Freshwater West beach
Freshwater West is a must-visit beach in Pembrokeshire. It’s breathtakingly beautiful, perfect for family adventures and a favourite with watersports enthusiasts.
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.
A taste of the sea
Seaweed is a speciality here too – our friends at Cafe Môr use laverbread within their menu, you’ll find their street food outlet in the beach car park. On the foreshore, you’ll also spot a thatched shack that was once used as a seaweed drying hut.
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 – lifeguards are on duty at Freshwater West between early June and September.
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?
Rip’s 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