Dale Beach and West Dale Bay
Similar names and just a mile apart but, the beaches of Dale and West Dale along the Marloes Peninsular couldn’t be more different. One a calm, tranquil mecca for watersports lovers, the other a remote, wild sandy beach that is a perfect place to escape.
Tucked in the south, west corner of Pembrokeshire on the Milford Haven side of the Cleddau river, both beaches are close to Dale village, which overlooks a wide, sheltered bay on the northern end of the peninsular.
Dale Beach is on the bay itself and is a mile-long and pebbled. The clear water and gentle sloping of the beach makes it easy to get in the water, even for those who are not used to doing more than paddling, and its sheltered location often means it is warmer too. In fact, Dale is officially the sunniest place in Wales and third in the UK, getting on average 4 hours, 12 minutes a day.
If you don’t fancy getting in the water, you can still enjoy it. From the beach you can catch wildlife boat trips out to the coast and around Pembrokeshire’s island, or you can try a range of different watersports in the bay including sailing, with sessions and equipment hire available in the village.
From the tranquil Dale to its wilder neighbour, West Dale Bay is only a short distance from the village but is completely different. Accessible only via the coast path, the charming, remote bay sits on the southern side of the Marloes Peninsular, with a sandy beach and blue waters that are enclosed by dramatic cliffs on either.
While Dale Beach is calm and relaxed, West Dale Bay is in a more exposed location, so the water here is wilder and unpredictable. While it’s a popular location with surfers due to the strong swell, only the most experienced should venture out in the water as the strong currents and powerful waves mean it can be unpredictable area, where you can easily get in trouble quickly.
How To Get There
The easiest route is to drive to Dale and then use that as a point to explore Dale and the rest of the Marloes Penninsular. Dale Beach Car Park is next to the beach, which you can access via steps or the slipway.
West Dale Bay is only accessible via foot. You can park at the Dale Beach Car Park and then take the footpath down toward the bay, an approx. 0.9miles walk away across relatively flat terrain. Or, you can access via the Coast Path from Marloes Sands from the north and St Anne’s Head in the south.
Distance from Bluestone
22.3miles/39 minutes (via Haverfordwest)
Dale is easy to access thanks to the proximity of the car park. There are only a few steps down to the pebbled beach, or you can use the slipway. West Dale Bay is more challenging as it can only be accessed via foot along the Coast Path or footpath. Once you get there the beach is down a steep slope and isn’t suitable for buggies or pushchairs.
Dale Harbour has cafes, a pub, a shop, and public toilets, as well as a number of businesses providing boat trips and watersport activities. West Dale Bay has no facilities on the beach.
There are beautiful views of the Cleddau waterway and lighthouse at St Anne’s Head, so it is well worth a walk around the peninsular. Marloes Sand, a short walk from West Dale Bay, is another beautiful sandy stretch that you will not want to miss.
If you want to add some history to your day, then head to Mill Bay. Not far from Dale, it is the location where Henry Tudor landed with his troops in 1485 before marching to the Battle of Bosworth to defeat Richard III and become king Henry VII. A local lad, he was born just down the road in Pembroke Castle before escaping to France age 14.
2019 Green Coast Award (West Dale Bay)