Having access to a family home near to Benar Beach has been a luxury I’ve enjoyed now for over 20 years. With our base being nestled in the sleepy village of Dyffryn Ardudwy, we can walk (if we feel energetic) or drive (if the kids are moaning) down to Benar Beach.
And it’s something none of us ever tire of. Babies, toddlers, tweens, teens and even those of us the wrong side of 40 – all enjoy a half day or full day trip to Benar.
Benar Beach is found on on the coastline between the popular seaside resort Barmouth and the historic town of Harlech which is famous for its castle that dates back to the13th century.
How To Get There
From Barmouth head along the cost road, through the small village of Tal-y-Bont and take the road on the left signed to the beach (traeth in Welsh).
The road is called Ffordd Benar and goes over the railway line, through fields and past campsites until you reach a small car park. Parking charges apply in the car park and it is patrolled by traffic wardens as my sister found out when she received a fine!
From Harlech, you again take the coast road and pass through a few lovely little villages. Dyffryn Ardudwy is the last village you pass through before you turn right onto the road signed to the beach.
Benar Beach Facilities
At the car park there are public toilets and if you walk to the nearby caravan site Dyffryn Seaside Estate you will find a small shop, fish and chip shop and a pub. These are usually open every day during peak times but check first as during the winter they are often closed.
There are restrictions for dogs on this beach from April to September but there is a stretch of beach which is dog friendly all year round. There are signs when you reach the beach which tell you where you can go with your four legged friend.
The Board Walk
Right next to the car park there is a board walk which leads you through the dunes to the beach. As you walk along, watch out for brown hares hopping amongst the long grass which breed in this area.
The dunes are also home to a wide range of wildlife including grass snakes and great crested newts.
When you get to the end of the board walk and step out of the dunes you are greeted by a huge expanse of golden sand fringed with a small strip of pebbles.
Benar Beach and Beyond
Benar beach is part of Morfa Dyffryn, which is a designated area of special scientific interest. It is one of the most adaptable ecosystems in the UK with sand dunes that are constantly developing.
From Benar beach towards Barmouth you will often find people jet skiing, kite buggying, body boarding and occasionally surfing when the conditions are right.
During the summer months it’s a popular spot as there are lots of caravan sites nearby but the beach never seems overcrowded as it has such a vast expanse of golden sand.
If you carry on walking you can get all the way to Barmouth along the beach then stop off in one of the many pubs and cafes.
Personally, my favourite pub is the Last Inn which is right next to the harbour with an attractive outside space with beautiful views across the estuary. However, if you want a cafe then head to Davy Jones’ Locker which also sits right on the harbour and offers a great selection of hot and cold drinks and delicious food.
When you head right (or North) towards Harlech you will find the beach widens out even more – especially at low tide and you can walk as far as Shell Island. In this direction the views are just as breathtaking as towards Barmouth.
In all directions there’s stunning scenery, dunes, mountains and sea. If it’s a clear day you can see the Llyn Peninsular jutting out into the sea in the distance. However be aware the section of beach between Dyffryn Beach and Shell Island is a designated naturist beach.
We love to walk from Benar Beach along the the sea front to Dyffryn Beach and then head inland through the caravan park up to Dyffryn Ardudwy itself. Where you can find a couple of cafes, a post office and a shop with a small award winning butcher (who supplies many of the local restaurants) counter that sells excellent sausages amongst other tasty options!
From the village there are footpaths which take you back through a small wooded area, over a train track and back to the road where the carpark for Benar Beach is located.
Eating Nearby Benar Beach
When you’ve had enough of the beach and want to grab some food before returning home there are a couple of fantastic options nearby.
Heading back towards the village of Tal-y-bont you will find the Ysgethin Inn. A lovely riverside pub which offers a friendly and relaxed atmosphere with great traditional pub food and a selection of local ales.
It has a seating area right next to the river with a small children’s play area to keep the little ones happy while you enjoy a drink listening to the river rushing by.
Another option is Norbar, which is on the main road back towards Barmouth. It sits elevated to the left hand side of the road giving it excellent views out to sea.
A perfect place to watch the sunset while sipping on a cold beer, glass of wine or cocktail.
Norbar has a more modern menu and offers pizza (made in their wood fired oven), pasta, seafood, burgers and more. Every time we’ve been the food has been delicious, service good and the decor is very fresh and modern. This combined with the spectacular views makes it one of our favourite places locally.
Why We Love Benar Beach
Benar Beach is truly stunning and offers hours of fun for the whole family.
With its mountain backdrop and miles of golden sand it takes my breath away every time we visit – and I must be getting close to three figures now.
When the children are bored of playing in the sea, building sandcastles or digging holes they then have the dunes to explore. Climbing up and sliding down is great fun!
There’s enough space even in the summer for each family to have a huge section of the beach for activities such as cricket, kite flying and playing ball without worrying about disturbing anyone. Once you’re set up for the day with a wind break and picnic blanket you won’t want to be any where else.
Laura loves travelling across the UK and abroad. She has two children and a husband who are often her travel companions. Beach holidays, cosy cottages, treehouse adventures and brunching are just a few of her favourite ways to spend her travel time.