Barafundle Bay in 30 clicks

Welcome travellers!

It is the middle of November, the coldest and rainiest period for the United Kingdom (Malta is always sunny so they don’t care!) yet the gloomy weather will not scare us, as we are still remembering those beautiful and warm days of summer! Such memories are worth keeping especially during the winter gloom when all you can think of is the hot tea and a warm bed.

After visiting Ogmore-by-Sea and Saundersfoot, we are moving up the splendid Pembrokshire Coast and today we will invite you to visit one of the most unspoilt beaches in the world. No, we are absolutely not exaggerating at any point – Barafundle Bay has been called the Pearl of Wales, The Golden Beach and A Paradise on Earth. It has won several international awards for its wild beauty including Seaside Award (Rural) 2013, Green Coast Award 2013, Best Beach in Wales online award (voting took place in 2014), Best Beach in Britain (according to The Good Holiday Guide), Best place in the United Kingdom for a picnic (Country Life Magazine, 2006) and has been featured several times in Top Ten Beaches in the World by several magazines and tourist websites (Trip Advisor, Time Magazine, BBC and others). Do you need more encouragement? We didn’t think so!

Barafundle Bay is usually described as “remote, slightly curved, east-facing sandy beach” that lies between the Stackpole Quay and Broadhaven South on Pembrokeshire Coast Path, the only coastal natural reserve in the United Kingdom. It is one of several beaches that were part of the famous Stackpole Estate. This magnificent Georgian and Victorian country estate measured 24 kilometers and belonged to the richest family in Britain – the earls of Cawdors. The grand Stackpole Court has been sadly demolished in 1960, but even today the entire estate will amaze anyone who comes there. Right now it is a listed designed landscape and an internationally important nature reserve with cliffs, rock pools, wild lakes, semi natural woodland, remains of English and vegetable gardens (so called walled gardens), sand dunes and lily ponds. We will write about the estate in a separate entry in the future – we still haven’t visited all the right places and we want to write a proper, detailed review!

Sherlock fans should pay a special attention to Barafundle Bay – it is one of Benedict Cumberbatch’s favourite places in the world and it played an important part in a move called “Third star”. It is an independent production and we didn’t like it that much, but you can clearly see how much Mr Cumberbatch enjoyed being there! The movie was completed in 2009 and is widely available on DVD and Blu-ray. You can purchase a copy at Amazon:

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Third-Star-DVD-Benedict-Cumberbatch/dp/B0058ILL2K

Getting to the remote beach can be a bit of a problem. The only car park is at Stackpole Quay, nearly a mile away and you will have to pay five pounds per day. This is a standard fee for all National Trust managed places in the area so it is cheaper to join the National Trust than to pay a fiver every time you want to park somewhere. You can also walk to the beach from Broadhaven South, but the path is much more difficult – 3 miles of climbing the lime stones and dragging yourself through the sand almost feels like completing the London Marathon. We recommend parking at the Stackpole Quey and walking through the woodland and sand dunes. There is also a different path that leads through the cliffs and you can take some fantastic pictures from the top. Be careful when you are near the edge as there are no barriers and few unfortunate travelers met their end after falling down. Once you reach the beach, you will have the privilege of walking through a small gate that has been constructed for John Campbell, 1st Baron Cawdor. At the end, there is small stone staircase with 54 steps leading straight to the sandy shore. Let’s not forget that for nearly 200 years, Barafundle Bay has been a private beach and it has been protected by a guardsmen!

1.

Barafundle Bay

Barafundle Bay

2.

Entrance to the beach

Entrance to the beach

3.

Barafundle Bay as seen from the cliffs

Barafundle Bay as seen from the cliffs

4.

Green fields and blue sky - Wales at its best

Green fields and blue sky – Wales at its best

5.

I can't go down to the water's edge

I can’t go down to the water’s edge

6.

Water is crystal clear but you wouldn't want to fall down!

Water is crystal clear but you wouldn’t want to fall down!

7.

Sharp cliffs and hidden riffs make the Barafundle Bay a dangerous place to swim

Sharp cliffs and hidden riffs make the Barafundle Bay a dangerous place to swim

8.

There are small caves in the cliffs, but you cannot get there from the top - you will have to hire a rowing boat

There are small caves in the cliffs, but you cannot get there from the top – you will have to hire a rowing boat

9.

The views from the top are stunning

The views from the top are stunning

10.

It doesn't matter which direction you look to - the entire bay looks beautiful and wild

It doesn’t matter which direction you look to – the entire bay looks beautiful and wild

  11.

Let's get down...to the beach. You can reach the sandy beach by going down 52 stone stairs

Let’s get down…to the beach. You can reach the sandy beach by going down 52 stone stairs

12.

The beach photographed from the stairs

The beach photographed from the stairs

13.

It was a lovely warm day, but as you can see nobody was brave enough to swim - the water was dreadfully cold

It was a lovely warm day, but as you can see nobody was brave enough to swim – the water was dreadfully cold

14.

We weren't afraid to let our feet get wet

We weren’t afraid to let our feet get wet

15.

Barafundle Beach is considered one of the most beautiful beaches in Wales - here's a proof!

Barafundle Beach is considered one of the most beautiful beaches in Wales – here’s a proof!

16.

Blue Jellyfish is common sight in Wales - this one was  sadly dead

Blue Jellyfish is common sight in Wales – this one was sadly dead

17.

Owrd of advice - don't touch the jellyfish that has been washed on the beach. They can still sting. It will not be strong but the sensation is not pleasurable

Word of advice – don’t touch the jellyfish that has been washed on the beach. They can still sting. It will not be strong but the sensation is not pleasurable

18.

Rocks located near the shore - you can sit on them watching the waves come and go

Rocks located near the shore – you can sit on them watching the waves come and go

19.

And the other end of the beach - even more rocks!

And the other end of the beach – even more rocks!

20.

Sand dunes between the Stackpole Estate and Barafundle Bay

Sand dunes between the Stackpole Estate and Barafundle Bay

21.

Narrow path leading to the beach from the dunes

Narrow path leading to the beach from the dunes

22.

The sandy road goes on and on

The sandy road goes on and on

23.

Thick grass growing on sand dunes - it is so sharp that it will cut through your skin

Thick grass growing on sand dunes – it is so sharp that it will cut through your skin

24.

Wild blackberry bush growing near the steps to the beach

Wild blackberry bush growing near the steps to the beach

25.

Barafundle Bay is known for its  diverse flora - poison ivy is a common sight growing among the rocks

Barafundle Bay is known for its diverse flora – poison ivy is a common sight growing among the rocks

27.

We don't know the name of this plant but it is very popular around the beach. Anybody knows what it is?

We don’t know the name of this plant but it is very popular around the beach. Anybody knows what it is?

28.

Safety first

Safety first

29.

Beach again - empty at the end of the day

Beach again – empty at the end of the day

30.

Early evening  - it's been a long day!

Early evening – it’s been a long day!

You can learn more about this amazing place by reading the following articles:

Visit Pembrokeshire: http://www.visitpembrokeshire.com/explore-pembrokeshire/beaches/barafundle-bay/
National Trust: http://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/article-1356400537038/
Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Barafundle_Bay
Pembrokshire Council: http://www.pembrokeshire.gov.uk/content.asp?nav=101,100&id=13343
BBC News: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/wales/south_west/4761873.stm
Trip Advisor: http://www.tripadvisor.co.uk/Attraction_Review-g1474995-d481159-Reviews-Barafundle_Beach-Stackpole_Pembroke_Pembrokeshire_Wales.html
Wales Online: http://www.walesonline.co.uk/lifestyle/20-best-beaches-wales-2013-2573728

We will hang around the Stackpole Estate a bit longer and take you to Broadhaven South next. Stay tuned for another amazing collection of beautiful pictures and clicks! Have a fantastic day!

Rita and Malicia Dabrowicz

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