Amroth Beach (Telpyn), Pembrokeshire, Wales.
Open sea, tidal east facing beach sitting along the shores of Carmarthen Bay. Big pebbles and rocky at high tide gives way to a mile long stretch of sand at low tide. Quaint seaside village with an array of shops, cafes and pubs make for a mellow and pleasant feel. Even though Saundersfoot and Tenby and close by (with Pendine to the east) Amroth doesn’t feel super busy even during peak times.
SUP conditions vary depending on the time of year and weather. Summer is usually flat with Amroth offering a flat water paddling haven that one windless days, without a breath of wind, can resemble somewhere much more exotic. During high season the water’s warm and pleasant with an abundance of sea life to observe, Watch out for jellyfish that float in from the deep and can reach significant sizes! Dolphins have been spotted here with plenty of fish jumping as well.
Low tide drops back from the large bank of pebbles and various groynes dotted along the beach. This is when most paddlers/people frequent Amroth for all sorts of beach games and watersports frolics. It’s a holiday destination for many with beachfront accommodation running alongside the sand. Even so, it never feels overrun (and that’s based on a visit during a particularly sunny and hot August Bank Holiday weekend – Saundersfoot was much more bombed out for instance.
During autumn and winter, it’s possible to get SUPable waves breaking along the shore of Amroth. In front of the village there’s a reef/beach type set up with the seabed becoming sandier the further east you head. It should be noted that if any swell’s running, and high tide’s filling the bay then you can get quite a hefty shorebreak. Avoid this if possible as it makes put ins and get out tricky.
With brisk easterly winds the whole of Amroth becomes a choppy, mushy mess that’s best left alone. There’s plenty of choice for stand up paddle boarding in the area. You can always find somewhere sheltered if it’s too windy.
As mentioned Amroth’s high tide shore dump can be fierce. Add to the mix those large slippery pebbles and rocks and it can be quite hazardous trying to launch with SUP under and paddle in hand. The pebbles during the best of times can cause ankle twists and leg sprains if you’re not concentrating!
Groynes and sea defences need to be steered clear of, again, during high tides. Rocks at either end of the beach will also ding boards and bodies without due care and attention paid. And the area around the river run off can get quite sharp underfoot so best to keep clear.
Fishermen at times should be given a wide birth as their lines will get snagged on your board/paddle. There’s a degree of boat traffic sometimes with small motor launches coming close to shore. Mostly these won’t come into shallow water though. Other than that there are plenty of other paddlers making use of Amroth Beach when it’s flat. Some of these are beginners so keep out of the way.
Should you choose to paddle under the cliffs and investigate the caves to the east its worth be aware of falling stones and debris from the cliff face. Some of these can be large chunks that you wouldn’t want landing in your or your SUP kit!
Access to Amroth is from either the western or east ends. Both ways you descend narrow, winding country roads that make passing other vehicles tricky – especially if you drive a large car or van. Once down next to the sea it’s a simple act of finding a car parking space. Some restrictions are in place so don’t get caught out and fined! There’s a car park behind the Amroth Arms and other spaces that you may snag if lucky overlooking the water.
It’s possible to walk between Wiseman’s Bridge, Coppet Hall and Saundersfoot at low tide. Just know the tide times and avoid getting cut off.
Amroth isn’t quite as popular as its westerly brethren and easterly beach of Pendine. If it’s too hectic at any of these other spots then Amroth may provide you some respite – for stand up paddle boarding or relaxing.
Two pubs serving food and accommodation – self catering apartments/houses, B&Bs – cafes, beach shops and coffee shops are plentiful in Amroth. It’s not too much but there’s certainly enough choice in the village. Carp parks and toilet facilities are also available.
Head inland a few minutes and there are a few pubs and eateries to choose from. Alternatively head to the small town of Narberth where you’ll find even more. Or go the other way for the Saundersfoot and Tenby experience. The latter being a noted seaside town that all manner of visitors flock to.
Amroth Beach isn’t noted as being a particularly stunning spot yet it has charm and can provide a solace during busy period away from the crowds. Plus, it’s pretty easy on the eye regardless. Low tide is when you’ll find an abundance of usable sand whereas high tide is still doable from SUP when it’s flat.
There are a few interesting rock/cliff/sea caves to explore in the east. Just watch the falling rocks and avoid fisherman who occupy this end. Back towards the village you have a mile or so worth of recreational paddle space that’s good for a float. Amroth is also great as for kids and beginners (after high tide) and without swell in attendance. If you do find a wave here then it’s a pretty mellow type and perfect for learning the ropes of SUP surfing. Occasionally, on big winter swells, Amroth can turn on and serve up some rippable A-frames. It’s also good for SUP, surf or wing foiling if conditions are right.
Amroth Beach can be a good place if you fancy some touring SUP action. Put in at the east end of the beach before paddling towards Tenby. With a number of stop offs along the way it’s a relatively simply touring SUP route. The only tricky element being the headland of Monkstone Point you’ll need to round to actually get in to Tenby. There are strong current here and with any kind of swell of wind these can be exacerbated. Monkstone Point itself can throw up a wave that’s rideable on very rare swells. Any stand up paddler with experience, however, should be able to tick off the route on the right day with favourable conditions.
For any paddler with skills, and a penchant for downwinders, Amroth can also be a fantastic place to complete the same route as mentioned above but with bumps in the mix. Obviously you need to be fully up for the task and have relevant experience. You’ll be on your own so being able to cope is key!
Wave heads visiting this part of Wales should definitely keep their eyes peeled. Some of the beaches next to Amroth can chuck up a peak, even when Amroth itself isn’t working. And then, of course, you have the noted locations of Freshwater West, Manorbier, Marloes Sands, Broadhaven, Newgale and Whitesand within a short drive. Even without surf these spots can be worth a visit as paddling in Pembrokeshire is a suitably sublime experience, offering plenty of versatility and choice depending on your SUP experience, wants and needs.
Don’t forget to check out all the other McConks bitesize SUP travel guides via the links below –