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Wales has secured a high profile in many well-known UK and international publications in recent months, and just as the school holidays get underway - Castle Beach in Tenby has been named as The Sunday Times Beach of the Year 2019.

First published:
21 July 2019
Last updated:

This was published under the 2016 to 2021 administration of the Welsh Government

The Sunday Times Great British Beach Guide – now in its 11th year – is recognised as the definitive gazetteer of our seaside resorts. Chief Travel Writer Chris Haslam inspected 422 beaches in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland for the 2019 edition of the guide, whittling the long list down to the top 40 British beaches, with Castle Beach taking the number one spot.

“It’s not just the lovely people, the superb facilities or the sheer beauty of the place. There’s something else: a pure and powerful seaside magic that awakens everyone's inner child.” he said, “It's that quality that makes Castle Beach the runaway winner and the Sunday Times Beach of the Year 2019.”

With eight beaches in the top 40, it’s a standout summer for the Welsh coast. Marloes Sands and Rhossili made the top ten. Barmouth came in at number 12, the Llyn’s Porth Iago at 22; Swanlake Bay at 26; and Tor Bay and Mwnt at 36 and 37 respectively.

Deputy Minister for Culture, Sport and Tourism, said:

“It is excellent news for Wales - right at the start of the summer holidays – that The Sunday Times Beach of the Year 2019 is Castle Beach in Tenby. This must have been a very tough call – with so many amazing beaches in Wales – and across the UK. And with many more in the top 40 - this goes to show the wealth of what Wales has to offer. Endorsements in travel media in the UK and internationally is an invaluable way of raising Wales’ profile, getting people to think differently about Wales and hopefully come to visit us soon.”

Jane Rees-Baynes, owner of Elm Grove Country House near Tenby and Chair of Pembrokeshire Tourism, said:

“I am absolutely delighted that Tenby’s Castle Beach has won this prestigious award - It’s fantastic news for tourism in the town, and for Pembrokeshire as a whole. I hope it will encourage even more people from around the UK, and beyond, to come see our award winning beaches and experience what Tenby and the wider county have to offer. On a personal note, I have many fond memories of Castle Beach both in the height of summer and during the winter, and I can totally understand why it was named Best Beach in the UK.”

This latest award follows Wales also being featured in the Sunday Times last month as the Big Trip – the first ever UK based Big Trip feature – the piece focuses on a 10-day itinerary that takes the reader from the Gower Peninsula, right the way through to Llandudno. Journalist James Stewart describes Wales in the feature as:

“With lovely small hotels, flourishing food scenes and audacious new activities, Wales has blossomed into a British greatest hit without ever sacrificing the scenery and soul that made it so appealing in the first place.”

Wales has also been the subject of a 29-page fashion shoot spread in Harpers Bazaar Nertherlands – following a visit arranged by Visit Wales. Other International coverage highlights include features in Geo Magazine, Germany, featuring Wales as its ‘Dream Place of the Day’, and coverage in the US including Los Angeles Times and Forbes.