About this view
Freshwater West is a wonderful, wild location popular with surfers, walkers, Hollywood filmmakers and wildlife lovers alike.
The west facing beach is backed by a large dune system, which is a designated Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI).
At high tide most of the sand at Freshwater West is submerged, while at low tide you may even see the remains of an ancient drowned forest.
This is also a great location for rockpooling with plenty of pools at the southern end. Follow the link to see a National Park Authority leaflet that’s full of fun facts about rockpooling.
The waters here are part of the Pembrokeshire Marine Special Area of Conservation and the area supports numerous important species including chough, over-wintering lapwings, waders and grey seals.
Many famous faces have graced the golden sands of Freshwater West, with filming having taken place here for Hollywood blockbusters such as Robin Hood and Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.
In fact, a special shell cottage was built in front of the dunes when Harry Potter was in town but it was removed after filming.
‘Fresh West’ is popular with surfers and has hosted the Welsh, British and European Amateur Surfing Championships, but there are problems with rip currents and as such it is not suitable for swimming. There are seasonal lifeguards at this beach.
Freshwater West was once famous for its edible seaweed, which was made into a traditional delicacy known as laver bread. One of the old seaweed storage huts has been rebuilt by the National Park Authority and volunteers.
How to get there
We recommend you travel by bus as the car park at Freshwater West can become full at peak times.
The Coastal Cruiser stops at Freshwater West car park. Visit Pembrokeshire Greenways for timetables and more information about Coastal Buses.
If you do travel by car, take the B4319 south from Pembroke.
For up to date travel information contact Traveline Cymru on 0871 2002233 or visit www.traveline-cymru.info.
Please note: The dunes around Pembrokeshire’s beaches have suffered damage from the early 2014 storms and in the interest of public safety, we advise that people stay away from dune areas, as erosion from the high tides has resulted in many dunes becoming unstable and in danger of collapse.