Beach review: Freshwater West

Friends & family probably already know how this review is going to go, after all, Fresh 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.

How to get there: Drive or catch the Coastal Cruiser. There are two car parks (the main one has toilets & a seasonal ice-cream van, selling a non-local brand) as well as roadside parking, but please don’t park in passing places or other areas where cars & pedestrians have limited visibility.

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. Please use a proper campsite.
  • 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 this year (2010) this beach did not have a lifeguard patrol and people used the beach at their own risk. Lifeguard patrols have been trialled this year, but we don’t know yet if this will be a permanent thing.

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