As recommended by you
Pembrokeshire's best swimming beaches
The possibilities for wild swimming in Pembrokeshire are endless. Jutting into the sea on three sides and a Coast Path to access all of it, Pembrokshire almost feels like an island.
Lots of locals live on the coast and enjoy a daily commune with the sea and in the summer months, swimming is top of their list.
So if you’re looking to take the plunge at one of Pembrokeshire’s 52 beaches and coves, which ones are best and safest for swimming? So with so many options, we asked our friends on Facebook to tell us their favourite swimming beaches and we’ve been inundated.
So here they are, with a four-way tie, the most popular swimming beaches as chosen by you:
West Angle. At the mouth of the Milford Haven estuary at low tide there is a huge stretch of golden sand. Once you’ve had your swim you can spend plenty of time exploring the rock pools followed by some great food and a warming cuppa at the Wavecrest Cafe above the beach.
Broad Haven south. This wide sandy bay backed by dunes has some of the softest sand in Pembrokeshire and is dominated by Church Rock just off the beach.
Whitesands. Overlooked by the imposing craggy tor of Carn Llidi, made of very old volcanic rock some of it dates back almost 500 million years. The northern end is a favourite with surfers and canoeists. The southern end is quieter but it doesn’t have the watchful eye of the RNLI lifeguards.
Monkstone. Sandwiched between Saundersfoot and Tenby, Monkstone feels more remote than it is. Access down to the beach is by a very steep but well-maintained path with steps onto the beach. You can also access from Saundersfoot along Glen beach at low tide but be careful of the tide or you will have a long walk back including up those steep steps!
Other fabulous beaches mentioned include:
Coppet Hall. Just north of Saundersfoot was recommended by Marja Cross who said ‘it’s such easy access and nice views to Monkstone and Saundersfoot’
Newport Parrog. Along the path towards the old lifeboat house, you’ll find the tiny pebbly cove. A favourite with families and the pebbles are perfect for skimming.
For those feeling a little more adventurous and looking to visit somewhere different, here are some great recommendations.
Sandy Haven. A cliff backed sandy beach on the Milford Haven estuary, almost opposite West Angle beach. A wide expanse of beach at low tide but not good for swimming so as Vincent Feneck said on Facebook it’s one for ‘high tide‘
Skomar beach. Sometimes referred to as Smugglers Cove or Lydstep Cavern Beach it’s a favourite of Francis Johns ‘The old smugglers cave is alongside and great to explore. You can access it from the Skrinkle Viewpoint parking area or from the National Trust’s Lydstep Head car park. Lots of steps down but a gem when you get there. Used to go there often when I was younger – sometimes walking over from Lydstep Haven itself.’
Porth Seleu. An enclosed small sandy cove just around the bay from Whitesands, another favourite. It is gently shelving making it perfect for swimming. It is possible to wade over from Whitesands beach at low tide, but it’s best to get there via the Pembrokeshire Coast Path.
Watwick Bay. Accessible only from the Coast Path from Dale and again on the Milford Haven estuary opposite West Angle Bay. Watwick is a sheltered sandy beach that is a favourite lunch stop for passing yachts. A lovely beach – a favourite of ours too!
If you’re new to sea swimming and want to give it a try, start with our Blue Flag beaches. Not only are they super beaches with lovely clean water but they also have lifeguards patrolling during the summer months.
Check out the video from the RNLI lifeguards on Whitesands with some important water safety messages that will help your day at the beach go swimmingly!
You’ll find RNLI lifeguards at 11 of Pembrokeshire’s beaches:
Amroth, Saundersfoot, Tenby North, South and Castle, Freshwater West, Broad Haven, Nolton Haven, Newgale, Whitesands, Newport Sands and Poppit Sands.
Have a fantastic time whichever beach you explore and remember Respect The Water, stay safe and leave only footprints.