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  • Carolyn at Top of the Woods

7 of the Best Family-Friendly Beaches in West Wales.

Updated: Mar 6, 2023

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.

Top of the Woods Eco Luxury Glamping Campsite in Pembrokeshire Cardigan Bay Wales – UK Holiday Staycation Nature Wildlife Eco and Dog Friendly Break  – Best Family Beaches in West Wales.
Top of the Woods campsite have stunning beaches on its doorstep - Mwnt Beach

At Top of the Wood campsite, in Pembrokeshire Wales, we are close to some stunning beaches. Our two closest beaches has a nature reserve on it Poppit Sands (Pembrokeshire) and the other is a National Trust beach - Mwnt (Ceredigion).


The only National Coastal Park in The UK takes in over 50 Pembrokeshire beaches and at Top of the Woods, we are also on the border of the less discovered Ceredigion too. This means you could stay for approx. 3 months, visit a beach every day without visiting the same one!

Top of the Woods Eco Luxury Glamping Campsite in Pembrokeshire Cardigan Bay Wales – UK Holiday Staycation Nature Wildlife Eco and Dog Friendly Break  Child at Beach.
One of our summer camping guests loving our Pembrokeshire beaches - Mwnt

Here are 7 of our favourites for your family to start beach exploring, when you come and stay for your camping holidays with us in Wales.




Multi-Award Winning Barafundle Beach Ranks in the Top 100 Global Travel Destination - a must see!

Top of the Woods Eco Luxury Glamping Campsite in Pembrokeshire Cardigan Bay Wales – UK Holiday Staycation Nature Wildlife Eco and Dog Friendly Break  – Barafundle Bay and Beach.
A absolute must see one of the top 100 world beach destination, in Pembrokeshire Wales.

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. It seems every year it wins a new award and is a must see destination when it comes to beaches.


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.


Mwnt Beach - Witness the Magic of Spotting & Europe's Largest Residental Dolphin Pod!

Top of the Woods Eco Luxury Glamping Campsite in Pembrokeshire Cardigan Bay Wales – UK Holiday Staycation Nature Wildlife Eco and Dog Friendly Break  dolphin spotting Mwnt Beach.
Can you spot any dolphins from the coastline?

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

Top of the Woods Eco Luxury Glamping Campsite in Pembrokeshire Cardigan Bay Wales – UK Holiday Staycation Nature Wildlife Eco and Dog Friendly Break – kite surfing on Newgale Beach.
Newgale beach great for the family and active water sports lovers!

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.


A Day of Rockpooling at Abereiddy – Perfect for Families

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.

Top of the Woods Eco Luxury Glamping Campsite in Pembrokeshire Cardigan Bay Wales – UK Holiday Staycation Nature Wildlife Eco and Dog Friendly Break – Blue Lagoon West Wales.
The Blue Lagoon at Abereiddy beach - check out the rock pools or take a dip!

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.


Top of the Woods Eco Luxury Glamping Campsite in Pembrokeshire Cardigan Bay Wales – UK Holiday Staycation Nature Wildlife Eco and Dog Friendly Break  Rockpooling closeup on shells.
What can you spot rockpooling with the little ones?

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.


Take Your Dogs to a Dog-Friendly Beach in Newport Any Time of the Year

Top of the Woods Eco Luxury Glamping Campsite in Pembrokeshire Cardigan Bay Wales – UK Holiday Staycation Nature Wildlife Eco and Dog Friendly Break  – Newport Beach Pembrokeshire.
Take your furbabies with you, they will love Newport sands for a good run off!

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

Top of the Woods Eco Luxury Glamping Campsite in Pembrokeshire Cardigan Bay Wales – UK Holiday Staycation Nature Wildlife Eco and Dog Friendly Break  – Penbryn beach in the sun.
This beach i absolutely love - Penbryn, will you love it too?

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...

Top of the Woods Eco Luxury Glamping Campsite in Pembrokeshire Cardigan Bay Wales – UK Holiday Staycation Nature Wildlife Eco and Dog Friendly Break  – boy on beach with spade.
Beach time is great family time :-) !

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.
This beach has everything a nature reserve, rockpools, large expanse of sand, dogfriendly and a great cafe!

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?

See how many you can explore on your next camping or glamping stay at Top of the Woods, campsite - book your summer holiday today.




 

Top of the Woods Provides the Best Eco Luxury Glamping & Camping Holidays in Pembrokeshire and Cardigan Bay in Wales, UK. Sustainable Staycations. Beaches. Nature. Woodlands. Dog Friendly.




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