A Spotlight on the Havens
Explore the four beaches at the Havens, each ideal for family days out.
If you’re visiting the west coast of Pembrokeshire, you’re likely to venture to the Havens, a collection of villages overlooking St Brides Bay. Starting with the most northern, you will pass through Nolton Haven then Druidston Haven, followed by Broad Haven and finally Little Haven. Whether you’re choosing to walk the 4 and a half miles along the Coastal Path or drive along the coastal roads, you are guaranteed to spot some beautiful views over the Welsh seas.
Each of these four beaches are wonderful sandy beaches and make ideal locations for days with the family. All four are backed by villages complete with a coastal pub(s) perfect for a hearty lunch or refreshing drink after a day building sandcastles with the little ones.
Nolton and Broad Haven are the two most suitable for watersports, so much so that you can find centres to hire equipment in the villages. Head to these beaches with friends, hire yourself a board or kayak, and paddle out into the shores. Both beaches are also ideal if you fancy a day swimming, you can rest easy knowing you’re safe doing so as you will find lifeguards stationed at both Nolton and Broad Haven during the summer months.
Druidston and Little Haven are the smaller of the four but still just as stunning. Druidston is a favourite for local horse riders who trek down through the woodland and enjoy a saunter along the sand at dusk, an experience many add to their Pembrokeshire bucket lists. Little Haven is a more cove-like beach with a slipway for boats; at low tide you can enjoy the walk along the sand to Broad Haven. For views across the whole of St Brides Bay and further beyond, take the short uphill walk to The Point at Little Haven (past The Swan Inn) – make sure to take along a camera as it’s a view you’re sure to want to share with everyone at home.
All four beaches are dog-friendly all year round, the only one with a partial dog restriction is Broad Haven beach. During the summer months between 1st May and 30th September, stick to the left half of the beach (as you walk onto it from the promenade) and you’ll be fine.
Broad Haven and the Pembrokeshire Coast Path
What To Do
Typical beach-side activities are must when visiting the Havens. Make sure to come loaded up with buckets and spades for your sandcastle-building days, and don’t forget your swimming costume by any means. For the children, why not explore the rock pools along these beaches and see what sea creatures there are to be found?
As mentioned above, St Brides Bay is ideal for watersports. Take to the waves and try your hand at surf-boarding or steer your kayak through the shores. On calm days, head into the waters with your paddleboard or have a go at kitesurfing on those windier days.
Paddleboarding is a great option from any of the Havens
From each of these villages, you’re in a great position to join the Pembrokeshire Coastal Path – a truly magnificent activity for all. From this area on a clear day, you should be able to see some of the neighbouring islands such as Ramsey and Skomer, Carn Llidi in the St Davids peninsula and more.
Where to Eat
Little Haven, the picturesque old fishing village, boasts three pubs plus two delightful cafes. The Castle Inn overlooking the beach is popular with families and dog owners, as dogs are allowed in non-carpeted areas. You can often catch live music or special events at this pub too. The Swan Inn on the hill offers cosy dining experiences in their upstairs restaurant whilst the St Brides Inn offers a friendly atmosphere whether you’re popping in for a quick drink or a spot of lunch.
As for cafes, you can pay a visit to the Cornerhouse Café for freshly baked breads, hot coffee and Pembrokeshire-made ice cream. Open all year round, the Cornerhouse also hosts homemade Pizza Nights throughout the high season. Tucked away in the heart of the village just a short walk from the beach, you will find Lobster and Mor – a must for an foodie. As the name suggests, this café offers lobster rolls and crab sandwiches along with a range of hot drinks, alcoholic beverages, sweet snacks, and soft drinks. What makes this a stand-out café is not only can you eat in or takeaway, you can pop by and purchase a fresh lobster. Choose yours live from the tank or ask for one just-prepared, either way the seafood fan in you will not be disappointed.
At Broad Haven, you can visit The Galleon Inn opposite the slipway. Choose the relaxed bar setting downstairs which is dog friendly, or reserve a table at the Sunset View Steak and Seafood Restaurant upstairs. Tuck in to classic pub dishes in the bar or explore a more contemporary menu in the restaurant.
The Ocean Café Bar and Restaurant further along the seafront is popular whether you’re looking for breakfast, lunch or dinner; or even just for a coffee and cake after an adventure-filled day. It’s also a fantastic place to enjoy a glass of wine. Thursdays are often The Ocean’s Quiz Nights, and you can catch most sports games on the TV with their Sky Sports subscription.
There is also the Sunshine Italian located opposite the promenade, plus The Bay Café next to Haven Sports near the car park and the Beach Café, an ideal place to pick up a bag of chips to share whilst watching the sunset.
The Druidston Hotel is located on the top of the cliff allowing for incredible views across the bay. Book a table in the quirky restaurant or attend one of their regular Feast Nights where you can indulge in a buffet of dishes in-keeping with their chosen theme. In Nolton is the Mariners Inn, a conveniently placed pub just opposite the beach making it an obvious choice for refreshments during a day at the beach.