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Pembrokeshire’s most colourful of seaside towns is a delightful place for a day out. Whether you fancy a stroll around the unusual independent shops and eateries, or a taste of authentic local heritage, Tenby has secrets to discover and some award-winning attractions and activities.
With the resort just a single three and a half minute stop on the train or a brisk walk from the hotel in nearby Penally, we are perfectly situated for guests to make the short hop to this historic Welsh seaside town. Here are some ideal starting points for your Tenby visit:
From medieval stone work to a brand new Lifeboat Station, Tenby represents an intriguing mixture of styles and eras. The 13th century walls are fascinating themselves, but perhaps the focal point of the old town is the site of the majestic Five Arches Barbican Gatehouse. This would have served not only as an impressive entry point for visiting merchants, but a clear “don’t even try it” message to would-be attackers (look out for the arrow slits, battlements and murder holes in the walls).
Most present day invaders come armed with only cameras, thankfully, and find themselves spoiled with a wide range of Welsh heritage sites and unique features. Other key historic places to visit in Tenby include the Tudor Merchant’s House, the remnants of a watchtower on Castle Hill, and St Mary’s Church, the biggest in Wales, to name but a fraction. Tenby Museum is also an excellent stopping point for a revealing picture of the town’s past.
After the turbulence of civil war and many years of hardship, the Victorians must take great credit for transforming Tenby into the pretty seaside town we find today. On seaside holidays in Wales, it must have seemed a little piece of heaven to those making a summer escape from Britain’s grimy, busy cities.
Today, it remains easily reached by train and as delightfully colourful as 1800s visitors found it. It is also largely free of the bigger, more generic chain stores, with a fine selection of independent and family run shops and cafes.
From antique and craft stores, to delicious local produce, the streets of Tenby contain twists, hidden treasures and surprises galore. You will find some of the bigger stores and Tenby Market on the High Street, but have a delve down Upper and Lower Frog Street, St George’s Street and others in the old town for independent highlights.
With such a unique location and vibrant colours, Tenby is an artist’s dream. For any keen photographer or painter, it would be unthinkable to arrive without a camera or sketch pad to capture your impressions of one of the most beautiful seaside towns in Wales.
Unsurprisingly, Tenby is also a hotbed of visual arts and artists. The various galleries are worth a browse, including White Lion Street Gallery for fine local paintings or Llewellyn’s Gallery (Upper Frog Street) for evocative photography of Tenby and the Pembrokeshire coast. Last but not least, Tenby Museum also has a fine collection of Welsh art from the region.
Tenby Harbour is another hive of activity in the town, where you could book a sea fishing trip, a superb wildlife cruise or even travel to the beautiful monastic Caldey Island. Most tickets and trips can be arranged simply by enquiring from vendors in the harbour.
As for beaches, Tenby is spoilt with miles of glorious sand on both sides of the town. There are splendid walks along the Pembrokeshire Coast Path and many other activities including the scenic challenge of Tenby Golf Club and Trefloyne Manor Golf Club, in addition to other outdoor pursuits. In the right conditions, Tenby is also an underrated surfing destination.
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