Pwll Du is a hidden gem at the end of Bishopston Valley. A pebbly storm beach at the top of the bay (through which the river flows out to the sea) while at low tide there is a huge expanse of sand to sunbathe on. Access is via a 25 minute moderate walk that can be done by several routes from the neighbouring villages of Bishoptson, Kittle and Southgate (all within 10 minutes or so drive from Parc-Le-Breos B&B). The nearest shop is in Bishopston. Much of the scenery of this beautiful bay results from the quarrying activities which existed here until the beginning of the 20th century. Rights of “cliffage” were awarded to farming tenants, who could then quarry the limestone from the slopes of Pwll Du Head, then ship the stone across the water to Devon where it was cooked to make agricultural lime.
Looking to the east of the bay you can still clearly see where the limestone was removed from the cliff. The stone was then piled a short way from low water and marked with a post. Ships then sailed into the cove at high tide, located the posts, and remained there until the tide dropped leaving the ship beached and ready to be loaded before the next high tide. I have read that some of the ships would actually scuttle their vessels before the tide had fully dropped and as the ship beached the sea cocks would again be closed, the water partially filling the hold of the ship would break the fall of the cargo of rock as it was loaded. The remaining water would be drained out before the tide returned. It is also speculated that much of the limestone making up the huge shingle banks at the head of the beach are also derived from the smaller pieces of stone left on the beach after the ships were hurriedly loaded between the tides. The houses nestling at the head of the beach were once pubs serving the thirsty workers.
A safe bathing beach, the headlands afford a great amount of shelter making the bay a favourite stop off for yachts and other watercraft.
A great little fishing spot. From the rocks or shingle bank at high tide the beach shelves sharply allowing you to cast the bait into fairly deep water. Hooks fished on the bottom with lugworm will yield dabs and plaice. On the east of the bay there are deep gullies, good for finding bass using soft crab as bait.
The bay itself is not a good surf spot, dumping at most states of tide. The point however (known as Roaches Reef) has quite consistent surf - best surfed at around mid tide in north winds (offshore) and swell direction from SW. Well worth the paddle out!