Friday, 26 August 2016

Coastal Wales

With more than 100 beaches along its coastline, Wales is the perfect place to feel the sand between your toes

Written by Melonie Clarke
There are 44 Blue Flag beaches in Wales, so whether you like to spend your time building sandcastles, exploring rock pools, surfing or sun worshipping, you will find a beach to suit your tastes.

travel-590-3The cliff tops of Pembrokeshire's Skomer Island are awash with wild flowers.


The Wales Coast Path
In 2012, Wales opened the world’s first uninterrupted route along a national coast, the Wales Coast Path. Its 870 miles of pathways are ideal to explore over a weekend break and showcase the country’s stunning landscapes: beaches, estuaries, cliffs, woodlands and hills. The dedicated footpath runs through 11 National Nature Reserves and its route goes from Chepstow in the south to Queensferry in the north. The entire path is open to ramblers and some parts are suitable for cyclists, families with pushchairs, people with restricted mobility, and horse riders.

travel-590-5Left: Wales Coast Path offers horse riding, Right: Langland Bay is popular with surfers


Best for barbecues
Sun, sea, sand, and sausages – what could be better? With many of Wales’s beaches being close to towns, it’s easy to pick up fresh produce from local butchers, fishmongers and supermarkets, so you can put together your ultimate beach feast. Porthkerry, Barry, has a purpose-built area for barbecues, but you can also source your own spot.

Broad Havene in northern Pembrokeshire is a popular beach with long stretches of sand and rock pools. With a village nearby, there is a wellstocked supermarket where you can pick up last-minute picnic essentials.

The northern side of Tresaith beach at Ceredigion is an idyllic spot where you can spot dolphins and seals swimming nearby and admire the waterfall from the cliffs. Its sheltered bay is perfect for beach favourites such as rock pooling as well as a barbecue or al fresco lunch.

travel-590-4Left: Spot the puffins in Pembrokeshire and Anglesey. Centre: Trwyn Du Lighthouse was built in the 1830s. Right: Enjoy a beach barbecue.


Best for coastal views
Whether you want ice creams with Punch and Judy, activity beaches with water sports, or stretches of sand on which you can lie in the sun, a stunning coastal view is always the cherry on top of your day out.

Col-huw Point, where Llantwit Major beach is situated (on the Glamorgan Heritage Coast) is a hit with geologists as it’s one of the best places in Wales to go fossil hunting. Giant brachiopods and ichthyosaurus bones from the Jurassic era have all been found here.

If you love flowers Skomer Island, Pembrokeshire, is a place you must visit for the wild blooms on its cliffs. The area’s nesting seabirds, including puffins, also make it a great spot for twitchers.

No coastal scene is complete without a lighthouse and Trwyn Du Lighthouse, Anglesey, built in the 1830s, is worth the visit. The black and white lighthouse was built after a paddle steamer, the Rothsay Castle, ran aground in the area in 1831.

travel-590-2Tenby is perfect for indulging your passion for sailing


Best for easy access
If you or a family member is holidaying with someone who struggles with mobility, or maybe an infant who is still in a buggy, help to relieve the stress by visiting an easyaccess beach.

Broad Haven beach near Haverfordwest is one of several Pembrokeshire beaches where all-terrain wheelchairs are available to rent. To reserve one in advance, contact Haven Sports Surf Shop– 01437- 781354, info@havensports.co.uk – on Marine Road.

One of the most popular beaches on the Gower Peninsula, Langland Bay was one of the first beaches in Britain to catch on to the surfing craze from America and is still a top surfing spot. If required, an all-terrain wheelchair can be reserved by calling 01792-635411.

Ideal for sunbathing, swimming and sailing, Saundersfoot is an idyllic spot near Tenby. The beach has four all-terrain wheelchairs – two full-sized and two childsized – donated by local charities, all of which can be hired for a small fee. To book in advance, contact  the Tourist Information Centre – 01834-813672, saundersfoot.tic@pembrokeshire.gov.uk

Whitmore Bay Barry Island has three all-terrain beach wheelchairs, which are free to use (all you need is ID). Call the Barry Island Tourist Information Centre to reserve one (01446-747171). Plus, the Cardiff Sailing Centre at Cardiff Bay has training facilities for disabled sailors.




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