Pembrokeshire is famous for its rugged coastline, marine life and Blue Flag Beaches. If you are looking for a challenge this year why not start by completing the Pembrokeshire coastal path.The Pembrokeshire Coast Path National Trail hugs the coastline for 186 miles or 299km of some of the most breathtaking coastal scenery in Britain. Or maybe you are looking for a lazy afternoon at the beach. We have rounded up our favourite local beaches within a 30-40 minute drive from The Little Retreats.
Swathes of golden sand and crystal clear waters, Barafundle has been voted many times as one of the best beaches in Britain and the world, with comparisons drawn between the Caribbean.
This stunning beach has been used for many a film backdrop the most recent being Third Star. A small bay backed by dunes and pine trees, accessible only by a half mile walk from the nearest car park.
This pristine beach is isolated which means no facilities; so everything you take has to come back up over the cliffs.There is a small car park run by the National Trust which gets very busy in the summer months so head out early. There is a lovely cafe ( and toilets) near the car park which is great for lunch on a summer ( or winters ) day but it is a leisurely 25-30 minute stroll around the cliffs to reach this beach. If you are interested in snorkelling then Stackpole Quay is teeming with marine life.
Broad Haven South
Just along the coast from Barafundle is Broad Haven South. Another breath-taking sandy gold beach, surrounded by dramatic rugged cliffs and beautiful, blue waters ideal for swimming and kayaking. You can spot the landmark Church Rock looming out of the sea in the centre of the bay. So called because it resembles a submerged church at high tide.
Backed by high sand dunes and a stream on the left-hand side that leads to Bosherston lily Ponds. Broad Haven South is perfect for a day at the beach. If you are a keen stargazer then the Stunning cliff-top location offers 360 degree panorama views of the night sky.
This is one of the wilder beaches in Pembrokeshire and a surfers paradise. This beach is renowned for its wild waves. This is a great place to watch the surfers or if you are lucky you might catch a film being made. Freshwater West has featured in two films – Ridley Scott’s Robin Hood and also Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows where it was used as the backdrop for Dobby’s Shell Cottage, which was built on-site.. Although the cottage was taken down after filming you can still walk in the footsteps of Harry, Hermione, and Ron. In 2015 Hollywood returned to the beach to film Their Finest starring Gemma Arterton and Sam Claflin. The beach was used as a double for Dunkirk. Head over to the Visit Pembrokeshire website to explore the locations on their Hollywood Trail.
The beach is wide, sandy and backed with an extensive dune system. There is a rocky reef at the southern end and some quiet bays at the other. Only swim or surf here if you are a strong swimmer and experienced surfer as this section of coast is known for its strong currents.
Bullslaughter Bay, Castlemartin
Hidden away from the eyes of the coast path you need to actively seek it out. Park at Stack Rocks near Castlemartin and walk east. You pass Flimston Bay, which is difficult (but not impossible) to get down to. Another half a mile brings you to Bullslaughter. It is a great spot for surf with lots of gems washed up from the tide. A great spot for a campfire and BBQ.
Swanlake Bay is accessible only from the Pembrokeshire Coastal Path; this beach is worth the trip with often only a handful of visitors even in the summer months. It is a shingle beach but at low tide, it reveals golden sands and rock pools, backed by low cliffs. Pack your snorkel and check out the marine life. Access to the beach is via the coastal path only. The nearest parking is at Manorbier or Freshwater East and the walk is approximately 1.5 miles.
These are just a handful of our favourites. But if you take a look at the Visit P
embrokeshire website here you will find hundreds of gems across the coastline.
If you’re planning to visit, check out the tide times to make sure that you don’t get cut off by the incoming tide!