Take M40 then A40 to Carmarthen, then A484, A487 to Penbryn

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