The Best Beaches in South Wales
The Best Beaches in South Wales

The Best Beaches in South Wales

Scenic beaches and warm weather probably aren’t the first things that come to mind when you think of Wales. However, the south of the small country has a select few stunning beaches and this guide tells you all you need to know about them. Let’s get into the best beaches in South Wales near Cardiff and further afield.

Table of contents

Rhossili Bay

Rhossili Bay, which is one of the best beaches in South Wales.

In my opinion, Rhossili Bay is the best beach in South Wales. It’s located 30 km from the city of Swansea in the Gower Peninsula. The beach is vast with golden brown sand and behind it are steep cliffs that you can easily walk up. From the top of the cliffs, you get stunning views over the whole beach and to the end of Worm’s Head.

Worm’s Head is another draw and when the tide is out there’s a trail that takes you to it from the beach. Rhossili Bay is also a good surf spot, especially for beginners. The best time of year to surf in Rhossili is winter. Although, I went in the summer and there were plenty of people surfing the smaller waves.

A view of Worm's Head from Rhossili Bay cliffs.

There’s parking at Rhossili Bay for drivers. Otherwise, the nearest train station is in Swansea. At the time of writing, the 118 and 119 buses go between Swansea and Rhossili Bay and take roughly 1.5 hours.

Dunraven Bay

Kester taking pictures of Dunraven Bay from the cliffs.

 A small and stunning cove, Dunraven Bay sits just outside the beach town Southerndown. There’s sandy beach as well as rocky surfaces to walk along and you can also walk along grassy cliffs. The grassy cliffs are a good spot to relax and enjoy looking down onto the beach. This is also the perfect place to catch the sunset, which me and my buddy Kester did on a spring evening.

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Dunraven Bay cliffs, which are part of one of the best beaches in South Wales.

The remnants of Dunraven Castle are a few minutes walking from the beach and you can explore them. Follow the trail that takes you behind the castle and away from Dunraven Bay and you can drop down to Monknash Beach.

Dunraven Bay is roughly a 45-minute drive from Cardiff or a 1.5-hour journey by train and bus. From Cardiff you’ll need to take a train to Bridgend and then the 303 bus to Southerndown.

Monknash Beach

Monknash Beach cliffs. There are rocks in the foreground.

Monknash Beach is next on the list of the best beaches in South Wales. It’s located between Nash Point and Southerndown and the cliffs look identical to Dunraven Bay’s. This is no surprise as it’s literally around the corner.

But it’s the length of the beach that’s so impressive. It seems to go to the horizon and so do the cliffs. Drop down to the beach taking the cliff trail and you’ll find caves that you can explore and some nice waterfalls.

Alan in the entrance of a cave at Monknash Beach.

It takes about 40 minutes to drive to Monknash beach from Cardiff, where there is a carpark. By train there are two ways to get there. You’ll either need to go by train to Llantwit Major or Bridgend and from either of these towns take the 303 bus.

Ogmore Beach

A little further down the coast from Southerndown towards Porthcawl and you’ll find Ogmore. This is another small South Wales beach town with a long and beautiful beach. Ogmore beach has pale sand and light blue waters and is a great place to swim. There are also cool rock formations to explore.

The fastest way to get to the beach by public transport is to get a train to Bridgend and from there take the 303 bus to Ogmore. If you’re driving to Ogmore, then park along one of the town’s streets. Driving for Cardiff takes about 40 minutes.

Rest Bay

Rest Bay, which is one of the best beaches in South Wales.

Rest Bay sits roughly half way between Cardiff and Swansea. It’s one of the several beaches and bays on the edge of the large town of Porthcawl. The long, shallow beach is lined with light golden sand and is another great spot for surfing. You can check out the Porthcawl surf report here. There’s also a golf course there for those who fancy a round.

A washed-up log on the stones at Rest Bay, South Wales.

It’s roughly a 45-minute drive to Porthcawl from Cardiff, where you can park your car. Bridgend is somewhat of a gateway to beaches in this part of South Wales and you’ll need to take a train there, and then from there the 404 bus to Porthcawl if traveling by public transport.

More travel content for Wales

There’s more travel content for Wales on the A World Over blog. Just head to the ‘Wales‘ section of the blog.

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