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A guide to surfing in Pembrokeshire holiday cottages

A guide to surfing in Pembrokeshire

Laura Mackenzie 01 July 2024

With some of the best beaches and reliable surf spots in the UK, Pembrokeshire is a haven for surfers of all levels looking to get out on the waves. Head down to some of Pembrokeshire’s finest beaches and you’re likely to spot someone enjoying some form of coastal activity. From coasteering to crabbing, surfing to sailing, Pembrokeshire is full of amazing places to get outdoors and safely enjoy these thrilling outdoor activities. 

With 186 miles of coast path, a national park and 261 miles of glorious coastline, Pembrokeshire is an ideal choice for those looking to get away from it all, breathe in fresh sea air and regenerate their senses. And it’s not just us who love it here; the abundance of wildlife on these shores is outstanding and includes dolphins, seals, puffins, and other curious creatures that dwell in the inviting rock pools – it certainly is a remarkable county.  

So come visit, dive in and experience surfing in Pembrokeshire, you won’t forget it. And after a day on the waves, take some time out and relax in one of our hand-picked holiday cottages.


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Surf lessons in Pembrokeshire

A man and a woman are on the beach with the sea behind them. Both are in short wetsuits. The woman is balancing on a surfboard whilst the man is teaching her.

As one of the best surfing locations in the UK, there are lots of lovely surf schools in Pembrokeshire to help you on your way. Some of these Pembrokeshire surf providers also include a surf shop and surf hire so we’ve rounded up all the need-to-know details so you can get stuck in planning your next surf break.  


Pembrokeshire Surf School

A girl is laying on a surfboard with an instructor stood in the water behind her holding the board. A small wave is approaching.

Learn to surf with Pembrokeshire Surf School who offer a range of surf lessons for all levels across some truly spectacular locations. 

Truly passionate about surfing with over 20 years of experience in surf coaching and teaching outdoor education along with multiple credentials including lifeguard qualifications, with Pembrokeshire Surf School, you’ll be in safe hands.

If you’re just dipping your toe into surfing, then this friendly team offer the perfect opportunity to learn everything you need to help you on your way towards a potential new hobby! Alternatively, if you’re looking to polish up your elite skills then they also offer contest training to take you to the next level! 

Good to know:

  • Telephone: 07881 937605
  • Surf locations: Newgale, Whitesands, Broad Haven
  • Opening times: 9am–6pm Monday–Sunday

Newsurf Surf Shop and Café

A small child is sat on a surfboard in the shallows of the sea. The surfboard is being lifted by an adult male in a wetsuit.

Ideally placed at one of Pembrokeshire’s best surfing beaches, turn your holiday into an adventure with Newsurf

It’s so convenient, you can get surf lessons and surf hire all in one, right on the beach. From beginners to advanced levels, surf year-round (conditions depending) with top-quality, qualified and experienced instructors.

From private surf lessons just for you to family and children’s surf lessons, the friendly team will help you on your surfing adventure. 

There’s even a relaxed café and deli bar to start your day or refresh after your Pembrokeshire surfing adventure! Imagine fresh delicious dishes made with locally sourced ingredients to satiate that appetite.

Good to know:

  • Telephone: 01437 721398
  • Surf locations: Newgale Beach, Pembrokeshire SA62 6AS
  • Opening times: Opening times vary – please visit their website for more details
  • Surf shop: Offers an extensive range of wetsuits, surfing essentials and clothing including hoodies and hats to keep you warm on this bracing beach
  • Surf hire: Surfboard hire for all abilities

Outer Reef Surf School

A selection of different size and coloured surfboards lined up outside a surf shop.

It’s not just surfing that’s on offer here; you can also try your hand at multiple water sports with Outer Reef. Discover coasteering in its home county, stand tall with some paddle boarding or get those arms working with some kayaking – all abilities can jump aboard here and get stuck in. 

With multiple bases in beautiful Saundersfoot, Tenby North Beach Harbour, Stackpole Quay and Gupton Farm at Freshwater West, Outer Reef Water Sports Centres offer an array of water sports lessons along with equipment hire for surfing, kayaking, paddleboarding and also wetsuits.

Fully licensed by the Adventure Activities Licensing Association, an SSA-accredited surf school, all coaches are fully qualified ISA surf school instructors. So, come explore and get out on Pembrokeshire’s stunning coastline in complete confidence.

Good to know:

  • Telephone: 01646 680070
  • Surf locations: Freshwater West, Manorbier, Tenby, Saundersfoot, Broad Haven South, Newgale, and others
  • Opening times: Opening times vary – please visit their website for more details
  • Surf shop and hire: Found in Tenby, Saundersfoot and Pembroke, these Pembrokeshire surf shops offer surfboards, paddleboards, kayaks, wetsuits, accessories and much more to buy or hire.

TYF Adventure

A person learning to surf with TYF in PembroeshireImage credit: TYF

A popular choice for a range of coastal activities in Pembrokeshire, TYF aim to offer life-changing adventures on Pembrokeshire’s unique coastline.

Back to surfing, TYF has taught this exhilarating activity at the breathtaking Whitesands since 1984. Combining special beginners’ boards, protective wetsuits, and skilled instructors, you’ll be safely up on your feet and surfing in no time. 

Learn all about surfing, from its roots to surfboard and wetsuit design, surf prediction and surf safety. You’ll come away with a wealth of knowledge and memories. No one forgets breathing in that fresh sea air smell and how it awakens your senses and surfing will just heighten that even more! 

Good to know:

  • Telephone: 01437 721611
  • Surf locations: Whitesands Beach
  • Opening times: Opening times vary – please visit their website for more details
  • Surf hire: From the conveniently located booking office in St Davids, hire out all you need for your next surfing adventure. You can also hire kayaks and stand-up paddleboards made from recycled ocean plastics; both are popular choices for exploring the St Davids coastline

Best surfing beaches in Pembrokeshire

Pembrokeshire has some of the best surfing locations in the UK. From beaches with waves suitable for first timers, to surf spots that are ideal for experienced board riders, you can find them all on the West Wales coast. We've picked out some of our favourite Pembrokeshire surf locations where you can ride the waves below.


Newgale

An aerial image of Newgale Beach showing the long expanse of sand and waves crashing against the beach.

One of the most popular and consistent surfing beaches in Pembrokeshire due to its sheer size and exposure, Newgale is an awesome sight at any time of the year and is an ideal choice for all levels of surfer. 

Enjoy the spectacular view as you drive down to this magnificent stretch of pebble-backed sand; once you spot the sea, you will feel everything lift and unwind. 

The wind and waves are waiting so what are you waiting for? Tick Newgale off your list and get out there, even if it is just to spectate. 

Good to know:

  • Parking: Three car parks along this expansive beach – two are pay and display
  • Facilities: Toilets, surf shop with surfing and kitesurfing tuition and board hire, café
  • Lifeguards: Between mid-June to the end of September
  • Dog friendly: Dog restrictions apply to the middle third of the beach between 1 May and 30 September

Whitesands

Taken from the cliffs above, this image shows the golden sand of Whitesands Bay, with the sea to the left and lots of waves crashing against the shoreline. In the background are fields and hills and a blue sky.

Can you surf in St Davids? Yes! Whitesands is great for all surf levels and offers a great day out for families and groups. There are often strong currents to the north of the beach with a fast powerful wave, ideal for intermediate to experienced surfers only. 

One of Pembrokeshire's most popular beaches and one of Wales’ best surfing beaches, it overflows with activity and enjoyment in the summer months. There’s a lovely café and shop where you can enjoy local ice cream and buy a souvenir of your day out to take home and fondly remember this special place. There are also benches to sit and watch the world go by and enticing paths to enjoy a refreshing coastal walk should you wish to just watch the surfers play on the waves. 

Good to know:

  • Parking: Pay and display car park right by the beach. There is a Celtic Coaster shuttle bus that runs from St Davids (Oriel y Parc Car Park) to Whitesands in the busier summer months
  • Facilities: Toilets, café. Nearby St Davids is a popular city and has lots of lovely places to eat
  • Lifeguards: Between the end of May and the beginning of September
  • Dog friendly: Dog restrictions apply to the entire length of the beach between 1 May and 30 September

Freshwater West

In the foreground of this photo are sandy dunes, in the background is Freshwater West Beach with golden sand and blue seas. The sky is blue with some clouds.

You may recognise this beach as the resting place of adorable Dobby the house elf, the pretty location for his ornate shell cottage, or even the backdrop to an epic scene from Ridley Scott’s Robin Hood. Backed by an extensive system of dunes, this sandy stretch of beach is truly picturesque. 

It’s not just the big screen this beach attracts though, it’s also the hunting ground for many an experienced surfer looking for that perfect wave!

Known for its consistent and reliable surf, the waves here tend to be a couple of feet bigger than other beaches in the area. There’s a mix of fast and powerful waves with strong undercurrents and rocks so this south-westerly facing beach is one for the more experienced surfer. 

Good to know:

  • Parking: Two small and free car parks
  • Facilities: Toilets, surf lessons with Outer Reef
  • Lifeguards: Between mid-June to the end of September
  • Dog friendly: Freshwater West is dog friendly all year round

Manorbier

Taken looking out to sea, this photo of Manobier shows the rocks and sand in the foreground, with the sea in the background.

Overlooked by a beautiful castle, Manorbier Beach is a picture-perfect choice for many a beach seeker and sizzles with activity in the summer months. 

Manorbier Beach is the only southwest-facing beach in the Tenby area which also makes it a choice for intermediate to experienced surfers due to the very strong currents and rocks to the right-hand side. Beginners can also get in on the action but are advised to stick to the sandy areas to the left. 

If you fancy a bit more land than sea, then there are some lovely short walks in the area. Discover coast, castles, cattle and more. For a longer challenge then enjoy valley views, the captivating coastline and a Mesolithic burial chamber along the Manorbier circular walk.

Good to know:

  • Parking: National park car park, additional parking spaces can be found along the coast towards Freshwater East Beach
  • Facilities: Toilets, ice cream van, telephone, surf lessons and equipment hire with Outer Reef
  • Lifeguards: There is no lifeguard service at Manorbier Beach
  • Dog friendly: Manorbier Beach is dog friendly all year round

Stay safe!

Have fun on the wild Pembrokeshire coast, but please stay safe and make sure you are prepared:


Map of Pembrokeshire surf spots

Check out our top Pembrokeshire surf spots here.

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Stay in Pembrokeshire

From sea to shore, there are so many exciting things to do in Pembrokeshire, so dive into our swell selection of holiday accommodation and find your perfect coastal cottage in Pembrokeshire.

With miles of magnificent and varied coastline and iconic sandy shores to discover in this captivating county, you’ll never be short of a beautiful beach to spend the day surfing or relaxing.

Disclaimer: Whilst every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information at the time of writing, please ensure you check carefully before making any decisions based on the contents within this article.

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