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During the winter months I tend to mostly head down to west Wales to surf, take photos and hang out in the van. Pembrokeshire has such a varied and spectacular coastline, even when the winter storms are hitting us hard you can always find a sheltered bay where the waves are pumping or just have a beautiful walk or take some photos out in the elements.
As surfers we don’t like to share all of our spots to avoid crowds in the water and to respect the local surfers, but here’s a few of my favourite beaches in Pembrokeshire during the winter months.
Marloes sands is out on the south west tip of Pembrokeshire and I have to say its one of my favourite beaches in the world. In the right conditions, good peaks are scattered all the way along the beach. The scenery is unbelievably stunning, with jagged sandstone and volcanic rock formations littering the shoreline of the beach at low-tide and beautiful, dramatic cliffs running the whole length of the beach, Marloes really is Wales at its best.
The area is protected by the National Trust and above the beach known as the Mere is an abundance of wildlife. The National Trust have been working on the Marloes Mere restoration project over the past few years.
Finally, I must mention Runwayskiln which is a coastal cafe above the beach which sells some of the best home cooked food in Pembrokeshire and possibly the UK. Runwayskiln use fresh, local ingredients in all of their ever-changing dishes and with an open, log fire its the perfect spot to warm up and have a bite to eat and a coffee / beer after visiting the beach.
Freshwater west is another beach which is protected by the National Trust in Pembrokeshire. I have a deep affection for ‘Fresh’ and spent alot of time at nearby at Newton Farm in 2021 (big shout out to my friend Rowland the farmer) which is a great campsite and is just 5 mins drive from the beach.
Fresh is a wild, rugged beach with unrivalled beauty. The beach has several different sections to surf at different stages of the tide and is more suited to more experienced surfers as the constantly shifting sandbanks can produce strong currents which can make it a tricky spot to surf.
The water at Fresh is a beautiful, clean blue colour, all year round and the beach feels raw and untouched. The beach was well known for the legendary ‘Cafe mor’ which was a beachside cafe created from an old fishing boat which sadly set sail for new pastures over in the adjacent village Angle. The owners have also opened the ‘Old point house’ pub which again serves some of the best, locally sourced food in Pembrokeshire an overlooks the serene East Angle bay, a must visit to warm up after a surf.
During the summer, Abereiddi can be hectic with tourists and visitors from all over the world coming to visit the ‘Blue lagoon’ an old slate quarry which is popular for cliff jumping, paddle boarding and swimming. The blue lagoon has also been a part of the red bull cliff diving series which is held in spectacular locations all over the world
Aside from that, Abereiddi is also a very special beach for me and I’ve spent a lot of time there over the years, particularly in the winter disconnecting from the modern world.
During the winter months there are considerably less visitors, perhaps the odd dog walker and you can park right next to the water which makes it the perfect spot to just relax and take in the beauty of nature, take a dip or build a fire on the beach.
A hefty walk following the cliffs will take to you to the next village Porthgain, which is a petite and stunning fishing village with the epic pub ‘The Sloop Inn’. The pub is another traditional Welsh pub which serves amazing home cooked food (Sunday dinners are top notch) with a great atmosphere.