Permanent Tourist

The personal website of Mark Howells-Mead

Pendine Sands, Camarthenshire

Pendine Sands is the name given to the long, flat beach at Pendine in Camarthenshire, south Wales. The flatness and level surface brought speed fiends to Pendine in the early twentieth century, when Malcolm Campbell and J. G. Parry-Thomas took turns at breaking each other’s world land speed records on the beach, topping out at 174 mph. (A final attempt by Parry-Thomas ended in catastrophe, when he crashed and was killed whilst when travelling at 170 mph.)

Today, the beach is still accessible to cars but much of the eastern end of the beach is out-of-bounds: the Ministry of Defence bought the land during the Second World War and there are prominent signs such as the one in this photograph, warning of live munitions testing and dangerous debris (such as undetonated explosives). Despite the danger, it’s a beautifully expansive place to visit.

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