Saundersfoot is a large, south east facing beach of golden sand and is one of the most popular stretches of coastline in Pembrokeshire. Bathing here is generally safe, and Saundersfoot is very popular with families. Being a lively tourist beach, all the expected amenities can be found close to the beach, including shops, cafes and ice cream parlours. There is disabled access to the beach, with disabled toilet facilities nearby. Dog restrictions are in place between between 1 May and 30 September, and Lifeguards are on duty from the end of June to the end of September.
Tenby is Pembrokeshire’s main holiday resort, and its beaches reflect this. They provide plenty of facilities, are winners of various environmental awards, and are often crowded especially during the main holiday periods. North Beach consists of a sweep of golden sand, with occasional rocks, including the prominent Goscar Rock, dotting the beach. The harbour and castle are at the southern end of the beach which is well sheltered from the prevailing winds. Access to the beach is good, but parking close to North Beach especially during peak times can be difficult.
Tenby Harbour beach is small, picturesque and brightly coloured by the neat painted cottages and spectrum of summer sail, which gives it a magnetic attraction to all. To sit on the harbour wall watching fishermen cast their lines and the boats sailing to and from Caldey Island is a pleasureable way of whiling away the time. There is a Tenby Harbour walk which starts from outside St. Julian’s Chapel, and tickets are available from Cofion Bookshop, next to the Tudor Merchant’s House or the Harbour Cafe.
Tenby Castle beach lies in the cove between Castle Hill and the East Cliff. At low tides it is possible to walk out to St. Catherine’s island, but people will need to take care that the tide does not cut them off. Castle beach is only a short walk from town but the slipway sports a café, hire facility, deck chair rental and toilets. The beach is patrolled by a Lifeguard between the hours of 10am and 6pm during the summer season and boat trips to Caldey Island run from the beach at low tide.
Tenby South Beach
Tenby South beach consists of a mile long stretch of sand but it is much larger and quieter than Tenby North beach. It is also more exposed and therefore offers better conditions for those wishing to partake in watersports such as surfing, windsurfing and kite-surfing. Tenby’s south beach is a firm favourite with holidaymakers. The beach, which is backed by cliffs on which the town stands, offers unlimited views of Caldey Island which is inhabited by monks. Facilities are very good.
Coppet Hall is a small sandy beach, with pebbles at the high tide line. Joined to the busier Saundersfoot beach it has good parking facilities available meaning it can become crowded in the summer.
Wisemans Bridge is wide and mostly sandy with some rocky stretches. Its claim to fame is that it was used in the 1944 for rehearsals of the D Day landings under the watchful eye of Prime Minister, Sir Winston Churchill himself. At low tide it is possible to walk to neighbouring Saundersfoot. Very limited parking which is in demand in busy summer months.
Amroth is a charming coastal village where time seems to have stood still. The beach is punctuated by a series of groynes that help protect the village from winter storms and rough seas. This beach and village mark the easterly end of the Pembrokeshire Coast Path, which winds its way for 186 miles past all the coves, beaches and cliffs.
Barafundle Bay voted as one of the top 10 beaches of the UK. It is a beautiful bay of golden sands and turquoise blue waters and with it being east facing and well sheltered from the prevailing winds, it is an ideal hideaway spot. To find Barafundle Bay, turn off from the minor road between Stackpole and Freshwater East where a lane leads to a car park at Stackpole Quay. There are toilets and a cafe at the car park. The beach itself is a 1 km walk along the Coast Path and there is a steep descent from the path down to the beach.
Broadhaven South is a pleasant beach backed by sand dunes which are an important habitat for wildlife. Offshore is a dramatically-shaped limestone stack known as Church Rock. The stream running down to the beach drains from the Bosherston lakes called the lily ponds, Broadhaven South and the lily ponds are part of the Stackpole Estate, with the lakes themselves covering 32 hectares. Worth a visit, the lily ponds are home to a rich variety of wildlife, including otters, water fowl and dragonflies.
Stackpole Quay was built in the 18th century, to ship out limestone from the nearby quarry and bring in luxury goods for Stackpole Court. The quay is owned by the National Trust and nearby is the the village of Stackpole itself which has a very inviting pub. Close by are interesting areas of woodland – Castle Dock, Cheriton Bottom, Caroline Grove and Lodge Park – which were planted as part of the estate 200 years ago. There are species here from all over the world, many of them brought in from London’s Kew Gardens. The woods are managed by the National Trust, who have created several miles of pathways for horses and walkers.
Manorbier can be considered as one of the prettiest beaches in Pembrokeshire, overlooked by the impressive medieval Manorbier Castle and the 12C church. The beach itself is sandy, with rocks and rockpools at either end and a pebble bank along the high tide mark. Parking is available in a National Trust Car Park above the beach and along the low cliff at the northern end of the beach. Toilets can be found in the large car park and there are shops and a pub in the village.Freshwater East is a wide, sweeping crescent of sand and shingle backed by dunes and grassy headlands. Popular with boat owners, divers, fishermen and surfers alike, it has a shop, pub, caravan park and toilets – all set behind the dunes.
Freshwater West is a huge sweeping swath of sand and is haven for surfers, as they are drawn to the area by the big Atlantic rollers. However, it can be dangerous to swimmers because of strong undertows, and hazardous quicksands, so families with young children should be on their guard. The main beach is sand with pebbles at high tide. The water here is in pristine condition and home to many species of birdlife, seals and fish.
Marloes sands is a beautiful, isolated stretch of sand with rocky outcrops along its length. It is rarely busy and out of season if you make the effort to walk to the beach you are likely to have it to yourself. From the beach there are good views out to Skokholm and Gateholm Islands, the latter of which is at the NW end of the beach and can be reached on foot at low tide. The remains of neolithic to medieval settlements can be found on the island. To get to Marloes Sands, head to Marloes on the B4327 and just before the church in the village of Marloes turn left where you will find the car park and a signpost for the 1km walk to the beach.
Martins Haven is a small stony beach which has the embarkation point for boat trips to Skomer and Skokholm Islands. Popular with divers, it can get very crowded although many people travel down to Martins Haven to walk the cliffs. Bird life abounds and in the late summer/autumn months, the seal pups can be seen from the cliffs above on the many secluded coves that abound this area of the coastline. A National Trust car park is available 200m from the ‘beach’ and toilets can be found on the road to the beach.
Dale offers a sheltered bay and is perfect for taking those first steps into the world of windsurfing. Dale has a shingle beach with some sand at low tide and an attractive seafront, all overlooked by Dale Castle on the hill above. There is a local pub and cafe/shop on the front making it an excellent place to while a few hours watching the yatching/boating fraternity at play on the water. Car parking is plentiful although it can get busy at peak season such as bank holidays.
West Dale – A sand and shingle bay surrounded by steep unstable Old Red Sandstone cliffs. The bay itself is WSW facing and therefore takes the brunt of the stormy seas. It has difficult access, strong rip tides, submerged outcrops, unpredictable currents and sometimes powerful waves although this does not deter the many surfers who use the beach. There are no amentities at the beach, but the nearby village of Dale offers shops, pub and accomodation. Limited parking is available along the roadside, from where it is a 10 minute walk along the coast path to the beach.
Little Haven is a picturesque old fishing village with steep streets that descend to a stony beach. The beach itself is popular with swimmers and divers in the summer months and thus can get very crowded. However, at low tide there is a pleasant walk along the beach to Broad Haven with numerous caves and rockpools to explore. Small campsites and guest houses are plentiful in this area and Little Haven itself has its own restaurant and pubs serving bar meals. To find Little Haven follow the coast road south from Broad Haven.
Newgale is probably one of the most dramatic views as you approach it either way from the road. It provides the ideal location for water sports. There is always plenty of space on the long, two mile stretch of flat sand and whilst the Atlantic Ocean rollers ensure some exciting surf, it is a safe beach for the young and not so expert. The beach is patrolled by lifeguards during the school holidays. It is easy to find, lying midway between Haverfordwest and St. Davids on the main A487 road. There is a cafe at both ends of the beach and the Duke of Edinburgh Inn is next to Newsurf on the sea front. There is ample free parking and also a small picnic area.
St Brides Haven
St. Brides Haven is a small cove with sand exposed at low tide and shingle/pebbles further up the beach. It faces North West so is protected from the South Westerly winds making it excellent for bathing. There are many rockpools to explore and the cove provides good views aross St. Brides Bay. To find it follow one of the small lanes that lead off the B4327. There is limited car parking available by the church. Toilets can be found above the beach.
Solva is a busy little village in the summer, with plenty of cafes, restaurants, pubs and gift shops. There is not the best of beaches but it does have a very picturesque little harbour from where a pleasant afternoon watching the small boats coming and going can be spent.
Nolton Haven is a sheltered shingle cove which also offers a sandy beach area. Accomodation is available in Nolton Haven itself from a choice of caravans to self catering accommodation. There is also the Mariners Arms which provides accommodation and it also serves meals. Parking is available and Nolton Haven can be found on the coast road between Newgale and Broad Haven or by following the signs from the A487.
Whitesands is a very popular and often extremely busy beach. It is an enclosed bay with a sandy beach that can have some really nice waves and tends to pick up quite a bit of surf. It does get crowded however and is popular with surf kayakers although to protect the normal beach holiday makers, activities are zoned in the summer to try to avoid conflicts amongst the people using the beach. There is a large car park right on the beach and in the summer often a long queue to get into it. Accommodation is available in St. Davids and there is a shop, cafe and toilets in the car park. To find Whitesands Bay follow the signs from St. Davids.