Swansea and the Gower Peninsula

Swansea Bay is home to the UK’s first Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty – the Gower Peninsula.

Rhossili Bay

This three-mile long sandy bay is regularly voted as one of the UK’s best beaches and has received many other accolades over the years – including being named in The Times as one of Britain’s 10 best dog-friendly beaches and being crowned as one of Suitcase’s 10 Best Under-The-Radar Beaches In The World. Settle down for a picnic on the golden shore, or head into the Atlantic for a surf if the weather’s on side.

Rhossili Bay’s views are spectacular and, as the bay is part of the Gower Coast Path, you can enjoy them from one of the nearby walking routes. Spot Worm’s Head – a narrow tidal island – and if you’re lucky, a glimpse of some sunbathing seals. The National Trust also offers guided walks – join groups outside the National Trust shop.

Facilities: You’ll find parking on site and can get refreshments just a short walk from the bay.

Is it dog friendly? Yes, dogs are welcome all year round.

Walkers at Rhossili Carmarthenshire.

Rhossili Bay

Bae gîl

More secluded than Rhossili, Bae gîl (or Brandy Cove) is an inlet tucked next to Caswell Bay. At high tide you’ll find rocks and pebbles, but as the sea goes out, you can stroll across the sand. As the cove isn’t patrolled by lifeguards, it’s best to save the swim and enjoy the stunning scenery on a coastal walk instead.

Facilities: The cove is accessible via public transport, but access does cover rough terrain. It’s a secluded spot, so no car park, toilets or shops nearby.

Is it dog friendly? Not during the summer months (between 1 May – 30 September).

Three Cliffs Bay

With its sand dune backdrop and iconic three limestone cliffs, Three Cliffs Bay is one of our most beautiful bays, so don’t forget the camera.

Three Cliffs is wilder than many of our other beaches and tides can be strong, so we don’t advise swimming without a lifeguard on duty. They’re around full time during the Easter and summer holidays, as well as weekends in May and June. Please check before you swim.

When the tide’s out, you can reach neighbouring sandy beaches such as the beautiful Pobbles Bay by foot.

Facilities: There’s a car park nearby and you’ll find toilets in the local holiday park, plus plenty of places for refreshments in nearby villages.

Is it dog friendly? Yes, dogs are welcome all year round.

A view of a sandy beach and cliffs

Three Cliffs Bay, Gower

Carmarthenshire

Wherever you are in Carmarthenshire, you’re never more than an hour from the sea. Check out your choices for coastal adventure.

Ferryside

Found on the river Tywi, this narrow sandy beach overlooks grassy dunes – a unique view loved by locals. Little explorers will relish the rockpools, and with wonderful views of Llansteffan Castle, it’s a great place to enjoy both history and nature.

Facilities: There’s parking in the village and toilets nearby.

Is it dog friendly? Yes, dogs are welcome all year round.

Llansteffan Castle from above, Carmarthenshire.

Llansteffan Castle

Cefn Sidan

With eight miles of golden sand to explore, Cefn Sidan is the longest beach in Wales. Views from the shore and its surrounding walking trails stretch out across the Gower Peninsula.

The beach has lifeguards on watch through the summer, so it’s a safer spot for a swim or kayak. If you fancy a break from the beach, check out more of Pembrey Country Park. There’s a toboggan ride, dry ski slope, crazy golf and plenty of nature trails, making it a great day out for the kids.

Facilities: There are toilets and a café at the beach entrance, and even more facilities in Pembrey Country Park.

Is it dog friendly? Dogs aren’t permitted on the main mile of the beach between 1 May – 30 September.

Cefn Sidan , the longest beach in Wales.

Cefn Sidan

Pendine Sands

Pendine Sands beach is steeped in history. The dramatic cliffs to the west were used in World War II to practice the D-Day landings, and the long stretch of sand to the east was where Malcolm Campbell set a world land speed record in the 1920s, reaching over 146 mph in his Bluebird car.

Today the beach is a great place for a picnic and a swim, when lifeguards are on duty.

Facilities: There are toilets and a car park adjacent to the beach, as well as cafés, restaurants and shops just off the beach entrance.

Is it dog friendly? There is a dog-free zone between the two slipways from 1 May – 30 September.

A long, sandy beach.

Pendine Sands

Pembrokeshire

Framed by a 186-mile coastal path that meanders past more than 50 beaches, this county is king of the West Wales coast.

Newgale beach

Surrounded by rolling fields, this Blue Flag beach boasts almost two miles of golden sand, as well as a large pebble bank. Newgale faces west – opening it up to winds from the Atlantic – so it’s popular with surfers. You can rent equipment from the nearby surf shop if the waves look inviting.

Stroll along to the southern end of the beach to find a walk-through cave and a few smaller coves that are great for rock pooling. Always remember to check the tide times first.

Facilities: There are toilets and a few car parks along the beach, and if you walk to the north end you’ll find a café, pub and a large campsite.

Is it dog friendly? Dogs are restricted from the middle third of the beach between 1 May – 30 September.

A kitesurfer on a board at sea.

Kitesurfing at Newgale Beach

Tenby North Beach

Tucked between the harbour and the North Cliffs, Tenby North Beach is overlooked by the pretty pastel town and promenade. Unmistakable thanks to the dramatic Goscar Rock, this stretch of sand is a suntrap, making it perfect for a picnic; gazing out to sea for great views over Carmarthen Bay. And with a lifeguard service, this beach is popular with swimmers.

If you fancy a ramble, take the path from Tenby to Saundersfoot, a small seaside village nearby. Or head over to Tenby South Beach, just a fifteen-minute walk away.

Facilities: Parking fills up quickly in the summer, so head for the park and ride shuttle bus. There are restaurants, shops, pubs and cafés in Tenby town.

Is it dog friendly? Not during the summer months (between 1 May – 30 September).

North Beach Tenby.

Tenby North Beach

Broad Haven

Popular with families, the west-facing Broad Haven bay has a large sandy beach that regularly receives Blue Flag awards. As well as being ideal for swimming, you’ll also find rockpools for the kids to explore. Ask them to help you spot the rugged Lion’s Head rock.

Keen walkers can join the Pembrokeshire Coast Path and at low tide you can stroll along the beach to nearby Little Haven.

Facilities: There’s parking, and you’ll find local shops, cafés and pubs in the village.

Is it dog friendly? Dogs are not permitted on the northern third of the beach between 1 May – 30 September.

 

Broadhaven South Beach.

Broad Haven South

Be AdventureSmart: respect the water

Our top tips for staying safe when sea swimming:

  • If possible, choose a lifeguarded beach and swim between the red and yellow flags, but lifeguard patrols can’t be on every beach this summer so be adventure smart to keep you and your family safe.
  • Always swim with other people – the 'buddy system' is best.
  • Wear a bright hat (green or orange work well) and use a tow float so that you can be seen by other water users.
  • Enter the water slowly and allow time for your body to get used to the cold.
  • Check the tide times before swimming in the sea or in estuaries.
  • If you are in difficulty in the water don’t panic, stay calm; attract attention by raising your hand and shouting for help.

Visit the AdventureSmart.UK website for more information on how to stay safe while enjoying your Welsh beach adventure.

Work your way around the coast or discover a beautiful beach near you; read our guide to North Wales beaches and South Wales beaches. With the brood? Discover these family-friendly coasts, as well as dog-friendly beaches along the Wales Coast Path.

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