Sea Swimming at Manorbier, Pembrokeshire
What can be more dramatic than swimmimg at a locally renowned surfing breach in sight of an 12th century castle and 5000 year old burial chamber? That's exactly what you get when you go open water swimming at Manorbier! Without a doubt this makes for a unique and spectacular setting for sea swimming in the UK.
In addition there is a neolithic burial chamber on the south end of the beach, right next to the coast path, overlooking the bay. 5000 years of history all within walking distance of the beach.
The picturesque village has a few shops and pubs and even a train station.
Route MA-01 - Manorbier Bay
Manorbier Bay is easy to reach and is a fairly sheltered swim although it is a surfing beach and therefore does get its fair share of swells and surf.
The bay is deeper on the south side and shallows off towards the northern end to a rocky shoreline, around which care should be taken if there is a swell.
If you have time and want to do some freediving during your swim the rocky shoreline has some interesting rocks to explore underwater.
Distance: 2 - 2.5km
Duration: 40-60 mins
As this is a surfing beach and popular with the local surfers care should be taken to avoid getting in the way of the surfers and also being swept onto the rocks that line the northern end of the bay! Keep an eye out when you enter and leave the water.
Seals can often be seen in the water in September/October - if you can get close enough - it make for an unforgettable sight.
Waves and chop can get quite large, especially at the nothern end of the bay as it is more exposed than the neighbouring beach at Freshwater East. When exiting the water, especially when the surf is up, be prepared for some large waves, often 6 foot plus, and some exciting body surfing!
There is a large paid car park as you come down into Manorbier bay. There is also a smaller free car park on the road going out the other side of the bay but this is often used by the local surfers and can be hard to find a free spot.
There are no 'changing rooms' so sea swimmers can get changed by their cars and walk to the beach, which is just 2 minutes from the car parks.
There are no shops at the beach but there is an ice cream van at the main car park in the summer months. The shops in the village are a few minutes walk up the steep hill from the beach. The village also has a couple of pubs.
There are public toilets right near the beach at the main car park.
DogsThis beach is dog friendly year round - please clean up after your dog! There are bins on the beach and near the toilets to dispose of dog poo bags.