The West Wales coastline is one of the most beautiful in Europe. From the Gower — a nominal dividing line between south and west — right up to Cardigan and beyond, you’ll find towering cliffs, crashing surf and absolutely stunning beaches. Some, like Rhosili, are huge dune-backed sweeping arcs of golden sand. Others, particularly around Pembrokeshire, are little more than hidden coves, washed upon by calm turquoise waters.


Dolphins share the seas with porpoises, seals and even the occasional basking shark, while sea birds crowd onto the offshore islands and towering cliffs. Rarer species thrive in this quiet corner, with choughs and peregrine falcons almost commonplace. And in the summer the clifftops come alive with the pinks and yellows of heather and gorse. Take a boat trip to the islands of Ramsey or Skomer for the full experience.


This whole coast was made for surfing and is perfectly placed to feel the full brunt of every Atlantic storm. Like most of Britain, things can be a little tame in summer, but when the winter swells start rolling in, even the most hardcore will stay stoked. The choice of spots is endless but head for Llangenith, Whitesands or Freshwater West to set the ball rolling.

Celtic culture

The Celtic roots of Wales are somewhat less dressed up than those of neighbouring Ireland and Scotland and, as a result, you have to probe a little deeper to find them. This region is a fine place to start, with standing stones, ancient burial grounds and fascinating churches and chapels. The biggest concentrations are found around the Preseli Hills, which are also associated with King Arthur.

The Pembrokeshire National Park

The smallest of Wales’ national parks, and really little more than a narrow strip of land hugging the spectacular West Wales coast. It guards the Pembrokeshire Coast Path — a magical 295km footpath — and also protects some globally important offshore islands, which are home to many rare bird species. In the north, it treks inland a little to encompass the atmospheric Preseli Hills, which are bustling with ancient relics and monuments.