The 6 best beaches in Wales to visit in your motorhome or caravan
Walkers, photographers, artists and fossil hunters will love the Welsh coastal scenery, the pretty harbours and the dramatic cliffs, sculpted by the waves.
Wales offers countless beaches to choose from, ranging from popular family seaside resorts to hidden sandy coves reached only on foot. For beaches with facilities and amusements head to places like Barmouth and Tenby. For solitude, and rock formations shaped by the tide, make for Barafundle Bay and Three Cliffs Bay. Whatever type of beach you’re looking for, Wales has over 150!
Wales is also home to the 870-mile Wales Coast Path. This is the first path in the world to follow a country’s coastline in its entirety and a great way to discover this beautiful region. Dip in anywhere along the route and you’ll experience stunning views, a range of wildlife and nature and thousands of years of history.
Things to do in Wales
Ramsey Island Boat Trips, 1 High Street, St Davuds, Pembrokeshire SA62 6SA
An RSPB reserve, Ramsay Island lies one mile offshore from St Davids in Pembrokeshire. Various boat trips out to the island can be taken with Voyages of Discovery, including whale and dolphin spotting, puffin watching and an exploration into the island’s sea caves. Call 01437 721911 or visit ramseyisland.co.uk/boat-trips
Portmeirion, Minffordd, Penrhydeudraeth, Gwynedd LL48 6ER
Created by Welsh architect Sir Clough Williams-Ellis, Portmeirion Village was designed in the style of an Italian village with the aim to show how you can develop a naturally beautiful site without spoiling it. This pretty coastal village is home to stunning coloured buildings, historic cottages, exotic gardens, sandy beaches and a cluster of shops, cafés and restaurants. Call 01766 770000 or visit portmeirion.wales
Pembroke Castle, Pembroke, Pembrokeshire SA71 4LA
A grand oval castle, surrounded by a mill pond. It is dominated by the complex gatehouse on the outside and the huge circular keep on the inside. There are display in the gatehouse rooms, plus a maze of tunnels, towers and battlements. Call 01646 681510 or visit pembrokecastle.co.uk
Top 6 beaches in Wales
With a secluded location, only accessible on foot, Barafundle Bay is full of romantic charm. It is part of the National Trust’s Stackpole Estate which is wild, rugged and windswept. Cliffs, sand dunes and tiny coves alternate along eight miles of coastline.
Barafundle Bay is a jewel of a beach set between limestone cliffs and backed by dunes and woods. The beach is accessed by a cliff path walk from Stackpole Quay, with steep steps at either end. Stackpole Quay itself is a tiny harbour used by local fishermen and small pleasure boats.
When the tide is out the beach is vast, and at certain times of the you could find yourself in perfect solitude. If venturing here as a family in summer, be sure to take everything you need for a day at the beach with you as you can’t just nip back to the car.
How to find Barafundle Bay
From Pembroke: Take the B4319 south signed Castlemartin/Stackpole/Bosherton. Follow B4319 until left turn for Stackpole/Freshwater East. At T-junction turn left for Barafundle, then turn right at brown National Trust sign. Follow road all the way to the end until you reach the car park. There are several car parks on the Stackpole Estate, the Stackpole Quay car park (SA71 5LS) being nearest to the beach.
Where to eat near Barafundle Bay
The Boathouse Tea Room, Stackpole, Pembroke SA71 5LS
Famed for its perfect location in Stackpole Quay where you can watch the sea lapping the shore. Cream teas, sandwiches, and hearty warm food such as jacket potatoes and homemade soup are on offer here. Call 01646 623110 or visit nationaltrust.org.uk/stackpole/features/the-boathouse-tea-room
One of the best surfing beaches in the country, this popular beach is overlooked by the imposing craggy hill of Carn Llidi. As the name may suggest there’s a wide expanse of fine white sand which curves north towards the remote rocky headland of St Davids Head.
The beach is close the the small cathedral city of St David’s and boat trips out to RSPB Ramsey Island can be booked in the city. Surfers favour the northern end of the beach, and on busy days there are canoeists, surfers and bodyboarders competing for the best waves. There’s also a rocky promontory to climb on.
The south end of the beach is quieter and there are some nicely sheltered bays. Dog restrictions apply to the entire length of the beach between 1 May and 30 September.
How to find Whitesands beach
There is parking for 60 cars above the beach (SA62 6PS). From St Davids take Nun Street/A487 towards Fishguard and bear left at sign for Whitesands. Continue to follow signs for Whitesands until you reach the car park. In the height of summer it can get busy so a Celtic Coast shuttle bus (summer only) runs from the Oriel y Parc car park on the edge of nearby St Davids (SA62 6NW).
Where to eat near Whitesands beach
The Refectory at St Davids Cathedral, The Close, St Davids SA62 6PE
Treat yourself to home-made food, sandwiches, cakes and hot drinks from the café in the beautiful surroundings of St David’s Cathedral in the UK’s smallest city. You can also enjoy a three-course meal in their restaurant. Call 01437 721760 or visit stdavidsrefectory.co.uk
Set just on the edge of the Snowdonia National Park, Barmouth beach is southern Snowdonia’s most popular seaside resort. The beach is a mixture of sand and fine shingle and ideal for bath and watersports.
Perfect for families, there are traditional donkey rides and amusement arcades open in season. A land train runs along the promenade from the town centre. In good weather and the summer season the beach will be busy but it is easily big enough to find your own space.
Leisure amenities, shops, cafés and pubs are within a short walk from the beach. It is also possible at low tide to walk all the way north to Harlech along the sands. The beach is Blue Flag, with toilets and parking. Dog restrictions apply from April to September.
How to find Barmouth beach
There are several car parks in Barmouth with the largest being Barmouth Main Car Park (LL42 1NF) just across the promenade from the beach and signed from the A496 that runs through the town.
Where to eat near Barmouth beach
Davy Jones Locker, The Quay, Barmouth, Gwynedd LL42 1ET
This café is located in one of the oldest buildings in Barmouth and situated on the harbour with views to Cader Idris across the estuary. Open all year round serving hot and cold food and snacks, and also dog-friendly. Call 01341 280166.
BLACK ROCK SANDS
With the novelty that you can actually take your vehicle onto the sands to park, Black Rock Sands is an open wide beach with fine sand.
The name may suggest a dark beach but the name actually comes from the area to the west which is dominated by multi-coloured headland rock. There’s also caves at low tide, rock pools and marine life. The local sand dunes are a Site of Special Scientific Interest.
This is a beach popular with picnickers and sandcastle builders but also with motorboat and water bike users, with a special zone designated for their use. Dog restrictions apply on the beach.
How to find Black Rock Sands beach
Parking is allowed on the beach here (use postcode LL49 9YH). From central Porthmadog follow signs for Black Rock and Morfa Bychan onto Borth Road. Pass through Morfa Bychan and continue on this road which leads straight onto the beach!
Where to eat near Black Rock Sands beach
Moorings Bistro, 4 Ivy Terrace, Borth-Y-Gest LL49 9TS
Located on the bay at nearby Borth-Y-Gest just outside Porthmadog. The bistro is fully licenced and serves local produce, homemade cakes, ice cream, afternoon tea, breakfasts and hot meals. Pay and display car park opposite. Call 01766 513500 or visit moorings-bistro.co.uk
Located on the stunning Llyn Peninsula, Abersoch is one of the peninsula’s most popular resorts. It is a big hit with families and watersports enthusiasts.
The main beach’s sheltered position makes it ideal for bathers and its easterly aspect means it faces the mountains of west Wales and St Tudwal's Islands giving spectacular views. Beach huts can be rented by the day or week by enquiring at the beach cafés.
International sailing events are held from this beach and a large number of yachts are moored in the bay during the summer months. There is an area of this beach where dogs are not allowed between 1 April and 30 September and this runs from the yacht club to the Golf Road slipway.
How to find Abersoch beach
There’s a car park right by the beach (LL53 7EY). Turn off A487 near Porthmadog, signed Pwllheli. Follow A497 through Criccieth to Pwllheli. Then A499 through Llanbedrog to Abersoch. Follow signs for the beach. At left turn for golf club, turn right onto lane to beach car park.
Where to eat near Abersoch beach
Kin & Co Café Bar, Lon Pen Cei, Abersoch, Gwynedd LL53 8PY
A small licenced café close to Abersoch harbour and marina and half a mile from the beach. Kin & Co serves brunch until 3pm daily plus a range of hot and cold drinks, wines and cocktails. Call 01758 712568 or visit kinandcocafe.uk
Rhossili Bay has quite the reputation. It is the first beach to be awarded Britain’s Best Beach by TripAdvisor’s Travellers’ Choice for the second year running and has also won accolades from UK Travel Writers and awards for being the best spot to have a picnic!
Dog owners might like to note that The Times nominated Rhossili as ‘The UK's No.1 dog-friendly beach’.
It is an iconic destination with dramatic and panoramic views and lots of walking opportunities. At low tide there is a huge expanse of beach stretching for three miles. Many different birds nest on the cliffs, so don't forget your binoculars. The beach is reached via a steep clifftop path so may not be accessible for all.
How to find Rhossili Bay beach
There’s a large National Trust car park (free to members) above Rhossili Bay (SA3 1PR). From Swansea (M4 Jct 47) take the A483 and then A484, follow signs for Gowerton onto B4296. At lights take B4295 to Llanrhidian then B4271, following signs for Reynoldston. At T-junction turn right onto the A4118. At Scurlage
Where to eat near Rhossili Bay beach
The Lookout, 1 Bay View, Rhossili SA3 1PN
A cosy café and shop above Rhossili Bay, serving coffee, cakes and snacks. Treats include local ice cream, paninis and award-winning artisan pasties. There’s also gifts and souvenirs and beach essentials. Call 01792 391696 or visit tasteofgower.com/thelookout
Looking for more UK beaches to visit on your motorhome, caravan or campervan holidays? You can check out our guide to the top 6 beaches in Cornwall here. And you can find the perfect campsite in Wales using our Campsite Finder.
This feature is brought to you in association with Bailey, the Bristol-based motorhome and caravan manufacturer. Find out more about Bailey — and their range of motorhomes and caravans — on their website, or join them on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.