Newport Parrog Beach
Part of the Nevern Estuary, Newport Parrog beach is sandy at low water but rather stony when the tide is up.
It is safe for bathing in calm weather at high water but dangerous currents make it treacherous around the ebb tide.
Parrog is more a place for boats. As early as 1566 Newport was trading with Bristol and other ports, the vessels sailing from the quay near the Boat Club with their cargoes of wool and slates outward bound and imports mainly including limestone and coal from the quarries and mines round the coast to the south at Porthgain, Abereiddi, St Bride’s Bay and the Daucleddau Estuary.
The extent of the trade in the days of the sailing ships and small coastal steamers is reflected in Newport and nearby Dinas where the wealthy sea captains built their retirement homes. Old photographs show that some of the sailing schooners and ketches that brought cargoes in and out of Newport were too big to tie up at the quays, and were beached off the Parrog for loading or unloading by means of carts and wagons drawn by teams of horses. The Welsh Port Books reveal the variety and sizes of the cargoes, with such exotic goods as hops, alum, fardel linen, Poldavi cloth, pitch, tar, black and white soap. salt and teasels for the fulling mills. The prices of those commodities were also interesting, a consignment of 11,000 slates deivered in 1567 working out at 1s 8d to 2s 8d per 1,000. The ships names were equally exotic - Le Saviour and Le Jesus among them. Up to the First World War ships beached off the Parrog. including one small coastal steamer, the Harperees, which belonged to a Cardiganshire owner and usually carried small coal or culm.
With easy access, a large carpark above the beach and a slipway for launching boats, the Parrog is a popular boating area, and in summer the colourful sails of yachts are seen racing in the Bay where there is often a brisk breeze blowing. Nowadays the pleasure craft flotilla is swelled by wind surfers, kite boarders and surf boarders, for the bay is open to the Irish Sea offering good combers for the surfing fraternity. Newport welcomes hundreds of tourists and has geared itself up to meet their needs, with good shops, cafes, restaurants and pubs. Some of the boats moored at the Parrog are working boats, for there are a few local fishermen here who catch lobsters and crabs for their own consumption and for the restaurants which cater for the many tourists. At the southern entrance to the Parrog is the site of the former Lifeboat station, for Newport had its own sea rescue service for 11 years, during which time it was only launched three or four times before Fishguard took over the role in 1895. The reason for this was that the Newport boat could only be launched at high tide and when the wind was easterly or southerly.