Enjoy Pembrokeshire

Freshwater West Beach

Freshwater West can be a great spot for surfing, sea angling, windsurfing and kite surfing.

Dog friendly?
Dogs are allowed year round. There is a responsibility for dog owners to clean up after their dogs on the whole of this site.

Getting there
You can get to Freshwater West by bike using the B4319 and the B4320. This beach is part of the Pembrokeshire Coast Path National Trail. Access to the beach is via a path through the dunes to get to the beach at the North end and easy access via a gentle ramp opposite the Southern most car park. By car the B4319 and B4320 from Pembroke run direct to Freshwater West. There are two free car parks, one at the North end and one at the South end of the beach which can become busy at peak times. Please avoid parking on the roadside, especially the delicate dune areas which are a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI).

Site description
Freshwater West is one of Pembrokeshire's wilder beaches. It's an impressive sweep of golden sand with a pebble bank, backed by dunes. At high tide most of the sand is submerged, while at low tide you may see the stumps of a 6,000-year-old drowned forest. It's popular with surfers and has been the venue for the Welsh, British and European Amateur Surfing Championships.

There are plenty of rock pools at the southern end to keep children occupied. Freshwater West was once famous for its edible seaweed, which was made into a traditional delicacy known as laver bread. One of the old seaweed storage huts has been rebuilt by the National Park Authority and volunteers. The dunes are a Site of Special Scientific Interest, so please keep to marked paths and avoid trampling or 'sand surfing'. Most of the dunes and car parks are owned by the National Trust.

There are toilets including facilities for the disabled. A telephone and an ice cream van providing refreshments. The beach is cleaned regularly and bins are provided. Please help keep Freshwater West beautiful and take your rubbish home.

Pembrokeshire County Council Bathing Water Byelaws apply to the whole area off this beach. PCNPA Byelaws apply to the whole of the foreshore on this beach. National Trust Byelaws apply to the eastern beach and dunes.

Safety advice

  • There are problems with rip currents at this beach. It is NOT suitable for swimming. Do not dig pits into dunes or dig under sand cliffs - sand collapses easily and can suffocate very quickly

Beach awards

Top Tips

  • The car parks can reach capacity in season and when the surf is pumping.
  • Please consider the bus which is surfboard friendly, a great way to arrive and leave the beach!

Seasonal RNLI Lifeguards are present at the following beaches:

Healthy You

The health benefits of beaches are almost endless and there are over 50 around the Pembrokeshire Coast, many of them award-winning.


Health terms

RNLI message

  • Wherever possible, always swim at a lifeguarded beach.
  • Always read and obey the safety signs, usually found at the entrance to the beach. These will help you avoid potential hazards on the beach and identify the safest areas for swimming.
  • When on a lifeguarded beach, find the red and yellow flags and always swim or bodyboard between them - this area is patrolled by lifeguards.
  • Never swim alone. If you get in trouble, stick your hand in the air and shout for help.
  • If you see someone in difficulty, never attempt a rescue. Tell a lifeguard or, if you can't see a lifeguard, call 999 and ask for the Coastguard.