For an award-winning, Caribbean-style beach in Wales, look no further than Barafundle Bay in Pembrokeshire. The beach forms part of the Stackpole Estate, which used to be owned by the Cawdor family of Stackpole Court, but is now managed by the National Trust. About 200 m (656.1 ft) in length, this east-facing sandy beach is set between sheltering limestone cliffs, framed inland by pine trees and sand dunes, and looks out onto the Irish Sea.
Accessibility is almost as limited as the days when it was the private beach of the Cawdor family – it can only be reached by a half mile walk from the nearest car park, and much of this is down steep steps. While this makes it rather less family-friendly, those able to make the trek will be delighted to find it offers a place to escape the crowds, even at the height of the season. The price you’ll pay for the relative seclusion is a lack of on-beach facilities – come prepared, or at least prepared for a walk back over the cliffs for anything you’ve forgotten.
Further inland, Stackpole Court has unfortunately long since been demolished, but the site itself is a listed designed landscape, meaning that many of the original features are still visible. Explore the network of footpaths to see the Eight Arch Bridge, a summer house and a walled garden. The land is also an internationally important nature reserve with a wildlife habitat noted for its otters, waterbirds and dragonflies.