Saundersfoot is situated close to the seaside resorts of Tenby and Amroth on the beautiful south Pembrokeshire coast in South Wales. With its beautiful harbour and several beaches Saundersfoot remains one of the most popular seaside resorts in Pembrokeshire. With a total of six beaches all offering something different, visitors will be spoilt for choice whilst visiting this delightful seaside village. Almost all the beaches are Blue Flag and indeed in 2003, 26 of Pembrokeshire's beaches were awarded a “Tidy Britain Group Seaside” award. Whether you preference is "messing about in boats", lazing on sandy beaches or taking energetic walks along the coastal paths you will find plenty to entertain you in wonderful Saudersfoot.
Saundersfoot village centre has plenty to offer. There are several craft and antique shops to while away an hour or two while browsing, as well as a few florist shops dotted about the village! There are also plenty of places to sit and relax whilst having a bite to eat. There are several tea rooms, including Silver Strand located ideally on The Strand, and the Village Wine Shop is ideal for who want a quiet drink whilst taking in the spectacular views of the beaches. For convenience, there is also the HSBC bank and a Spar store located within the village centre.
Elsewhere, you will find cafes, restaurants, ice cream parlours, and many more facilities within Saundersfoot. For market enthusiasts there is the Saundersfoot Country Market, held at The Captain's Table along the Harbour, every Thursday morning. Established 17 years ago, the market now sells all sorts from craft work, preserves, eggs, plants and baked produce. Always popular with residents and tourists alike.
As a National Park, Pembrokeshire has more Seaside Award and Blue Flag beaches than any other county not just in Wales but the whole of Britain, making Saundersfoot one of the most beautiful places to visit. In 2003, an incredible 26 of the local Pembrokeshire beaches succeeded in qualifying for the “Tidy Britain Group Seaside” award! In all, there are six beaches associated with Saundersfoot, giving you a wide choice from sandy beach to rocky cove.
Saundersfoot Main Beach: This beach is highly recommended to be visited during the summer months, where on clear days there are beautiful views across the bay towards the Gower peninsula. With miles of glistening golden sand, Saundersfoot Main Beach remains an attractive and popular family beach. As it is a family beach, there is a dog ban in place from May until September. If you are the owner of dogs however, there is an entrance pathway from The Strand down towards a tunnel on the beach where the dog ban ends, and anywhere from here onwards towards Coppet Hall beach accepts dogs on its sands.
Coppet Hall Beach: It is believed by many that this beach derives its name from 'Coal Pit Hall', from the times when Saundersfoot was an industrial and coaling area. This small beach, with pebbles at the high-tide line, adjoins the Saundersfoot Main Beach but provides a quieter spot ideal for couples young and old, or parents who want a small break away from the kids for a few hours!
Glen Beach: Again a quieter beach, Glen Beach can be reached via The Harbour and has a spectacular background of wooded cliffs. If you are only visiting Saundersfoot for a few hours and fancy trying out at least one of the beaches, Glen Beach must be it. With its cool golden sand and small rock pools towards the harbour end, it appeals to many who wander down to its shores.
Wiseman's Bridge: At low tide, you can walk from Wiseman's Bridge to the neighbouring beaches of Coppet Hall and Saundersfoot Main Beach. With a pebble and stone bank, this sandy beach is a perfect retreat from the hustle and bustle of Saundersfoot Main and even has its own claim to fame. In 1944, this particular beach was used for Normandy D-day landing rehearsals and Winston Churchill was often in attendance.
Amroth Beach: Amroth is a seaside village located just four miles from Saundersfoot itself, yet its narrow seafront stretches for miles and is easily accessible via Saundersfoot. It is a fabulous beach to visit for both families and anglers, even in more dangerous weather conditions, where the breakwaters protect the village from the rough seas and storms.
Monkstone Beach: Monkstone Beach is one of the less frequented beaches, partly due to the steep steps which lead down to it. Alternatively you can also access the headland via the coastal path between Saundersfoot and Tenby, or head along the B4316 road near to Trevayne Farm, next to the turn-off for New Hedges. Although the beach has no amenities, the incredible views over Tenby and Caldey are enough to attract visitors.
As a seaside resort, there are plenty of attractions in Saundersfoot, Of course, with its six beaches, aquatics and water sports are high on the agenda of attractions! Boat trips are regularly run from The Harbour for fishing purposes and viewing the coastline. However, other boat trips include watching the marine wildlife, including seals, and a variety of birds. Other water activites found in Saundersfoot include swimming and deep sea and mackerel fishing, as well as powerboat rides. There is also the infamous New Years Day Swim within Saundersfoot which is sponsored by local activities.
If aquatics or boat trips are not enticing enough for you, there are plenty of walking activities also to be found in Saundersfoot. 'The Miners' Walk', of which a leaflet and map of are available from the Tourist Information Centre found in the Barbeque building along The Harbour, is a walk consisting of 10 miles, although there is a short walk of half the distance. Along the walk participants can experience the life of a miner during the 1800s and follow some of the trails of the old tramways and the route of the old steam trains past the local collieries towards the harbour. This is definitely one activity for all the family!
Sadly nothing remains these days of the mines, but the tramway which was used to transfer coal to and from Saundersfoot remains as a thoroughly fascinating part of The Coastal Path. If you wish to continue along the tram path it will eventually take you to Stepaside where some of the old ironworks can still be viewed today. In this direction will also be passing under the shadowy canopy of the trees in the woods besides Saundersfoot.
In the opposite direction you will eventually arrive at Tenby. Although not very far away, this one should be done by a keen hiker as there are several steep paths and sharp bends along the way, especially down into such little coves as Waterwynch.
Surprisingly for such a beautiful seaside resort Saundersfoot's history is tied up with the history of coal mining and the Industrial Revolution. As a coastal village, Saundersfoot was a prime coal mining area within Pembrokeshire for much of the 19th century. In 1829, the Saundersfoot harbour was built, transforming Saundersfoot from the tiny fishing village it had been previously to a successful industrial port exporting anthracite and coal by sea. At the time, Queen Victoria herself declared that only coal from Saundersfoot should be used for the first Royal Stream Yacht, primarily for the reason that it produced very little smoke yet gave great heat. With the building of the harbour and the opening of larger and deeper pits, a new rail network took coal to little known areas such as Begelly, Thomas Chapel, Bonvilles Court, and local areas such as Stepaside and Wiseman's Bridge. In total there were five coal chutes situated along the harbour, tipping the coal into the barges waiting to transport it to various towns and villages. Many of Saundersfoot's roads derive their names from its participation in the Industrial Revolution. For instance, Incline Way is an indication to the chore of moving the coal drams downhill towards the pits from the top of the incline.
Accommodation and Services
There are several hotels situated along the cliffs above the Saundersfoot Main beach, offering wonderful views over the village and out towards the bay. There are also many hotels and bed and breakfasts to be found in the village centre. Although these do not have the same beautiful views as those along the cliff tops, they are close to local amenities and may be a wiser option for older visitors who do not fancy the climb up the hill.
For something a little more independent, there are plenty of self-catering cottages and apartments, as well as larger family homes. Many share the same incredible views as the hotels as they are also situated along the cliff tops, yet several also have prestigious locations along the sea front.
If camping suits you best there are plenty of caravan parks and camping sites along the road to Tenby but there are also a few camping sites within the surrounding area of Saundersfoot.
Pubs in Saundersfoot are plentiful, including inns such as The Royal Oak along Wogan Ter, and The Hean Castle, both of which offer a warm and welcoming atmosphere where you can sit and relax during the evenings.