by Hannah Craven
Caerfai Beach is the nearest beach to St David’s. The beach is one of West Wales’s best beaches, for one main reason – it’s a suntrap!
This south-facing beach is surrounded by high cliffs, allowing visitors to enjoy the warm temperatures without any cool sea breezes. You can also just sit and enjoy the fabulous panoramic views right across St Brides Bay and the islands of Skomer and Skokholm from the picnic seats and benches at the top of the cliffs adjacent to the car park.
Planning a day of sunbathing on this beautiful beach? Here’s our quick guide to Caerfai Beach…
Caerfai is a lovely family beach in Pembrokeshire, as it’s not too big for children to run around without getting lost. However, the path and steps to the beach are quite steep so be careful when descending down to the beach – somehow these steps feel even steeper on the way back!
Children will love exploring the interesting rock pool and caves along the beach. For the historically minded, there is a small hillfort nearby.
At low tide, there are two areas to the beach, but when the tide is fully in, most of the sand disappears, leaving a shingly/rocky shoreline. At low tide, it is reasonably rated for surfing. A popular activity website rates it for other sporting activities: “Its enclosed nature makes it unsuitable for kiting or windsurfing though.
It is however an excellent place for coasteering in Pembrokeshire with plenty of caves and rocky outcrops to explore. The cliffs around Caerfai also provide some good, popular climbing routes”.
The cliff formation is unusual and some of the cliffs are in the same distinctive red sandstone that was quarried at nearby Caerbwdy for the building of St Davids Cathedral. Geologically the cliffs are important and have an Epoch named after them – “Caerfai Epoch – The earliest epoch of the Cambrian Period in the chronostratigraphic scale”. Despite their academic importance, keep away from the cliffs, as some are very unstable!
Got a keen angler in the family? The beach is also a recommended mackerel fishing spot.
Caerfai is within easy walking distance of St David’s – just 1.5 miles from the town. There’s a lovely walk along the coastal path is to St Non’s – a distance of about 2 miles. From St Non’s it is quite an easy route to turn inland and head back to St David’s. The walk along the cliffs in the other direction from Caerfai takes you to the beach at Caerbwdy and from there onto Solva.
There is also the alternative of waiting for the Puffin Shuttle coastal buses, which regularly visit the accessible coves and beaches around the St David’s peninsula.
From Solva, as you enter St David’s, there is the National Park Visitor Centre – Oriel y Parc on your left. Turn down by it to Caerfai (1.5 miles).
There are no toilet facilities on the beach, so you might need to head back into St David’s. In the town, you’ll also find a good selection of shops, cafes, and eateries.
For those coming by car, a word of caution – there is limited parking above the beach and the road from St David’s is also pretty narrow in places.
Fancy a day out to the beautiful Caerfai Beach? Enjoy a stay in one of our cosy cottages in Pembrokeshire. Our delightful cottages are ideally located in St David’s and the surrounding areas, giving you plenty of choice when it comes to planning your perfect seaside break in Wales!
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