Enjoy Pembrokeshire

Whitesands Beach

Whitesands Bay is a fantastic location for swimming, surfing, kayaking, walking, wildlife watching, fishing and windsurfing.

Dog friendly?
Seasonal dog restrictions apply to the whole of the beach between May-September. Please be a responsible dog owner. There is a responsibility for dog owners to clean up after their dogs on the whole of this site.

Getting there
You can get to Whitesands by bike, with the Celtic Trail passing nearby. There are bike racks here, where the Pembrokeshire Coast Path National Trail. runs behind the beach. Whitesands is less than a two mile walk from St Davids. A slipway provides easy access onto the sand and there are beach friendly wheel chairs available for hire. By car, the beach is signposted from the A487 just north of St Davids. There is paid parking alongside the beach with disabled spaces available. The car park fills quickly during peak times so it may be better to use other transport. The Celtic Coaster runs buses to Whitesands hourly in summertime and other buses also provide regular services.

Site description
One of the most popular beaches in Pembrokeshire, Whitesands is a large west-facing expanse of sand in a magnificent setting, with views of Ramsey Island and several smaller islets. Whitesands is also popular with surfers, windsurfers, kayakers, divers and anglers. In summer it can get very busy in the water as well as on the beach, and inexperienced water users should take care in crowded conditions. Swimming and surfing areas are marked out by flags. From the Bronze Age onwards

Whitesands was a meeting-point for land and sea routes to Ireland. Traces of a 6th century chapel to St Patrick are buried beneath the dunes behind the beach. The coastline here is rich in wildlife. A variety of sea birds fly past and you may spot seals and porpoises out to sea. Whitesands is a good base for short walks along the Pembrokeshire Coast Path or to the summit of nearby Carn Llidi, from where there are superb views.

St David's Head Fort
This large promontory fort was protected to the landward side by three defensive ramparts, some of them stone-faced. Inside the ramparts are the foundations of six circular stone-walled houses. Excavation of these houses uncovered glass beads, flints and pottery which are now in Tenby Museum. The moorland to the east of the fort is marked by a system of enclosures, which may also date from the Iron Age. St David's Head is best reached via the Pembrokeshire Coast Path from Whitesands Bay.

Coetan Arthur
Coetan Arthur, a partially collapsed burial chamber dating from around 3500 BC, occupies a commanding position on St Davids Head. The huge capstone, measuring 4m by 3m, is now supported by only one of the side-stones. The remains of the round cairn of small stones which once covered the tomb can still be seen. Coetan Arthur is on National Trust land. From Whitesands car park, walk north-west along the Pembrokeshire Coast Path, then turn inland just before the large stone rampart of St Davids Head fort.

Facilities
Toilets are available including facilities for the disabled. There is a cafe and shop next to the beach with surf hire. All types of accommodation, cafes, restaurants and pubs can be found in nearby St Davids. A telephone and slipway launching is available. The beach is cleaned daily and litter bins are provided. Please help keep Whitesands beautiful and use the facilities available or take your litter home.

Byelaws
Pembrokeshire County Council B athing Water Byelaws apply to the whole area off this beach. These include a speed limit. PCNPA Byelaws apply to the beach head and St Patricks chapel field.

Safety advice

  • There can be currents and rips in surf conditions and at various stages of tide. Be aware of other water users including surfers and power craft.


Beach awards

  • Blue Flag
  • Seaside Award (Resort)
  • This is a Marine Conservation Society recommended beach.
  • There are seasonal lifeguards at this beach.



Top Tips

  • Whitesands, due to its setting and popularity, can become quite crowded in the height of the season.
  • Please take care and consider other beach and water users. As well as being a perfect spot for sunbathing, some spectacular walking can be found in the area.
  • Even a short walk along the Coast Path can take you away from the crowds and provide amazing coastal panoramas.
  • Why not avoid the hastle of parking and hop on the bus to get here!

Seasonal RNLI Lifeguards are present at the following beaches:

Healthy You

The health benefits of beaches are almost endless and there are over 50 around the Pembrokeshire Coast, many of them award-winning.

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Health terms

RNLI message

  • Wherever possible, always swim at a lifeguarded beach.
  • Always read and obey the safety signs, usually found at the entrance to the beach. These will help you avoid potential hazards on the beach and identify the safest areas for swimming.
  • When on a lifeguarded beach, find the red and yellow flags and always swim or bodyboard between them - this area is patrolled by lifeguards.
  • Never swim alone. If you get in trouble, stick your hand in the air and shout for help.
  • If you see someone in difficulty, never attempt a rescue. Tell a lifeguard or, if you can't see a lifeguard, call 999 and ask for the Coastguard.