BNWC header graphic
simple site search...
go to less simple search
Back to Porthcawl home page

porthcawl - rest bay

Back to location finder

General details:

This beach is located on the west side of Porthcawl, and once in the bay area feels remote, wild and exposed.

It is the main surfing beach for Porthcawl, as it's exposed to the full effect of the prevailing swells facing due west into Bristol Channel and Irish Sea.

WSW-facing bay, exposed to the full force of the Bristol Channel swells.

Not recommended for beginners.

Good wave beach - Enjoy- long peeling waves, with numerous top and bottom turns if you're good enough... watch out for surfers

Usual rules as its a BIG surfing beach don't drop in on surfers, don't cut them up or block their ride on way out.

Have a look here for surf pics

Note: no other windsurfers, although beach is getting popular with kite surfers.

This beach works when Newton doesn't.

update details

back to top

Directions to the right place:

Leave M4 @ Junction 37, follow A4229 towards Porthcawl.

At roundabout after ~3 miles, take 3rd exit (Right) onto Newton Nottage Road, which soon becomes Fulmar Rd, following signs for Rest Bay & Nottage.

Follow this for 3/4 mile. Fulmar Rd does a sharp L & becomes Mallard Way West. After 200m, turn sharp R. After about 500m, there's a small car park by the Rest Bay lifeguard station. You're there.

Click here for map.

update details

back to top

How the winds work:

NW: beautiful cross shore conditions clean out through the waves and swell with no wind holes or gusts although can be very unforgiving when a big swell is running.

N: cross off shore conditions more testing but still good although can be very unforgiving when a big swell is running - a bit gusty .

NE: dead off shore - not a good option.

E: not very good unless at low tide, when clean wind will be provided.

SE: cross shore. Similar conditions to NW.

S: cross on

SW: dead on shore

W: cross on shore

Details supplied by Ben Stephenson - Thanks, Ben.

For an up-to-the-minute forecast for this area, take a look here.

update details

back to top

Tidal conditions:

HW springs tend to occur around 08:00 - 09:00. HW neaps between 13:00 - 15:30. Huge tidal range - over 11m max.

Best at low to mid tide as beyond mid tide the beach area is greatly reduced.

Mid rising tide onwards is definite no no. Beach disappears, with no exit point apart from boulder strewn and rocks like molars to grind you on!

Check tide tables and predicitions so not to waste your time. If Rest Bay is out it may be worth checking-out Newton.

All other states of tide - go for it. Best tide period is outgoing mid tide from which point - due to tidal extremes of Channel - beach gets larger and larger until it's about 1.5ks of clean open sand - no rocks!

update details

back to top


Rocks - try to see the place at LW to give you an idea. Don't sail above mid tide and you're OK.


Strong currents. Beware of the tidal race- Bristol Channel conditions.

Strong W winds.

Beware- car thieves operate in this area - always ensure your keys are secure.

update details

back to top


As its a big surfing beach, it has a manned life guard station year round.

Large car parking area and extensive no dog shit grassy rigging up areas, as well as beach.

Its a BLUE FLAG beach - so toilets with cafe up the hill.

update details

back to top

B&B's / campsites

There is a campsite with park and toilets etc in Porthcawl. As you come into Porthcawl you will go round a roundabout and then carry on up the small sloped hill, as you are approaching that you will see a lane that is on the right. Go down that lane, carry on going as it is quite long and then on your left the campsite will be there. - Details supplied by Alex W. Dec '03. Thanks Alex.

update details

back to top

Pubs and eateries

Go to town centre. Several chippies, Burger Kings, etc.

Beale Park Fish & Chips between funfair & harbour

Station Hill Fish bar, New Road.

Sidoli's Fish & Chips at S end of John St. (near Harbour & breakwater).

We've had reports that the owner of the Buccaneer Bar in Porthcawl itself (who also seems to own the Burger King & the chippy) doesn't like motor bikes. - This just in (Dec '05): "Your report of Sandy Bay Porthcawl regarding Motor Bikes is totally untrue. Please ammend your report. We serve many bikers with Faggot and Peas and Fish and Chips". So there.

update details

back to top

Content supplied by , Ben Stephenson, Alex W, Wayne Thomas & (presumably) the proprietor of the Buccaneer Bar (Dec '05) - thanks to all.

Note: All comments and opinions mentioned in this section of the site are the personal opinions of the various contributors. Inevitably, one person's favourite may be another person's least favourite.

The information provided here is provided in good faith. We can take no responsibility for the consequences of any inaccuracies. Should you find any inaccuracies, then please take the trouble to tell us, using any of the update links.

back to top

Valid XHTML 1.0!