The seaside town in Pembrokeshire is a holiday destination for people from all over the world.
Tenby’s sandy shores, rows of multi-coloured houses and town walls make a perfect getaway from big cities and you probably won’t want to leave.
There’s loads to do here, and it’ll be 48-hours well spent – and you’ll probably find yourself wanting another trip or two.
Where is it?
Found on the Pembrokeshire coast, Tenby is a seaside town around 90 miles away from Cardiff, with Swansea roughly the half way point between them.
How do I get there?
There’s a railway Station right in the heart of Tenby – with regular services from Cardiff Central.
And once you’re there, regular buses run to surrounding towns such as Saundersfoot, while most of Tenby is easily accessible by foot (or taxi, if you’re short on time).
However if you’re planning on going a little further afield, it’s probably worth taking the car. From Cardiff, you’ll need to take the M4, A48 and A477.
Where to stay
You’re a little spoilt for choice with accommodation in Tenby.
There’s something for all types of getaway, whether you want something luxurious or just a caravan by the beach.
With hotels on the sea front looking out over the beach, there’s loads to choose from, but the Panorama Hotel is great a great choice. This boutique hotel is family-run and looks out over Tenby’s South Beach, for details click here .
If you’re looking for more of a family get away, Kiln Park is perfect.
The caravan site, which is just a few minutes walk from the beach, also features an entertainment complex, with live shows and arcade rooms as well as offering on-site activities such as mini golf.
For something a little quirkier, just ten-minutes drive from the town centre is The Jet Star – which is a converted plane that you can rent out.
It was built in the 1970s and retains most of the original features, including a lit-up bar area.
There’s a double bedroom in the style of a first class ship’s cabin as well as a shower block, a loo and cold water basin on board, visit Airbnb for more information.
The Tenby House also makes a great base, if you’re staying in the town, and is located in Tudor Square near the main beaches.
It boasts eighteen en-suite bedrooms which have all recently undergone modern refurbishment.
If you want something a bit more relaxing, the Heywood Spa hotel would be a good choice.
It’s partly built around a Grade II-listed building that dates back to the early 19th century and has been built up, while keeping the original character of the building.
And there’s a sun terrace outside, if you don’t fancy taking the short walk to one of Tenby’s beaches.
Looking down at the harbour and North Beach, the Fourcroft hotel sits on the cliffs boasting stunning views. Given it’s location, it’s perfectly placed for beach access and is just a five-minute walk from the walled town centre, shops, art galleries and pubs.
What to eat and drink
Tenby is so close to the beach, you’ll find an abundance of chippies.
However, one that really stands out is Fecci & Sons and the award-winning chip shop is almost synonymous with the seaside town.
They offer great quality food, and you can takeaway or sit-in at their restaurant.
Another great restaurant in the town is Top Joe’s – it’s a traditional-style Italian restaurant that serves up some stunning pizzas.
They also serve local beer, brewed just down the road at Harbwr Brewing. For eye-popping hipster burgers, try Indie Burger at The Mews.
Somewhere else worth trying is The Lighthouse Kitchen.
This restaurant, which is a Food Awards Wales 2017 finalist, offers everything from light lunches and sandwiches to steaks, burgers and mains, including shredded pork, beef ragu and sticky soy pork.
They describe themselves as serving “top notch grub in an informal setting”.
The Salt Cellar is another great eatery in Tenby – and you can eat in style on their sun terrace which looks out towards St Catherine’s Island.
It also has two AA Rosettes, so it’s definitely worth giving it a try.
And hidden away on Quay Hill leading down to the harbour is a quaint and cwtchy restaurant called Plantagenet House that serves fresh fish and boasts a great wine list.
Ralph Fiennes and Jared Leto have eaten here so you’ll be in good company.
New Italian, Florentino’s , has a fab view over the sea and you can find out more on that, here.
Where to shop
There are loads of little quirky gift shops.
Some selling Welsh memorabilia and some selling gifts and homeware – it’s definitely worth taking a look around Tenby High Street and St Julian’s Street for some of these little gems.
Things to do
1. Relax on Tenby’s South Beach
This sandy beach is a long stretch that, on a nice day, can look absolutely stunning.
There’s often ice cream vans driving around and there’s a little coffee cabin and restaurant near the carpark.
2. Shopping within the town walls
You could easily spend a few hours exploring Tenby’s shops.
They offer everything from traditional seaside gifts to quirky items and there are sweet shops pretty much on every corner.
3. Visit the lifeboat station
The life boat station can be found between the North and South beaches and the life-saving operation is worth checking out.
The public viewing gallery opens from 8.30am to 5.30pm of weekdays.
A little further on you’ll be able to see the old life boat station which was converted into a house on TV’s Grand Designs, so you could always have a nose around the outside, if you really wanted to.
Click here for more information.
4. Check out the Museum and Art Gallery
The museum and art gallery is found between South Beach and the Harbour.
You’ll find exhibitions running and even art for sale at the site, as well as information about the town’s maritime past.
Click here for details on the museum.
5. Take a trip to Caldey Island
And talking of maritime activities, a trip to Tenby wouldn’t be complete without jumping on a boat and heading over to Caldey Island.
It’s homes to monks and you can even buy some of the products they create on the island.
Click here for more information on the island.
6. Explore around St Catherine’s
St Catherine’s is an interesting one, as it’s now closed to the public.
But when the tide is out you can explore the rocks around and underneath the island which look like small caves. It was also used in the Sherlock episode, The Final Problem.
Click here for more.
7. Try a local tipple
There are two local breweries in Tenby, both producing quality beers and supplying local bars and restaurants.
Tenby Brewing Co, which took over from Preseli Brewery, has more than 10 stockists in Tenby – click here for details.
The newer brewery on the scene, Harbwr , is a craft brewery and taproom, brewing up their range of cask and bottled ales just above Tenby harbour.
8. Walk around North beach and the harbour
The coloured houses, the beach, the views.
Even if you spent just 10 minutes here it’d be worth it.
9. Take a horse-drawn carriage
Parking up on Tenby High Street, regular horse-drawn carriages can be found to give you a tour of the town.
Click here for details.
10. Get adventurous at Heatherton
Not far from the centre of Tenby, this adventure park is open all year round and is great for groups.
You’ll find go-karting, paintball, zorb football, climbing walls and even an escape room.
Click here for details.
11. Learn about Carew Castle
Dating back to the 11th century, this castle was the centre of Norman rule in Pembrokeshire.
A 15-minute drive from Tenby town centre, it’s now a designated Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) due to its bat population and several locally or regionally rare species of plants.
Click here for details.
12. Take the family to the Dinosaur Park
If you’re with the kids, this place will win you serious cool-parent points.
There are rides and playgrounds, various activities as well as a dinosaur trail and an information centre where your youngsters can learn a thing or two about the beasts that used to roam our planet.
Click here for more information.
As if there wasn’t already enough to do in Tenby, there’s actually quite a bit to do a little further afield too.
You can head down to Saundersfoot, which along with it’s own beaches, also has a great food scene – with Coast being the place to eat.
While there, you have to try a cupcake from Sue’s Pantry – they’re seriously good.
A little further away again, this time in Killgetty, you’ll find Folly Farm – which makes a great day out for the whole family – who doesn’t love seeing lions, penguins and giraffes?
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