Images of Wales
Where's that?? - locate Whitesands Bay on a map of Wales.
Whitesands Bay and Ramsey Island, Pembrokeshire
Photography by John Ball - September 1968
(Images scanned from colour slides taken with
a Kodak Retinette 1b 35mm camera)
Whitesands (in Welsh known as Traeth-mawr) is a west-facing bay to the south of St David's Head. The wide expanse of sand exposed at low tide creates one of the finest surfing beaches on the Welsh coast. It was at Whitesands in the 6th century AD that St Patrick is said to have had the vision of converting the whole of Ireland to Christianity.
Two miles south-west of Whitesands is Ramsey Island, separated from the Pembrokeshire mainland by the trecherous Ramsey Sound. Legends associated with this holy island date back 1,500 years, when a Breton saint named Justinian built a cell there. Craving solitude, Justinian took an axe to the land bridge which at that time joined the island to the mainland, leaving only the rocks now known as the Bitches.
Above: Ramsey Island seen from the beach at Whitesands Bay.
Ramsey Island, from Porth Lleuog at the northern end of Whitesands Bay. The promontory in the left middle distance is Trwynhwrddyn.
The rugged south-facing cliffs of St David's Head. In the distance, two miles off-shore are the Carreg-trai rocks.
Above: The secluded cove known as Porthmelgan, north of Whitesands Bay.
The hill in the distance is Carn Llidi.
Above and below: West of Carn Llidi, near St David's Head, there is evidence of
Iron Age settlement and this impressive 5000-year-old Neolithic burial chamber.
Above: Ramsey Island from near Porthmelgan.
The two hills which define the outline of the island are Carnllundain (left) and Carnysgubor (right).
Above: Ramsey Island from near St David's Head.
Below: Sunset at Whitesands Bay.