Southerndown Beach at sunset with surfer walking into the sea
Southerndown Beach at sunset with surfer walking into the sea

Glamorgan - Southerndown Beach

Catch a wave at Southerndown Beach

Located along the Glamorgan Heritage Coast, Southerndown (also known as Dunraven Bay) is a mostly sandy beach, sheltered by spectacular cliffs, with rocky areas exposed at high tide.

Because it's one of the Glamorgan Heritage Coast's crown jewels, and its popularity with both locals and visitors, this beach can get very crowded in the summer. The best season to visit is in winter, where you can enjoy the peace and quiet.

The steep "Liassic lime-stone" that is sandwiched between the shale in this area is breath-taking, but it's also very brittle and dangerous, so climbers need to be careful. Most of the rocky outcrops surrounding the high-tide mark are made of carboniferous limestone and are crammed with fossils from about 335 million years ago. Be careful of the effects the rocks can have on your board!

While the beach is relatively wide, the surfing area shrinks fast as the tide approaches high water, so you'll need to be careful when entering and leaving the water. There's also a nasty shore dump when the surf and tides are enormous, so ensure you have a lot of chance to leave the ocean or trust that the tide will subside a bit.

A concrete slipway that leads down to the water's edge is the best place to paddle out from halfway up. However, be aware that waves can and do break over this, and the tide stage determines where you can enter the water.

If you plan to park right near the beach then you'll need to pay for the privilege. Or, you can park at the top of the hill and walk down if you don't want to pay and you don't mind carrying your board a bit further.

There are toilets and a lifeguard station, which is staffed during the summer.

and, if you're taking a break from the waves, there are some lovely walks that can be taken up and over the headland to Monknash and Nash Point, where you can see North Devon across the Bristol Channel.