Pembrokeshire has had a bit of a renaissance over the last few years as more people have discovered this little corner of west Wales is home to some of the best beaches in the world.
The summer of 2022 marks 70 years since the Pembrokeshire Coast was designated a national park. The appeal of the coast has only grown over those seven decades and today, Pembrokeshire boasts more Blue Flag and Green Coast beaches than any other county in the country. Some beaches are easy to reach and ideal for families, others are less accessible and offer peace and seclusion. You can find our guide to the best beaches in Wales here.
One thing's for sure however - as the popularity of the coast has grown, so too have the facilities to cater for burgeoning tastes. From new cafes to improved parking to the latest water activities, there's a beach to suit everyone. We've compiled the ultimate guide to the beaches around the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park (and a couple just outside it), with information on key facilities like food options, parking, and toilets. We've also added some top tips for walking ideas and pointed out some lesser-known features often just a short walk from the beaches themselves.
They're listed in alphabetical order, but use our handy map to zone in on a particular area.
So whether you're looking for a stretch of sand for games with the family, a safe place to swim, somewhere to hit the surf or the perfect spot for a coastal walk, we'll help you find what you're looking for in Pembrokeshire.
What’s it like? Pebbly and small at high tide, but there’s plenty of golden sand when the tide’s out. Be careful swimming, there are strong currents and the sea can be rough.
Best for: Spotting wildlife - you can often see seals on the rocks
Parking? A small amount on the road, but no car park. Best option is to park at Melin Tregwynt from where you can take a stroll along a woodland path down to the beach, with the promise of a cup of tea and slice of cake on your return. Don't forget to wander through the working mill and watch the iconic blankets being made before you go home.
Food? At Melin Tregwynt
What’s it like? More of an inlet than a beach, the sand is coated with pebbles and seaweed. It’s nice and sheltered though, and you can swim from rocks close to the mouth of the inlet if it’s sheltered.
Best for: Walks - the views from the cliffs above are spectacular
Parking? A few spaces next to the beach, and a very small amount on the road
What’s it like? The dark sand and pebbles aren’t much too look at, especially at high tide. Abereiddy is really known for the amazing Blue Lagoon (a former quarry) just along the headland where thrill-seekers can jump into the turquoise waters from as high as they like. It's not uncommon for seals to explore the quarry either, especially in late summer.
Best for: Coasteering - several companies operate out of the car park
Parking? A decent-sized car park just above the beach, but spaces are limited when it’s busy. Some parking on the beach - bring cash though as there's no machine
Food? There's an occasional van serving basic coffees and rolls
What’s it like? Pebbles, rocks, boulders and seaweed - there’s very little of it left at high tide. Good place to start a walk towards Porthgain though, if you want to work up an appetite for fish and chips.
Best for: Sea fishing off the rocks along the shoreline
Parking: You can leave your car on the roadside next to the beach
What’s it like? The big brother to Aberbach, there's lots of golden sand at low tide, but mainly pebbles when the tide is in. There’s a marsh behind the beach with lots of wildlife and paths for a lovely circular walk back to Melin Tregwynt. Especially good in springtime, when bluebells, primroses and wild garlic turn it into a riot of colour.
Best for: History - you’ll find the 8,000-year-old remains of a forest dating from the last Ice Age at low tide
Parking: A small amount on the side of the road. Can park at Melin Tregwynt if you're up for a walk.
What’s it like? Flat, sandy and long at low tide, although there's not much more than pebbles when the tide's in. Safe for swimming although can get quite bouncy at high tide.
Best for: Rockpools, mainly at the western end of the beach
Parking: In Amroth village and along the sea wall
Food: Yes, The Pirate serves everything from breakfasts to ice cream. They do a great frothy coffee and healthy-sized portions of fish and chips.
What’s it like? A pristine, isolated beach backed by dunes and pine trees, accessible only by a half mile walk from the nearest car park. With golden sand and turquoise waters, you can see why it's often compared to the Caribbean. Can get busy in peak summer when the National Trust car park closes at peak capacity
Best for: Those who don’t mind a walk to get to a quiet, secluded spot.
Parking: It's a half mile walk over cliffs from Stackpole Quay, with a lot of steps, making it unsuitable for pushchairs and wheelchairs
Food: There's a National Trust café at Stackpole Quay
Toilets: At Stackpole Quay
Read more: The 45 best beaches in Wales
Broad Haven Beach
What’s it like? A huge expanse of golden sand when the tide's out although much of that disappears at high tide. A good spot to get away from the jellyfish that can swarm the Pembrokeshire coastline when the water is warm.
Best for: Kite surfing when it's windy, watching the impressive sunsets as the sun descends over the water or taking a brisk stroll round to Little Haven for a pint in the pubs
Parking: There are two car parks, with pay and display machines that will take cards as well as cash
Food: Broad Haven has three pubs, a cafe, restaurant and tea rooms.
Broad Haven South Beach
What’s it like? Another large expanse of golden sand when the tide's out with the iconic Church Rock in the centre of the view. Can be a surf beach when the conditions are right but it's a safe bet for swimming during calmer conditions. There's more beach at the far end where a small stream flows out of the Bosherston lily ponds - great fun for kids to splash around in away from the waves.
Best for: Walking along the headlands - a quick stroll along the clifftops heading east takes you to the impressive Broad Haven 'Blue Crater' or head west to visit St Govans Chapel
Parking: National Trust car park at the top
Food: There's usually an ice cream van at the top of the steps, while the nearby village of Bosherston has a tea room and shop
Toilets: In the beach car park
What’s it like? A small rocky cove surrounded by spectacular cliffs - there's very little beach at all at high tide. Beware of the strong currents if you're bathing here.
Best for: The multi-coloured green, grey and pink rocks.
Parking: Space for around 50 cars above the beach, and it’s free.
Food: St David’s is the nearest place to buy food.
What’s it like? This narrow inlet of rocks and sand is surrounded by tall cliffs with some epic rock formations and patterns. It’s wild and remote and swimming isn't for the faint-hearted. A good place for seal-spotting. A short walk along the coast path takes you to the Witches Cauldron - an impressive collapsed cavern.
Best for: Spotting porpoises
Parking: Road side
Food: A mile-long woodland walk will take you to Penrallt garden centre, which does a good coffee and sandwich at the Pavillion Café.
Church Doors Cove
What’s it like? Small and not a cosy spot to sit but it is one of the most spectacular beaches in Pembrokeshire, thanks to the amazing cliff shapes carved by the sea. The Church Door itself is an iconic shot on Instagram, while a scramble through a small hole in the rocks on the right hand side will see you emerge onto Skrinkle beach.
Best for: Getting that classic Instagram-worthy shot of Church Doors
Parking: At Lydstep Head or the Manorbier Youth Hostel.
Coppet Hall Beach
What’s it like? A sandy beach which is easy to get to with car parking right on the beach front. Super safe beach for swimming and a popular place to try stand up paddle boarding and kayaking. There are great coffees, cakes and sandwiches at the Kiosk café while posh restaurant Coast offers a classy place for dinner. There are new toilet and changing facilities too, with outdoor showers and a beach shop.
Best for: Family day at the beach. An old tramway runs alongside the beach, with tunnels linking it to Wisemans Bridge and Saundersfoot.
Parking: Large car park next to the beach - accepts cash and cards
Food: The Kiosk café is situated at the eastern end.
Cwm yr Eglwys Beach
What’s it like? A stream runs down the middle of this sandy beach, and there are lots of rock pools for those intrepid enough to reach them. You'll see the remains of a chapel washed away by a storm in 1859
Best for: The secret low tide beach and the starting point for a fabulous circular walk around Dinas Head
Parking: In the village
Food: There's a small kiosk selling ice creams in the summer
What’s it like? A small, mainly pebble beach, with great windsurfing and sailing in the wide, sheltered bay. There's a good walk across the fields towards West Dale Bay. For those keen to really stretch their legs, the circular walk around St Anne's Head is spectacular on a clear day.
Best for: Watersports
Parking: There's a 100-space pay and display car park at the back of the beach
Food: There’s a cafe/restaurant and a pub.
Druidston Haven Beach
What’s it like? Enclosed on three sides by steep cliffs, this is a dramatic long, secluded and sandy beach which is great for dogs and horses.
Best for: Exploring the caves
Parking: The nearest car parks are in Nolton Haven or half a mile south at Haroldston Chins. Can park on the road and walk down too, although spaces are limited
Food: The Druidstone Hotel overlooks the beach, although that recently caused a kerfuffle by becoming members-only. Nearest food is at Nolton or Broad Haven
East Angle Bay
What’s it like? Not a beach to spend the day sunbathing on - this is mostly an area of mud flats with only a small amount of sand
Best for: Birdwatching, and .
Parking: On the road that runs around the bay
Food: The renowned and popular Café Mor have just taken on the Old Point House in Angle and have parked the iconic boat café outside. Planning to open in summer 2022, it will likely become a destination in itself.
Toilets: Yes - at the Old Point House
Freshwater East Beach
What’s it like? A wide beach of golden sand that's perfect for ball games with dunes behind and low cliffs at the eastern end.
Best for: Ball games on the beach and water sports
Parking? Yes - across the road
Food? Available at The Longhouse cafe and restaurant behind the beach and in the village.
Freshwater West Beach
What’s it like? With some of the best waves in the area, this beach is great for surfers, but if you're planning to swim, you need to be aware of the strong rip currents. The sandy beach is backed by dunes and the area is dramatic enough to have been featured in Robin Hood and Harry Potter films.
Best for: Surfing and canoeing. And hunting for Dobby the house elf's final resting place
Parking? Two small car parks that can be very busy
Food? There's usually a mobile catering unit at the southern car park although the iconic boat of Café Mor has gone now
What’s it like? This shingle beach west of Milford Haven is easy to get to. You can still see a fort built in the mid 1800s on the cliff at the eastern end, which was built to safeguard the area from the French.
Best for: Sailing
Parking? On the roadside
Food? Nearest supplies are at Milford Haven Marina
What’s it like? You'll spot this small, sandy beach if you're catching a ferry at Fishguard as it's adjacent to the terminals. You can go for a walk along the prom or breakwater and try and spot the basking sharks and dolphins that can sometimes be found in the harbour.
Best for: Watersports and spotting dolphins
Parking? Yes, there's a pay and display car park above the beach
Food? Head into Fishguard for refreshments
What’s it like? A lovely but secluded beach surrounded by cliffs that you can only get to by walking along the coastal path or by crossing the playing fields from St Ishmaels. Steep steps lead down to a sandy beach. The sea always feels a few degrees warmer here, compared to the more exposed beaches along the south and west coast. The beach disappears at high tide though.
Best for: Rock pooling and sea angling
Parking? At St Ishmaels village
Little Haven Beach
What’s it like? You'll find lots of boats using the beach because of the slipway but there are good views from The Point, which is accessible for both wheelchairs and buggies. There's a nearby pebble beach - The Sheep Wash - where you can swim safely in a sheltered cove.
Best for: Sailing, watersports and rock pooling.
Parking? Village pay and display
Food? Cafes and pubs in Little Haven and Broad Haven
Lydstep Haven Beach
What’s it like? A mixture of sand and pebbles but nonetheless a pretty beach with wooded cliffs. It's privately owned and there's a big holiday caravan park behind the beach. It also holds current Seaside and Blue Flag Beach awards. It has some lovely views across to Caldey Island. There's a free public car park at the south end of the beach, which you access off the A4139 just after the Lydstep Tavern in Lydstep itself - from there it's a short walk down a steep road onto the beach via the coast path.
Best for: Water sports
What’s it like? Only accessible at low tide, this golden stretch of sand hides a myriad of rock formations, caves and arches that are worth exploring when it's a super-low tide. It's a steep walk down some steps from the car park at the top (the same one as listed above).
Best for: Exploring rockpools, caves and arches
What’s it like? A Seaside Award-winning beach that is popular with surfers. The south westerly facing beach is sandy and is backed by dunes. A stream flows down the beach at the northern end. And there's an amazing castle just behind the sands which these days has a café. Read the story of the castle here.
Best for: Surfing
Food? Café and ice cream van
What’s it like? Rocky but picturesque with a large area of sand at low tide and cliffs. The rocks form small, private bays when the tide's out and there's a sandy beach at Albion Sands, to the west. You might recognise the area from the film Snow White and the Huntsman. When the tide is high, you can walk along the coast path to access some steep steps down to the southern half of the beach. Make sure you stop off at Runwayskiln for lunch or coffee and cake on the way.
Best for: Rock pooling
Parking? Half a mile from the beach, at the National Trust car park (bring cash or use the app)
Food? Yes - at Runwayskiln. There's usually an ice cream van at the car park in peak summer too
Toilets? Yes - at the café
Martin's Haven Beach
What’s it like? Rocky with a pebble beach accessed via a steep walk from the car park. It's popular with divers heading to the Skomer Marine Nature Reserve and is the departure point for boats going to the island. Almost guaranteed to see a seal in these parts, all year round.
Best for: Diving
Parking? Yes, there's a National Trust car park
Food? No - head to Marloes village
What’s it like? A remote beach accessible via a farm footpath, a walk along the coast path from Saundersfoot or the beach at low tide. There's a steep path leading down to the secluded beach.
Best for: Sea angling
Parking? Limited parking in a lane by the farm or park in Saundersfoot
What’s it like? The top of the beach is a great spot for a picnic, but to get down to the beach you'll need to make your way over the rocks. You can also access it via the coast path or by walking along a footpath along fields. The beach itself is pretty and sandy but is only visible at low tide.
Best for: Swimming and water sports
Food? No - head to Marloes village
What’s it like? Pretty huge and popular with watersports. It's two miles of golden sands backed by a pebble bank which appeared after a storm in 1859. You can find a walk-through cave at the southern end and if you cross the river at the back of the pebble bank at the north end you can access several low tide bays. It has Blue Flag status, the highest mark of cleanliness a beach can gain.
Best for: Surfing and kitesurfing
Parking? Yes, there are three car parks, and two are pay and display.
Food? Yes, at the northern end of the beach you'll find a surf shop, café and pub and at the southern end there is a café and beach shop.
Newport Parrog Beach
What’s it like? With boats bobbing in the water, Newport Parrog Beach was originally created to serve as a port and you can still see some of that history today. This picturesque place to visit isn't a swimming beach, and there is a small amount of sand at high tide.
Best for: Rockpooling and stone skimming
Parking? There is some parking by the tourist information centre and by the yacht club.
Food? There is a café near the yacht club. Your best bet though is to head into the town and check out Blas at Fronlas or the Pwnc café in the main street.
Toilets? There are toilets near the yacht club.
What’s it like? This flat sandy beach is the biggest in Newport and is known by its Welsh name Traeth Mawr (Big Beach).
Best for: It's great for families as well as anyone who enjoys watersports
Parking? You can park at the beach head or Newport Parrog, which gets very busy in the summer.
Food? There is a café and just above the beach there's the Cat Rock café at the golf club
Nolton Haven Beach
What’s it like? Nolton Haven is a sheltered cove which has pebbles and sand at high tide. There are strong currents off Nolton Haven so take care.
Best for: Whiling away the time
Parking? There's a pay and display car park
Food? There's a pub, the Mariner's Arms, a short walk from the beach
What’s it like? A sand and shingle beach in Tenby, it's really an extension of South Beach but it's not visited as much. That means it's a bit quieter though. You can walk across the dunes from Penally station to access it, but note this path isn't always open as it crosses a rifle range. It's not too far to walk along the coast path on the clifftops to Bubbleton Farm Shop, where you'll be rewarded with hot coffees, a fab breakfast and great homemade cakes.
Best for: Swimming and fishing
What’s it like? The sandy beach is backed by sand dunes is best visited at low tide to enjoy the huge beach. It's situated at the start, or end, of the Pembrokeshire Coast Path
Best for: Dog-walkers, but there are some restrictions to the western end of the beach between May 1 and September 30.
Parking? There is a car park by the RNLI lifeboat station
Food? The team behind Cardigan's Crwst have opened a small café at the car park which does some of their most popular doughnuts and pastries, as well as ice creams for humans and dogs.
What’s it like? A gorgeous harbour which was built in the 12th century and is now used as a small port by local fishermen. It isn't a place for bathing but it is popular for launching canoes and east of the harbour is a popular place for rock climbing.
Best for: Stopping by on a picturesque walk
Parking? Yes but it is limited
Food? There's a small kiosk café at the car park which does a selection of drinks, sandwiches and cakes, including Mamgus welshcakes from Solva
What’s it like? Secluded and reached only from the Coastal Path which is about a mile west of Porthclais. Golden sand and rockpools are revealed at low tide and the waters are lovely for bathing.
Best for: Exploring the coastline
Parking? There is free parking at Porthclais and some limited spaces on the road to Treginnis.
What’s it like? A remote sandy cove, Porthmelgan is sheltered as it is surrounded by cliffs and only accessible the coast path. There are strong currents so be careful. There are cracking views out towards Ramsay Island and it's worth the effort to walk out towards the headland or up Carn Llidi above Whitesands.
Best for: Soaking up the sun – the cove is sheltered from the winds.
Parking? There is parking at Whitesands beach - the next bay along the cliffs
What’s it like? An enclosed sandy cove which is rocky in places but has golden sand at low tide. It should be safe enough for a dip but make sure you take a look at the tide times first.
Best for: Scenery - it has gorgeous views in the evening light particularly.
What’s it like? Situated on the tiny monastic Caldey Island, you'll never see this sandy beach jam packed. Monks have lived on the island off the Pembrokeshire coast since the 6th century, and today a community of Cistercians inhabit Caldey. You can catch a boat to Caldey Island between Easter and the end of October from Monday to Friday, and on Saturdays during June, July, August. The island is closed on Sunday.
Best for: Families who want plenty of space to themselves
Food? There is a cafe, post office and shop on the island.
What’s it like? With its fine, dark sand, Pwllgwaelod is a small cove with low rocks on both sides as well as rockpools.
Best for: It's good for launching small boats and canoes, as well as rockpooling. Another good starting point for the circular walk around Dinas Island.
Parking? There is parking by the beach head and by the The Old Sailors pub.
Food? There is the The Old Sailors pub nearby and the village of Newport has a number of cafes and shops
Sandy Haven Beach
What’s it like? An inlet looking out over the Milford Haven waterway. At low tide it is possible to walk across the estuary, but if you are cut off during high tide it is a long walk back via a four-mile detour.
Best for: Exploring rock pools
Parking? There is parking above the beach with space for 30 cars.
Toilets? There is a campsite nearby
What’s it like? Situated between Tenby and Amroth, Saundersfoot Beach is a broad sandy beach that sits in front of the village. A safe beach for swimming, as long as you keep an eye out for paddle boarders and jetskis. The harbour has had a facelift duruing the pandemic and there are a range of shops on the sea front. It's worth walking round to Harbour Bites on the far side of the harbour and checking out the new marine visitor centre which opens in 2022.
Best for: For combining trip with food and galleries
Parking? There are a number of options for parking. There is parking right in the harbour, at Regency Hall and Coppet Hall.
Food? There are plenty of places to eat and drink. Try the Stone Crab for crab a posh lunch and the Periwinkle for great coffee
What’s it like? The beach is small, at the mouth of the inlet, with rock pools and caves to explore. There is also a little pebble beach by the harbour and old lime kiln ruins offering the perfect place for youngsters to explore. The village is home to Mamgus welshcakes, which does a leek and cheese version as well as the more traditional flavour. They also do a decent lunch and coffee. While away an afternoon in the shop Window on Wales.
Best for: Small children as it is very shallow
Parking? Limited parking
Food? Solva has cafes, restaurants and pubs.
St Brides Haven Beach
What’s it like? The shingle and pebble beach is sheltered from the wind. Above the beach is the remains of old lime kilns.
Best for: Exploring from the lime kilns to the rock pools.
Parking? For 20 cars
Food? Nearby Marloes village has a pub, restaurant and café.
What’s it like? The small harbour is surrounded by cliffs, and the tide time will vary the amount of beach you will have.
Best for: Kayaking
Parking? There is a car park owned by the National Trust.
Food? The Boathouse Tearoom - run by the National Trust - offers food and drink.
What’s it like? The shingle beach is only accessible from the Pembrokeshire Coastal Path but guarantees peace and solitude even on the hottest day of the year. A bay of two halves, the western side is decorated with interesting red sandstone rocks whilst the eastern half is made up of wonderful golden sands backed by shingle.
Unofficially, Swanlake Bay Beach is known to be one of Pembrokeshire’s beaches frequented by a local community of naturists, so just be aware that you may stumble upon sunbathers wearing no clothes at all and swimmers wearing only their birthday suits instead of bathing suits.
Best for: Isolation
Parking? There is parking is on a road by the farm entrance.
Tenby Castle Beach
What’s it like? The beach lies between Castle Hill and East Cliff, and at low tide it is possible to walk out towards St Catherine Island - but it is out of bounds. Access to the beach is from the harbour.
Best for: Boat trips
Parking? The multi storey in town is the best option
Food? Alongside the slipway is a café, which also hires deck chairs.
Tenby Harbour Beach
What’s it like? The Harbour Beach is as the name suggest at the harbour and among the fishing boats. It is a short walk from the town centre, home to the sailing club and the Fisherman’s Chapel.
Best for: Trips to Caldey Island
Parking? The multi storey in town is the best option.
Food? It is close to town so there are plenty of options.
Tenby North Beach
What’s it like? The sandy beach has a few rocks pool and the famous Goskar Rock. The town’s promenade overlooks the beach, which means the beach is particularly busy on hot days.
Best for: Swimming, sunbathing, people-watching
Parking? North Beach car park fills up quickly in the summer
Food? Just above the beach is is a shop and café, plus various hire facilities.
Toilets? By the café and shop is a toilet.
Tenby South Beach
What’s it like? Backed by dunes the South Beach is a mile-and-a-half long. The activities increase as you venture further away from the town end.
Best for: Horse riding, walking
Parking? A small car park next to South Beach fills up very very quickly in summer, and there is a privately run car park off The Esplanade. There is a park and ride with free shuttle bus in busier times.
Food? At the point of access to the beach there are plenty of cafes, pubs and restaurants.
Toilets? Facilities are close to the beach.
Traeth Llyfn Beach
What’s it like? The translation is smooth beach and with the sandy beach it is easy to see why. Towering cliffs dominate the beach, accessed by stairs, and on the beach there is plenty of room for games. It's quite a trek down some steep steps to get to it but it's well worth the effort. It's pretty much guaranteed to be quiet all year round too- even on the hottest day of the year.
Best for: Ball games
Parking? Nearest parking at Abereiddi or Porthgain
What’s it like? The sheltered beach is only accessible from the coastal path and the amount of beach depends on tide times. It's a great place to while away an afternoon watching the coming and going of the Haven waterway, and it's sheltered location means it can feel quite warm on sunny days.
Best for: Rock pools and caves
Food? None. Nearest facilities are in Dale
West Angle Bay
What’s it like? A huge beach at low tide, and there is a secret beach to be found between the cliffs at the back. But beware the sea has strong currents off West Angle Bay. The water is crystal clear in calm conditions and there's a fab café at Wavecrest, on the water's edge, which is worth visiting for the Lemon cheesecake alone.
Best for: Exploring
Parking? Spaces for 60 cars
Food? Two pubs in the village and great cakes and light lunches at Wavecrest café, on the beach
West Dale Beach
What’s it like? Steep steps lead to a small sandy beach where Henry VII landed with his army before the Battle of Bosworth, which led to the founding of the Tudor dynasty.
Best for: Surfing
What’s it like? The south end is quieter, with sheltered bays, but as one of the country’s most popular surfing spots it can get quite busy with surfers, body boarders and canoeists.
Best for: Surfing. The beach is known as one of the best in the country for the sport.
Parking? There is parking for 60 cars above the beach. In the summer a shuttle bus runs from The Oriel y Parc car park on the edge of St Davids.
Food? There is a café
Wiseman's Bridge Beach
What’s it like? On the rocky beach you need to take care, but at low tide you can walk all the way to Amroth or Saundersfoot. The coast path passes through some tunnels and an old mine entrance.
Best for: Walking - there's a great route from here to Saundersfoot
Parking? Limited parking by the side of the road
Food? There is a pub.
Toilets? You would have to ask nicely at the pub.