A Winter Wonder – Porth Mawr (Big harbour) – Whitesands.
The award-winning Blue Flag surfing beach at Whitesands is one of the most famous in Wales and, by Pembrokeshire standards, can get quite busy in the summer. There are seasonal car park charges and it can often be popular enough to use the two overflow parking fields.
Being so close to the tiny city of St. David’s and renowned for the fabulous surf, Whitesands is a favoured destination of beach-lovers from all over the world. With a cafe, toilets and a lifeguard, this stunning location is loved by families, walkers and serious watersports enthusiasts alike.
The Celtic Coaster shuttle bus stops here in the season and dogs are banned from May to September.
Easily accessible and with beach wheelchairs to hire, Whitesands is ready to make everyone feel at ease. You can hire wetsuits and equipment and take surfing lessons here, as well as trying out bodyboarding, kayaking and kite-surfing.
For a stunning beach walk (with or without your dog) I would recommend Whitesands in the winter – almost deserted, the wide expanses of sand at low tide and the fascinating rock pools make for a great West Wales Walk. With the views out to sea of the Bishop and Clerks Rocks, to the north of the towering Carn Llidi rocky headland and across the unspoilt sands, Whitesands is spectacularly beautiful.
The coast path takes you along the shoreline above the beach and there are many great walks on the headlands, too, with megalithic burial chambers, stone hut circles and iron age settlements to discover.
A submerged forest can be seen at very low tides. In 2016, an excavation by the Dyfed Archeological Trust team was undertaken into the remains of the St. Patrick’s Chapel in the sand. It was decided to fully investigate this ancient site as erosion was undermining the burials, already shored up with boulders from past storms. More than 50 skeletons were uncovered dating from the 7-11th centuries.
The flora and fauna is abundant from early spring and a variety of bird life can be observed all year round.
It is from the beach at Whitesands that St. Patrick is said to have set sail in the 5th century, after his conversion to Christianity in West Wales, and St. David himself was educated in the white farmhouse above this beach (Ty Gwyn).
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