From pebbly coves to long-golden stretches, Cool Places have selected Wales' best beaches
When it comes to sheer size, not much comes close to Twyn – a five mile stretch of glistening golden sand and crystal clear waters. You can find as much solitude as you like here, and Bill Bryson declares the whole area “a perfect seaside community”. The stretch of coastline is more ideal for walking than bathing especially as it forms part of the newly-vamped Wales Coastal Path.
Walking across the sensational dramatic cliff edges belonging to the Glamorgan Coast Path is one of the best things you can do in South Wales. Stopping off at Dunraven Bay, is the second. It’s a stunning sheltered cove with golden sand, and is ideal for surfing due to the eastern Atlantic shore winds. However, it’s the surrounding coastal walks, which makes this a ‘best beach in Wales’ contender.
Often overlooked, Ogmore-by-Sea has one of the best beaches in South Wales. Stretching out for what seems like forever, Ogmore is the local’s favourite for dog walking and surfing, plus the neighbouring Merthyr Mawr sand dunes add a stunning dimension that other beaches lack. The coastal drive/ walk to the beach from nearby Southerndown is outstanding too.
Cardigan Bay is home to some of the finest beaches in the UK and Mwnt is one of our favourites. It’s great for dolphin and seal spotting, but also a stunning cove by right, surrounded by grassy dramatic cliffs. The cool water looks straight out of the Caribbean and the coastal walk up to the 13th-century white church is nothing short of breathtaking.
There’s no road access to this beach, but that’s what makes it one of the best. The ten-minute trek down the path keeps the numbers down and keeps it private. At low tide it’s a vast strand of fine sand, with rock pools full of crabs, a waterfall, big caves to take refuge from the elements, and room for limitless games of football, cricket and volleyball.
Countlessly voted as one of the best beaches in the UK – if not the world – Barafundle is nothing short of a travel-brochure perfect beach. Getting there’s a bit of a shlep, about half a mile over a set of cliffs. But once you’re there – WOW. Pine trees and sand dunes shelter the cove, plus the water is a stunning shade of turquoise. Great for being a beach bum and soaking up the sun.