Tenby and Penally
Tenby is probably the prettiest seaside town in Wales, rivalling places like Mevagissey and Polperro for quaintness and charm. The original town of Tenby, called Dinbych y Pysgod in Welsh or "little town of fishes", was established by The Normans as a fortified town. Most of the old town walls remain, enclosing the medieval town behind them. The castle that defended Tenby was built on Castle Hill but only one small keep tower remains of that.
Picture: An aerial view of Tenby
The classic postcard view of Tenby harbour is from The Norton, a road that runs along the cliff top above North Beach. You can find several good hotels here. Several of the old hotels hereabouts were converted to self catering flats.
Picture: Tenby North Beach and Harbour
The Victorian seaside development on the west side of town, outside the town walls, was fairly limited so doesn't detract from the general ambience of the town. The imposing hotels along The Esplanade look over Tenby's South Beach towards Caldey Island. In the neighbouring streets you can also find plenty of B&Bs, guest houses and self catering apartments.
Picture: Georgian Houses near the harbour in Tenby
Tenby has 3 Blue Flag beaches. North Beach faces east and is nicely sheltered if the prevailing south westerly wind is blowing. Castle Beach faces south and also has high cliffs backing it, while South Beach stretches uninterrupted for a mile to Giltar Point and is perfect for all sorts of beach games like volleyball. In between North Beach and Castle Beach is the picturesque harbour, which also has a sandy beach. The harbour is clean and sheltered so is a good place for toddlers.
Picture: Tenby Harbour Beach
Regular boat trips run from Tenby harbour to Caldey Island when the tide is in. When the tide is out, the harbour is dry, so a pontoon off Castle Beach is used. Caldey Island was designated as a conservation area by the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park in 1997. Fun boats and pedal boats can be hired from Tenby Marine at the harbour or mackerel fishing trips, paragliding trips and banana boats are available too.
Picture: The Caldey Island boat
Caldey Island, just offshore from Tenby South Beach is owned by monks of The Cistercian Order and has an active monastery. There is a guesthouse and self catering accommodation on the island for retreats.
Picture: Caldey Island
The centre of Tenby is a maze of narrow little streets. The roads are pedestrianised during the day in summer when the bars and restaurants set up al fresco seating. There are plenty of interesting and quirky shops. There's also the National Trust owned Tudor Merchant's House and the independently run Tenby Museum and Art Gallery to visit, amongst many other visitor attractions in Tenby. Tenby was designated as a conservation area by the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park in 1972.
Picture: Tenby cafe culture
Tenby Tourist Information Centre is located next to the multi storey car park and there is a Visitor Centre run by the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park by "Five Arches", one of the gateways into the old town.
There are some quality camping sites, caravan sites and holiday parks close to Tenby, particularly at Penally and at New Hedges. Penally, on the west side, has direct access to South Beach via the golf course. And Penally Beach - although more of an extension of South Beach than a separate bay - has been awarded a Green Coast Award and a Seaside Award (Rural). Penally also has a hotel and Visit Wales 5 star self catering. New Hedges is mid way between Tenby and Saundersfoot.
There are a number of large tourist attractions in the vicinity. Closest is Tenby Dinosaur Park on the way to St Florence. Heatherton is a mile further away on the same road and Manor House Wildlife Park, owned by Anna Ryder Richardson of Changing Rooms fame, is on the opposite side of the road. In a slightly different direction, Folly Farm is about 5 miles away. For all action head to Battlefield LIVE in Llanteg, 8 miles east. Think paintballing without the bruises, they use state of the art lasers!
Picture: Tenby Dinosaur Park at Great Wedlock just outside Tenby
Picture: The tree tops trail at Heatherton
Picture: Carousel Woods at Folly Farm
Picture: Ritec Valley Quad Bikes
Picture: Battlefield LIVE Pembrokeshire
ID: 2323 Revised: 1/6/2012