Freshwater East Beach – Pembrokeshire

Freshwater East beach stretches for approximately 1 kilometre along the bay, with it’s farthest reaches only accessible at lowest tide. At high tide, there is still a strip of dry sandy beach to play with, plus the rolling sand dunes behind (aka The Burrows) to explore. 

Facts about Freshwater East

This part of the Wales Coast Path is a designated Local Nature Reserve, and you can often find horses grazing in the dunes.

The bay is a Pembrokeshire Marine Special Area of Conservation, within Pembrokeshire Coast National Park, and is overlooked by Freshwater East village, sitting above the old red sandstone cliffs. By ‘old’ we mean 400 million years old! Fossils found here have meant the cliffs are now a ‘Site of Special Scientific Interest’ (SSSI).

The historic Welsh name for Freshwater East Bay was Porth Lliw, perhaps meaning Colour(ful) Harbour. It’s present name comes from the freshwater stream running down to the bay, from which ships would stock up their water supplies.

You may possibly see seal pups, at the right time of year! (If you do see them, please keep your distance and keep dogs on leads).

What is Freshwater East Beach really like?


We’re not afraid to admit that we got you wrong, Freshwater East. We could see the appeal of your sweet little cwtch of a hamlet, nestled above the bay. But at first we thought your beach was just like… whatever. A regular ol’ medium sized beautiful beach.

But we kept coming back. And we discovered your riches. The secrets hidden at all but the lowest tides. How you change so much, day to day. That you are the perfect size for a short walk, longer walk or even longer walk.

And now we treasure our times together. Incredible colourful rocks, walks in the sun and against the wind and under blankets of mist, huge reflected skies on wet sand, the network of narrow footpaths criss-crossing the hillside, lovely clear water (same as most of Pembrokeshire) for a swimmy swim, falling in the rock pools, clambering around the rocky edges. Squeezing through narrows as waves splash about below.

We’ll see you soon, you lovely ol’ medium sized beautiful beach.


Car ParkingYes
Electric Vehicle Charging PointsYes – 4 spaces, max stay 4 hours
Toilet FacilitiesYes
RefreshmentsSometimes there is an ice cream van in the car park. See ‘Nearby Food and Accommodation’ for more options.
Free Water RefillsOutside the toilet block 
Recycling Binspaper/cans/plastic,
Dog FriendlyYes
SlipwayCurrently access only with key
Bus ServiceYes – more info
Local TaxisAvailable from Pembroke and Pembroke Dock – be aware phone reception can be patchy at the beach and car park.
AccessibilityWheelchair accessible parking and step-free access to the beach. Disabled toilet facilities. Soft sand beach.
PostboxMon-Fri: 3:30pm
Sat: 9:45pm

Nearby Activities

Pembrokeshire Coast Path – excellent coastal walks. You can head east towards Swanlake Bay and Manorbier or west towards Stackpole Quay and Barafundle Bay. The routes can be quite steep in places.

Watersports such as boating, kayaking and surfing are possible at Freshwater East, but there are no equipment hire facilities at the beach.

Explore/walk/run/skip the footpaths in the sand dunes. Maybe you’ll see some horsies!

Nearby Food

  • BBQs are permitted on the beach. Please help us to protect the local wildlife and each other by cleaning up after yourself. 
  • Jacks at the Longhouse – pub with outside seating, serving hot food, homemade cakes, etc. Very close to the beach. Just been taken over by new management. We haven’t tried it yet but we’ve heard good things and hope too get there soon. 2 min walk
  • Freshwater Inn (currently closed for renovation as of April 2022) 15 min walk, uphill
  • OUR TIP: Stackpole Inn – we love to eat here with sandy toes. It’s often busy, with good reason! There are plenty of tables outside, although these can’t be booked in advance so it’s first come first served. If you want to eat inside, make sure to book in advance. Outside, feels like relaxed eating, in a lovely sunny country garden. Inside has a more cosy, traditional type vibe. (01646 672324) 8 min drive 19 mins cycle

Nearby Accommodation

If you want to stay close by, there are a few places pretty much right on the beach, or a few minutes walk away. We have not yet tested any of these places ourselves.

Car Parking

Pembrokeshire Coast National Park

Charges 15 March to 7 November (inclusive)

  • Cash
  • Card
  • PayByPhone – Car: 805746 Coach: 805747

Overnight Parking: No

Wheelchair accessible parking: Yes

Up to 30 minutes:£0 (no return within 4 hours)
Up to one hour:£1
Up to two hours:£2
Up to three hours:£3
Over three hours:£5
Seven days:£30
Parking charges at Freshwater East, Pembrokeshire

Blue Badge holders must pay but will receive an additional hour of parking.

Season Passes are available.

How To Find Freshwater East Beach

Approximate Postcode:
SA71 5LY

Apple Maps

Google Maps



Car park:
Latitude: 51° 38’ 38.73” N
Longitude: 4° 52’ 12.378” W
(More parking information here)

Access to beach:
Latitude: 51° 38’ 37.068” N
Longitude: 4° 52’ 9.018” W

Tide times for Freshwater East

04 December 2023


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Green Coast Award

Water Quality:
3 stars – Excellent

Whilst we make every effort to provide useful and correct information, we bear no responsibility if things have changed since we published this page, or for any inaccuracies. Please take precautions when adventuring and phone ahead to the local council, food provider or accommodation if you are unsure.

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