Saundersfoot is a small resort just along the coast from its better-known neighbour Tenby. The village was given the name St Issells after the Norman Conquest, and St Issell's Church, one kilometre to the north of Saundersfoot still stands as a reminder of that time. The church, which stands in a large graveyard with a stream running through it, is a fine example of a restored medieval church, the oldest features of which date from the 13th century, while the tower probably dates from the 14th or 15th century. Saundersfoot was originally a fishing village, then a harbour was built in 1829 and it became an important port for the export of anthracite or coal from local pits. Saundersfoot coal was much prized by Queen Victoria, who insisted that it be used to power the first Royal Steam Yacht. The Old Coal House, also known as the Barbecue Building, was the headquarters of the Saundersfoot Railway and Harbour Company. It was badly damaged by fire in the 1930s, but was rebuilt and until recently housed the Tourist Information Centre. Visitors who want to follow in the footsteps of those who were involved in the mining industry can get details of the Miner's Walk from the TIC, a 10.5 mile walk which follows the route of the old steam trains from the collieries to the harbour.
Today the big draw for visitors to the resort are the lovely sandy beaches in and around the village, most of them Blue Flag beaches. The Main Beach is formed from golden sand and has a dog ban in place from May to September. Coppet Hall Beach to the north of the village probably got its name from 'Coal Pit Hall', a relic of the coalmining days. Glen Beach, reached via the harbour, is backed by wooded cliffs and has rock pools at the harbour end. The beach at Wisemans Bridge played an important role during the Second World War, as it was used for some of the D-Day landing rehearsals. Between Saundersfoot and Tenby is Monkstone Beach, south of Monkstone Point, ideal for families with its safe bathing and its rock pools.
Map of the area.