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Wales Online
Wales Online
Bethany Gavaghan

The hidden gem Welsh beach where you can go surfing, spot dolphins and take the dog all-year-round

You always feel ever so slightly smug when you discover somewhere a little off the beaten track and feel like you are treading on virgin ground. And there are some places that, although known to many, don't get the attention more widely regarded places do - or the crowds that follow.

One such hidden gem is Sker in Porthcawl. This sandy, remote stretch of coast is mostly just enjoyed by locals. It’s the most westerly of Porthcawl’s beaches, and you can actually only get there by walking from Rest Bay or Kenfig National Nature Reserve.

There are two car parks at the reserve, and it's a 25 minute walk through the dunes to the beach after you get to Kenfig. It's also classed as rural, and has no toilets or commercial amenities, so you really are amid some true nature. You can get more Porthcawl and Bridgend news, and other story updates straight to your inbox by subscribing to our newsletters here.

Read more: Hollywood crew upset locals while filming on Welsh beach

But there is actually lots to see at this quiet beach. At low tide, about halfway down the beach, the wreck of the MV Altmark, the remains of a timber boat, becomes visible, and at very low tides, the wreckage can still be found. This ship became stranded on Kenfig Sands while on a journey from Briton Ferry to Barry in June, 1960, and there was only one man on board when the engine failed.

You may also be glad to know that you won't have to leave your four-legged friend behind, as Sker Beach is dog-friendly all year round. This is unlike other beaches in Bridgend county where dogs are not allowed at Rest Bay, Town Beach, Coney Beach and Trecco Bay between May 1 and September 30.

The beach is not easily reached by public transport. First Bus runs services to Porthcawl, and various direct services run from Bridgend, Cardiff and Swansea.

But, although it may take some planning to get to, the terrain when you get there is very accessible and incredibly flat- making it ideal for a long walk.

And keep your eyes peeled for the amazing wildlife in the area as well. One person recently spotted dolphins in the waters, noting on Twitter: "Sker beach just after HW this morning... large flock of gulls at distance feeding on baitfish. Gannets, Shearwater and Dolphins too."

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