Freshwater West beach

This sand and rocky beach is the hunting ground of the surfer always on the lookout for that perfect wave; a surfers paradise.

This south-westerly facing beach has the best waves in the county BUT it’s only for the experienced and strong swimming surfer. Strong rip currents occur off this beach. It’s the best place to go to watch surfing.

The beach is wide, sandy, and backed by an extensive system of dunes. The dunes are fragile so no camping or barbeques are allowed. There’s a rocky reef at the southern end and some quiet bays at the other.

The beach to the south is Frainslake sands but it’s inside the Castlemartin ranges so is out of bounds. The thatched shack on the foreshore is a rebuilt shelter that was used for drying a certain type of seaweed, used for making Lavabread, a Welsh specialty that’s very good for adding flavour to recipes.

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 down to the smallest detail including the seaweed. 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.

Pembrokeshire has featured in many other films and dramas – explore the locations on our Hollywood Trail.

If you’re planning to visit, check out the tide times to make sure you’ve plenty of beach to play on and that you don’t get cut off by the incoming tide!

Access

Access easiest from the car park by public toilets. Concrete ramp: 1:10 to 1:9 for 54 metres, but changes in sand conditions may result in step at the bottom.

Parking

There are two small free car parks but if the surf is up, parking is hard to find. It’s camper van city! Some parking is available along the very narrow road – please park responsibly: do not block access for emergency services and gateways to fields for farmers.

Facilities

Toilets.

Onshore facilities

The legendary Cafe Mor is parked at the southern car park from spring to autumn.

  • Beware Currents
  • Canoeing
  • Disabled Toilets
  • Free Car Park
  • Phone
  • Rocky
  • Sand Dunes
  • Sandy Beach
  • Sea Angling
  • Stream
  • Surfing
  • Toilets
  • Wind Surfing

I can highly recommend Pembrokeshire - it has everything for a great holiday!

Valery Collins, Experienced Traveller