Pendine (Pentywyn - "end of the dunes”) is a coastal village on Carmarthen Bay. There are two parts to the settlement: the old hill-top around the parish church, and the small harbour village on the shore. The latter developed into a small seaside resort during the 20th century.
The spectacular straight stretch of Pendine Sands is one of the longest beaches in the UK at just over 7 miles. The world land speed record was broken here five times in the 1920s. Most famously, Malcolm Campbell set the record in his V12 Sunbeam Bluebird during the autumn of 1924.
J. G. Parry-Thomas then became his rival and the two men vied for supremacy until Parry-Thomas rolled the car and killed himself in 1927 whilst trying to beat Campbell's new record of 175 mph. So shocking was the tragedy that the car, named Babs, in which he made this attempt was left to rot in the sands but was excavated and fully restored in 1969 and is now housed in the local Pendine Museum of Speed.
The Vintage Hot Rod Association organises a weekend of racing on the sands during the summer and you can go along to watch. Dates depend on tide.
Amy Johnson also took advantage of the long, firm expanse of sand to take off on her nonstop flight to the USA in 1933.
Pendine beach and foreshore are owned by the MOD, so part of the beach is often used for firing practice. The prohibited area is cordoned off and marked with flags, cones and public safety sign. There is a calendar of forthcoming activity on the QinetiQ website but there is always a possibility of rescheduling due to operational requirements or weather conditions.
Carmarthenshire Land Sailing Club is allowed to use the beach for wind traction activities, including land sailing, kite buggying and kite land boarding.
A Walk around the Headland
At low tide it is possible to walk along the shore to Morfa Bychan, a small sandy beach which is generally safe for swimming – except near the cliffs. If you feel like a walk, drive to the top of the hill from Pendine and park near the junction with the Amroth road. Then take the bridleway which starts on the west side of the road about 60 metres south of the bus shelter. Walk down the wooded valley, keeping to the left of the stream all the way. It’s about a mile.
The church of St Margaret has a saddleback tower covered in slate and a gravestone from 1623 set in the south wall. Local monumental mason, Tom Morris, created interesting designs on the gravestones and there’s even a cast-iron headstone from the foundry in Saundersfoot.
Our favourite things to do in the Pendine area:
Visit Laugharne and see Dylan Thomas's boat house and the castle
Spend a few hours in the beautiful Colby Woodland Gardens
Have a great value breakfast in The Coffee Shop - before 10:30!
Climb to the top of the cliff at the west side of the bay to gaze at the amazing vista of the sands stretching way into the distance
Looking for somewhere to stay in Pendine?