The jewel in Pembrokeshire’s stunning coastline, idyllic Tenby is an enchanting seaside resort with a unique charm you don’t want to miss. Boasting four golden beaches, quaint cobbled streets and a history dating back thousands of years, the medieval town has been a favorite for tourists and day-trippers for hundreds of years. There’s more to Tenby than just its stunning beauty though, with an array of activities on offer you will wonder how to fit everything in.
1. Tackle the great outdoors at Heatherton World of Activities
With archery, golf, go-karts, bumper boats, a zip line, paint balling and body zorbing, there’s something for everyone at Heatherton outdoor adventure park. Located on the outskirts of Tenby in the breath-taking Pembrokeshire countryside, it’s about a ten-minute drive from the center of town and can be easily reached by taxi or an hourly bus. Heatherton is ‘pay when you play’ facility, meaning it’s free entry to the park and you only pay for the activities you actually take part in. This makes it perfect for a family day out and for groups or if you wanted to try just one of the many activities on offer.
Heatherton World of Activities
Address: Heatherton World of Activities, St Florence, Tenby, Pembrokeshire SA70 8RJ, UK
Website: Heatherton World of Activities
2. Take a walk on the wild side at Manor House WildLife Park and Folly Farm Park & Zoo
Tenby might seem like just a seaside resort, but there’s actually two wildlife animal parks on its doorstep that make for a great day out. Manor House Wildlife Park is an animal and conservation centre situation just a short drive outside of Tenby near the village of St Florence. With tigers, ostriches, gibbons and three white rhinos, the first in Wales for 40,000 years, it’s packed with activities and places to explore.
A little further up the road is Folly Farm Adventure Park & Zoo in Begelly, about 20-minutes from Tenby. The 120-acre (49 hectares) park’s main attraction is the zoo which boasts a pride of lions, penguins, black rhinos lemurs, bactrian camels and a whole host of other interesting and exotic animals. That’s not all though, there’s the Barn, which lets visitors get up close to the farm animals and the 18th-century vintage fairground to enjoy. With special events including concerts and family days, it’s well worth a visit.
Folly Farm Adventure Park & Zoo
Address: Begelly, Kilgetty, Pembrokeshire SA68 0XA, UK
Website: Folly Farm Adventure Park & Zoo
Manor House Wildlife Park
Address: St Florence, Tenby SA70 8RJ, UK
Website: Manor House Wildlife Park
3. Step back in time at the Tudor Merchant's House
Tenby is brimming with history and well worth a stop during your trip is the 15th-century Tudor Merchant’s House, situated in the centre of town just off Tudor Square. The National Trust have lovingly restored the townhouse to its medieval glory, letting visitors step back in time and find out what life was really like in Tudor Tenby. The house is laid out as it would have been for a family living in the town in 1500, when the Earl of Pembroke, Jasper Tudor’s nephew, Henry VII, was on the throne. With exhibits from the time, including Tudor costumes, it’s a real look into the town’s rich history.
Tenby Tudor Merchant's House
Address: Quay Hill, Tenby SA70 7BX, UK
Website: Tudor Merchant’s House
4. Relax in the peaceful tranquility of Caldey Island
A visit to the small island of Caldey, that lies just off the coast of Tenby, is a great way to spend a day. One of Britain’s holy islands, it is home to a community of Cistercian monks and despite measuring just 1.5 miles (2.4 km) in length, offers a unique experience for those willing to make the 30-40 minute boat ride from the mainland. Appreciate the tranquil surroundings of Caldey Abbey and the Monastery and stock up on the chocolate, cheese, shortbread, and perfume produce on offer, made by the monks themselves.
Away from the spiritual centre, Caldey is bursting with wildlife and is home to species of rare flowers not found in other areas of the UK as well as the largest colony of cormorants. Enjoy the many walks around the island or relax on one of the island’s many beaches. Boat transfers only run in the spring and summer, so it’s worth checking ahead of your visit to see if it’s open.
Address: Caldey Island, Tenby, Pembrokeshire, UK
Website: Caldey Island
5. Be charmed by the medieval romance of Manorbier Castle
Five miles (8 km) south of Tenby you will find the magnificent Manorbier Castle, which offers visitors a step back in time to the romantic medieval world. Built in Norman times and overlooking the enchanting Manorbier beach, the impressive stone structure retains most of its unique features and holds many a fascinating tale about those who have lived and battled within its walls.
Once you’ve explored the eerie dungeons and admired the spectacular views out over the Pembrokeshire countryside from the battlement, there’s also the dovecote mill and gardens to explore. The fairytale surroundings really give a sense of the rich history of this area and with an onsite cafe, there’s more than enough to keep you entertained for the afternoon.
Address: Manorbier, Tenby Pembrokeshire SA70 7SY, UK
Website: Manorbier Castle
6. Lose yourself on one of Tenby's four beaches
Tenby is blessed with not one but four beaches, each with its own unique charm that means at any time of year there’s more than enough choice for a walk, paddle, swim or day on the sand. North Beach is a blue flag beach on the North side of the town, with the recognizable Goskar rock sticking out from the middle. Perfect for a lazy day on the sand, though you may want to check tidal times as the beach can disappear. Harbour Beach, the tiny beach in the harbour might not be the biggest but it’s still worth a visit, especially for the quaint and peaceful Fisherman’s Church, where they would pray before heading out to sea.
Moving around Castle Hill to the South, there’s Castle Beach where you can pick up boat tours and the boats to Caldey. St Catherine’s Island, home of an abandoned zoo, overlooks the beach and at low tide, it’s possible to walk there, but it’s not recommended to try and access the island itself. The largest beach, South Beach, is found to the south of the town and is the most popular for beachgoers during the summer, who fight for a spot on the golden sands.
Address: Tenby, Pembrokeshire, SA70, UK
Website: Visit Tenby
7. Indulge in fish and chips
When you’re by the sea you can’t beat fish and chips and thankfully, Tenby has an abundance of shops vying for your custom. Walking around the cobbled streets of the town, it won’t take long before you come across a fish and chip shop, but if you’re interested in some of the best, it’s hard to beat D. Fecci and Sons on Lower Frog Street. With fresh fish caught that day, it’s hard to find a bad portion, just remember to opt for takeaway so you can enjoy while appreciating the many views from the town or beach.
D. Fecci and Sons
Address: D. Fecci and Sons, Lower Frog Street, Tenby SA70 7HS, UK
Facebook: D. Fecci and Sons
8. Uncover the town's history at Tenby Museum and Gallery
Tenby has a rich history dating back thousands of years, so it’s worth taking a walk to Tenby Museum and Gallery, situated on Castle Hill, to find out all about it. Established in 1878, it’s the oldest independent museum in Wales and traces the history of the town from the 9th-century through to the present day. As well as telling the story of the town, there’s a gallery displaying a permanent collection including works by artists including Gwen and Augustus John, who spent their childhood in Tenby. There’s also changing temporary exhibits, that you may want to research before your visit.
Tenby Museum and Gallery
Address: Castle Hill, Tenby SA70 7BP, UK
Website: Tenby Museum and Gallery
9. Give yourself chills on the Tenby Ghost Walk
The Ghost Walk and Story of Tenby is a fun evening where you also get to learn a bit about the murkier side of its history. Indulge in tales of murder and mystery, pirates and witches and strange local customs while enjoying a leisurely walk around the charming and picturesque town. Departing from Tudor Square in the centre of the town, walks are available from May to September, but guided walks are available by private booking. If ghost stories aren’t your thing, they also run Story of Tenby tours, which reveal fascinating moments in the town’s history.
Tenby Ghost Walk and Story of Tenby
Address: Outside the Lifeboat Tavern, Tudor Square, Tenby, SA70 7AS Pembrokeshire/The story of Tenby departs next to the Yorkshire Building Society Tudor Square
Website: Guided Tours Tenby
10. Enjoy the ride of your life at Oakwood Theme Park
Wales’ biggest theme park, Oakwood, is just a 20-minute drive from Tenby and a great day out whether you’re a family, a group or you’re just by yourself. With adrenaline-pumping, extreme rides like wooden rollercoaster Megafobia, Drench, where visitors are soaked by a tidal wave and Speed, the beyond vertical drop roller coaster that will have you racing and looping through the air, it’s a day out not to be missed.
There’s even a child-friendly zone, meaning even the youngest adventurers can get stuck into the fun. Don’t fancy going for the whole day? In the summer months the park is open until 10pm and offers entertainment and shows during the evenings, finished by a spectacular firework display.
Oakwood Theme Park
Address: Canaston Bridge, Narberth SA67 8DE, UK
Website: Oakwood Theme Park
Tons of fun in Tenby!
Whether you’re looking for an action-packed family holiday or relaxing weekend break for two, you’re guaranteed to find everything you’re looking for in picturesque Tenby. This unique seaside town is really the best of both worlds, offering breath-taking views, rolling beaches and a captivating history alongside an array of activities and adventure days that will keep even the biggest adrenaline junkie entertained.
With so much on offer it’s easy for your trip to quickly fill-up, but with the Pembrokeshire National Park on your doorstep, it’s worth making some time to explore the rest of the county. Beaches such as Barafundle Bay and Newgale Sands are regularly listed as some of the best in the world, while St Davids and Solva in the north of Pembrokeshire are well worth a visit.
Get Trip101 in your inbox