Our Top 10 Pembrokeshire Beaches

By Kerry Curson TENBY CASTLE BEACH

Pembrokeshire is surrounded by 180-miles of beautiful coastline and doted along are some of the most incredible beaches in the UK - 11 of which were named Blue Flag Beaches in 2018. 

You might not have time to visit all of them - there are over 50 - during your break, so we've singled out these 10 must visit destinations. Whether you're looking for a day at the seaside with buckets and spades, and fish and chips, or a remote location where you can forget the rest of the world, then you'll find something for you in this list.

Barafundle Bay 

barafundle bay pembrokeshire

Barafundle Bay offers a stunning walk through a forest and over a lake before you reach the remote and slightly curved bay that looks out to rugged cliffs, clear ocean views and the greenery of the coastal path. This is the perfect way to enjoy the variety of terrains that Pembrokeshire has to offer, and the half mile walk to the isolated location makes it feel like a real adventure as you find your way to the bay through the trees, as if on a desert island. You’ll often find helpful locals directing visitors to their favourite spots definitely a bonus for any newcomers. In 2017 Barafundle Bay was included in the top 25 beaches in the world by Passport Magazine and named The Good Holiday Guide’s Best Beach in Britain. 

Distance from Bluestone: 29 minutes by car, 15.7 miles
Parking: Stackpole Quay National Trust car park is located around ½ mile from the beach, postcode: SA71 5LS. You can purchase a parking ticket for £5 all-day and £2 after 2pm (cash only). Ticket can be reused in other National Trust car parks in Pembrokeshire and is free for members.
Accessibility: Access to the beach is down steps from cliff top, so not suitable for pushchairs or wheelchairs. Facilities: There are no facilities on the beach, so make sure you bring everything you need with you. The nearest public toilets are at the Stackpole Quay NT car park. 

Tenby

tenby, pembrokeshire

Distance from Bluestone: 21 minutes by car, 10.2 miles 

We’ve cheated a little here because Tenby doesn’t just have one beach – it has four! But, it’s impossible to choose just one to focus on, so here’s an overview of the four different beaches you can visit. The historic and picturesque seaside town of Tenby, is surrounded on three sides by the sea, so it’s not surprising that it boasts so much sandy coast. The two main beaches of North and South, are at either end of the town while Harbour and Castle beach are the nearest to the town centre. Tenby is a beautiful spot where the small town can be enjoyed just as much as the town itself and has been a favourite for holidaymakers for centuries. When the tide is out you can (almost) walk between all four beaches. 

North Beach

north beach tenby

Instantly recognisable thanks to the magnificent Goskar rock in the middle, the view of North beach with the harbour behind is probably the most well-known of Tenby. Looking out over Carmarthen Bay, when the tide is out, this beach offers a magnificent stretch of sand to play on and as it’s relatively sheltered misses out on the windiest weather. 

Parking: North Beach car park (SA70 8AG) is the closest; however it can fill up in the summer and with cars restricted from entering the town centre between 11:00am and 5:30pm in peak season, parking in the centre can become difficult. 

If you fail to get a spot, from July 20th – Friday 13th September 2019 there is a daily park and ride service that operates in the summer. From 11:00am to 6:00pm it brings visitors from The Green car park (SA70 7NG) and The Salterns car park (SA70 8DU) into the town centre. Accessibility: Access to the beach can be made via steps from the North Cliff, via a long winding, steep ramp or from the harbour via a long, flat walkway. 

Facilities: Toilets with disabled access available; cafes, shops, restaurants are located just above the beach and a tourist information centre can be found along the promenade. A lifeguard patrols the beach daily from 10am-6pm during the summer. 

Castle Beach

castle beach

At high tide this beach disappears completely, but if you hit it at the right time you can find a beautiful, sandy stretch in the cove between Castle Hill and East Cliff, perfect for swimming and paddling. The beach is backed by towering cliffs, where you can go rock pool hunting and cave exploring and as the closest to the town – it’s ideal for families who don’t want to venture too far. 

Enclosed by Castle Hill and St Catherine’s Island, and Caldey Island in the distance, it’s a picture perfect setting to enjoy a classic beach day. At low tide you can catch a boat to Caldey Island that lies 0.6 miles off Tenby. To purchase tickets, head up the slipway to the harbour. 

Parking: Tenby’s multi-storey car park (SA70 7LT) is the closest; however in the summer it fills up quickly and with cars restricted from entering the town centre and harbour between 11:00am and 5:30pm in peak season, parking and driving in the centre can become difficult. From July 20th – Friday 13th September 2019 there is a daily park and ride service that operates from 11:00am to 6:00pm and brings visitors from The Green car park (SA70 7NG) and The Salterns car park (SA70 8DU) into the town centre.
Accessibility: Access to the beach is via a slipway from the harbour and is just a short walk from the town centre where you can find shops, cafes and restaurants
Facilities: Toilets with disabled access available on Castle beach.  

Harbour Beach 

harbour beach pembrokeshire

Harbour Beach is often over-looked, but is a real gem of a beach. Head to the harbour in low tide and between the boats and the old town walls, you’ll find a small, golden stretch of sand. Perfect for those with small children - the compact beach has great views of the harbour and old town – just make sure to check the tides before you visit.

The small place of worship next to the beach is St Julian’s Chapel. It was built in 1878 as a fisherman’s chapel, to replace a chapel on the pierhead.  

Parking: Tenby’s multi-storey car park (SA70 7LT) is the closest; however in the summer it fills up quickly and with cars restricted from entering the town centre between 11:00am and 5:30pm in peak season, parking and driving in the centre can become difficult. From July 20th – Friday 13th September 2019 there is a daily park and ride service that operates from 11:00am to 6:00pm and brings visitors from The Green car park (SA70 7NG) and The Salterns car park (SA70 8DU) into the town centre.
Accessibility: Access to the beach is via a slipway from the harbour and is just a short walk from the town centre where you can find shops, cafes and restaurants. Facilities: Toilets with disabled access available on the slipway. A lifeguard patrols the beach daily from 10am-6pm during the summer.

South Beach 

south beach tenby

The mile and a half long South Beach is a beautiful, stretch that looks like something you might find in Australia or the Mediterranean. Backed by magnificent sand dunes, there’s more than enough space for you to enjoy – at low and high tide – and is perfect for a family day at the beach. Looking out over Caldey Island and Carmarthen Bay, on clear days you can see as far as the Gower or even North Devon. 

Parking: The nearest car parks are South Beach Car Park (SA70 7EG) and the Rectory Car Park (SA70 7EA). Like every other car park in Tenby though, it fills up quickly in summer. From July 20th – Friday 13th September 2019 there is a daily park and ride service that operates from 11:00am to 6:00pm and brings visitors from The Green car park (SA70 7NG) and The Salterns car park (SA70 8DU) into the town centre. You can also access the beach from Penally and join the coast path to the south end of the beach. There is limited parking at the train station (SA70 7PS) and public toilets.
Accessibility: If you are coming from the direction of the town, access to the beach is via steps and ramp from the Esplande. The South Beach Car Park gives access straight onto the beach.
Facilities: At the north end of the beach there are Toilets with disabled access; hire facilities; cafes and restaurants. A lifeguard patrols the beach daily from 10am-6pm during the summer. 

Manorbier Beach 

manorbier beach

Overlooked by the famous medieval castle, this sandy, south-westerly facing beach is a favourite among families, perfect for rock-pooling and for water activity enthusiasts. The Pembrokeshire coast path passes through the beach, so it’s a perfect place to spend a day on the sand and explore the nearby coast line. It’s great for history enthusiast too with the nearby castle and the King’s Quoit cromlech (ancient burial chamber) found to the south east of the beach. The south-westerly facing beach is great for surfers, but does mean there are strong currents in the water. 

Distance from Bluestone: 23 minutes by car, 11.7 miles Parking: The nearest car park is Manorbier Beach Car Park (SA70 7SY), around a five minute walk from the beach.
Accessibility: The terrain is relatively flat and access to the beach can be made down a long pathway from the road.
Facilities: There are no on beach facilities; however there is a toilet in the car park and a shop, pub and cafe in the nearby town, which you will pass through on the way to the beach. 

Freshwater West Beach 

freshwaterWest beach

Known for being one of the most beautiful beaches in Pembrokeshire as well as one of the best surfing spots, Freshwater West has something to offer everyone. Divided from the road by huge sand dunes that roll into the surrounding landscapes, the extensive stretch of sand is edged at the south by dramatic cliffs and even at high tide, feels vast. 

The sandy beach, has a pebbled area at the bottom of the dunes, that can be difficult to navigate for some, but if not, it’s definitely worth exploring the mass of dunes during your visit – just don’t get lost. Ideal for a walk, day at the beach or just to sit and admire the beauty of the coast line.  

Whitesands Bay 

whitesands bay beach pembrokeshire

Another popular spot with surfers and water sport fanatics, Whitesands is an award-winning beach overlooked by the imposing headland of Carn Llidi. Found on the St. David’s Peninsula, the westerly, wide sandy beach curves northwards, while there are quieter, sheltered bays towards the south. 

whitesands bay beach pembrokeshire

The wide sandy beach is perfect for a day of sandcastle-making or relaxing, but the strong currents do mean you have to take extra care if you decide to swim. You can pick up the coast path and walk north or south; or why not climb to the top of Carn Llidi and be rewarded with a magnificent view? 

As one of the best surf spots in the country, on most days you’ll find surfers, kayakers and body-boarders toward the northern end of the beach, which is entertaining to watch even if you have no plans of getting in the water. 

Distance from Bluestone: 46 minutes by car, 26.6 miles
Parking: There’s room for 60 cars to park right next to the beach (SA62 6PS), but in busy periods this fills up quickly. If you don’t want the worry of parking, catch the Celtic Coaster shuttle bus from the Oriel Y Parc in St Davids to Whitesands. (Please note this service only runs in summer).
Accessibility: There is a slipway from the car park to the beach.
Facilities: There are toilets with disabled access in the car park, as well as a cafe. Lifeguards patrol the beach from end of May to September. 

Newgale Beach

newgale pembrokeshire

Found at the northern most point of St Bride’s Bay, Newgale is a well-known surf beach that is well worth a visit – even if you’re not planning to get on a board. Surrounded by rugged cliffs, the beach is made up of a three-mile stretch of sand that is almost hidden from view of the road by a huge pebble bank. 

newgale beach pembrokeshire

You’ll have to navigate this to get to the beach, but once you do it’s well worth it. Towards the south end of the beach you can explore sheltered bays and even a cave. 

Distance from Bluestone: 26 minutes by car, 17.3 miles
Parking: There are two main car parks in Newgale found towards the southern end of the beach (SA72 6DY) along Welsh Road.   
Accessibility: There is a slipway from the car park to the beach.
Facilities: There are toilets with disabled access in the car park, as well as a cafe. Lifeguards patrol the beach from end of May to September. 

Broad Haven North 

Broad Haven

Sitting in the south east corner of St Bride’s Bay, Broad Haven is a large, west-facing beach ideal for families and water sport enthusiasts to enjoy. At high tide, the beach becomes a narrow stretch of sand and pebbles, but when the tide goes out; you can find a great expanse of golden sand that links together Broad Haven with the neighbouring Little Haven and another bay, The Settlands.

At the right time of day you can walk between all three – just make sure you check the tides and don’t get caught out! 

Distance from Bluestone: 26 minutes by car, 15.2 miles
Parking: There are two car parks next to the beach in Broad Haven. The closest is Marine Road Car Park (SA62 3JR) has 46 spaces and can be found at the southern end of the village. Millmoor Way Car Park (SA62 3JH) is at the northern end of the village and has space for around 150 cars.
Facilities: Broad Haven beach is right in front of the village, so there are cafes, shops, pubs and hire facilities just across the road from the main beach. There are also toilets with disabled access at the northern end of the beach. Please note, you have to cross a road to reach. Lifeguards patrol the beach from end of June to September. 

Broad Haven South 

broad haven south, bosherston, pembrokeshire

Just along the coast from Barafundle, Broad Haven South is a breath-taking expanse of sandy gold beach, surrounded by dramatic, rugged cliffs and beautiful, blue waters ideal for swimming and kayaking. Church Rock protrudes from the sea in the centre of the bay – around 150 yards from the shore at low tide – and frames the view perfectly. Backed by high sand dunes and a stream on the left-hand side, Broad Haven South, is perfect for anyone looking to spend the day on a beach and is a favourite of locals and tourists all year round.  

Distance from Bluestone: 17.1 miles, 31 minutes by car Parking: You have a few options for parking. For the shortest walk to the beach try Trefalen Car Park (SA71 5DZ). From here the beach can be reached via a flight of steps. Or, if you wanted to enjoy the beautiful Bosherston Lily Ponds park at the National Trust Car Park (SA71 5DW) in Bosherston village and take the 1-mile scenic route to the beach.
Accessibility: The route through the Lily Ponds is relatively flat and well kept, while the Trefalen Car Park has well maintained steps up and down from the beach.
Facilities: There is a cafe and public toilets at the Trefalen Car Park, while there are toilets with disabled access, shops, cafes and a pub in Bosherston village.

Monkstone Beach 

monkstone beach

You might be surprised to find a remote and quiet beach nestled between the popular seaside towns of Saundersfoot and Tenby, but Monkstone is just that. The easterly facing sandy stretch feels isolated and unspoiled thanks to its location and is great to visit if you want some time away from the crowds. Again, this is another beach that’s tide dependent so check before you go otherwise there could be very little beach to visit. 

Distance from Bluestone: 19 minutes by car, 9 miles
Parking: There’s no official car park for the beach and access is via a footpath through Trevayne Farm, where there is a small amount of parking on the lane.
Accessibility: To get to the beach, there’s a steep path and steps to the beach, or you could reach via the coast path from Saundersfoot (30-minute walk) where there are several different car parks.
Facilities: None directly on the beach, however there are public toilets with disabled access, cafes, shops and restaurants in nearby Saundersfoot and Tenby. 

Marloes Sand 

marloes sands pembrokeshire

marloes sand, pembrokeshire

Found on the very western edge of Pembrokeshire, the Marloes Peninsula offers stunning scenery, an abundance of wildlife and incredible views of the coast. The slightly curved sandy beach is divided into a series of smaller bays by the rock formations found along the beach and at low tide they provide lots to explore and privacy from other beach goers – just don’t get caught out by the tide coming back up the beach. Another Hollywood star – Snow White and the Huntsman starring Kristen Stewart and Chris Hemsworth was filmed on the beach in 2011. 

Distance from Bluestone: 41 minutes, 22.7 miles
Parking: There’s a National Trust Car Park (nearest postcode -SA62 3BH) around ½ a mile from the main beach, which is sign posted from Marloes village.
Accessibility: Access to the beach is along a sandy track and takes around 10 – 15 minutes to walk from the car park.
Facilities: There are toilets near the National Trust car park, but no facilities on the beach itself. The Runwayskiln cafe serves fresh local food and can be found around 150 meters from the car park or there’s a shop, cafe and pub in Marloes village itself.

These are just a few of Pembrokeshire's most amazing beaches - to find out about others you can visit head to our Pembrokeshire section.

To enjoy all these beaches and the wonders of Bluestone this summer then why not stay with us for an action-packed beach weekend?

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Categories:Pembrokeshire, Beaches

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