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Ogmore Beach

From vibrant promenades to calm, hidden coves, find the best and most beautiful beaches in South Wales.

If you’re looking for a new unique seaside destination, visit the southern coast of Wales for a memorable experience. South Wales has lots to offer any sea lover, from the major cities on the south coast to the UK’s only coastal national park.

Whether you’re on a family holiday, travelling with friends, or on a romantic break, there’s a wealth of South Wales beaches to choose from.

Keep reading to find out the 10 best beaches in South Wales…

1. Ogmore Beach, Vale of Glamorgan

Ogmore beach

First on our list of beaches in South Wales is Ogmore Beach. Located along the Glamorgan Heritage Coast, Ogmore-by-Sea is a popular shingle and sand beach. The mouth of the River Ogmore flows over the beach and into the sea from north of the town, welcoming wildlife along the way.

The beach is also dog-friendly, allowing for your canine buddy to play freely on the sands and dip their paws into the sea. Ogmore Beach also has a lifeguard service, making it a great place for a family trip.

Type of beach: Sandy and pebble
Postcode: CF32 0PB
Dogs allowed: Yes, all year round

2. Penarth Beach, Vale of Glamorgan

Penarth Pier

Penarth is a renowned tourist destination located just south of Cardiff, making it a great Cardiff beach option. This pebbled shore turns into a sandy haven, as you get closer to the sea at low tide.

Discover this South Wales beach bordered by a lovely esplanade, featuring restaurants, restrooms, and a charming pier. The pier houses a small cinema and a bustling cafe, while the beach is perfect for walking and fossil hunting.

Penarth Beach is a beautiful spot and is truly one of the best beaches in South Wales.

Type of beach: Sandy and pebble
Postcode: CF64 3AU
Dogs allowed: Dogs are not permitted, at any time of year

3. Whitmore Bay Beach, Barry Island

Whitmore Bay

Located ten miles along the coast from Cardiff lies Barry Island, resting near the extreme southernmost edge of Wales. Located between two limestone headlands, the golden sands of Whitmore Bay attract sunbathers and swimmers alike to this famous swimming and beach destination.

The renowned Pleasure Park features amusement arcades, crazy golf, an indoor climbing wall, and horse and carriage rides, there is plenty of activity to keep the kids entertained. Find this gorgeous seaside spot along a memorable South Wales coastal walk, starting at Limpert Bay and travelling through a lively promenade.

Type of beach: Sandy
Postcode: CF62 5TQ
Dogs allowed: Dog restrictions apply between May–September

4. Rhossili Bay Beach, Gower Peninsula

Rhossili Bay Beach

The three-mile-long sandy shoreline of Rhossili Bay lies on the southwestern tip of the Gower Peninsula. The National Trust looks after this fantastic beach, which is often hailed as one of the best beaches in South Wales, the UK, and even one of the top ten beaches in the world.

Surfing is becoming more popular here, as it is one of the most exposed beaches in Wales and picks up any Atlantic swell.

Additionally, the beach’s seashore is noted for its landmarks. The Helvetia, which shipwrecked here in 1887, can be seen on the beach when the tide is out. At low tide, brave beachgoers can cross a rock causeway to the tidal island of Worms Head.

Type of beach: Sandy
Postcode: SA3 1PL
Dogs allowed: Yes, all year round

5. Barafundle Bay, Pembrokeshire

Barafundle Bay

Barafundle Bay, a small but exquisitely sculpted beauty of the Pembrokeshire coast and popular beach is considered one of the UK’s most exotic beaches!

This little bay is backed by dunes and pine trees and is about a half-mile walk from the nearest car park. With golden sands and beautiful waves, Barafundle has been awarded one of the best beaches in Britain and the globe! This unspoiled beach has no facilities, so everything you take must be returned up the cliffs.

Type of beach: Sandy
Postcode: SA71 5LS
Dogs allowed: Yes, all year round

6. Three Cliffs Bay, Gower Peninsula

Three Cliffs Bay

The Three Cliffs Beach in Swansea is a picturesque, sandy beach bordered by three limestone cliffs with a beautiful shoreline of sand dunes, salt marsh, and rock pools. Stop for a rest at this awe-inspiring spot along the Wales Coast Path for a scenic picnic with loved ones.

It’s among the most photographed spots in Gower, with the Pennard Pill stream flowing along the beach and aerial shots from the cliffs. The Three Cliffs Beach have been cited as both Britain’s best beach and Britain’s best view on multiple occasions.

Type of beach: Sandy
Postcode: SA3 2HD
Dogs allowed: Yes, all year round

7. Rest Bay Beach, Porthcawl

Porthcawl Rest Bay Beach

Rest Bay is a golden beach on the fringes of Porthcawl, surrounded by low cliffs and the Royal Porthcawl Golf Club. Take advantage of Rest Bay’s café, or choose to bike or walk a mile into Porthcawl’s town centre for more amenities. Porthcawl has a promenade with stunning sea views, as well as restaurants, cafes, shops, and hotels.

The beach faces southwest, resulting in huge waves that are ideal for surfing and wind/kite surfing. During low tide conditions, fishing, bathing, and canoeing are popular activities, while rock pools offer a variety of marine life.

Type of beach: Sandy
CF36 3UP
Dogs allowed: Dog restrictions apply between May–September

8. Dunraven Bay, Vale of Glamorgan

Dunraven Bay

One of the best beaches in South Wales is Dunraven Bay, a popular tourist destination also known as Southerndown Beach. Encompassing the beach is walled gardens and ruins of Dunraven Castle, surrounded by cliffs on the Glamorgan Heritage Coast.

Swimming, canoeing, and surfing are popular watersports on the beach, whilst rock pools offer fossil hunting at a low tide. Rural countryside envelopes the beach, with a lone path along the cliff tops, delivering exceptional views of the Bristol Channel.

Type of beach: Sandy & Pebble
Postcode: CF32 0RT
Dogs allowed: Dog restrictions apply between May–September

9. Freshwater West Beach, Pembrokeshire

Freshwater West Beach

Next on our list of beaches in South Wales is Freshwater West Beach, a long stretch of sandy spearheaded by Broomhill Burrows’ robust dune system. It’s a fascinating location with a rich history where smugglers used to hide their loot.

Situated on Wales’ exposed west coast, Freshwater West Beach captures all of the Atlantic swells, making it a prominent surfing spot. This wonderful hotspot is recognised as a filming location for films including Ridley Scott’s Robin Hood, Their Finest, and Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1.

Type of beach: Sandy
Postcode: SA71 5AH
Dogs allowed: Yes, all year round

10. Aberavon Beach, Port Talbot

Aberavon Beach

Located on the edge of Port Talbot, Aberavon Beach is one of the lengthiest beaches in South Wales, home to a contemporary esplanade with spectacular views of Swansea Bay. There’s so much to do at this beach; including an Aquasplash playground, children’s play areas, and an Apollo Cinema by the promenade.

If you’re looking for an incredible surf spot with a reputation for having large swells at any time of year, Aberavon is one of the best beaches in South Wales.

Type of beach: Sandy
Postcode: SA12 6QP
Dogs allowed: Dog restrictions apply between May–September

Wales Beaches Map

Are you searching for even more popular beaches? Check out our list of the best beaches in Wales or our North Wales beaches. Alternatively, for more holiday inspiration, search this catalogue of South Wales cottages and use our extensive Wales Travel Guide.

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