Cardiff is a great city with something happening on every corner, but if you’re after a seaside break with a relaxing beach and beautiful water, it isn’t always the place you want to be. So here are the best beaches near Cardiff so that you can choose your favourite sandy spot to hang out.
1. Penarth Beach
How far from Cardiff? 5.7 miles
Penarth is the closest seaside to Cardiff. It is a small town with a quaint pier and shingle beach, and it is perfect for long seafront walks, picnics, or exploring the town itself. It isn’t a hotspot for swimmers, but there is nothing stopping you from taking a dip in the cool sea whilst you’re there!
2. Barry Beach/Whitmore Bay Beach
How far from Cardiff? 10.1 miles
Barry Beach, a.k.a Whitmore Bay Beach, is based on the famed Barry Island (which, weirdly enough, isn’t actually an island!). Barry Island has attracted visitors from across the country for over 150 years, and Barry Beach is one reason why. It has golden beaches, cafes, Instagrammable promenades, and amusements just waiting for you to enjoy!
3. Jackson’s Bay
How far from Cardiff? 10.5 miles
Jackson’s Bay is also on Barry Island, but it is a less commercialised beach for those looking for comfort and peace and quiet. It is a pleasant cove that backs onto gorgeous cliffs and lush greenery. It’s popular with the locals, so don’t head there thinking you’ll have the beach to yourself, but there’ll definitely be fewer screaming children and excitable families.
4. Dunraven Bay/Southerndown Beach
How far from Cardiff? 27.5 miles
Dunraven Bay, sometimes called Southerndown Beach after the nearest village, is a much loved small-ish sandy beach. It is just a stone’s throw away from Dunraven Gardens, a beautiful set of gardens that are great to visit before or after you’ve had your fill on the seafront. The beach also has a sandy beach, a large car park, and is a great place to fossil hunt for those interested.
5. Coney Beach/Sandy Bay
How far from Cardiff? 32.6 miles
This wide and sandy sloping beach is nearby to lots of incredible amusements, including a holiday park! It is a beloved surfing and swimming spot, and there are rockpools toward the eastern end of the beach. There is a harbour and a lighthouse at the other end of the beach, as well as shops, a museum, and plenty to do just behind the harbour.
6. Sker Beach
How far from Cardiff? 31.4 miles
Sker Beach is just up from Sandy Bay in Porthcawl, and is a long sandy beach. It is so long, in fact, that it is very rarely crowded, despite being busy quite often. It is a popular spot for surfers, but it has also been known to be a popular spot for naturists – so watch out! For history fans or those interested in all things spooky, at low tide, a shipwreck becomes visible.
7. Cwm Nash Beach/Monknash Beach
How far from Cardiff? 24.2 miles
Cwm Nash or Monknash Beach backs onto some truly incredible dramatic cliff faces and is a beautiful stretch of sandy beach with little rockpools dotted along the coast. The beach is beautiful and has great views, especially at sunrise and sunset. It is also a coastal site of specific scientific interest!
Looking for more things to do in Cardiff? Check out our picks of the best hidden gems in Cardiff.