RNLI lifeguards monitor the sea conditions, offer safety advice and keep an eye on you, your family and friends having fun on the beach and in the sea. Did you know the safest place to swim or bodyboard is in between the red and yellow flags?
Here are some of our favourites for family fun, rockpooling, adrenaline watersports, and scoffing ice cream. For your full list of lifeguarded beaches in Wales, visit the RNLI website.
Whitmore Bay, Barry Island – for family fun
Famed in recent years as the location for Gavin & Stacey, Barry Island has attracted visitors since the 1870s and the appeal of its golden beaches, cafés and family amusements is stronger than ever. Barry Island Pleasure Park attracts thousands of visitors looking for the thrill of the fairground. Here you'll also find Barry Island RNLI's experience where the whole family can have a go in an inshore lifeboat and learn all about staying safe on the beach. Look out for the big yellow welly!
Tenby, North Beach, South Pembrokeshire – for picturesque views
A superb, sheltered, sandy beach with the pinnacle of Goskar rock sticking out of the sand in the middle. North Beach is one of the most photographed views in Wales with the harbour at the western end. An enclosed, east-facing beach, it's a real sun trap even on windy days. This bustling resort is a 'must see' along Pembrokeshire's dramatic coastline, offering excellent watersports and a good variety of cafés, restaurants, shops and pubs to choose from. In the distance you'll see the old and new lifeboat stations jutting out of Castle Hill – pop in to see the crew and the lifeboat if you have time.
Aberystwyth, North Beach, Ceredigion – for time travelling to the Victorian era
Aberystwyth's North Beach and seafront is a focal point of the town and a favourite attraction for visitors and locals alike - and those who just want to relax by the seaside. Close to the town, the clean, dark sand and shingle beach is accompanied by traditional seaside treats such as bandstand entertainment and the town's Victorian pier. Built in 1864, Aberystwyth Pier was once some 242 metres in length but time and marine storms have seen it reduced to today's 91 metres.
Rhyl and Prestatyn beaches, Denbighshire - for bucket-and-spade tradition
Rhyl and Prestatyn. The names go together like fish and chips, Punch and Judy, sea and sand, conjuring up visions of the traditional Great British seaside holiday in all its unabashed glory. The area may be enjoying a thoroughly modern makeover, but it's still about fun and value-for-money and enjoying a good, old-fashioned, seaside day out. Don't forget your bucket and spade.
Llangrannog, Ceredigion – for dolphin spotting
Originally a hidden village above the old port, Llangrannog is now one of Ceredigion's most popular beach destinations and is part of the Wales Coast Path. The sandy beach nestles below the cliffs and is a favourite destination for families on days out, beach holidays and with surfers. There are great rock pools to explore: find colourful seaweeds, shellfish such as limpets and mussels, as well as starfish and crabs. Keep your eyes out and you may even spot a dolphin in the distance!
Cefn Sidan, Carmarthenshire – for easy access
Rest Bay, Porthcawl – for watersports
Rest Bay is a popular beach with miles of fine-quality golden sand and some rock pools, backed by low cliffs and The Royal Porthcawl Golf Club. Excellent for watersports, beach surfing, canoeing, kite/wind surfing and body boarding. Very good for walking - you can walk along the coastline to Pink Bay and beyond.
Whitesands, North Pembrokeshire – for surfing
Whitesands is a wide sandy beach in St Brides Bay, Pembrokeshire; it is located about two miles west of St. Davids and about one mile south of St Davids Head. This is one of the best surfing beaches in the country and therefore very popular. The surf 'break' is at the northern end and on busy days there are canoeists, surfers and body boarders competing for the best waves.
Aberavon Beach, Port Talbot – for ice cream scoffing
Aberavon Beach has something for everyone. Families need look no further for things to do on one of Wales' longest sandy beaches, which boasts an Aquasplash playground, children's play areas and grassed open areas providing hours of family fun. The Celtic Trail, part of the National Cycle network, takes you along the promenade at Aberavon and is one of its most leisurely and enjoyable sections with fantastic views and a good selection of ice cream parlours and cafés.
Caswell Bay, Gower – for rock pooling
With its soft pleasant sand and interesting rock pools, Caswell Bay is a firm favourite with families with young children. Ample cliffs overlook the sands and there are numerous coastal paths with stunning views over the bay, where on a good day you can even catch a glimpse of North Devon across the Bristol Channel. Close by is Bishops Wood nature reserve offering a diverse range of wildlife and beautiful nature walks. Caswell Bay is suitable for watersports.
And don't forget – keep safe and have fun!