The ‘City of Castles’ seamlessly blends a colorful history with modernity. The city is famous for Victorian shopping arcades, super-modern stadiums, and vibrant nightlife, making it a leading hotspot in the UK. Cardiff may only be home to a temporary beach during summer, but there are many beautiful beaches near Cardiff.
You may find it strange that there are several first-class, unspoiled beaches in Cardiff or just a few minute drives from Cardiff. The city has different types of beaches at its finger’s tip, right from the secluded to the most popular or families’ favorite. Here are 20 beautiful beaches in Cardiff, and nearby you can visit.
Nearest Beach To Cardiff
Penarth Beach, Vales of Glamorgan
The nearest beach to Cardiff is a mix of sand and pebbles. If you love seaside adventures, you will love Penarth. Though swimming is often discouraged here, there are tons of activities you can still enjoy here. The beach is ideal for fishing and fossil hunting.
You can walk along the shores of the beach and enjoy the views of the water and the sunsets. However, note that dogs are not allowed here, so you can’t take your dog for a walk. Kids will love it here because there are playgrounds for children.
The beach also boasts of piers, cafes, and Alexandra Gardens, which are right behind the beach to make your experience at the beach worthwhile.
Most Famous Beach In Cardiff
Whitmore Bay, Glamorgan
Popularly known as Barry Island beach, Whitmore Bay is one of the most beautiful Cardiff beaches with its golden sand, clear blue water, and colorful beach huts lining the shore. The beach is famous for its long stretch of sand, calm waves, golf course, and amusement arcades, making it perfect for families.
Swimmers and sunbathers love this beach, and there is plenty of entertainment, from horse riding to building sandcastles and rock pooling. You can take a walk along the sand or promenade while taking in the air and beautiful view.
There are also places to grab a bite near the beach after a fun time on the beach. Dogs are not allowed in winter.
Best Beaches In Cardiff For Families
Merthyr Mawr Beach
This is a wide sandy beach backed by Merthyr Mawr dunes. It is very close to Ogmore by Sea beach; however, it is much bigger. It is a favorite among families because it is clean and safe for children. This is one of the beaches near Cardiff suitable for swimming; you can also walk along the coast using the beach or sand dunes.
The beach is ideal for sunbathing and sand castle building. Nevertheless, there aren’t many facilities, but the Merthyr Mawr Bridge is nearby and a popular place to visit.
Trecco Bay Beach, Porthcawl
This stretch of sandy beach is one of the best beaches near Cardiff for swimming due to its pristine water. The beach is also a favorite among families though it has few amenities because it is spacious, safe, and sandy. Kids can build sand castles here, swim and paddle.
It sits right next to the famous Trecco Bay Holiday Camp. Though there are no facilities on the beach, there are many options in the holiday parks. From amusement arcades to mini golf and a swimming pool, you can have a wonderful time with your family.
Trecco is also suitable for kitesurfing and windsurfing and sunbathing. You can take your dog for a walk here but note that dogs are not permitted from May to September.
Coney Beach Porthcawl
Coney beach is one of the popular beaches near Cardiff. It is less than an hour from Cardiff city center in Porthcawl. The extensive sandy beach is excellent for kids to run around and play. It’s also a family favorite because it has many amenities like funfair rides at the Coney Beach Pleasure Park, arcades, and many more.
The beach gets really busy during summer, not only among locals but tourists. Go with your spade and bucket because the soft golden sand is ideal for sandcastle building. You can swim, sunbathe and have a walk on this beach, making it a perfect place for a day out at the seaside.
Ogmore-by-sea is less than an hour from Cardiff city center. The shingle and sand beach is famous for its broad golden sand and reputation as one of the cleanest beaches in the region. The beach is a favorite for families because it has various amenities, making it a perfect vacation location.
During low tides, a large, flat sandy bay with lots of space for dogs to run around is exposed. Dogs are allowed all year round. This Cardiff beach is known for many activities, including swimming, fishing, surfing, and walking.
There are shops, places to eat, pubs, and ice cream trucks where you can grab a bite after a fun time on the beach.
Langland Bay Beach, Mumbles
Langland is a safe and charming family-friendly beach in Cardiff. The wide golden sand and rock beach are a favorite for water sports enthusiasts, especially surfers. The picturesque beach is usually packed during summer. The water is blue and clean, making it a favorite spot for swimming or bathing.
A small and attractive promenade on the beach and a ramp provide easy access to the beach. You are rock pools for you to explore here. This beach has many facilities, including beach huts, cafes, and a golf course. The beach also has outdoor showers and a tennis court for hire. Dogs are not allowed from May to September.
MORE UK BEACHES:
Other Popular Beaches In Cardiff
Caswell Bay Beach, Glamorgan
You can call Caswell bay the beach for everyone. The popular resort is perfect for surfing, swimming, beach games, water sports, sunbathing, and more. Whatever you want on a beach, Caswell won’t disappoint.
This charming Cardiff beach has a long stretch of golden sand with clear water making it a family favorite, and kids can run around and build sandcastles. You can also explore rock pooling here.
This beach is further from Cardiff, but it is worth your time. There is a café on the beach where you can get some food and drinks. Dogs are not permitted from May 1 to September 30.
Three Cliff Bay Beach, Swansea
Three Cliff Bay is a little far from Cardiff, but it is worth the drive. The bay gets its name from the three sea cliffs protruding into it. It is one of the most photographed locations in Gower, and that’s because of its striking beauty that will make you speechless. A wide bay of golden sand flanked by three limestone cliffs with a stunning coastline of dunes and rock pools.
Three Cliff is one of the most beautiful beaches near Cardiff, and despite being an attraction site, it is rarely busy and primarily empty during winter. The beach is suitable for kayaking/canoeing, rock pooling, surfing, and swimming; however, be careful when taking a dip here because there are often strong rip currents at high tide, making it a dangerous place for swimming.
The beach also boasts of an excellent walking trail, and you can also go on a walk with your dogs as dogs are allowed all year round—a superb picnic spot on its excellent artisan food.
Rhossili Bay, Glarmorgan
Three miles of golden sand backed by golden-green hills and clear blue water makes Rhossili one of the most beautiful beaches near Cardiff. The beach is also believed to be one of the best beaches in the UK and one of the top ten beaches in the World. The charming and wild beach is under the watch of the National Trust.
Rhossili bay is a bit farther from Cardiff, but the three miles of spectacular view are worth the drive. The beach is peaceful, and that’s because there is enough space to accommodate everyone. It is famous for surfing because it is one of the most exposed beaches in Wales, picking up the Atlantic waves.
The beach is also renowned for several incredible landmarks, such as the remains of the Helvetia, which shipwrecked in 1887, the tidal Island of Worms head, and so on. You also get to see grey seals sunbathing on the rocks. Aside from surfing, the beach is also suitable for fishing, sailing, and swimming. Your dog can also run around here as dogs are allowed all year round.
Best Beaches In Cardiff For Surfing
Llantwit Major Beach, Glarmorgan
This is one of the best surfing beaches near Cardiff; the pebble and rock beach has some patches of sand and is backed by cliffs. The beach is a little difficult to access as the rocks on the terrain are often slippery. The beach is a peaceful spot for people who want to escape the crowd.
The waves here are great for kitesurfing and windsurfing. Llantwit is also suitable for fishing, fossil hunting, rock pooling, and swimming. There is a beach café where you can take a bite or drink. You can take your dog for a walk here but note that dogs are not permitted from May to September.
Rest Bay Beach, Porthcawl
Rest bay is a stretch of golden sand and clean water, making it a magnificent view. It is on the outskirts of Porthcawl town and is backed by The Royal Porthcawl Golf club and low cliffs. Rest Bay is one of the best beaches in Cardiff for surfing and other water sports because the waves here are quite big. Wind and kite surfing are some of the activities the Cardiff beach is famous for.
Aside from watersports and surfing, the beach is also known for fishing, swimming, and exploring rock pools for marine life, making it an ideal vacation destination. There is a café on the beach where you can have a bite. Rest bay is also suitable for a picnic and a perfect place to relax on the warm sand sunbathing. Dogs are restricted here.
Pebble Beach, Barry
Pebble beach, also known as Cold Knap beach, is located around a mile from the main beach in Barry. The beach is a long stretch of steeply pebbles just like the name suggests and clear blue water making it a picturesque view. Some sands are, however, revealed at low tide.
This beach is not as famous as other beaches near Cardiff, making it a quiet spot, but it still gets busy during summer. You can see fascinating stone-carved structures here; if you love hiking, this stunning beach is also bordered by hilly hiking trails.
Pebble beach is perfect for swimming, surfing, sunbathing, fishing and fossil hunting, making it a great spot to have a day on the seaside with your family. There are restaurants and cafes near the beach where you can enjoy sumptuous sea foods. Dogs are not allowed on the beach from May to September.
Aberavon Beach, Glamorgan
The three miles of sandy beach is one of the longest beaches in Wales. The waves in Aberavon are so big, making it one of the best beaches near Cardiff for surfing. Regardless of the time of the year you visit this beach, there is a chance of catching some good waves.
Aside from surfing, Aberavon is also popular among walkers, joggers, and cyclists because of the two miles flat promenade backing it. The promenade forms a section of the Celtic Trail, part of the National Cycle network. You can also go for a walk with your furry friend here but note that they are restricted from May to September.
Sunbathing, paddle boarding, canoeing, and swimming are some of the other activities this beach offers. Remember to go with your bucket and spades because the soft golden sand is suitable for building an enormous sandcastle. The beach hosts some events during summer, including a famous beach festival.
Southerndown Beach, Glamorgan
Also known as Dunraven Bay, the predominantly sandy beach with rock exposed at high tide is one of the most beautiful beaches in Cardiff. There is so much to explore on this wonderful beach.
The beach is famous for swimming because of its beautiful blue water. It is also known for surfing and other watersports like canoeing. You can hunt fossils and explore rock pools here, as it is one of the best beaches in Cardiff for fossil hunting because it is rich in fossils.
The beach is ideal for a family’s day out on the beach because aside from swimming and rock pooling, you can also sunbathe, build sandcastles and take your dog for a walk, except from May to September when dogs are banned.
Dog-Friendly Beaches Near Cardiff
Bendricks Beach, Glamorgan
If you need a quiet beach in Cardiff, Bendricks is the ideal place. Bendricks bay is one of the lesser-known beaches near Barry. The sandy and rocky beaches are perfect for crabbing and rock exploring.
The beach is not much more than a rocky outcrop at high tides, but at low tide, a small section of sand and shingle is exposed. You can take a walk with your dog here as there are no dog restrictions all year round. There are no facilities, so remember to go with supplies you will most likely need.
Torbay Crawley Woods Beach (Tor Bay), Gower
Torbay is one of the beautiful secluded beaches near Cardiff that is accessed by foot. The charming sandy beach is flanked by spectacular rugged coastal cliffs and offers lovely views. The beach is not easy to access but provides a peaceful environment for people seeking a bit of privacy and a fantastic view.
Canoeing, surfing, and swimming are some of the activities you can engage in at this beach. However, beware of the strong rip tides along this stretch of the coast. It is also a perfect place to take your dog for a walk, as dogs are allowed all year.
Nash Point Beach
Nash point is a world of its own, and it is a large beach near Cardiff. It is mainly rocks, but some patches of sand are revealed at low tide. The cliffs around the beach are high, and the tower above the beach.
Nash point is one of the best beaches in Cardiff for fossil hunting and rock pooling. The beach is also suitable for people looking for a quiet, remote beach away from all the noise. You can take a walk here along the coastal path. Dogs are permitted so that you can go along with your furry friends.
The beach has limited facilities, but in summer, there is a small café where you can have a bite. Nash Point Lighthouse is near the beach; you can walk to it.
Swanlake Bay, Pembrokeshire
This beach requires some effort to access because you have to walk down the Pembrokeshire National Park Coastal Footpath. Although it requires a lot of effort, it is worth it, especially for people who need a quiet beach away from other busy Cardiff beaches. The clear blue water is a sight to behold.
The beach is never busy, and it is some kind of a hidden gem. Most of the beach is made of shingles, but a long expanse of sand is exposed at low tide. The beach is separated into two sections: an eastern part lined with golden sand with high cliffs and a western part covered with rock pools.
This beach is suitable for fishing, swimming, and rock pooling. You can also sunbathe and build sand castles here. Dogs are allowed all year round so that you can take your dog for a walk.
Sker beach, also known as Kenfig beach, is within Kenfig National Nature Reserve. The beach is one of the beaches near Cardiff that’s like a hidden gem. If you want adventure and a quiet place, this is an excellent place. This beach involves walking up and down dunes; you can access it from Kenfig National Nature Reserve Parking or Porthcawl Rest Bay beach by foot.
Sker is a long stretch of sandy beach that’s great for walking and dog walking as dogs are permitted all year round. You can also swim, sunbathe and build sand castles here. There are no facilities on the beach or nearby, so remember to go with supplies.
Where To Stay In Cardiff
Austins Guest House
Austin Guest House is an affordable guest house located in a top-rated area in Cardiff near the city center. The guest house is 300 m away from Cardiff castle. Many attraction centers are close to the guest house, making it a perfect place to stay if you want to explore Cardiff. Cardiff Bay, Principality Stadium, Bute Park, Cardiff National Museum & Gallery, National Museum Cardiff, and River Taff are some attractions near the Guest house. The guest house provides all the necessary facilities to make your stay comfortable.
Cardiff Marriott Hotel
Cardiff Marriott is a premium hotel located in an excellent area in Cardiff’s City center. The hotel offers continental and buffet breakfast. The hotel is located near many attractions center in Cardiff, including Cardiff Castle, the Millennium Stadium, Cardiff bay, River Taff, etc. The rooms are large and stylishly decorated with 24 hours room service.
There is an onsite restaurant, a fitness club / Gym, and a lounge. If you are looking to experience nightlife in Cardiff after a day on the beach, this hotel is just a few minutes’ walks from the vibrant nightlife of St Mary’s street.
Park Plaza Cardiff
Park Plaza is a Luxury Hotel located in the heart of Cardiff. This hotel is just 5 minutes from Cardiff Castle and Cardiff’s St Davids 2 shopping Center. Other attraction centers like the Principality Stadium, River Taff, and Cardiff National Museum & gallery are a few minutes away, making it the best location if you want to explore Cardiff.
The hotel offers stylish rooms that are well designed with a garden view. There is an indoor pool and a gym. The hotel also boasts of a Spa that provides a wide variety of Pevonia treatments. You get a good morning breakfast from the kitchen serving both local and internal cuisine. There is also a bar and a terrace where you can enjoy your meal.
Enjoying The Best Beaches In and Near Cardiff
Cardiff has access to some of the most beautiful beaches that offer the most incredible seaside experience you want. Regardless of what you’re looking for, there are beaches in Cardiff that will meet your need.
From the busy to the quiet, stunning, hidden gems and dog-friendly beaches, there are many options. You can escape to any of these beautiful beaches to relax and spend some time by the sea.