Friends & family probably already know how this review is going to go, after all, Freshwater West is not only the closest beach to the farm, it’s also been our favourite beach for many, many decades.
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 (http://warrenfarm NULL.wales/2012/09/photo-gallery-freshwater-west/). Even in winter Fresh West is rather gorgeous (http://warrenfarm NULL.wales/2011/01/christmas-on-the-beach-pembrokeshire-style/). Russell Crowe (http://warrenfarm NULL.wales/2013/05/russell-rates-relaxing-fresh-west/) is quite fond of Fresh West too.
What to do when you’re there
- Lay a pebble on Dobby’s grave
- 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
- Learn to surf with local surf school Outer Reef
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 complete the necessary training and 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.
- Fresh West is extremely popular with campervans, and it’s sometimes difficult to find a parking space or even to drive past on the mainly single track road. In the height of summer it’s best to go early in the day, and allow plenty of time if you’re driving back or past it.
Other nearby beaches
- Barafundle (http://warrenfarm NULL.wales/2013/01/beach-review-barafundle/)
- Broad Haven South (http://warrenfarm NULL.wales/2012/11/beach-review-broadhaven-south/)
- Bullslaughter Bay (a fairly energetic scramble down, and only accessible when the Range is open at Stack Rocks/Green Bridge of Wales)
- Flimston (http://warrenfarm NULL.wales/2013/12/beach-review-flimston/) (a very 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 (http://warrenfarm NULL.wales/2012/05/beach-review-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.
- Take the one way lane opposite the farmyard gate
- Turn left at the top of the lane
- At Castlemartin take the third exit (pretty much straight on) 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 & had a poor reputation.