1. Barafundle Bay, Pembrokeshire, Wales
Best for Braving the chill for a sheltered dip in crystal-clear water.
Yet another award-winning beach for Wales, Barafundle Bay caught the globe’s attention when it was named among the best in the world. After walking the pretty half-mile route from Stackpole Quay, visitors will find a picture-perfect beach, where small turquoise waves lap on a crescent of sand. The sheltered cove is the perfect swimming spot, while the Pembrokeshire Coast Path offers more routes for the keen rambler. For refreshments with an added feel-good factor, visit the tea room at the Stackpole Walled Gardens (a ten-minute drive away). This community garden and farm provides work experience and training to people with learning disabilities.
Need to know Bring everything you need and take it back with you – there are no facilities on site. And be sure to check the tide times and leave in plenty of time to avoid getting stranded.
Get there Closest train station is Lamphey, a 13-minute drive away.
Stay here If picturesque country pubs are your vibe, book a room at The Stackpole Inn. Downstairs, the restaurant is warmed by a log fire and serves the likes of Welsh-reared steaks with locally sourced produce. Upstairs, bedrooms are modern and cosy and include an unmissable traditional Welsh breakfast.