Beautiful Freshwater West beach is close to the village of Castlemartin in West Wales and is part of the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park. Here is a complete guide.
How To Get To Freshwater West Beach
Located on the south west tip of the Welsh coast, close to the village of Castlemartin, Freshwater West Beach is a popular surfer destination.
Freshwater West beach is on the famous Pembrokeshire Coast Path and you can walk along part of this 186 mile (299km) trail from the nearby village of Angle to reach the beach.
This coastal walk, that takes in some stunning scenery, is 8 miles (13.2km) long.
Alternatively, you can walk from the nearby village of Castlemartin following the B4319. This walk is just under 3 miles (4.8km) and will take about 50 minutes.
There are regular buses from the town of Pembroke. The journey takes roughly 45 minutes.
Buses also run from the village of Castlemartin, taking 15 minutes to reach Freshwater West beach.
The coastal path buses 387 and 388 stop near to Freshwater West beach.
From the village of Castlemartin, you follow the B4319 heading west for approximately 3 miles (4.8km).
If coming from the town of Pembroke, you take the B4320. This is an 8 mile journey (12.8km) and will take roughly 15 minutes.
When you arrive at Freshwater West beach there are two small, free carparks. The first is towards the northern end of the beach and you can access the beach via a pathway through the sand dunes.
Further down the beach at the southern end, there’s a second carpark with toilets and a mobile food van. From here you cross the road to access the beach via steps or a ramp.
For those short on time, or that prefer everything to be organised for them, there are some awesome tours on Get Your Guide available to book in advance.
Freshwater West Beach Entrance Fee
It is free to visit Freshwater West beach.
Freshwater West Beach Opening Times
Freshwater West beach is open every day, all year round.
Best Times To Visit Freshwater West Beach + Tips
If you want to enjoy Freshwater West beach without the crowds, visit out of the summer season, when it’s just as stunning, or go very early in the day.
Before 8am – 9am the beach is usually relatively quiet, apart from dog walkers and surfers, even at the height of summer.
Freshwater West beach car parks fill up quickly in the summer with campers and vans due to its popularity with surfers, so get there early if wanting to park.
The northern carpark is a slightly longer walk through high sand dunes, and not suitable for pushchairs or wheelchairs.
Dogs are allowed on the beach all year round.
RNLI Lifeguard service provided: Daily 20 June – 6 September. Patrol times 10am-6pm.
It can be pretty windy on the beach, so a wind break might be handy if wanting to picnic or just relax and watch the surfers.
What To Pack
What To Expect At Freshwater West Beach
Freshwater West beach is a spectacular, wide sand and rock beach, backed by a network of natural sand dunes that weave along the edge of the beach separating it from the road.
Similarly to Barafundle Bay Beach, there are rocky cliffs to the far north and south of the beach.
Also, rock pools full of marine creatures for little ones to investigate and mysterious old caves to explore.
Interestingly, Freshwater West beach was once used by smugglers as a place to stash their booty!
At the southern end of the beach there’s a pebbled stream that cuts the sand in half and leads out to a rocky reef.
This south westerly facing beach has some of the the best waves and consistent swells in the county and is known as one of the top surfing locations in Wales.
It regularly hosts surfing tournaments that attract competitors from all over the world.
Due to strong rip currents that occur off this beach, surfing is only recommended for the more experienced surfers.
Apart from surfing, Freshwater West beach is popular with enthusiasts of other activities like kayaking, wind surfing, sea angling and kite flying.
Freshwater West beach is also a favourite with Harry Potter fans, due to it being the location of Shell Cottage, where Dobby the house elf died and was buried.
Although Shell Cottage was removed after the film crew left, you can still visit Dobby’s grave. Nestled in the sand dunes, it’s adorned with hundreds of decorated stones and odd socks in loving memory.
One last place not to miss is the extremely popular Cafe Mor!
Home to the ‘world famous’ lobster roll, it may be a little pricier than your average burger van but tourists and locals travel from all over Wales to get their hands on the grub.
I can personally recommend the egg butty with seaweed sauce. It may take a little while but it’s an elite food experience and I promise it’s worth the wait.
Freshwater West beach is a ‘must visit’ when in Pembrokeshire. It is breathtakingly beautiful, perfect for family adventures and a favourite with water sports enthusiasts.
Next up on the Wales itinerary was a brief stop at Rotherslade Bay Beach before heading to the Mumbles in Swansea!
Where To Stay In South Wales
Luxury – Swansea Valley Holiday Cottages
Just 2 miles from Pontardawe, Swansea Valley Holiday Cottages feature family-run, self-catering accommodation on a farm, 10 miles from Gower Peninsula and 8 miles from Brecon Beacons National Park.
Free Wi-Fi and free private parking are provided.
Set in traditional stone buildings, the cottages sit in a 100-acre property offering panoramic views of the Welsh countryside.
They all come with a fully equipped kitchen, an outdoor dining area with BBQ facilities and a living room.
Some cottages also offer a washing machine and tumble dryer. They either have river views or courtyard views. One also has a private garden.
Mid-Budget – Morgans Hotel
In Swansea’s historic Maritime Quarter, Morgans Hotel provides luxurious rooms with free Wi-Fi, 5 minutes’ walk from the city centre.
This grade II listed building also has a relaxed restaurant and a stylish bar.
Equipped with a flat-screen TV and a sleek private bathroom with toiletries, each air-conditioned room also has Egyptian cotton bedding. Rooms in the separate Townhouse all boast elegant hardwood floors and some rooms are air-conditioned.
Guests dine in the boardroom of this former home of the Port Authority. A modern European menu is on offer, whilst Morgans Bar has sofas, cocktails, chilled beers and wines from around the globe.
This property is 10 minutes walk from the beach.
Budget – Neon 160
Neon 160 is set in Swansea, 0.6 miles from Swansea Marina and 1.1 miles from Cathedral Church of St Joseph.
Among the facilities at this property are a shared kitchen and a shared lounge, along with free WiFi throughout the property.
The property is close to popular attractions like Loughor Castle, Gower College Swansea and Swansea Crown Court.
Selected rooms also offer a kitchen with a microwave, a fridge and an oven.
For more places to stay in Wales, you can check the latest prices on Booking.com.
More UK Blogs
19 Best Things To Do In Brighton
15 Best Things To Do In Bournemouth
8 Best Things To Do In Bourton On The Water
10 Best Things To Do In Cheltenham