Arrive Depart

Top 10 Pembrokeshire Beaches

The Pembrokeshire coast is filled with beautiful beaches with golden sands, secret coves, and fascinating rock pools to explore - in fact, there are over 50 to explore.

We’re lucky to have so many Blue Flag beaches dotted along the 186-miles of stunning coastline, perfect for families with lots of useful facilities that make for a fun-filled day out near Bluestone.  

Barafundle Bay

 

Barafundle Beach has become the stuff of legend in recent years, mostly thanks to looking like a tropical beach on a paradise island hidden away on Pembrokeshire’s south coast. You’ll need to invoke the spirit of Indiana Jones and navigate a short but stunning trek through the forest and over a lake before you arrive at Barafundle's golden sands.

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. Savour the breathtaking moment you arrive and enjoy one of the world’s most beautiful beaches.

 

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 2 pm (cash only).

The 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 the clifftop, 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.

Find out more about Barafundle, with our in-depth guide. 

 

Tenby

 

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 is 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.

Distance from Bluestone: 21 minutes by car, 10.2 miles

 

North Beach

 

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 am and 5.30 pm in peak season, parking in the centre can become difficult. If you fail to get a spot, there is a daily park and ride service that operates in the summer.  From 11 am to 6 pm 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. Lifeguards patrol the beach daily from 10 am to 6 pm during the summer.

 

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 multistorey 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 am and 5.30 pm in peak season, parking and driving in the centre can become difficult. In summer there is a daily park and ride service that operates from 11 am to 6 pm 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 is often overlooked but is a real gem!. Head to the harbour at 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 multistorey 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 11:00 am and 5:30 pm in peak season, parking and driving in the centre can become difficult.

In summer there is a daily park and ride service that operates from 11:00 am to 6:00 pm 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. Lifeguards patrol the beach daily from 10:00 am to 6:00 pm during the summer.

 

 

South Beach

 

The mile and a half long South Beach is a beautiful stretch of sand 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 all car parks in Tenby though, they fill up quickly. If you're visiting in the summer, there is a daily park and ride service that operates from 11:00 am to 6:00 pm 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 a ramp from the Esplanade. 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. Lifeguards patrol the beach daily from 10:00 am to 6:00 pm during the summer.

Tenby is more than just its beaches, find out about the historic town, which is famed for its unique seaside charm.

 

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 coastline. It’s great for history enthusiasts too with the nearby castle and the King’s Quoit cromlech (ancient burial chamber) found to the southeast 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.

Find out more about Manorbier, its castle, and beach with our guide. 

 

Freshwater West 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.

Freshwest, as it called locally, is one of Wales’s top surfing beaches and the base of the Outer Reef Surf School which offers surfing tuition for adults and youngsters, instructor courses, and lifeguarding awards. On early mornings you will often find the car parks full with keen surfers ready to catch the early morning waves at this picturesque spot. 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, a day out, or just to sit take a break, and admire the beauty of the coastline.

 

Distance from Bluestone: 20 miles

Parking: Yes. There are two small free car parks but beware if the surf is good you may struggle!

Accessibility: It can be rocky in places but it’s a relatively simple trip down from the car parks

Facilities: There are public toilets in the southern car park from spring to autumn. For a taste of the ocean, try Cafe Mor, the food truck shaped like a boat that takes up residency in the car park throughout the year. Serving delicious and hearty snacks inspired and sourced straight from the waves, with dishes unique to Pembrokeshire.

For a beach to be named Freshwater West, you'd expect an eastern equivalent, and this beach isn't too far away - just along the coast toward Manorbier. Learn about both Freshwest and Fresheast, in our guide.

 

Whitesands Bay

Another popular spot with surfers and water sports 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. 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 the end of May to September.

Discover more about this enchanting and rugged coastline with our guide to Whitesands.

 

Newgale Beach

 

Found at the northernmost 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. 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 the end of May to September.

Get to know Newgale a little better with our guide.

 

Broad Haven North

Sitting in the southeast 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! It's also a great spot for paddle boarding and kayaking – try Haven Sports by the car park at the south end of the beach. They offer hire on paddleboards, kayaks, bodyboards, surfboards, and wetsuits - so you will be ready for the water!

 

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 the end of June to September.

 

Broad Haven South

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.

We've taken a closer look at both Broad Haven North and South beaches, check out our beach guide.

 

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, which are both a short car ride away.

Find out more about this hidden gem, with our Monkstone beach guide. 

 

Marloes Sand

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 beachgoers – 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 signposted 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.

 

Discover More

New Adventures
Discover Bluestone and Beyond
New experiences, amazing memories
Pembrokeshire
Discover Bluestone and Beyond
Wild and action packed