Four Great Welsh Beachside Pubs
Since spring very much in the air, and summer winking at us over the horizon’s edge, its beginning to look like the time of year when after a coastal run, or a surf in the sun, an outdoor tipple by the beach could be a perfect way to end the day. With over four hundred and fifty miles of coastline, it’s pretty clear why the coastal pub is a Welsh institution, but that can make things difficult as much as it can make them fun. Sifting through the seas of traditional sounding names and swamps of commercial outdoor furniture to find the actually good places to stop and settle in for the evening can be tricky. So here’s a selection of four of the best coast-side pubs and bars along the western welsh beach heads and natural harbours.
The Sloop Inn, Porthgain
Anywhere within sight of the ramp running down into the harbour has the sea stitched into its sinews. The Sloop in supposedly dates back to the times of George III and when you could tell the time by how many ships you could see in the middle distance. Renovations in the 1990s brought this place up to more modern standards, and coupled with a nicely furnished pub garden, the Sloop Inn makes a great place to take in the sea under some shade after a day of surfing.
The Worm’s Head Hotel, Rhossili
In a lot of ways, sometimes it can be hard to pick one of these pubs from another, especially since the selections of beers/ales/lagers etc become more and more samey in many places. Microbreweries and specialist options obviously can be found too, but sometimes what makes a beachside pub and its garden truly special is the view. The Worm’s Head hotel pulls no punches here. The jagged jutting pillar of the Worm’s Head point is the kind of thing you just want to gaze out at and imagine all kinds of things about. It becomes an island at high tide, so depending on how long you stay out here, you can relax after a hard afternoon’s exercise and watch with wonder as the coast changing shape.
The Ship Inn, Tresaith
The last two places we’ve mentioned might have been great coasts to sit and look out at, and good seas for paddle-boarding or surfing, but a long sandy beach for running along often simply can’t be beaten. The Ship Inn is set back into the sheltered and pleasantly sandy beaches of Tresaith Bay, a place that some writers and travellers have previously referred to as Wales’s answer to Brighton. When you’ve got a cliffside waterfall alongside it, it’s almost like nature was busy working away to make somewhere for running, surfing, and the kind of dramatic vistas in the background that you’d normally only get in something from Hollywood, or the higher budget offices of the BBC. The surrounding town has lost little of its village atmosphere, and the Ship Inn was one of the only two structures that has stood in this spot since the mid nineteenth century. After you’ve enjoyed the local surf, this is a great place to stop and take in the local sights. If you have a particularly careful eye, you could even be lucky enough to see a bottle nosed dolphin or two.
The Druidstone, Broad Haven
The view out across the St Bride’s bay is more than enough to make you stop and stare, and if you’re doing that anyway, then the Druidstone is the perfect place to make your stop one to fill up and relax. Filling up is something that will probably be high on your to do list here, since the Druidstone has managed to make its way into the Good Food Guide every single year since the time of Harold Wilson, Bagpuss, and Lord Lucan’s mysterious vanishing, otherwise known as 1974.
The coastal pub is something intrinsic and special to Wales, and well worth enjoying as part of a good days R & R. Great views, good food, and wonderful gardens. All the kinds of things one would expect from God’s Own Country.