Rich people bring their yachts and drink wine on this exclusive-feeling sandy, Welsh beach

Watwick Bay in Peembrokeshire
-Credit: (Image: Laura Clements)


Reporter Laura Clements has walked every inch of the Pembrokeshire coast path and has set foot on every beach along its 186-mile stretch - so it's safe to say that she is a Welsh beach expert. She also believes that out of all the beauty spots she has stepped foot in, Watwick beach is one of the finest.

Here, she chronicles exactly why this is the case... Its sand is the softest, most golden of any beach I've ever strolled on in Wales. The crystal-clear waters boast that tropical aquamarine hue, reports WalesOnline.

And it's not uncommon to spot yachts belonging to well-off individuals who've moored up in the bay to enjoy picnics on the sand and sip wine on the deck. If there ever was a place where you could pretend you were at the most exclusive beach on the continent, then this is it.

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Granted, if you don't have a yacht then you have to walk to Watwick beach, but it's really not that far. Nestled on the Dale peninsula and at the mouth of the Milford Haven waterway, Watwick Bay is a two-mile hike along the coast path from the village of Dale.

As if by some magic, it always seems to be bathed in sunshine. En-route to the beach you'll pass Dale Fort, constructed in the latter half of the 19th century to defend Milford Haven against a French invasion that never materialised. These fortifications were later dubbed Palmerston's Follies, after the Prime Minister of the era.

Given its relative isolation, you're likely to have this untouched beach all to yourself. The views are quite something: the beach offers a direct view up the Haven waterway, and there's a stark beauty in the industrial skyline far away contrasting with the estuary's blues and greens.

Look in the opposite direction, and you'll see the Angle peninsula and the vast ocean beyond. In the middle lies the Victorian fort on Thorne Island, another one of Palmerston's Follies, which has been converted into one of Wales' most unique homes by tech entrepreneur Mike Conner.

It's crucial to check the tides before heading to the beach as there isn't much sand at high tide, and you wouldn't want to be stranded by an incoming tide. However, careful planning and preparation will reward you with one of Pembrokeshire's most beautiful and serene adventures.

The approach to the bay along a winding, tree-lined trail gives a real sense of adventure, almost as if you're the first person to discover this desert island beach. The sparkling blue waters are so clear that you can see the bottom and watch crabs scurrying across the sand. Because it's sheltered, the water is perhaps a degree or two warmer than more exposed beaches.

In my humble opinion, the best way to explore is to kick off at Dale and stroll towards Dale Fort. Pack a picnic and make a pit stop at Watwick, before extending your walk towards the West Blockhouse, another Victorian structure, and the remnants of the concrete gun emplacements from World War Two.

There's a circular route right around St Anne's head, approximately six miles in total, which takes in Mill Bay, a site of historical significance where King Henry VII landed in 1485 prior to the Battle of Bosworth, and the lighthouse at St Ann's Head. It's along these rugged rocks where the Sea Empress spilled 72,000 tons of oil into the sea.

On clear days, you'll be treated to stunning views of Skokholm Island and Skomer further north, islands bustling with puffins, gannets, guillemots, and kittiwakes. Further on, you'll pass Frenchman's Bay and Welshman's Bay as you steadily make your way north to Westdale Bay.

From here, you'll head back down to Dale. Once one of Pembrokeshire's most important ports, Dale is now a hotspot for water sports, particularly sailing and windsurfing. It's also a great spot for a pint and an ice cream.

Watwick beach is one of those places where you can feel far away and escape reality yet be within walking distance to modern-day comforts. It really is worth the effort.

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