Beaches in West Wales

West Wales is home to some amazing coastline and a number of wonderful beaches. From open, sweeping sands, to intimate pebbly coves, you are sure to find somewhere just perfect to spend a day. Explore rock pools, build a sandcastle, catch some waves on a surf board, or just dip you toes in, there is something for everyone. Here is our guide to the best beaches in this wonderful part of the world.

Aberaeron South Beach

Once a thriving port, Aberaeron is now a popular holiday centre famous for its brightly painted Georgian houses and cheerful harbour filled with multi -coloured yachts and boats. Located next to the harbour is the quaint beach of Aberaeron South with its impressive cliffs and fantastic views across the bay. This mainly shingle beach is popular with those looking for gentle water sports such as sailing, windsurfing and canoeing. One of the best spots to enjoy the spectacular scenery is over a coffee at the beachside café.

Aberporth Beach

Aberporth is another quaint delightful little resort along the Ceredigion Marine Heritage Coast,
10 miles south of New Quay. With two safe sandy beaches – rock pools and small stream that runs out on to the beach – it’s an ideal place to let the children venture. Above the beach is a small cafe that overlooks Cardigan Bay serving hot and cold snacks or you can have a pint from the friendly pub next door, takeaways are also available.  Ample car parking is available with limited disability spaces above the beach with toilets. A regular bus service runs from New Quay to Cardigan via Aberporth (550) ‘Richard Brothers Buses’ and Arriva buses.

Aberystwyth South Beach

Once one of the busiest in Wales, the harbour is situated at the south end of town and fed by the rivers Ystwyth and Rheidol (which is the steepest river in Britain). A couple of years ago the harbour had a ‘make-over’ and was turned into a marina. The harbour is highly tidal so it’s important to refer to the tide tables if approaching by sea. A popular surfing spot.

Borth

Borth’s award-winning beach is of a particularly shallow gradient but many are fooled into thinking the steep pebble bank visible at high tide is representative of the ebb-tide scenario. Nothing could be further from the truth! Because of its shallow waters, Borth’s beach is particularly popular with sailboard enthusiasts and families with younger children.

Marloes Sands, Milford Haven

Marloes Sands Beach is a large sandy beach that sits between the surrounding headlands of Gateholm Stack and Hooper’s Point. The beach offers excellent water quality (2008). The beach is located on the west coast of Pembrokeshire between Wooltrack Point and St Ann’s Head close to the village of Marloes. Marloes Sands beach is popular with swimmers and walkers …as with many Pembrokeshire beaches it is bordered by the Pembrokeshire Coastal Path. It is also an area of SSSI (Site of Special Scientific Interest). Dogs are allowed on the beach but there are no dog bins. Facilities: The beach itself is lacking in facilities. Find facilities in Marloes some 2km away. Car parking is available for a charge.

New Quay

Set at the southern end of Cardigan Bay, New Quay is a small picturesque but popular seaside destination for the whole family. The village and surrounding area features, expansive sandy beaches, coastal walks and also its family of bottlenose dolphins, that remain here throughout the year. The Ceredigion Coast offers the opportunity for the nature lover to see the Red Kite glide high across the cliff tops looking for its prey, watch the rare species of sea-life and birds from the lookout post above Birds Rock.

Cefn Sidan

Cefn Sidan beach has been described as one of Europe’s best. It’s is over eight miles long and half a mile to the sea at its narrowest when the tide is out. Even on a bank holiday, if you are willing to walk, you can leave the crowds behind and find a part of the beach to yourself. The beach itself is within the Pembrey Country Park and there is an entrance fee for vehicles, but the car parks are excellent. In the park there is a ski slope, toboggan run, miniature railway, visitor centre, restaurant, and cafe. There are nature trails, forest walks, and cycle tracks and facilities for the disabled are excellent.

Llansteffan

Llansteffan has a very nice clean beach overlooked by a castle. The beach is a mixture of soft sand to sit on, and also firm sand for sandcastles. However, bathing is considered dangerous and not allowed. Car parking is good, (almost on the beach) and close to the beach is a small shop, a tea room, toilets, and refreshments. Llansteffan has  a very relaxing atmosphere with walks up to the castle and wonderful views across the estuary.

Pendine Sands

Pendine beach is vast and was once the scene of land speed record attempts. In 1927 J G Parry Thomas was killed trying to beat Malcolm Campell’s record of 175 miles per hour. His car which he called Babs overturned and Parry Thomas died  instantly from horrific injuries. The local people buried the remains of the car in the sand, but in 1969 amid much public outcry, Babs was excavated and is now fully restored. There are some small shops selling souvenirs, beach goods, cafes and fish and chip shops. Toilet facilities are good, there is a car park near beach, and access for the disabled is good.

Amroth

Amroth beach is a vast expanse of sand with a rocky headland at each end. At a very low tide the stumps  of a fossilised forest can be seen. There are a few shops and eating places and a pub, access for the disabled is good and there are good clean toilets near the shops. There is a car park although it can be a problem in busy periods. Dogs are not allowed on the main part of the beach between May and October.

Saundersfoot

Saundersfoot is one of the most popular seaside resorts in this part of Wales. There are three car parks close to the beach but they can become full  at the height of the season. Access to the beach and harbour is suitable for visitors with wheelchairs.  Saundersfoot has all the pubs, clubs, restaurants and wine bars you might expect from such a popular resort.
The beach is sandy, and the sea is clean and safe for swimming. There is also a pretty harbour very popular with sea anglers or there are fishing boat trips from the harbour.

Tenby

Golden sand, crystal clear water, safe beautiful beaches, what more could you wish for? Tenby is a busy town during the summer bringing visitors from all over the globe. Again, there is a good mixture of shops, cafes restaurants and pubs.

Barafundle

One of the best beaches in Wales. Unspoilt, with golden sands and crystal clear water, but unfortunately it can only be accessed from Stackpole Quay by a short cliff path and followed by a steep walk through sand dunes to the beach.

Manorbier

A sandy beach with plenty of rock pools for the kids, Manorbier can be reached from the B4585 to the village and then signposted to the beach. Overlooking the beach is Manorbier Castle, a 12th century edifice which featured in the television adaptation of “The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe”.  There is a pay and display car park between the castle and the beach with access for the disabled. Toilets are in the car park.

Freshwater East

A clean, sandy beach like most of them in this part of Wales. There is large pay and display car park about 100 yards from the beach. There are also toilets, and a small shop selling buckets and spades, ice cream and refreshments.

Littlehaven

Littlehaven is a very pretty harbour village with a few shops and pleasant pubs. The beach is small but really pleasant, the water is clean, and is safe to bathe in. Parking is good and there are toilets in car park. Suitable for wheelchairs

Broadhaven

Broadhaven has a nice safe West facing sandy beach, good water quality  and is popular with visitors to this part of Wales. There are a few shops where you can purchase the usual items for the beach, a couple of pubs. Again, parking is good and there are public toilets, and fairly good access to the beach for wheelchairs.

Newgale

On the road from Haverfordwest to St Davids, Newgale is home to a broad expanse of sand backed by a high pebble bank. The beach is west facing and open to the Atlantic and in stormy weather the sea can crash over the pebble bank. As a result it’s very popular with surfers, wind surfers, and anglers. Newgale is the site of another ‘prehistoric forest’ with the remains of stumps and roots of trees which have been preserved by the sand and salt water visible. There are three car parks at intervals along the beach, with a charge at two of them in the summer.

Caerfai Bay

A popular bathing beach, the closest to St Davids, although mostly rocks at high tide, it becomes sand as the tide drops. The beach is reached down a short but steep path and is surrounded by cliffs of purple sandstone used to build St David’s Cathedral.