Southerndown is one of the best beaches along the Glamorgan Coast and is part of the Southerndown Coast SSSI. The main beach is Dunraven Bay and consists of a wide sandy bay backed by pebbles and high unstable cliffs of limestone and sandstones. It's about 200 yards wide at high tide, extending to about 800 yards at low tide, with plenty of rockpools and small streams on the eastern side. A dog ban operates from May to September inclusive. An attended car park overlooks the beach, and further parking on grass is available at peak times. Free parking (on sheep-grazed grass) can be found just west of Southerndown village at Grid Ref: SS875740, from where the beach is about a ¾ mile walk.
Facilities include toilets, a picnic area with tables, a Heritage Coast Visitor centre and a small shop selling teas, snacks and beach goods. RNLI lifeguards patrol during the school summer holidays, with additional cover being provided by Southerndown Surf Life-saving Club. Swimming is generally safe close inshore, but there are strong currents near the headland to the east (Witches Point). Surf conditions are best on the low to mid tide. As high tide approaches submerged rocks become a problem and the quality of the waves drops. Fossils can be found in the cliffs on either side of the bay including gryphea, ammonites and reptile remains.
The coast path eastwards passes the site of Dunraven Castle - a mansion house which was demolished in the 1960's. Further along this path is a good viewpoint eastwards along the coast (below), and the nearest section of the shore is known as Temple Bay. To get down, turn right at this point, then left up some steps from where a steep path descends to the beach. This path emerges at the side of the beach and can be cut off by the incoming tide. Walking around Witches Point can be done only on exceptionally low tides.
Behind the main car park, a footpath follows the valley to Southerndown village. There is a pub here (Three Golden Cups) which has outdoor seating and serves food.