20 great beaches in Wales

Beaches, Coastal, The Great British Outdoors

Posted by Hannah on 30th June 2019

Barafundle Bay

In addition to being the land of emerald hills, dragons, and giants who roam the country, Wales also has some of the best beaches in the UK, perfect for long walks on the sand, thrilling activities or simply soaking up the sun. In fact, at the time of writing, around 40 of the beaches in Wales have been awarded Blue Flag status, an honour bestowed upon those with the highest level of safety standards, water quality, and environmental management.

Here are 20 of the best beaches in Wales, but we can assure you that there are many more along the 750-mile Welsh coastline!

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Best beaches in South Wales


Rest Bay

Rest Bay, Bridgend

On the outskirts of Porthcawl, Rest Bay is a popular beach with plenty to do. It’s popular with water sports fans, with surfing, windsurfing and kite surfing all on offer in the peaceful bay. With a big expanse of sand and backed by low green cliffs, the beach feels rugged and wild. It’s a big hit with golf fans too, as the Royal Porthcawl Golf Club is nearby.


Dogs: Ban in place on the main section of beach from 1st May until 30th September.

Lifeguards: May to September.

Local information: Toilets, cafe, parking (around 100 metres from the beach).

Stay nearby: Bryn Eglwys Cottage | sleeps 2


Langland Bay, Gower

Langland Bay, Gower

This family-friendly beach on the Gower Peninsula is only 6 miles from Swansea and so is extremely popular with city-dwellers looking for some seaside relaxation. The long stretch of beach is flanked by a traditional promenade and there are some lovely places to eat along the front. Langland is also one of the Gower’s best surf spots and so is popular with surfers as well as stand up paddleboarders on smaller swells.


Dogs: Ban in place on the main section of beach from 1st May until 30th September.

Lifeguards: June to September.

Local information: Toilets, café, parking (pay and display a short walk from the beach).

Stay nearby: Rock House | sleeps 5 + 1 dog


Three Cliffs Bay

Three Cliffs Bay, Gower

This spectacular beach is so called because of its impressive headline comprising three iconic limestone cliffs which jut out towards the sea. The stunning natural landscape surrounding this small bay gives it a rugged and secluded feel and its remote location and lack of facilities mean it’s a quieter option on the Gower Peninsula. While the beach is lifeguarded in season, this beach does experience strong tides and currents so caution is advised when swimming – if in doubt, stick to the shore and soak up the fseeantastic sights at this beach.


Dogs: Allowed all year.

Lifeguards: School holidays and weekends in the summer season.

Local information: Toilets (in the nearby holiday park), parking (around 400 metres from the beach).

Stay nearby: Gower Retreat – Three Cliffs | sleeps 5 + 1 dog


Oxwich Bay

Oxwich Bay, Gower

A highly picturesque beach where turquoise waters are backed by dunes and salt marsh, Oxwich Bay is one of the loveliest beaches on the Gower Peninsula. The large sandy stretch is beloved by dog walkers as it welcomes four-legged visitors all year round. It’s also popular with water sports enthusiasts, especially stand up paddleboarders. On top of this, the abundance of local facilities makes this one of the best Welsh beaches.  


Dogs: Allowed all year.

Lifeguards: No.

Local information: Toilets, cafe, parking (around 100 metres from the beach).

Stay nearby: Coastlands | sleeps 8 + 2 dogs


Rhossili Beach, Gower

Rhossili Beach, Gower

With many awards to its name, Rhossili Beach is truly one of the best beaches in South Wales. With 3 miles of golden sand stretching along the Gower Peninsula, Rhossili is extremely picturesque and it’s not uncommon to see dolphins or seals enjoying the turquoise waters. Aside from the stunning views, people visit for water sports and walking routes along the Gower Coast Path. And this beach is a hit with our four-legged friends too, as it welcomes dogs all year round!


Dogs: Allowed all year.

Lifeguards: No.

Local information: Toilets and cafe (in Rhossili village, less than half a mile from the beach), parking (car park around 500 metres from the beach – free for National Trust members).

Stay nearby: Tiller Cottage | sleeps 6 + 1 dog

South Wales coastal cottages


Best beaches in Pembrokeshire & South West Wales


Tenby, Pembrokeshire

Tenby, Pembrokeshire

We’re cheating slightly by adding Tenby to our list, as it boasts not one, not two, but four lovely beaches. The most popular is North Beach which is overlooked by the town and has stunning, turquoise waters. Harbour Beach and Castle beach are smaller, more sheltered beaches and finally, South Beach boasts a large stretch of sand backed by dunes. All have ample facilities nearby.


Dogs: Seasonal restrictions on every beach except South Beach.

Lifeguards: Seasonally on North Beach, South Beach and Castle Beach. No lifeguards on Harbour Beach.

Local information: Toilets, cafes and parking.

Stay nearby: Goscar View, Tenby | sleeps 6


Barafundle Bay

Barafundle Bay, Pembrokeshire

Barafundle Bay is a beach that is often considered to be the jewel in the crown of the Pembrokeshire beaches. The fine sand and crystal-clear water mean that it is increasingly likened to a Caribbean beach. With the nearest car park located half a mile away and backed by undulating sand dunes and pine trees, it is not the most easily accessible beach, but it is worth the effort; you’ll find that the peace and tranquillity found here can make you believe that you are in your own personal paradise.


Dogs: Allowed all year.

Lifeguards: No.

Local information: Toilets, café and parking (half a mile walk away at Stackpole Village).

Stay nearby: Boathouse On The Beach | sleeps 6 + 2 dogs


Watwick Bay, Pembrokeshire

This sheltered sandy cove is tucked away in the Pembrokeshire cliffs and has little in the way of facilities nearby, meaning it rarely gets crowded. The green sea and white sand make it a very pretty place for a picnic or an afternoon spent rock pooling at low tide, although be prepared – it’s a little bit of a walk from the car park!


Dogs: Allowed all year.

Lifeguards: No.

Local information: No facilities, parking (free at St Ann’s Head, 1 mile away), cafes in Dale (1 mile).

Stay nearby: Number 1 St Anns Head Lighthouse | sleeps 6 + 2 dogs


Marloes Sand

Marloes Sand, Pembrokeshire

You’ll find a sheltered bay with rolling surf and giant green cliffs at this hidden gem of a beach on the Pembrokeshire coast, which you may recognise from Hollywood films including Snow White and the Huntsman. Managed by the National Trust, the beach is a real beauty spot and is also home to a whole host of wildlife including seabirds and seals. It’s also a must-visit destination for walkers; the coastal views from the surrounding cliffs are truly epic.


Dogs: Allowed all year. 

Lifeguards: No.

Local information: Toilets, cafe, parking (half a mile from the beach – free for National Trust members).

Stay nearby: Marloes Court Farm | sleeps 6


Whitesands Beach

Whitesands Beach, Pembrokeshire

The imposing hill of Carn Llidi looks over one of the best beaches in the south of Wales. With fine golden sand stretching to around a mile, Whitesands beach is extremely popular among the surfing community of the country and is one of the best Welsh beaches for the sport. When the conditions are right, the beach is often packed with surfers, body-boarders, and other water sports enthusiast competing for the best waves.


Dogs: Restrictions between 1st May and 30th September.

Lifeguards: Between May and Sept.

Local information: Toilets, cafe, parking (small car park for approx. 60 vehicles).

Stay nearby: St Davids Bijou Retreat | sleeps 2 + 1 dog

Pembrokeshire coastal cottages


Best beaches in West Wales


Mwnt Beach

Mwnt Beach, Ceredigion

Another one of the beautiful sandy beaches in Wales, this sheltered cove is owned and maintained by the National Trust and is one of the best places in West Wales to spot the resident wildlife – dolphins and seals are frequently seen in the waters here. Steep steps lead down to the beach but it’s well worth the trek – you’ll be rewarded with a tranquil beach and a glistening sea.


Dogs: Restrictions between 1st May and 30th September.

Lifeguards: No

Local information: Toilets, cafe, parking.

Stay nearby: The Old Parlour | sleeps 6 + 2 dogs


Aberporth

Aberporth, Ceredigion

This lovely coastal village is another popular, family-friendly beach in West Wales. The golden sand and sheltered bay make it ideal for bathing, and there are a few rock pools at low tide which little ones will love. This is another beach where it’s possible to see dolphins – and if you don’t spot any in the sea, there’s a cute wooden sculpture near the headland!


Dogs: Restrictions between 1st May and 30th September on some sections.

Lifeguards: In school summer holidays.

Local information: Toilets, cafe, parking.

Stay nearby: Aberporth Cottage | sleeps 8 + 2 dogs


New Quay

New Quay, Ceredigion

Not to be confused with Cornwall’s Newquay, this traditional fishing port has three beaches to choose from – Harbour Beach, Traeth Gwyn and Dolau. Harbour Beach is the most popular and has the best facilities so it’s a must-visit if you’ve got little ones in tow. New Quay is also one of the best beaches in West Wales for watching wildlife – pods of bottlenose dolphins are often seen beyond the harbour wall.


Dogs: Restrictions between 1st May and 30th September.

Lifeguards: In school summer holidays on Harbour Beach.

Local information: Toilets, cafe, parking.

Stay nearby: Ocean View House New Quay | sleeps 11 + 2 dogs


Llangrannog, Ceredigion

Llangrannog, Ceredigion

Llangrannog beach is a great sheltered, sandy beach featuring a distinctive rock on the edge of the shore which, according to legend, was once a giant’s tooth! The sand and rock pools are teeming with marine life which means that this beach is a great family beach. Walkers can enjoy the cliff path, part of the picturesque Ceredigion Coast Path, leading from the village to Cilborth.


Dogs: Restrictions on some parts of the beach between 1st May and 30th September.

Lifeguards: Between May and Sept.

Local information: Toilets, cafes, parking.

Stay nearby: Sea Witches | sleeps 5 + 1 dog


Barmouth Beach

Barmouth Beach, Gwynedd

Also known as Abermaw, this popular resort in the Snowdonia National Park is a great place to visit with the whole family. As well as a sand and shingle beach, there are plenty of attractions like donkey rides, a land train and amusement arcades, as well as ample facilities. Nearby is the Barmouth Bridge which passes over the River Mawddach – the longest timber viaduct in the country is a sight to behold!


Dogs: Restrictions between 1st April and 30th September on some sections.

Lifeguards: No.

Local information: Toilets, cafe, parking.

Stay nearby: Sea and Sands | sleeps 4

West Wales coastal cottages


Best beaches in North Wales & Anglesey


Abersoch, Llyn Peninsula

Abersoch, Llyn Peninsula

The main beach at Abersoch is a favourite destination for families visiting the area. It is considered to be a ‘safe’ beach and there is a motorboat exclusion zone here meaning that bathers and young swimmers can enjoy the water in peace. There is also plenty of sand for building castles, and dunes to be explored.


Dogs: Restrictions on some area of the beach between 1st April and 30th September.

Lifeguards: Between April and Sept.

Local information: Toilets, cafe, parking.

Stay nearby: White Horses Cottage – Llyn Peninsula | sleeps 2 + 1 dog


Porth Neigwl

Porth Neigwl/Hell’s Mouth, Llanengan

Another one of the top beaches in Wales for water sports is Hell’s Mouth. In the past, this beach had a reputation among sailors as being a place of destruction and was feared, hence the name. In the present day though, this crescent-shaped beach and inviting blue water is considered among the best surfing beaches in the UK because the size, shelter, and location provide great conditions. Bathing can be unsafe here due to strong undertows and cross currents.


Dogs: Allowed all year. 

Lifeguards: No.

Local information: Parking only.

Stay nearby: Capel Neigwl | sleeps 10 + 2 dogs


Rhosneigr Beach, Anglesey

Rhosneigr Beach, Anglesey

This wide beach near the village of Rhosneigr on the Isle of Anglesey is one of the most popular beaches in Wales with adrenaline junkies who visit for windsurfing, kitesurfing, sailing and surfing. It’s also one of the best beaches in North Wales for dog walkers as four-legged visitors are welcome all year round. Families will love it too as there’s plenty of room to run around on the golden sands and lots of rock pools to explore.


Dogs: Allowed all year.

Lifeguards: No.

Local information: Toilets, cafe, parking.

Stay nearby: Cartref | sleeps 4


Llanddwyn Beach

Llanddwyn Beach, Anglesey

Also called Newborough Beach, this Anglesey beach has some of the most spectacular surroundings – it’s backed by the large dunes of a nature reserve and offers views across the water to Snowdonia National Park. The huge stretch of sand and lapping sea makes it popular with families, while walkers will love taking a hike across to Llanddwyn Island from where you might spot seals, dolphins or even minke whales.


Dogs: Restrictions on some sections from 1st April to 30th September)

Lifeguards: No.

Local information: Toilets and parking.

Stay nearby: Snowdon View Vineyard | sleeps 4 + 2 dogs


Llandudno, Conwy

Llandudno, Conwy

Llandudno is the quintessential beach to visit for a traditional day at the seaside. Once a popular Victorian resort, Llandudno is now Wales’ largest resort and as such is highly popular with families for some of the best beach holidays in Wales. Llandudno North Shore Beach is the town’s most popular beach and has a long pier, a traditional promenade and plenty of seaside attractions for all ages – including Punch and Judy shows, play areas and a land train.


Dogs: Restrictions on some sections from 1st May to 30th September.

Lifeguards: No.

Local information: Toilets, cafe, parking.

Stay nearby: Orme View | sleeps 24 + 3 dogs

North Wales coastal cottages


Find Wales' best beaches on our map


Further inspiration

If you're planning a trip to Wales, you can add to your must-visit list with our top tips from the guides below. From epic walks along the coast path to unforgettable days out with your dog, where will you visit?


Stay with us in Wales

We have a selection of holiday cottages in Wales throughout its length and breadth, so that you can come and discover these beautiful beaches in Wales for yourself. Whether you’re looking for a coastal bolthole for a romantic break with your beau, or a large Victorian house near a traditional resort for long days of family seaside fun, we have the coastal cottage in Wales to suit you.

Wales coastal cottages



Disclaimer: Whilst every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information at the time of writing, please ensure you check carefully before making any decisions based on the contents within this article.