• Carolyn at Top of the Woods

The 7 best Pembrokeshire beaches for families

Luxury Camping & Glamping in Wales – Best Family Beaches in West Wales.

Golden soft sands, crystal-clear turquoise waters, secret secluded bays…

Where is this paradise? The Caribbean. The Maldives.

No, your perfect beach is closer than you think - it’s just a UK staycation away in West Wales.

With 50 beaches in Pembrokeshire alone and the only National Coastal Park in the UK, here are the 7 best beaches in West Wales with something for all the family.

Luxury Camping & Glamping in Wales – Child at Beach.

Multi-award-winning beach - Barafundle Bay

Luxury Camping & Glamping in Wales – Baradundle Bay and Beach.

Breath. Taken.

That’s the feeling when you first catch a glimpse of the curve of golden sands and turquoise waters at the award-winning Barafundle Beach. It’s almost hard to believe it’s in the UK, not a more exotic location.

The showstopper has been voted the best beach in Britain - and the world! National Geographic named it the #2 best coastal destination in the world. It was one of only two UK entries on the list of the top 25 beaches, by online travel magazine, Passport, alongside the likes of Tahiti, Brazil and Hawaii.

Enjoy picture-postcard sheltered sands, gently sloping dunes and pristine sea with a backdrop of rugged cliffs, scenic pine trees and wide, wide ocean view. Imagine that this was once a private beach for the Cawdor family of Stackpole Court! Now protected by the National Trust – you can still see the steps and wall which gave them access to the beach.

Pack a picnic to fuel your family beach activities and swimming, feel the sand in your toes (not your sandwiches!) and soak up the paradise vibes.

Things to note:

  • If you’re planning to visit, check out the tide times.

  • No lifeguard

  • By definition, this is a secluded beach so there are no facilities here.

  • The nearest car park is at Stackpole Quay (around 0.5 miles away)

  • Access is only on foot via the Coast Path either from Stackpole (0.5 miles) or Broad Haven South (1.3 miles). The entrance to the beach is via steps on the northern approach.

Dolphin-spotting at Mwnt Beach

Luxury Camping & Glamping in Wales – dolphin spotting Mwnt Beach.

For wildlife lovers, the idyllic golden sands at the National Trust’s Mwnt Beach are one of the best places to spot dolphins, playing and hanging out in the bay.

The top of the conical hill (Foel y Mwnt) overlooks the sandy, sheltered beach offering dramatic panoramic views and providing the perfect vantage point for wildlife watching. Don’t forget your binoculars - for spying dolphins and seals and porpoises too.

After your wildlife spotting, check out the pretty whitewashed 14th century Church of the Holy Cross (Eglwys y Grog) on the hill which served as a chapel offering respite to sailors. Then treat yourself to an ice-cream from Mwnt Kiosk - you’re on holiday after all!

Things to note:

  • Protected by the National Trust, this hidden cove is in Ceredigion, around 4.5 miles north of Cardigan town centre and on the Wales Coastal Path.

  • Parking is free to National Trust members.

  • Dogs are not allowed on the beach between May and September

  • Toilets onsite

  • The only access to the beach is via a series of steep steps.

  • A kiosk selling hot drinks and snacks (search Mwnt Kiosk on Facebook)

Newgale beach – best for surfing sports for all levels

Luxury Camping & Glamping in Wales – kite surfing on Newgale Beach.

With the winds coming from the Atlantic, the massive 2-mile sandy beach at Newgale is one of the best surfing sports beaches to cater for all levels. With a lifeguard on duty (June to Sept) and Blue Flag status, it’s a perfect place for the whole family to safely ride waves.

Newgale and the wider surfing scene in Pembrokeshire offer good vibrations for surfers of all levels with an unspoiled, less commercial experience than other well-trodden surfing destinations in the UK.

Choose Newgale for surfing, wind-surfing, body-boarding or kite-surfing - and why not book some surfing lessons?

Luxury Camping & Glamping in Wales – kite surfing in the sea Newgale Beach.

Things to note:

  • Blue Flag 2021

  • 3 car parks (2 paid)

  • Toilets

  • Lifeguard - June to Sept

  • Dog restrictions apply to the middle third of the beach from May to the end of September.

  • At the northern end of the beach, check out the surf shop (where you can book lessons), café and pub.

Best beach for rockpooling - Abereiddy Beach

Rockpooling is the best beach activity to keep your little ‘uns entertained while they learn about sea critters in the bargain. Winner of a Green Coast Award 2021, Abereiddy is one of the best rockpooling beaches - and it’s a two for one trip - right next to the striking Blue Lagoon.

Luxury Camping & Glamping in Wales – Blue Lagoon West Wales.

The Blue Lagoon’s brilliant blue/green waters and the dark sand and pebbles at Abereiddy all come for the same pounded grey slate.

Rockpooling tips:

  • Head to the south end of the beach to explore pools full of seaweed, crabs and anemones.

  • Snap what you spot for a show and tell and you can learn more about your discoveries at home.

  • Turn over stones and seaweed gently and try to put everything back the way you found it (the sea critters don’t want their homes disrupted!)

  • Watch you don’t slip on the rocks.

  • Take this guide to rockpooling from our friends at Visit Pembrokeshire.

Luxury Camping & Glamping in Wales – Rockpooling closeup on shells.

What to note?

  • Watch out for strong currents at Abereiddy Beach

  • Limited parking

  • Disabled access at Abereiddy but no access to the pebble beach. Wheelchair access to the Blue Lagoon.

  • Check out the tide times.

Newport – dog-friendly beach all year round

Luxury Camping & Glamping in Wales – Newport Beach Pembrokeshire.

Pooches just love getting down on the beach to enjoy splashing, digging and sniffing. There are lots of dog-friendly beaches in Pembrokeshire and West Wales – just check out any restrictions in the summer.

One of our furry friends’ favourites is Newport Beach, where they can roam around all year round with no restrictions.

Newport is also a much-loved spot for hoomans. With a backdrop of Welsh mountains, the town is situated in one of the most scenic parts of Pembrokeshire National Park. Once you’ve enjoyed beach fun, pop into the bustling town for a spot of family shopping.

Things to note:

  • It’s advisable to stick to the guarded section of the beach for bathing. Swimming nearer the estuary can be dangerous because of the rapidly-incoming tides - always check the tide times

  • Toilets

  • Two car parks with a charge.

  • A small shop in one of the car parks sells ice cream, hot drinks etc

Penbryn - shhhh best-kept secret

Luxury Camping & Glamping in Wales – Penbryn beach in the sun.

Could this beach be the best-kept secret? Protected by the National Trust, Penbryn is a secluded glorious golden beach for a fun day out for the whole family. A great base for exploring the Wales Coast path, make your way to the sands below through the woods to the cliffs and stunning views of Cardigan Bay.

Grab a bucket and spade and let your kids’ imaginations create majestic sand castles and other worlds...

Luxury Camping & Glamping in Wales – boy on beach with spade.

With little light pollution, Penbryn is also a Dark Skies Discovery site to explore the magic of the starry night skies. For a family-friendly way to enjoy stargazing, check out our Dark Sky Safari, where expert Dr Alice Courvoiser shares the stories behind the night skies.

Things to note:

  • From August to December (seal breeding season) you may see fluffy seal pups but please keep a safe distance as the mum won’t be far away and needs to be able to feed her young.

  • Parking - yes free for National Trust members

  • EV charger available in the car park

  • Dogs are not allowed between May and Sept

  • Toilets

  • Hot drinks and snacks at the cafe - (Plwmp Tart on Facebook)

Poppit Sands – all round family classic

Luxury Camping & Glamping in Wales – at sunset person running with dog Poppit Sands Beach.

Poppit Sands. Its name evokes family summer days, picnics and outdoor fun! At the mouth of the Teifi Estuary, Poppit Sands is a popular sandy beach backed by dunes and the nearest beach to our camping and glamping site.

Poppit Sands is perfect for beginner surfers too. The surf is more than enough for boogie-boarding and the water is shallow for quite a long way out so there are no scary-drop offs. During the summer, there is a RNLI patrolled area for extra reassurance.

A top tip is to head to Crwst Poppit for doughnuts and ice-cream (and even ice-cream for dogs too!)

Grab your boards, your babies and your pooches - Poppit Sands is calling.

Things to note:

  • Blue Flag 2021

  • Dog restrictions apply to the western end of the beach between 1st May and 30th September.

  • Check out the tide times.

  • Beach wheelchair available to hire, pre-book online here.

  • Car park near RNLI lifeboat station.

  • Crwst Poppit cafe

  • Lifeguards patrol between the end of June and the beginning of September.

  • Toilets

  • St Dogmaels is the nearest village with several pubs and restaurants.

Family beach holiday time

So now you know that a family beach holiday is closer to home than you may have imagined. Which of these best beaches in Pembrokeshire would appeal to your family most?

We challenge you to explore all of them on your next camping or glamping stay - book your summer holiday today.

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