Freshwater West beach

Freshwater West in Pembrokeshire

Freshwater West is a must-visit beach in Pembrokeshire. It’s breathtakingly beautiful, perfect for family adventures and a favourite with watersports enthusiasts.

A wild beach for sandy adventures

There’s buckets (and buckets) of sand to go around, have fun building sandcastles, try kite flying and enjoy this wild stretch of coast. The beach has a wealth of rockpools; mini explorers love delving into these underwater worlds and spotting marine creatures. We often host beach cleans here to keep this special place clean and tidy; grab a litter picker and join us.

Tell us what you think about the future of Freshwater West

Freshwater West is a much loved wild and beautiful beach, which over time has become increasingly popular. Access to nature and the outdoors for all is vitally important, but the increase in visitors has created unsustainable pressure on the environment and facilities of this very special place. 

To help understand these issues, and consider future options, the UK Community Renewal Fund is funding an indpendent study of current visitor management and environmental impacts. The Fund would like as many people as possible who feel passionate about Freshwater West to participate in the study through an anonymous online survey that is being faciliated by Planning Solutions Consulting Limited. The study aims to support future more sustainable management of the site,and whilst subject to funding and planning considerations, we want as many people as possible who use the beach and area to give us their views and  aspirations for its future. 

If you’d like to contribute further to the consultation you can do so by completing the survey online via this link https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/UserFeedbackFreshWest or at public drop-in sessions in June, details of which will be shared shortly via our social media channels.

Take part in our Big Beach Clean Challenge
Springwatch at Easter filming at Freshwater West
Take part in our Big Beach Clean Challenge

Advanced Surfing

The south-westerly facing beach is popular with surfers and is often regarded as one of Wales' best surfing spots, with consistent swell and waves. However, Freshwater West is only recommended for the more experienced surfer as there’s a strong rip current. 

Please note the lifeguard service at Freshwater West will commence on 18th June for the 2022 season. Please visit the RNLI website for further information.

Here is what RNLI Lead Lifeguard Supervisor for South Wales, Chris Rigby, has said about the potential dangers of the water there:

Entering the water at Freshwater West can be very dangerous. It is home to large breaking waves, rip currents, submerged rocks and sandbanks. 

So how could this affect me?

Rips are strong currents running out to sea, which can quickly take you from shallow water to out of your depth. 

Waves are great fun, but they can be dangerous. They have different characteristics depending on the beach and conditions.  As a general rule, the bigger the waves, the stronger the rip currents.

Submerged rocks and Sandbanks can create shallow water areas and deep pools. You may think you are in shallow water but as the tide moves in, deep water may be appearing behind you. You can easily become stranded.

Water temperature can be dangerous itself. Anything below 15°C is defined as cold water and can seriously affect your breathing and movement. Average UK and Ireland sea temperatures are just 12°C. 

We strongly recommend only using the water at Freshwater West if you are a competent surfer and know exactly what to do if you get into trouble in the water. If you get into difficulty it’s tempting to try and swim to safety but you should always stay with your kit as it will keep you afloat and make you easier to find in an emergency.

Don’t forget the international distress signal of hand waving and shouting for help.

For more information, please visit: https://rnli.org/safety/beach-safety