Tenby is a stunning seaside town situated in Wales, with a history that goes back centuries.
The town has seen many changes over time and was once a busy trading hub of the region.
Its strategic location made it prone to raids from foreign conquerors, leading to the Earl of Pembroke ordering the construction of walls around the settlement in the late 13th century.
These walls still stand today and provide visitors with an insight into Tenby’s past when its cobbled streets would be bustling with traders, merchants and locals going about their daily lives.
The old town also boasts numerous pubs and eateries, as well as grand churches from centuries gone by.
There are several attractions within Tenby’s old town that tell its story, such as St Mary’s Church which dates back to the 12th century and was built on top of an earlier Norman structure.
The Georgian architecture around Tenby adds to its charm, making it a popular tourist destination for those looking for something different from their holiday experience.
Visitors can hire boats and explore along the coast or venture further inland to explore nature trails through forests and parks full of wildlife.
On sunny days visitors can enjoy relaxing on one of Tenby’s secluded coves or beaches whilst admiring views across Carmarthen Bay towards Caldey Island.
There’s just so much to see and do in Tenby, so if you want to find out my favorites, keep reading!
Things To Do In Tenby
1. Tudor Merchant’s House
The Tudor Merchant’s House is a remarkable piece of living history, providing an insight into the life of a merchant in 15th century Tenby.
Built in the late 15th century from stone, this Grade I listed town house has been lovingly preserved to replicate its original condition.
Located in south west Wales, it stands today as the oldest house still standing in Tenby.
This historic building was formerly occupied by a merchant who conducted his business on the lower floor and lived on the first floor.
His sleeping quarters were located on the upper floor alongside other family members. Donated to the National Trust in 1938 by Tenby Corporation, repairs were made to ensure its preservation and longevity over time.
Today, visitors can explore this unique property with tours offering an exciting opportunity to experience what life was like five centuries ago.
The house is furnished and decorated as it would have been in the year 1500 with a combined selection of period and reproduction items displaying artifacts from times gone by such as quills pens, wax seals and wooden chests.
2. Tenby Castle Beach
Tenby Castle Beach is a stunning stretch of sand just a few steps away from the charming Welsh town of Tenby.
The beach backs onto sheer cliffs, giving it a majestic, timeless feel and making it an ideal spot to relax and get away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life.
It’s easy to see why Tenby Castle Beach has been listed as one of Britain’s best beaches.
At low tide, visitors can enjoy a vast array of activities from swimming, rock-pooling, kayaking and fishing to exploring the fascinating archaeological remains exposed by the retreating sea.
At high tide, however, much of the beach is no longer visible as it is covered in water – so always check the tide times before visiting!
For those who prefer to stay on dry land, there are plenty of walking trails in the surrounding area that offer stunning views across Carmarthen Bay and out to Caldey Island – which boats depart for (at low tide) from Castle Beach itself.
The only thing to be aware of when visiting Tenby Castle Beach is that dogs are restricted on part of the beach from May 1st until September 30th each year.
3. The Dinosaur Park
The Dinosaur Park is an incredible experience for young and old alike!
Located in the woodlands, this mile long trail is filled with life-size dinosaurs that will leave you amazed.
It’s a great place to explore and learn about the prehistoric creatures that once roamed our planet.
For those looking for more modern activities, there are 18-hole Frisbee golf, a giant Astra slide, orbiter cars, disco boats, and a 4×4 off-roader circuit.
If you’re feeling adventurous, try your hand at fossil hunting or take a spin on the Super Jumper trampolines.
Inside, you can explore the indoor adventure play area with soft and hard play areas.
At The Dinosaur Park you can have fun, learn something new and be immersed in an authentic dinosaur experience – something you won’t soon forget!
4. Tenby South Beach
Tenby South Beach is a beautiful family friendly beach.
Stretching for a mile and a half along the coast, Tenby South Beach has plenty of space to accommodate all kinds of activities.
The wide dune-backed beach is flanked by scenic cliffs, and visitors can take advantage of the gentle slope into the sea which allows for safe swimming with minimal obstructions.
From 1st May to 30th September, pet owners must obey dog restrictions on the beach below the cliffs, although there are still areas available for your four-legged friends to enjoy.
However, before you head out it’s important to check tide times so that you don’t get cut off!
With plenty of soft white sand and sparkling blue waters, Tenby South Beach is an ideal spot for families looking to make the most of their day at the beach.
There’s no shortage of things to do here; build sandcastles, explore rock pools or simply relax in the sun listening to lapping waves.
5. Manor Wildlife Park
Manor Wildlife Park is an exciting and innovative wildlife experience like no other.
The park plays host to exotic and endangered species from around the world, letting visitors come face-to-face with unique animals they may not have ever seen before.
Whether its feeding wallabies, lemurs, giant rabbits or pygmy goats, there’s something for everyone!
The park has a strong focus on conservation and provides plenty of space for its animal residents.
Currently, the park is home to breeding programmes dedicated to saving Sumatran tigers and southern white rhinos.
As well as the walkthrough exhibits giving visitors the chance to view incredible animals up close, there are also plenty of other attractions suitable for all ages such as giant bouncy castles and an indoor play area.
For refreshments, the café offers handmade pizzas perfect for when you need that energy boost after a day exploring Manor Wildlife Park!
6. Pembrokeshire Coast National Park
Pembrokeshire Coast National Park is an area of outstanding natural beauty in Wales, boasting rugged cliffs, sandy beaches, and wild inland hills.
Established in 1952 and the only national park in the UK to consist mainly of coastal landscapes, it has become a must-see destination for tourists from all over the world.
The park is bounded by Ramsey Island near St David’s peninsula at its northern end and the Castlemartin peninsula at its southern end.
It is fed into by the tranquil Daugleddau estuary into Milford Haven waterway, which is one of the finest natural deep water harbours in the world.
The geology of this region is particularly fascinating as it contains a great variety of rock types and structural features including natural arches, stacks, rock folding and sea caves.
Extending some 80 miles along the Pembrokeshire coast, visitors to this national park will be spoilt with picturesque views – from rolling hills to golden beaches.
Nature lovers can explore the many miles of stunning coastline with its breath-taking cliffs or enjoy the lush greenery of wooded estuaries while birdwatchers may find rare species among flocks on Ramsey Island.
The moorland of Preseli Hills also provides an exceptional landscape for adventurers looking to explore off-the beaten path sites such as ancient standing stones or secret waterfalls tucked away in hidden valleys.
7. Tenby North Beach
Tenby North Beach is one of the most breathtaking spots in Wales.
Surrounded by rolling hills and hidden coves, this sheltered sandy beach is a sight to behold.
At its heart stands Goskar Rock, an impressive natural structure which has made this beach one of the most photographed locations in Wales.
The east-facing beach offers a tranquil spot to relax, with sun rays beaming down from early morning until dusk.
Whether you’re looking for a peaceful place to sit and watch the waves crash against Goskar Rock or kicking back on a sun lounger as your toes dip into the shallow waters, Tenby North Beach has something for everyone.
Dog owners should take note that restrictions are in place between May and September – so it’s best to leave your furry friend at home on these days!
Before visiting make sure to check the tide times as there may not always be enough sand to wander along during low tide and you don’t want to get cut off by incoming water!
But when there’s plenty of room on the beach you can look forward to discovering an array of interesting wildlife such as crabs scurrying along among rocks and sea birds gathering around Goskar Rock – all perfect opportunities for aspiring photographers or nature lovers alike.
8. St. Catherine’s Island
St Catherine’s Island is a small tidal island located off the coast of Tenby.
It has been owned by a dozen or so entities in its long history, stretching back to when it was held by the Earl of Pembroke in the 16th century.
For many years, sheep inhabited the island before a family trust purchased it in 1962.
Later, from 1968-79 it operated as a zoo before closing and remaining largely inaccessible for over 35 years.
In 2014, the island was opened up to visitors for tours and visits which increased further when it was used as a filming location for a movie in 2016.
Formed from an outcrop of limestone, St Catherine’s Island is approximately 200m long and 60m wide and has been designated as a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI).
Despite its diminutive size, St Catherine’s Island offers much to explore including its grassy meadows, thick forests and wide expanse of beach.
Due to its location on the Welsh coastline, St Catherine’s Island also boasts dramatic views across Carmarthen Bay with Tenby’s iconic Medieval Town Walls in sight.
9. Tenby Lifeboat Station
The Tenby Lifeboat Station is a treasured part of the Pembrokeshire coastline.
It has been around for over three generations since 1852, when it was first built and updated in 1905 and 2005.
This station houses two lifeboats that work to keep the seas safe: a Tamar-class lifeboat (Haydn Miller) and a D-class (IB1) lifeboat (Georgina Taylor).
Classed as an “Explore” station by the RNLI, it offers visitors free access during summertime and pre-booked tours in wintertime.
People get to go inside and look around the station, see the lifeboats that are maintained and serviced there, as well as visit an RNLI gift shop where they can purchase items or donate money.
With such rich history behind it and its important role in ensuring maritime safety, Tenby Lifeboat Station is undoubtedly a treasured landmark on the Welsh coast.
10. Tenby Museum and Art Gallery
Tenby Museum and Art Gallery is one of the oldest independent museums in Wales, established in 1878 and housed in a Grade II listed building.
It’s collection includes local geology, biology, archaeological and maritime artifacts alongside images and crafts by both local and national artists.
In 1976 Wilfred Harrison Art Gallery opened, followed by the New Art Gallery in 1995.
Tenby Museum has been affiliated to National Museums & Galleries of Wales since 1998 and has won awards over the past two decades.
The museum was visited by HRH Prince Charles in 2003 to mark its 125th anniversary – an event that celebrated the museum’s long-standing commitment to preserving, collecting and displaying historical items from all eras while also promoting contemporary artworks.
11. Tenby Harbour
Tenby Harbour is a picturesque, bustling harbour located on the southern coast of Wales.
It is a popular destination for tourists who come to enjoy its breathtaking views and experience the charming atmosphere.
The harbour has a rich history, dating back to medieval times when it was used by ships trading in wine and coal.
Today, visitors from all over the world come to explore this vibrant spot, where fishing boats bring in fresh fish daily and pleasure boats take people out to sea for an exciting adventure.
At Tenby Harbour you can find a range of amenities including restaurants, cafes, bars and shops selling souvenirs and local produce.
There are also two beaches situated on either side of the harbour which are great for sunbathing, swimming or just taking a stroll along the shoreline.
For those looking for some excitement there is the option of taking a boat trip out to nearby Caldey Island where you can visit beautiful coves and explore ancient ruins.
On top of that, Tenby Harbour provides plenty of opportunities for fishing enthusiasts, with many species of fish such as bass and cod being regularly caught here.
12. Tenby Boat Trip to Caldey Island
From April to September (weather permitting) a fleet of boats runs daily from Tenby to Caldey Island, with the exception of Sundays.
Passengers can purchase tickets from the relevant booth on Tenby harbour before boarding the boat for a unique and memorable experience.
The island has been inhabited by various orders of monks since early Christian times, and is currently owned by the Cistercian Order.
Visitors are invited to explore its ancient paths, including a marked cliff path that offers unforgettable views of its wildlife.
They can also visit any one of five churches on the island; these include the Abbey Church, Old Priory, St David’s Church, Caldey Calvary and Watchtower Chapel – all rich in history and architecture.
Other attractions include a Chocolate Factory where visitors can watch chocolates being made in traditional ways while sampling some sweet treats.
The Abbey Gift Shop sells locally made perfume as well as shortbread – perfect souvenirs from this delightful retreat.
For those travelling with their furry friends, don’t worry; well behaved dogs are allowed on this amazing journey!