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Hidden away on the Welsh coastline is the spectacular Blue Lagoon in Pembrokeshire, Wales.
Located on the site of the abandoned Abereiddy Quarry, it’s now a peaceful oasis that you can visit on the cliffside.
Although it’s in a remote location and the drive to get here isn’t ideal, once you arrive you will be blown away by its sparkling azure waters!
It’s a must visit if you’re in the St David’s peninsula and a highlight of any Welsh road trip.
Here’s a complete guide on how to visit the Blue Lagoon in Pembrokeshire or Morlyn Glas.
What is the Blue Lagoon in Pembrokeshire?
The Blue Lagoon is the result of a flooded sea quarry in the hamlet of Abereiddy in Wales.
It lies off the Pembrokeshire coastline and the contrast between this grey rural beach and vibrant waters is quite unique to the area.
Although it has the name Blue Lagoon, the colour of the water actually has a greenish hue to it!
Today, the lagoon is a popular tourist attraction and is a famous location for water sports.
The history of Abereiddy Quarry and the Blue Lagoon in Wales
Pembrokeshire was a leading area for the slate industry in Wales. It’s estimated that there were over 100 quarries in the area at its peak.
The ‘Blue Lagoon’ is a ruin of the St Brides Slate Quarry in Abereiddy that was established in the 19th century. Similar to the quarry of Porthgain, it was in use from the 1840s to the 1890s.
Back then, this quarry was linked to Porthgain by a tramway that was worked by horses. They would transport the slate that was extracted here by cart! The slate would then be shipped out from Porthgain.
At some point during its use, parts of the quarry were blasted away. It was a request from the local fisherman as they wanted a narrow channel to access the lagoon to shelter their boats.
The quarry was purposefully flooded and much of the stone on the cliffside fell into the sea. It’s the sediment from the slate stone that turned the water blue and created the name ‘Blue Lagoon’.
By 1910, Abereiddy Quarry was out of use, and the area was completely abandoned. The quarry buildings and workmen’s cottages later fell into disrepair.
Nowadays, the Blue Lagoon is protected by the National Trust and this phenomenon is visited by thousands each year!
Where is the Blue Lagoon in Wales?
The Blue Lagoon can be found in the county of Pembrokeshire in South Wales. It’s located near a hamlet called Abereiddy.
It’s located on the North Coast of the St David’s Peninsula and is around 5 miles from the tiny cathedral city of St David’s itself.
It’s also in the middle of Whitesands Bay and Strumble Head Lighthouse. So, it makes a great pitstop on a road trip or a place to break up your Pembrokeshire coast walk.
The Blue Lagoon postcode is Haverfordwest, SA62 6DT
How to visit Abereiddy in Pembrokeshire
The best way to access the Blue Lagoon would be to drive as it’s located in a very remote area.
You’ll be driving down very narrow and winding single track lanes. The roads seemed to go on forever and were quite steep. So, drive with caution and be mindful of cars coming the other way.
If you’re not driving, there is a bus stop by the car park in Abereiddy provided by Richard Brothers. The service 404 from Fishguard passing by St David’s stops near the car park at the beach.
However, it looks like there is only one bus service per day so planning your journey in advance is essential!
You can also walk to the Blue Lagoon from Abermawr and Porthgain along the Pembrokeshire Coastal Path. These walking routes are protected by National Trust.
How much is the Blue Lagoon in Pembrokeshire?
Although the site is owned by the National Trust, the Blue Lagoon in Wales is completely FREE to visit.
The only downside is that it’s in a remote location and you must park in a private car park besides Abereiddy Beach.
This car park is not free and the charge is quite steep depending on how long you would like to spend here!
Blue Lagoon Parking
National Trust members may be disappointed to know that there is no National Trust car park at the Blue Lagoon.
The area by Abereiddy Beach is private land and so there is a privately owned car park by Blue Lagoon Management that charge an all day fee.
You will need to pay £4 to park there for the whole day in the summer season. It doesn’t matter how long you intend to stay – the fee is still the same.
I’m not sure if the parking charges change in winter. There are contactless card machines to pay this on arrival by the attendant so have a card ready.
This may seem a little steep if you don’t actually plan to spend all day here. But, I think the fee was totally worth it for the incredible views you get!
On the upside, your parking ticket usually gets you a little discount for the ice cream van that’s here. Also, a discount for coasteering with MUUK Adventures. So, that’s something.
What to expect when you get here!
Once you park up at Abereiddy Beach car park, you’ll need to walk around 5-10 minutes along the coastline to the find the lagoon.
There is a stepping stone pathway to access the walking route and a more accessible flat pathway found at the back of the car park.
There are access ramps that have been provided by the National Trust around the area for wheelchairs. But, it’s always best to do research before you arrive. You can check here for more information on accessibility.
You won’t be walking very long to access the lagoon and the pathway, for the most part, is flat.
Things to do at the Blue Lagoon in Pembrokeshire
Although you can see the whole of the lagoon from the viewpoint in around 15 minutes, there is actually quite a lot to see and do in the area.
If you have the time, I would highly recommend exploring. There is lots of history, viewpoints, activities and walks to enjoy.
Walk along The Row and spot the old quarry buildings!
Although this site has not been a slate quarry for over 100 years, you can still find some evidence of its past along the headland.
Once you leave the car park, you’ll walk along what is called ‘The Row’. These used to be a line of terraced cottages that the quarry workmen used to live in.
Also, if you walk along the clifftops, you’ll see the foreman’s old house, storehouses along with many slate quarry buildings and towers.
Although they are ruins, they actually make the area extremely picturesque.
Take some photos from the lower viewpoint
I honestly could not believe my eyes when I walked around the cliffs and first saw the lagoon. The water was so vivid.
It was bright turquoise, almost a teal colour and it looked amazing in contrast to the dark slate surrounding it.
There is a large viewpoint that is provided on the lagoon and from here you get a fantastic view of the area.
You’ll see some people swimming and sailing kayaks around. My favourite part was watching some of the coasteering groups diving into the water!
I visited on quite a cold day, so I can’t imagine how freezing they must have been in there.
Take a hike to the top of the Blue Lagoon!
If you wanted to get a better view of the area, I would recommend hiking up to the clifftops above it.
This is where you’ll get amazing birds-eye views of the Blue Lagoon and from here you can see all the way along the dramatic coastline.
It’s quite steep but the walk is worth it. It’s the perfect photo spot so have your camera ready to capture the views.
There are many places that you can perch a while here on the grass and watch whats going on below.
Take part in some water sports
The Blue Lagoon is the perfect place for water sports. As the water is protected by a small cove, it’s calm and doesn’t see many waves.
Coasteering companies run tours here where you can go cliff-jumping into the water. I saw so many people doing this and would love to try it the next time I visit.
There were also kayaks around the bay and even some paddle-boarding going on.
Many people like to swim in the lagoon when it’s good weather. There are plenty of sunbathing spots around the rocks as it does become a little bit of a sun trap.
Always use caution when swimming here. The lagoon is very deep and the current can be unpredictable.
Did you know? The Red Bull Cliff Diving World Series held the event here in 2012!
Go on the Abereiddi to Porthgain coastal walk!
The Pembrokeshire Coastal Path is a spectacular 189-mile national trail. You can enjoy a small part of it here and walk along the wild coastline between Abereiddy and Abermawr or Porthgain!
The walking routes are protected by the National Trust so you’ll find the landscape untouched.
You’ll encounter beaches, rugged coves, and even more ruins of the slate quarry industry that dominated this county a century ago.
Visit the Abereiddi Tower of Llanrhian
On the headland, you’ll spot a coursed stone tower far in the distance. It’s a lookout that provides a vantage over the Trwyncastell Peninsula.
It’s a Grade II listed building called the Abereiddi Tower but not much is known about it! Many say that it was built after the “Battle of Fishguard”, the failed invasion by Revolutionary France in the 18th-century.
Later, it was thought to be used by the managers of the Abereiddy Slate Mine and their ladies.
Regardless, you can take a walk over and check it out. The small tower provides some spectacular views over the coast and beyond.
Facilities at the Blue Lagoon
All of the facilities for the Blue Lagoon can be found at the Abereiddy Beach car park.
You’ll find that there is an ice cream van and street food van parked up here during the summer months. There are also some picnic benches by the beach.
In the back corner of the car park there are some port-a-loo toilets that have been provided for visitors to use.
You won’t find any facilities around the Blue Lagoon area itself. So, make sure you pop to the loo before you head out on your walk.
Top tips for your visit
- The lighting is best in the morning for photography as the light is behind the lagoon. Also, later in the day around sunset is nice.
- The best views can be found up from the higher viewpoint on the clifftops! From here, you get to see all the coasteering going on that day too.
- Although you won’t be walking far, I would still wear a good pair of shoes. Especially if you want to hike around the clifftops.
- Always use your judgement when it comes to swimming in the lagoon. It is quite deep so you won’t find your footing and the current can be strong in high winds. Bring a wetsuit in colder weather.
- Personally, I would advise you to only cliff-jump in the lagoon when you’re on an organised coasteering tour. They are professionals and will know the safest diving spots with fewer rocks below.
- The area is kept very clean for everyone to enjoy, so please take all your rubbish home with you. Leave no trace.
Frequently asked questions about the Blue Lagoon
What makes the water blue in the Blue Lagoon? During the 1900s the slate quarry was blasted for access on the request of local fishermen. The sediment from the slate stone that fell into the sea caused the blue waters hence the area was coined ‘Blue Lagoon’.
How deep is the Blue Lagoon in Pembrokeshire? It’s 25 metres deep according to the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park!
Can you swim in the Blue Lagoon? Yes, but make sure to proceed with caution! It can have a strong current.
Where can you eat at the Blue Lagoon? Abereiddy Beach has a snack and ice cream van located by the car park. Your parking ticket does provide a small discount!