With St David’s Day just around the corner on March 1, it's time to celebrate the natural beauty of Wales - including its most stunning, beautiful beaches.
We've hand-picked the beaches that'll have you thinking you're on distant shores which are right here in Wales.
Barafundle Bay, Pembrokeshire
The deep blue sea, beautiful rocky coast and smooth white sand of Barafundle Bay almost feels too good to be true. It’s been described as a ‘visual overdose of beauty’ and is immensely private - it is only accessible by walking and with no cafe or facilities, it offers nothing but natural beauty.
Confucius Hole and caves, Broad Haven, Pembrokeshire
This giant, stunning crater fills up into a blue lagoon with every tide and is surrounded by smaller caves, perfect for exploring. The caves and holes have been carved out by thousands of years of erosion and are found on one of the most remarkable stretches of coast in Britain. Look out for St Govan’s Chapel hidden in the cliffs, too.
Rhossili Bay, Gower
Rhossili Bay surpassed the sandy shores of Spain, Greece and France to become the only European beach worthy of a place on Suitcase’s top 10 beaches in the world for 2017. The remote beach encompasses three miles of golden sands and sits within the first designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty in the UK. It’s home to Worm’s Head, Gower’s most famous landmark and has been dubbed ‘the supermodel of British beaches’.
Skrinkle Haven, Manorbier, Pembrokeshire
Accessed by a long flight of steps, once you reach Skrinkle Haven you’ll see why it’s worth the effort. At the eastern end is Church Doors beach, a little cove which takes its name from the two high-arched caves in the sandstone cliffs resembling the doors of a church. The beach was off limits to the public until the 1980s because it was situated beneath the firing arc of the Royal Artillery Range.
Blue Pool Bay, Gower
Visit Wales call Blue Pool Bay one of Wales’ most secluded. No roads or lanes lead up to the beach and this, coupled with its sheltered position at the base of U-shaped cliffs, mean that only those who know about its existence frequent its clean sands. At the southern end is the Three Chimneys rock arch where gold doubloons from an 18th century shipwreck have been found, but the beach's main attraction is the eponymous natural rock-pool, deep enough to jump into from the rocks above.
Porth Wen, Anglesey
Porth Wen offers unrivalled views out across the Irish Sea to the North Atlantic and sits on the northern tip of the island of Anglesey. It’s also a suntrap, sheltered from the wind, and its remote location means you’re likely only to be disturbed by the local fishermen. However, it’s the old brickworks which make Porth Wen special; they closed at the breakout of World War I, but the ruins of Victorian chimneys and kilns are hauntingly beautiful.
Three Cliffs Bay, Gower
It takes its name from its signature three limestone cliffs and offers a wilder experience with a spectacular shoreline of sand dunes and salt marsh. It’s easily one of Gower’s most photographed locations, and with good reason. The iconic summits are popular with rock climbers, and the gently sloping dunes are the ideal spot for a picnic.
A gloriously secluded beach overlooked by Mwnt’s famous cliffs, this is the perfect place to spot bottle nose dolphins, basking sharks and porpoise. Managed by the National Trust (and recognised as one of its top ‘special places’ in a public vote), Mwnt is situated off the beaten track and boasts stunning views over Cardigan Bay. The tiny white church above the beach looks straight out of a story book and is well worth a visit, too.