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South Pembrokeshire's Beaches

Pembrokeshire has over 50 beaches, so more than enough to keep you busy during your visit. Here's beaches, coves and shores you can visit on the southern coast of the county, between Angle and Amroth.

 

Pembrokeshire's Beaches: From Angle to Amroth

Angle Bay Beach

Angle Bay was named by the Vikings – meaning angular corner – because they found useful as a safe place to shelter. There are Iron Age and Victorian forts, ancient chapels and churches and the remains of historic homes in all directions, as well as a ruined quay and harbour walls with the timbers of abandoned trading or fishing boats that hark back to a bygone age when it was a fishing port. Nowadays people only visit for pleasure!

Miles from Bluestone: 22
Time to drive from Bluestone: 41 minutes
Nearest postcode: SA71 5AW
Toilets available: Yes
Parking available: Yes

Church Doors Cove

Charmingly-named Church Doors Cove, on the south Pembrokeshire Coast near Manorbier, is so-called because two high arched caves in the sandstone cliffs look like the doorways of a church. It is one of two beaches of beautiful golden sand, the other being Skrinkle Haven, which is slightly larger in area.

They are separated by a thin headland, which looks as if it might have been built as a wall between the two beaches. At very low tide it is possible to get round the sea end, and there is also a way through a narrow and slippery cave which pierces the ridge, ending up in a rock pool. Access to both beaches is via a flight of steep stone steps down to Church Doors adjacent to the National Park Coastal Footpath.

The spot can be reached by turning off the B4585 Manorbier road in Skrinkle village and continuing past the Artillery Range and Youth Hostel to the end of the road. To get to the beach, follow the coast path westward for about 300 yards. Steep, concrete steps (140 in total) lead to a metal stairway which descends to Church Doors Cove.

The high arches which give the cove its name are directly in front. Both beaches are golden sand backed by rocks and pebbles with high cliffs of limestone changing to Old Red sandstone on the west side of Skrinkle Haven. There are steps on the far west side but they are unsafe and have been closed off. The two beaches are really only worth visiting during the low tide period when there is plenty of space and lots of sand.

Miles from Bluestone: 14
Time to drive from Bluestone: 30 minutes
Nearest postcode: SA70 7TT
Toilets available:
No Parking available: Yes – half a mile away

Conigar Pit Beach

Conigar Pit is a little known rocky and sandy cove tucked behind Old Castle Head near Manorbier. At low tide it is a wide stretch of beach with a little cove called Presipe at the western end, which has become a happy hunting ground for people who collect fossils. Children can also find pretty coloured semi-precious mineral stones and crystals. Plus there’s the rock pools to explore and swimming. If you venture into the coves at Presipe, keep a very careful eye on the tide as it is easy to be cut off here. The views from the cliffs are also stunning, with Lundy and the Devon and Somerset coasts often visible.

Miles from Bluestone: 14
Time to drive from Bluestone: 30 minutes
Nearest postcode: SA70 7TT
Toilets available: No
Parking available: No

East Angle Bay Beach

East Angle Bay is on the southern shore of Milford Haven Waterway and seems to have its own micro-climate. Sheltered from the full force of the Atlantic gales which batter the entrance, it is among the warmest and sunniest places in the country. Angle derives its name from the Vikings for an angular nook or corner providing shelter from the weather.

Miles from Bluestone: 21
Time to drive from Bluestone: 40 minutes
Nearest postcode: SA71 5 AP
Toilets available: Yes
Parking available: Yes


Flimston Bay Beach

Flimston Bay is a lovely suntrap facing south under the Castlemartin Cliffs, which shelter it from the winds. It is accessible by passing through Bosherston, parking at St Govans and taking a walk along the Pembrokeshire Coast Path. Nearby on the coast path is the Green Bridge of Wales - a well-known tourist attraction and a spectacular 80-feet high natural arch jutting out from the cliffs and topped by green vegetation.

The nearby Elegug Stack is another popular attraction, a great pillar of rock with the largest seabird nesting site in the county seen from the cliff path.

Miles from Bluestone: 17
Time to drive from Bluestone: 35 minutes
Nearest postcode: SA71 5DW
Toilets available: No
Parking available: Yes, at St Govans

Freshwater East Beach

Its wide sandy beach make Freshwater East an ideal spot for families, with deep golden sand and sheltering dunes. In hot summer weather it is a suntrap and the waves are gentle and toddler-friendly when the weather is calm.

For generations it has been a favourite for the people of Pembroke, seven miles away by road, and the historic village of Lamphey two miles to the north. There is an inn and shop, and at Greenala Point to the west there is an interesting iron age fort site. There are also beach discovery sessions for children, such as rockpooling and pond safaris, led by the experienced National Park wardens – just look for their flags on the beaches.

Freshwater’s best-known natives are probably the Welsh indie band, Gorky’s Zygotic Mynci, whose founder members grew up in the village. There is a twice daily bus service from Pembroke, and the County Council’s Coastal Cruiser bus makes regular circuits, but by and large the beach is relatively quiet much of the time and there is plenty of space for recreation.

Miles from Bluestone: 14
Time to drive from Bluestone: 29 minutes
Nearest postcode: SA71 5LN
Toilets available: Yes
Parking available: Yes

Gelliswick Beach

Gelliswick is one of many places around the Pembrokeshire coast which got its name from the marauding Vikings. The beach’s sand only shows itself when the tide is out and is the headquarters of the Pembrokeshire Yacht Club with its launching facilities and quick access to the Milford Haven waterway make it an excellent place for sailing.

Races are regularly held in the bay and in the Haven, and some national events have been held here. On the cliff to the east is the imposing pile of Fort Hubberston (another Viking name) one of the chain of Victorian defensive forts built around Milford Haven when Napoleon was perceived as a threat. Built in 1863 it has casemates for 11 guns, plus eight in an open battery and nine in a battery.

Miles from Bluestone: 18
Time to drive from Bluestone: 33 minutes
Nearest postcode: SA73 3RL
Toilets available: Yes
Parking available: Yes

Lydstep Haven Beach

Lydstep Haven on the south Pembrokeshire coast between Lydstep Point and Proud Giltar head, is a beautiful crescent-shaped bay with a fine stretch of golden sand facing east towards Caldey Island, just around the corner from Tenby. The wide and sandy beach is easily accessible from the coast path or from the village and there is some parking, with a charge in the summer season.

The view from the beach at Lydstep is splendid but the view from the clifftop is even more spectacular. You can admire the golden expanse of Sandtop Bay on Caldey Island and, between it and the mainland, the small island of St Margaret’s, which is connected to Caldey by a rocky natural causeway at low tide. It is possible to cross from one to the other but the weed-covered rocks can be dangerously slippery, so it is not recommended.

Miles from Bluestone: 14
Time to drive from Bluestone: 29 minutes
Nearest postcode: SA70 7SE
Toilets available: Yes
Parking available: Yes

Porthselau Beach

Porthselau is a little sandy bay at the south end of Whitesands Bay and at low spring tide it is possible to walk from one to the other. It is easily accessible from the coast path and is worth the short walk from the main car park at Whitesands if the main beach is crowded. It can also be reached by a lovely walk along a clearly marked footpath across the peninsula from Rhosson Farm, where parking can sometimes be found.

The beach is sheltered from the winds so there is usually no need for a windbreak, and the sunbathing is good. Not far inland is a farm known as Treleddyn. It is said that a tunnel connects the house with the beach that smugglers used to use. through which an early owner brought in contraband landed on the remote beach at night.

Miles from Bluestone: 28
Time to drive from Bluestone: 51 minutes
Nearest postcode: SA62 6PS
Toilets available: Yes
Parking available: Yes

Sandy Pit Beach

Sandy Pit is a narrow beach near Broad Haven South named after its nearby collapsed blowhole – sometimes called a ‘Witch’s Cauldron’. It is a pleasant south-east facing suntrap, ideal in calm weather for families who like picnicking, building sand castles, bathing, paddling and playing beach games.

Just over the headland from Broad Haven South, it is a handy overspill location when the larger beach becomes overcrowded. It is also quite close to Barafundle Bay.

Miles from Bluestone: 17
Time to drive from Bluestone: 35 minutes
Nearest postcode: SA71 5DR
Toilets available: No
Parking available: No

Skrinkle Haven Beach

The sandy, shingly beach of Skrinkle Haven, between Old Castle Head and Lydstep Point, lies south-east of Manorbier village. It is accessed via its neighbour, Church Doors, which is a little cove with two high-arched caves in the cliffs which look like the doors of a church.

The two coves are separated by a tall thin limestone ridge. At low tide it is possible to walk around the ridge, but only for a short period of time. There is also a narrow cave linking the two coves - care is needed as the cave is slippery and one end is in a rock pool.

Miles from Bluestone: 14
Time to drive from Bluestone: 30 minutes
Nearest postcode: SA70 7TT
Toilets available: No
Parking available: Yes – half a mile away

Swanlake Bay Beach

Swanlake is a South Pembrokeshire beach as graceful as its namesake ballet. It can be accessed only off the coast path, with no car park nearer than Manorbier, so only the most determined will discover it. That means it is a hidden gem well worth seeking out. The eastern side covered in golden sand and sheltered under the cliffs, the western side craggy with plenty of rock pools for the children to explore.

Access is relatively easy down the cliff at the western end, where sea anglers like to fish for seabass, and twitchers look out for birds. There are no swans, but Swanlake is a happy hunting ground for waders with sightings of curlew, whimbrel, redshank and sometimes bar-tailed godwit among the everyday piping oyster-catchers.

Miles from Bluestone: 13
Time to drive from Bluestone: 27 minutes
Nearest postcode: SA70 8QL
Toilets available: No
Parking available: No

Most Popular

Take a closer look at some of the most popular beaches in the south of the county, including the world famous Barafundle Bay.