Beach review: Freshwater West

Friends & family probably already know how this review is going to go, after all, Freshwater West is not only our favourite beach, it’s also the closest one to the farm.

What it’s like

Big sandy beach with extensive dunes and a moving line of shingle, west facing into the Atlantic. Fabulous beach for surfing, kayaking & kite surfing, but best avoided if you want to swim as there are rips, quicksands & submerged objects, particularly if you’re a weak swimmer or a child.
Rabbit Island is the small & easily climb-able island towards the south end.

See more of Fresh West in our photo gallery. Even in winter Fresh West is rather gorgeous. Russel Crowe is quite fond of Fresh West too.

What to do when you’re there

  • Climb Rabbit Island & do rolly-pollies on the super-bouncy grass
  • Have a barbeque while the sun sets (our favourite location for this)
  • Watch the Welsh National Surf Championships (normally held around May)
  • Admire the scenery, chosen as the location for several films including Robin Hood & Harry Potter
  • At very low tides, look for evidence of submerged forests

Other things you should know about it

  • Whilst many people try their luck, camping is NOT allowed on the beach or the surrounding land and the National Trust wardens regularly eject people.
  • There’s an army range to the south and access is restricted. The off-limits area includes The Pole, a renowned surf spot, but experienced surfers area sometimes granted access if they request it in advance.
  • Up until 2010 this beach did not have a lifeguard patrol and people used the beach at their own risk. Out of season, you’re still on your own. Please be careful.

Other nearby beaches

  • Barafundle
  • Broad Haven South
  • Bullslaughter Bay
  • Flimston (an energetic scramble down, and only accessible when the Range is open at Stack Rocks/Green Bridge of Wales)
  • Frainslake (inaccessible unless you have special permission from the Army Range)
  • West Angle Bay

How to get there

Fresh West is an easy beach to get to. You can drive or even catch the Coastal Cruiser. The 387 & 388 (http://www NULL.pembrokeshire NULL.gov NULL.uk/content NULL.asp?nav=838,1629,839,1038&parent_directory_id=646&id=11492&Language=) bus routes cover circular routes from Pembroke, past the farm and out to Fresh West (or vice versa). The stop near the farm changes according to access: if the Army are using Castlemartin Range West, the bus comes right past our front door.

From Warren

  • Take the one way lane opposite the farmyard gate
  • Turn left at the top of the lane
  • At Castlemartin take the third exit around the Cattle Pound roundabout and continue until you see the beach
  • There are two car parks as well as roadside parking, but please don’t park in passing places or other areas where cars & pedestrians have limited visibility. The main car park has toilets & is home to the amazing Cafe Mor from Easter to September. There’s sometimes a seasonal ice-cream van which we don’t recommend as it sells a non-local brand.

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