A weekend in Tenby
Explore the narrow winding streets of this picturesque Pembrokeshire harbour town
The Pembrokeshire coast of Wales is known for its jaw-dropping views and welcoming harbour towns. Tenby, on the western side of Carmarthen Bay, is a town of two halves, combining the cobbled medieval streets of the 13th-century old town with the grand seaside terraces of its more recent Victorian past when it became a popular holiday resort.
The town’s two sheltered sandy beaches were part of its appeal for those Victorian visitors and still attract plenty of admirers today. Planning a visit? Here’s our selection of top-rated things to do, places to stay and eateries to enjoy on your Tenby Weekend Escape.
Things to do
Tenby’s most obviously alluring feature may be its sheltered sandy beaches, but the colourful harbourside town has plenty to offer inland too. The best-preserved town walls in south Wales encompass medieval cobbled streets, while outside of those walls the Victorian influence is clear.
Modern-day visitors to Tenby are likely to be doing the same as their Victorian counterparts. When the British upper classes were prevented from travelling to European spa resorts by the movements of Napoleon in the late 18th-century, local entrepreneur Sir William Paxton took it upon himself to present Tenby as a British alternative, building seawater baths, accommodation and theatres. This health-giving reputation has endured to this day.
Towering above both parts of the town is Castle Hill. Once home to a Norman fort in the 12th century, just a small tower remains after its destruction during the Civil War. Other castles in the area, such as Carew and Manorbier, remain more intact and are well worth a visit.
The work of Tenby’s most famous son, painter Augustus John, is just some of what is on show at the Tenby Museum and Art Gallery, while the fascinating National Trust Tudor Merchant’s House offers a glimpse of Tenby’s prosperous past. Folly Farm Adventure Park and Zoo, in nearby Kilgetty, makes for a fun family-friendly day out.
Places to stay
Tenby has a variety of places to stay to suit all budgets, from smart hotels to cosy guesthouses, as well as self-catering and camping and caravan parks.