When most people picture a turquoise swimming hole, they usually see a tropical location, surrounded by lush green vegetation, and water warmed by the summer sun. Well, Blue Lagoon in Wales might be a swimming hole, but it has nothing in common with a tropical paradise.

This swimming hole in Pembrokeshire, Wales is actually the remnants of a slate mine called St Brides Slate Quarry. The quarry is located in the small town of Abereiddy, on the coast of Wales. This area is typically gray and rainy, a stark contrast to the brilliant green hue of the water in the (not so) aptly named Blue Lagoon.

At one point, the quarry was intentionally flooded, but stones from the cliff side fell into the sea. The slate rocks eventually turned the water that signature blue-green color that is reminiscent of a tropical swimming hole.

Today, you will find groups of adventurers jumping off the ruins of old quarry buildings into the placid water below. The drop down into the quarry is steep, so only the very brave make the jump. You will also see kayakers and paddleboarders drifting through the waters. One thing that everything has in common? They are all wearing wet suits. This is Wales, after all, and the water is cold.

How to get to the Wales Blue Lagoon

The Blue Lagoon in a remote location on the Pembrokeshire coast, on the St. David’s peninsula near Strumble Head Lighthouse. If you’re taking a road trip through Wales, the Pembrokeshire Blue Lagoon needs to be on your itinerary.

It’s actually also possible to walk to the Blue Lagoon, if you are undertaking the Pembrokeshire Coast Path National Trail from Abermawr or Porthgain.

Once you get to Abereiddy, find the Abereiddy Beach car park and park there (there is a fee to park). From there, the walk to the quarry is about 10 minutes. Along the way, you’ll spot ruins from The Row, a series of stone cottages where the miners used to live. Eventually, you will round a corner and arrive at a viewpoint, from which you can see the whole quarry as well as a line of people waiting to dive into the teal waters on the opposite side of the cliff.

For an even better view, you can hike to the top of cliffs, and see the Blue Lagoon from above, as well as the rest of the coastline. If you want to take part in water sports, the water is accessible by a small cove which blocks the quarry from waves and keeps the waters peaceful. Cliff-jumping and swimming are the most popular activities, but if you’d rather just watch other people enjoy the chilly waters of the Blue Lagoon, there are many grassy spots to take in the views and relax.