Freshwater West Beach

Facing west as it does, the gaping mouth of Freshwater West with its snout at West Angle Bay and its chin at Linney Head, takes the full might of the Atlantic swell when a south-westerly gale batters the coast. Little wonder then that this beach is a highly-favoured surfing venue.

Freshwest, as it called locally, is one of Wales’s top surfing beaches and the base of the Outer Reef Surf School who offer surfing lessons for adults and youngsters, instructor courses and lifeguarding awards.

Point of interest  Finding Freshwater West Beach

  Compass Miles from Bluestone: 20
  Car Time to drive from Bluestone: 37 minutes
  Point of interest Nearest postcode: SA71 5AH
  Toilet Toilets available: Yes
  Car Parking available: Yes

Calendar History of Freshwater West Beach

This beach is also a commemoration site for one of the worst sea tragedies off this coast during World War II.

During a violent storm in 1943 two landing craft packed with men left Belfast for Cornwall to test their seaworthiness in preparation for the forthcoming landings in Sicily.  Sadly, Angle Lifeboat was off service under repair and the landing craft were denied a docking at Milford Haven. They both foundered in mountainous seas and 79 soldiers died, and another six crew of the HMS Rosemary which went to their rescue. Only three men survived, and in April of this year commemorative plaques were unveiled and dedicated in a moving ceremony overlooking Freshwater West beach. The men already had a memorial in Milford Haven cemetery where the few bodies that were recovered are buried.

Not far from the memorial plaques is a small wooden building which is a reminder of a past occupation carried on at the beach. Restored as an historic monument is a seaweed drying hut, for laverweed was collected off the rocks there for the table. Laverbread, is still available in shops and markets where it is regarded as a delicacy, known as Welsh caviar for its black, shiny appearance.

Camera icon Freshwater West As a Filming Location

The wild and rugged shore at Freshwater West has recently become a popular film location. In May 2009 “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows,” was filmed on the dunes and the external set of Shell Cottage attracted as much attention on the beach as the visiting film stars. A month later another film located there, and the beach was the noisy and animated scene of battle for the Ridley Scott film “Robin Hood,” starring Cate Blanchette and Russell Crowe. Locals not only enjoyed a feast of battle action but also had the opportunity of some interesting work as extras. 

Share this page