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Beach Guide: Wales

West Wales.

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Cardigan to Aberystwyth

Aberystwyth to Harlech

UK Beach Guide

Contents of this Section

South Wales
The Gower
South Pembrokeshire
North Pembrokeshire
The Lleyn Peninsula and Anglesey
North Wales

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Gwbert.

Hardly a beach really, but there is a sailing club here and it is possible to windsurf in the estuary here at high tide. To find it head west from Cardigan on the North side of the river, Gwbert is virtually a suburb of Cardigan. There is a large hotel that serves bar meals.
Beach suitable for Windsurfing Parking available nearby Camping or other accomodation available nearby Cafe / pub available nearby Tourist Information, Tel: 01348 873484 Beach and water quality OK

Advertise your Surf Shops, B&B's, Caravan Sites, Watersports Centres etc here. Select this link for more information


Mwnt.

Mwnt is a lovely sandy beach surrounded by high cliffs. The beach is fairly sheltered from the winds by the cliffs and therefore not really suitable for 'forces-of-nature' sports. I have no first hand knowledge of its surf potential. There is a National Trust Car Park and some good camping hearby but no other facilities.
Parking available nearby Camping or other accomodation available nearby Generally good clean beach and water quality

Aberporth.

The run down seaside toen of Aberporth has two adjoining bays, neither of which are partiularly attractive or good for 'forces-of-nature sports. There are plenty of place to stay in Aberport and it has all the usual amentities expected from a seaside town.
Parking available nearby Camping or other accomodation available nearby Cafe / pub available nearby Tourist Information, Tel: 01348 873484 Beach and water quality OK

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Tresaith.

The village of Tresaith has a small beach and a sandy cove just around the rocks. Neither are popular for 'forces-of-nature' sports, but beginner windsurfers may get to grips with uphauling and other basics from the sandy cove. Afterwards they can take a shower under the waterfall tumbling over the cliffs from the Rivr Saith. Tresaith can on occassion have some surf too and is relatively protected from SW winds.
Beach suitable for Surfing Beach suitable for Windsurfing Parking available nearby Camping or other accomodation available nearby Cafe / pub available nearby Tourist Information, Tel: 01348 873484 Lifeguard on duty during the summer Generally good clean beach and water quality

Penbryn.

A national Trust owned beach which can be reached at low tide from Tresaith or from the National Trust Car park at Penbryn followed by a pleasant walk through a wooded valley alongside a stream. Well worth a visit, if only for the walk to the beach. The beach itself is sand and shingle and popular as a quiet, relaxed family beach, but not really suitable as a beach for the pursuit of 'forces-of-nature' sports.
Tourist Information, Tel: 01348 873484 Generally good clean beach and water quality

Llangranog.

Llangranog can be quite a busy beach in the summer and being relatively small can become crowded, The village of Llangranog is nice and there is a dry ski slope on the hill above. There are plenty of cafes, restaurants and accomodation in the village, but the beach itslef isn't really suited to any 'forces-of-nature' sports. To find it, follow the signs for the Ski Slope from the A487.
Parking available nearby Camping or other accomodation available nearby Cafe / pub available nearby Tourist Information, Tel: 01348 873484 Generally good clean beach and water quality

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Cilborth.

I need more information on this beach, please Submit a listing.
Tourist Information, Tel: 01437 781412

Cwmtydu.

A beautiful, secluded cave-walled beach with an equally impressive access route along tiny lanes with hairpin bends winding down from the hill above.
Generally good clean beach and water quality

Newquay.

The town of Newquay is a popular holiday destination in this area and has all the usual beach shops, cafes, restaurants and accomodation expected of such a town. The centre of the town is dominated by the harbour from which fishing and sightseeing excursions depart during the summer. The long sweep of the main beach also starts from the harbour and curves its way around Newquay Bay. This large horseshoe bay with its sandy beach is protected from the rough seas and is therefore particularly suitable for beginner windsurfers and kitesurfers. The protection from SW winds afforded by the headland can also be a godsend for surfers during big winter storms. Under such conditions Newquay can be one of the only places along the coast of Cardigan Bay with a clean rideable wave. In Southerly winds with a big swell it can go off. Parking can be a problem in the summer
Beach suitable for Surfing Beach suitable for Windsurfing Beach suitable for Kiting or Kitesurfing Parking available nearby Camping or other accomodation available nearby Cafe / pub available nearby Tourist Information, Tel: 01545 560865 Lifeguard on duty during the summer Generally good clean beach and water quality

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Aberaeron.

Aberaeon is built around its harbour and has an unappealing NW facing pebble and boulder beach. Its NW aspect means that SW winds are cross-shore making it a good place to windsurf in the prevailing winds if it weren't for the rather unsightly beach and the profusion of boulders to break fins on. At high tides the beach is quite steeply shelving and a nasty shorebreak can develop in onshore conditions which will contribute to more broken kit. Aberaeon is relatively sheltered from the rough seas though so waves are generally smaller than further up the coast. It does receive a certain amount of surf though and can be a good place to head when beaches further north are too big and blown out. Kitesurfing is possible here if you can launch and land your kite on the rocky beach. Accomodation, shops and most other facilities you will need can be found in Aberaeron itself and parking is available close to the beach.
Beach suitable for Surfing Beach suitable for Windsurfing Parking available nearby Camping or other accomodation available nearby Cafe / pub available nearby Tourist Information, Tel: 01970 612125 Beach and water quality OK

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Aberarth.

A pebble and rock beach which can hold some really nice waves in a decent groundswell. There tends to be two peaks, both of which break over small reefs formed by old pebble walled fishing traps. Both peaks break left and right and Aberarth is the best right-hander (in my opinion) along this stretch of coastline. Facing NNW, Aberarth isn't too badly affected by SW winds which are cross-shore and as soon as it swings slightly more southerly the wind becomes offshore. Windsurfing is also possible at Aberarth, but watch your fins on the rocks. Kitesurfing is possible too, but the beach itself isn't ideal for setting up, launching and landing. Limited parking is available along the small roads that head to the sea from the main A487 in Aberarth.
Beach suitable for Surfing Beach suitable for Windsurfing Beach suitable for Kiting or Kitesurfing Parking available nearby Cafe / pub available nearby Tourist Information, Tel: 01970 612125 Beach and water quality OK

Llanon.

Information coming soon
Tourist Information, Tel: 01437 781412

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Llanrhystud.

The beach at Llanrhystud can hold some surf, and can be OK for windsurfing. Its possible to park right on the pebble bank behind the beach, accessible from a little road heading towards the coast, just south of the village of Llanrhystud. Llanrhystud is however more notable for the sometimes perfect left-hander that breaks off the point by the caravan site. When it's working this is 'probably' the best wave in the area.
Beach suitable for Surfing Beach suitable for Windsurfing Beach suitable for Kiting or Kitesurfing Parking available nearby Camping or other accomodation available nearby Cafe / pub available nearby Tourist Information, Tel: 01545 560865 Beach and water quality OK

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Morfa Bychan.

A rocky west facing beach, backed by unstable cliffs. Accessible through Morfa Bychan caravan site. A couple of the boulder reefs here can hold decent waves in the right conditions. Offshore winds are easterly, but the cliffs tend to shelter the waves from these winds. The waves are badly affected by any other wind direction. Not really suitable for windsurfing due to the difficult access.
Beach suitable for Surfing Camping or other accomodation available nearby Cafe / pub available nearby Tourist Information, Tel: 01545 560865 Beach and water quality OK

Aberystwyth.

Aberystwyth is the main town on this part of the coast. Being a university town it is full of students (who make up half the population) for most of the year. An excellent place for a night out with more pubs than you can imagine, it also has all the facilities, shops and services you would expect from a town twice its size. On top of all this, it has several beaches and plenty of surf spots including The Harbour Trap, Castle Point, The Wall, Peir Rocks, Main Beach, Bath Rocks and Queens...As the Forces-of-Nature site was originally built as a guide to Aberystwyth and its surroundings, check the following parts fo the site for more information:

Select this link for Aberystwyth Information

Select this one for Aberystwyth Surf Information.

Select this link for an aerial view of Aberystwyth.

Select this link for a map of Aberystwyth.

Select this link for some photos of the area

Beach suitable for Surfing Parking available nearby Camping or other accomodation available nearby Cafe / pub available nearby Tourist Information, Tel: 01970 612125 Lifeguard on duty during the summer Beach and water quality OK

Local Amenities:

Stormriders
Stormriders. Surf - Skate - Snow


Clarach.

A sleepy holiday village with a few houses, lots of caravans, a pub, and the usual cheap and tacky amusements, cafe etc. The beach at Clarach is a sand, shingle and pebble affair well sheltered by the surrounding cliffs. It is therefore unsuitable for 'force-of-nature' sports but there are a few dodgy bolted climbing routes on the small unstable cliffs along its northern edge. To find it follow the coast road past the Student village in Aberystwyth towards Borth. The southern side of Clarach is reached from the small road on the hairpin bend, the northern end of Clarach is reached by taking the road on the left just after the hump-backed bridge at the bottom of the hill.
Parking available nearby Camping or other accomodation available nearby Cafe / pub available nearby Tourist Information, Tel: 01970 612125 Beach and water quality OK

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Wallog.

A so called secret spot but ones thats easy to find. The pebble spir of Sarn Cynfelin formed by a mound of glacial moraine can act as a reef forming some nice waves at certain times. However it only works when most other places are working well and as the 'easier to get to' and more well known surf breaks in this area don't really suffer too much from over-crowding Wallog is rarely surfed
Beach suitable for Surfing Tourist Information, Tel: 01970 612125 Beach and water quality OK

Aberwennol.

A so called 'secret spot' so I won't rub people up the wrong way by telling you how to get there. Aberwennol is a small pebbly cove with a rocky reef providing some nice left-handers. Its mainly surfed at high tide when The Lifeboat Station at Borth is being affected by backwash.
Beach suitable for Surfing Parking available nearby Camping or other accomodation available nearby Cafe / pub available nearby Beach and water quality OK

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Borth.

The four mile long sandy beach at Borth is one of the best (No, THE best) place to head in the area for the pursuit of 'forces-of-nature' sports. The beach is long, sandy and shallowly shelving. Along its length, from the relatively sheltered Lifeboat Station in the south to the the exposed Golf Course Car Park in the north, it provides plenty of opportunities for surfing, windsurfing, kitesurfing, landsailing and buggying Most of this 'Forces-of-Nature' website is dedicated to Borth and Ynyslas so more more information check out the following parts of the site:

Select this link for Borth Information

Select this one for Borth Surf and windsurf Information.

Select this link for a map of Borth.

Select this link for some photos of the area

Beach suitable for Surfing Beach suitable for Windsurfing Beach suitable for Kiting or Kitesurfing Parking available nearby Camping or other accomodation available nearby Cafe / pub available nearby Tourist Information, Tel: 01970 612125 Lifeguard on duty during the summer Beach and water quality OK

Local Amenities:

Stormriders
Stormriders. Surf - Skate - Snow


Ynyslas.

Although the North end of Borth beach is technically in Ynyslas, the area we refer to when we say Ynyslas is that of the estuary formed by the River Dovey. To get to it, follow the road past the Golf Course Car Park. You can't go anywhere else and soon emerge onto the sands of the estuary itself. There is a charge of £1 per day for parking here but it's only enforced during the summer season.
The sands of the estuary can provide good kiting, landsailing and kite-mountain-boarding/ buggying conditions, and 2 hours either side of high tide, flat water blasting windsurfing is possible. Its also a fairly safe place for beginners at high tide (but keep away from the estuary mouth and beware of the currents once the tide starts to drop).
One little secret to bear in mind is that in NE winds, the valley formed by the Dovey estuary can accelerate the wind... There have been occasions when I've been planing with a 5.5m sail here while smoke rises vertically from the chimneys a mile away in Borth. Westerly winds can also be OK in the estuary and if you don't want to face dead onshore conditions at Borth, then head to Ynyslas. It's nice on occasion to sail from Ynyslas to Aberdovey on the other side of the estuary for an ice-cream.
Recently we have also been sailing in the estuary at low tide in one of the channels near the point. In a dead westerly or easterly wind, the channel here can be used as a good, safe speed Channel
Beach suitable for Windsurfing Beach suitable for Kiting or Kitesurfing Parking available nearby Camping or other accomodation available nearby Cafe / pub available nearby Tourist Information, Tel: 01970 612125 Beach and water quality OK

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Aberdovey.

The pleasant seaside town of Aberdovey is popular with holidymakers from the Midlands and is a little more upmarket than Borth on the other side of the Dovey Estuary. The town is fronted by a harbour into the Dovey Estuary and a sandy beach that stretches around the coast to Tywyn. Plenty of accomodation, cafes, pubs, restaurants and shops are available in Aberdovey itself and the beach and nearby dunes are pleasant places to spend sunny days. Mind you, as with most places along this coast it can looked pretty drab and uninviting on a cold wet February day. The beach is an excellent place for kite flying and to launch for kite-surfing and windsurfing. The currents can get pretty strong as you basically launch into the main channle of the river but the estuary irself is fairly well enclosed so although you may drift pretty quickly you should be OK...Beginners should be particularly aware of the currents though and get back to the beach before they drift too far. For more experienced windsurfers it is possible to windsurf in the channel at low tide, but high tides are best as you then have the whole estuary to play in. The beach atSoutherly winds are onshore but give you the whole chanell to blast up and down in choppy conditions. Westerly and Easterly winds allow you to blast backwards and forwards to Aberdovey, but watch out for the sometimes shallow sandbars. NW winds are good as they allow you to sail out across the estuary towards the northern edge of Borth beach and out into the waves that break on the Dovey Bar.

Graveyards The currents of the River Dovey tend to form various sand banks around its mouth. The Dovey Bar is the largest of these and visible from the shore at low tide. Other sand banks can also be fairly stable in this area, and one just north of the Dovey estuary often holds a semi-secret wave known locally as 'Graveyards'. Beach suitable for Surfing Beach suitable for Windsurfing Beach suitable for Kiting or Kitesurfing Parking available nearby Camping or other accomodation available nearby Cafe / pub available nearby Tourist Information, Tel: 01970 612125 Lifeguard on duty during the summer Beach and water quality OK



Tywyn.

The long sandy beach of Tywyn can provide some escellent opportunities for 'forces-of-nature' sports In southerly to westerly winds the windsurfing can be good with wave-sailing on the swells that pound this unshetlered beach. NW (cross-shore) winds are good too, when the seas are generally calmer. Offshore NE winds can provide some good but usually gusty flat water speed sailing. The surf at Tywyn can be good too although the prevailing SW (onshore) winds tend to mess it up quite quickly. Accomodation, pubs, cafes and restaurants are available in Tywyn and parking is avaiable close to the beach.
Beach suitable for Surfing Beach suitable for Windsurfing Beach suitable for Kiting or Kitesurfing Parking available nearby Camping or other accomodation available nearby Cafe / pub available nearby Tourist Information, Tel: 01654 767321 Lifeguard on duty during the summer Beach and water quality OK

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Llwyngwril.

Llywngwril holds a nice left-hander that breaks over rocks at high tide. It faces north, but catches big swells and the winds can quite often be offshore as the small headland seems to wrap even SW winds around to southerly. Camping, caravans and a pub are to be found in the village of llwyngwril.
Beach suitable for Surfing Parking available nearby Camping or other accomodation available nearby Cafe / pub available nearby Tourist Information, Tel: 01654 767321 Dubious water quality and beach cleanliness

Fairbourne.

Fairbourne is situated on the southern side of the Mawddach Estuary and is an often forgotten, but lovely beach which gives amazing views along the coast. The long sandy beach is perfect for 'forces-of-nature' sports. Windsurfing is possible here at most states of the tide, although there can be a nasty shorebreak onto the pebble storm beach at high tides. Facing west, most wind directions are OK, but it does become blown out and stormy in big SW and W winds. NW is good providing bump and jump conditions while SW can be good for playing in the waves. E and NE winds are offshore and although usually gusty can provide some good flat water blasting conditions. Kitesurfing is good here too, with a nice long sandy beach to launch and land from and the sands are good for buggying. Fairbourne can be OK for surfing too, although it rarely 'goes off'.
The town of Fairbourne was once a bustling holiday resort popular with people from the midlands. Its popularity has receeded in recent years but the facilities still remain. Parking is easy close to the beach, there are toilets, shops, camping and caravan sites and all the other amenities expected from a holiday resort. To find it follow the signs from the A493
Beach suitable for Surfing Beach suitable for Windsurfing Beach suitable for Kiting or Kitesurfing Parking available nearby Camping or other accomodation available nearby Cafe / pub available nearby Tourist Information, Tel: 01654 767321 Lifeguard on duty during the summer Beach and water quality OK

Barmouth.

Just across the Mawddach Estuary from Fairbourne is Barmouth, a SW facing sandy beach that stretches 15 miles along the coast. The beach in the town itself faces in a more southerly direction and is quite well protected from the waves by the sand bars at the mouth of the Mawddach Estuary and a couple of shingle banks (Y Perch and Ynys y Brawd). This means that the beach here can be a good place to head for windsurfing when big SW gales have made getting out elsewhere impossible. In such conditions, Barmouth will generally be much smaller and the waves will have much less power. In lighter winds Barmouth can be good too and particularly suited to beginners as there are very few dangers. Further along the beach to the north the waves tend to be a bit bigger and can be better for surfing. Facing SW means that this stretch of coastline will pick up some swell and can be good for beginners. It is usually a little too small and tame for more experienced surfers though. Such a long uninterrupted sandy beach obviously makes Barmouth ideal for kite-buggying and kite-surfing. Parking, shops, cafes, pubs and all other facilities are available in Barmouth and there are plenty of camping and caravan sites in the area.
Beach suitable for Surfing Beach suitable for Windsurfing Beach suitable for Kiting or Kitesurfing Parking available nearby Camping or other accomodation available nearby Cafe / pub available nearby Tourist Information, Tel: 01341 280787 Lifeguard on duty during the summer Beach and water quality OK

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Shell Island.

The large caravan-free campsite of Shell Island is reached via a causeway and provides a lovely place to stay. The beach itself is sandy and offers good windsurfing and kitesurfing conditions, especially in light summer breezes for beginners. I'm not sure how good it gets in stronger winds, but I can see no reason why it wouldn't be as good as most other long sandy beaches along this coastline. Facing NW it should also be fairly well protected from big SW swells and be cross-shore in a SW wind. Since writing this, I have heard stories of Shell Island absolutely going off in a southerly wind with a 2-3 foot swell, producing perfect cross-off shore down-the-line wave riding conditions.
The Shell Island complex itself has a cafe, restaurant and other facilities. Parking is plentiful, but you do have to pay to get onto the 'island'. It can also get very busy here in the summer with families of campers, but early or late in the season it can be a really nice place to camp as you'll be able to find a quiet corner amongst the dunes for some peace and solitude and a mouth watering BBQ... If you can keep the midges at bay.
Beach suitable for Windsurfing Beach suitable for Kiting or Kitesurfing Parking available nearby Camping or other accomodation available nearby Cafe / pub available nearby Tourist Information, Tel: 01654 767321 Lifeguard on duty during the summer Beach and water quality OK

Harlech.

The long sandy beach backed by dunes and a golf course at Harlech and overlooked by the impressive castle can be a good beach to head for. Facing SW it does get some swell and can be surfed. It's southern end gets a bit of protection from SW winds and is best for surf from mid to high tide. A relatively safe beach which is good for beginners. Harlech beach is four miles long and as well as being OK for surfing offers some excellent windsurfing and kitesurfing conditions. NW winds provide perfect cross to cross-on bump and jump conditions. NE winds can channel down the valley and produce some good flat water, offshore blasting conditions. W and SW winds are cross-on to onshore and can be OK providing it doesn't get too mad and blown out. S and SE winds are a bit too gusty. All the usual facilites can be found in the village of Harlech and parking is easy. Also worth a visit is Harlech Castle. The castle itself is impressive, but the views from it are some of the best in Wales.
Beach suitable for Surfing Beach suitable for Windsurfing Beach suitable for Kiting or Kitesurfing Parking available nearby Camping or other accomodation available nearby Cafe / pub available nearby Tourist Information, Tel: 01654 767321 Beach and water quality OK

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