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Interactive map of Wales’ award winning beaches of 2023

29 May 2023 3 minute read
Penarth Beach and Pier, image by Mark Mansfield

Wales has some of the cleanest, safest and best beaches in Britain if the latest bevvy of Blue Flags to be awarded is anything to go by.

2023 marks 35 years of the Blue Flag scheme in Wales and this year Blue Flags are flying at 22 beaches and three marinas.

In total there are more than 100 beaches around the coastline – as well as blue flag beaches, there are 14 beaches in Wales which have gained the Green Coast Award – recognising “hidden gems” along our coastline – and a further 12 beaches have achieved the Seaside Award for good water quality and facilities.

The Blue Flag actually is an internationally recognised ecolabel, awarded to beaches and marinas for cleanliness, safety and high quality amenities.

The flag status is awarded by the International Blue Flag Jury, which meets twice a year and consists of environmentalists, conservationists and lifesavers who are appointed by the Foundation for Environmental Education (FEE), a non-profit organisation which aims to promote sustainable development worldwide.


Local authorities decide whether to put beaches in their area up for the award and each applicant must collect and analyse seawater samples on a regular basis and pass numerous other tests.

In Wales, this process is overseen by Keep Wales Tidy.

To win the award, the beaches must meet 32 different criteria. They must be clean and well managed, provide appropriate facilities including toilets, drinking water and have lifeguards or lifesaving and first aid equipment in place.

Public information and education are also important: maps, natural history information and up-to-date details of local water quality should be on display.

Druidstone Beach image by Sarah Morgan Jones

For the many small, wild beaches in Wales which, lovely though they are, don’t participate in the Blue Flag programme, Keep Wales Tidy runs two local schemes.

The Seaside Awards is for well-managed rural and resort beaches and the Green Coast Awards for environmental protection in rural areas, to give the best of these beaches the recognition they deserve.

We have created an interactive map of Wales’ award winning beaches so you can find out exactly which ones are near you.

The Welsh coast is beautiful and dramatic, offering great opportunities for all sorts of activities, but it is important to stay safe and make sure you are prepared.

Follow these tips from the RNLI for staying safe on the Welsh coast.

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Mab Meirion
Mab Meirion
10 months ago

Why has Gwynedd not joined up ?

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