Having recently visited the dramatic coastlines and stunning beaches of Mallorca, the Florida Keys and the Pacific Coast Highway, California we were thinking about what we have much closer to home, specifically South and West Wales. We know Pembroke has the Coastal National Park but we think the area from the Vale of Glamorgan all the way down to St David’s still undersells itself.
The tourist industry is gradually getting better and there are improved offerings for the more discerning traveller. No more chintzy B & B’s with owners that are determined to inflict their “character”. Service is also far better although there is still room for improvement, there are only so many bemused waiters you can take in a day.
However what really makes a trip worthwhile is the beautifully dramatic coastline, the rugged cliffs and dunes and some of the best beaches in Europe. Maybe we don’t get the sun of California or Florida but there is something spellbinding about sitting a warm pub watching waves crashing onto the cliffs during a winter’s storm.
Tenby Harbour and North Beach
Our Top Ten Places To Visit on the South Wales Coast
1. Tenby, Pembrokeshire
Picturesque medieval stone walled seaside town with superb beaches.
2. Merthyr Mawr Sand Dunes, near Bridgend
Sequences from the classic film Lawrence of Arabia were filmed here.
3. Laugharne, Carmarthenshire
Little village on the River Tâf Estuary, famous for being the home of Dylan Thomas.
4. Rhossili Bay and Worm’s Head, Gower
Expansive beach and dramatic headland which is far better than the name suggests.
5. Barafundle Bay, near Stackpole, Pembrokeshire
15 mins steep walk to get there, but worth it to get to this secluded beach.
6. Rest Bay, Porthcawl
Learn to surf! Great surfing and kitesurfing beach and only 4 miles off M4.
7. St David’s, Pembrokeshire
St David’s Cathedral and St David’s village, the smallest city in Britain.
8. Pembrey Country Park, Carmarthenshire
Dunes, walking trails and an eight mile beach, lots of outdoor activities for kids.
9. Caswell Bay, Swansea
Pretty little bay on the Gower Peninsula and close to Swansea, popular with local surfers.
10. Welsh Coastal Path
As the name suggests a footpath from South East Wales up to the North. Some of the most breathtaking views are in the section following the Pembrokeshire Coastal Path.
St Catherine’s Island, Castle Beach, Tenby