Dyfi Estuary & Borth, Mid-Wales

This guide covers two locations: a long sandy beach for wave sailing (Borth) and a flat water venue for blasting & freestyle (Dyfi Estuary by Aberdovey). Although they are on either side of the estuary, it’s an hours drive between the two. However, if you want to sail both from one base, it is possible. You can sail across the estuary from Borth (tide dependant) and you can get to the wave beach from Dyfi side (with a bit of a trek through sand dunes). However, most sailors who want a wave sail go to Borth and most sailors who want a flat water sail, go to Dyfi.

Beach Faces:

West

Best Wind Direction:

South-west for the beach.West/south-west or East for cross shore in the estuary.

Best Wind Direction For Waves:

South-west for cross-onshore, port tack riding but then the best is when it goes North-west after a low pressure to give you starboard tack riding at the beach. However, the swell needs to be decent.

Not Good:

South-east & North-east

Tide:

This place has a massive tide range. At low tide, it’s a long walk out to the sea’s edge and in the estuary you will be left with about 100yds width of water. But it soon comes in again so go and have a cup of tea! For the best waves at the beach, you want to sail on an incoming tide from about mid-tide.

What’s On The Bottom:

Sand

Any Hazards:

The estuary tide. It runs at 6-8 knots at spring tides so you can easily get swept one way or the other if you are unlucky enough to break something. Out to sea isn’t so clever but all you’ll get down the estuary is very muddy as you end up on the mud flats. Also watch out for the yachts moored in the deep water on the Dyfi side. However, they are all gone in the winter.

Other Water Users:

Jet skis, kiters, yachts and a seriously busy tourist beach in the summer.

Suitability / Levels:

Beginners are fine in the estuary at high tide. Intermediates have great flat water at most state of the tide in the estuary and on the sea in a Force 3-4. Wave sailors will love the cross-onshore riding at the beach following a traditional low pressure system!

Wipeout Factor:

Obviously, in a good storm it can get gnarly but there are no rocks, not much rip so you’ll get washed in eventually if it all goes wrong – just enjoy the ride! The only wipeout possible in the estuary is to hit the sand bank on a falling tide. You’re more likely to injure yourself doing a catapult onto dry sand than at any time in the waves!

Instruction:

Borth??, Sailing Club at Aberdovey

Kit Hire:

Outdoor school in Aberdovey

Friendly Factor:

Not busy like other spots in Wales. You’ll see an average of 10 locals when it’s good at the beach and the most I’ve ever seen is around 20 in the summer time on the estuary. However, it is becoming busy with kiters who like the safety of the flat water lagoons.

No Wind Alternatives:

Not busy like other spots in Wales. You’ll see an average of 10 locals when it’s good at the beach and the most I’ve ever seen is around 20 in the summer time on the estuary. However, it is becoming busy with kiters who like the safety of the flat water lagoons.

Facilities:

Toilets

Yes, in the estuary car park & back in the town in Borth.

Shower

No.

Windsurfing Shop

No. Nearest ones are Boardwise in Cannock & Funsport in Rhosneigr.

Food

Jez’s Sandwich Shop in Aberdovey, other cafes in Borth.

Parking

Pay & Display at both but free out of season.

Pub

The usual in Aberdovey & Borth.

Accommodation:

Campsite (see map), B&B’s list, self catering www.welshtouristboard.co.uk

Local Hotshots:

Jez Trigg who runs the sandwich shop in Aberdovey although he shuts the sandwich shop when it gets windy!

Local Knowledge / Secrets:

Tywyn beach, two miles north from Aberdovey, gets better waves being downwind in a south-westerly. It is also easier to get to for sailors travelling from North Wales.

Extra:

Borth hosts the Boardwise Annual Demo in October.

How To Get There:

A44 Leominister from south
A458 via Shrewsbury and Welsh PoolCardiff-borth: 2 ½ hrs, Birmingham – Borth.

Report By:

Alfie Hart

X
phil-hells-mouth-wales-uk-beach-finder

Also in UK Travel

Hells Mouth (Porth Neigwl), North Wales

Read More