Porthcawl Beaches

Visiting the beaches at Porthcawl, nestled in the heart of South Wales, offers a unique blend of breathtaking scenery, rich heritage, and a variety of activities that cater to every beachgoer’s dream. This coastal town, with its picturesque views of the Bristol Channel, has a special charm that has attracted visitors for generations. From the tranquil sands of Rest Bay to the family-friendly atmosphere of Coney Beach, Porthcawl’s shores provide the perfect backdrop for a quintessentially British seaside experience.

We will take you through the seven Porthcawl Bays in order of West to East:

Sker Beach

Sker Beach (Kenfig Sands), Porthcawl, Bridgend
Sker Beach, also known as Kenfig Sands

Sker Beach is accessible only on foot and is praised for its unspoiled beauty and tranquillity. It’s a favourite among surfers and those looking for a peaceful beach experience away from the crowds.

Pink Bay

Pink Bay Beach, Porthcawl, Bridgend
Pink Bay

Known for its pebble beach that leads to firm sand and the unique pink marbling effect of the rocks in certain light conditions, Pink Bay is a hidden gem popular with birdwatchers, walkers, and surfers​​.

Rest Bay Beach

Rest Bay, Porthcawl, Bridgend
Rest Bay

Rest Bay, a favourite among surfers and nature enthusiasts, boasts expansive golden sands backed by rugged cliffs. Renowned for its consistent waves, it offers ideal conditions for surfing, regardless of one’s expertise. Surf schools dot the coastline, providing lessons for beginners eager to catch their first wave and for seasoned surfers looking to refine their skills. But it’s not just surfers drawn to Rest Bay; its natural beauty makes it a popular spot for walkers, rock pool explorers and those looking to escape the bustle of city life.

Porthcawl Town Beach

Porthcawl Town Beach, Bridgend
Porthcawl Town Beach

Overlooked by the Grand Pavilion Theatre, this rocky town beach is notable for its unique sand-coloured concrete steps, part of a flood defence scheme. Swimming is prohibited due to strong currents, but it’s an excellent spot for rock pooling and enjoying the seaside cafes.

The harbour sits at its eastern edge. Once the heart of Porthcawl’s economy, it is a picturesque spot for a stroll, lined with cafes and restaurants serving local delicacies.

Sandy Bay (Coney Beach)

Sandy Bay Beach, Porthcawl, Bridgend
Sandy Bay or Coney Beach

A broad sandy beach adjacent to the eastern promenade, Sandy Bay is particularly popular with families due to its proximity to the Coney Beach Pleasure Park. It offers excellent conditions for swimming, surfing, and sunbathing and is well-equipped with amenities​​.

This beach brings nostalgia with its classic British seaside vibe. Home to a funfair, amusement arcades, and traditional fish and chip shops, it provides endless entertainment for families. The sheltered bay ensures safe swimming conditions, making it an ideal spot for a dip in the sea or a leisurely paddle. As the sun sets, the promenade comes alive with the glow of arcade lights, echoing the laughter and joy that has filled the air for decades.

Trecco Bay

Trecco Bay, Porthcawl, Bridgend
Trecco Bay

Recognized with a Blue Flag award, Trecco Bay is celebrated for its cleanliness and water quality. Although there are no public facilities directly on the beach, the nearby holiday park provides a variety of amenities​​.

Newton Beach

Newton Bay Black Rock beach, Porthcawl, Mid Glamorgan
Newton Beach

This beach stretches from the town of Newton to the mouth of the River Ogmore. It’s known for its sand and rocky stretches, making it ideal for quiet walks. Despite its popularity, Newton Beach often offers a more secluded atmosphere compared to other beaches in Porthcawl​​.

Merthyr Mawr Sand Dunes

Bridgend, South Wales
Merthyr Mawr Sand Dunes

We have listed this here, but it is not strictly a beach. The sand dunes at Merthyr Mawr are the second highest in Europe and show off various stages of development, from bare sand to areas of dune woodland and scrub. 

Visiting Porthcawl’s beaches offers more than just a day at the seaside. Whether riding the waves at Rest Bay, enjoying the amusements at Coney Beach, exploring the coastal path, or delving into the town’s rich cultural offerings, Porthcawl encapsulates the enduring appeal of the Welsh coast. Whether you’re planning a day trip or a more extended stay, Porthcawl’s beaches promise memorable experiences amidst the natural beauty of South Wales.

For more information, see our Porthcawl Destination Guide.