AS sporting venues go, they don’t come much more spectacular than that enjoyed by Cardigan Croquet Club.

Based at The Cliff Hotel at Gwbert, it takes in the magnificent views across the Teifi Estuary and Cardigan Island.

The club, one of only three in Wales officially affiliated to the Croquet Association, was formed two years ago and now boasts 18 members.

Ceredigion MP Ben Lake was a recent visitor to the club, taking up the mallet as he revived memories of his time playing the sport at university.

Secretary Kathleen Martin is keen for others to join to experience the health and well-being benefits the game has to offer.

“Croquet can be played by both old and young but for older people or people struggling with mental health issues, it can be particularly beneficial,” said Kathleen.

“You are outside in the fresh air with a view which Welsh champion John Evans says is incomparable to any venue he has played all over the world.

“It involves gentle walking, is easy to learn and is very sociable. Last year we played matches against Llandovery and Aberdovey and this year we hope also to take part in the newly proposed All-Wales Tournament.

“All equipment is provided and we are indebted to Wells Jones the owner of the Cliff Hotel who allows the club to play here with no charge for facilities or ground maintenance.”

The Cardigan area also has an important part to play in the history of croquet. There was a croquet lawn at the Castle in the 1920s and at Hammet House in Llechryd, the former home of Lily Gower (1877-1959), ancestor of former England cricketer David Gower.

Lily was four times winner of the British Women’s Championship and one of only three women who won the Open Championship, doing so in 1905. She served on the council of the Croquet Association from 1939-1954.

If you are interested in joining, contact Kathleen Martin on 07786 568253 or email

The club plays from April 1-October 31 and the annual subscription is £20, which includes a free club sweatshirt and car sticker. Visitors pay £2 per session.