When someone mentions Tenby, you’ll probably think that it’s just a place for your grandparents, school trips, or families with young children to flock to during the school holidays.
But this is where you could be mistaken.
In June I visited Tenby for a few days with some of my friends, and (despite passing a few girls holidays with the average age of 70, and ice-cream coated toddlers chasing seagulls around the beach), we realised that Tenby actually offers something for everyone on a seaside break. So, here’s a quick guide to the town of pastel coloured houses.
Tenby is the English name for Dinbych-Y-Pysgod, meaning little fortress of the fish. Located in Pembrokeshire, West Wales, Tenby is a walled fishing village, surrounded by blue-grey seas (if I left out the grey bit we’d only be lying to ourselves). Its cobbled streets are filled with cute gift shops, cafés, pubs, and endless amounts of ice-cream parlours.
As if ice-cream isn’t single-handedly enough to sell Tenby as your next UK holiday destination (no guesses for who has a sweet tooth), its classic seaside charm, and sandy beaches that could make you doubt you’re even in rainy Wales should do the trick.
When to visit
Unsurprisingly, come the summer months, Tenby is a popular British tourist destination meaning North beach in particular can become quite crowded. So if you fancy a quieter trip, visit during the remainder of the year, where Tenby returns to a sleepy fishing village. For the best of both worlds visit in May, June or September.
Things to do
Beaches – without a doubt Tenby’s beaches are its key attractions. North beach, with Goskar rock at the centre, overlooked by the town itself, is often a popular photo spot, while Castle beach allows access to St Catherine’s Island and fort during low tide. This Napoleonic fort was reconstructed before being opened for tours in 2014.
Castle Hill Memorial – a short distance from the Victorian style bandstand, the Welsh National memorial to Prince Albert dates back to 1865. Possibly more importantly, its location provides great views of the Pembrokeshire coastline, and it just so happens to be a great 3G spot (updating Snapchat and Instagram are ‘essential’ on a girls trip).
Tudor Merchant’s house – take a recent (in my personal case) trip down memory lane to A level History and explore this national trust building, or just admire it from the outside on your way to the harbour.
Shop – Tenby may not have a lot of chain stores, but its independent shops provide a welcome change. Treat yourself in a traditional sweet shop, and buy a souvenir tea-towel (or ten) for your Nan.
Where to eat
Fecci’s ice-cream parlour, St George’s Street– no trip to the coast is complete without ice-cream, and Fecci’s is a personal favourite. Fecci’s offers a variety of flavours, and also creative edible constructions (should an ice-cream castle, ladybird or clown appeal to you).
Fecci’s Fish and chip shop , Lower Frog Street – located near the ice-cream shop, Fecci’s just know how to make good food. Get fish and chips here and you will not be disappointed. Just maybe avoid eating them on the beach, as the seagulls can be ‘over-friendly’ (to put it nicely).
Tenby house hotel, Tudor square – Good pub meals, best enjoyed during a rugby or football match viewing for extra added atmosphere.
Bay tree restaurant, Tudor square– great for a reasonably priced lunch or evening meal.
Caffè vista, 3 Crackwell Street– cute coffee shop with sea views and a little balcony should the sun be shining.
So if you’re looking for somewhere to enjoy a short seaside break that won’t break the bank, whatever your age, give Tenby a try.