Tenby is one totally stunning, and pretty historic, fishing village that you have to see in Wales. Perched within the beautiful region of Pembrokeshire, it’s probably one of the nices seaside towns in all of West Wales. You see, it’s got a little something for everyone, from; historic castles, sandy beaches and shed loads of tasty restaurants, too. Honestly, you’ll be spoilt for choice when looking for the best things to do in Tenby during your trip.
Ever since I was a wee boy, I used to go on yearly trips to Tenby in the summer. Usually, my holidays in Tenby were filled with scoffing ice cream and building sandcastles; and, nothing has changed! I’m still up for a creamy ’99’ and some beach time in Tenby, especially when the weather is nice and sunny.
Now, it’s quite easy to pair up a trip to Tenby with a winder trip around the best places in Pembrokshire, too. After all, lots of the iconic spots are a relatively short car ride away. This makes Tenby the perfect base to explore the southerly tip of Pembrokeshire.
Anyway, with that in mind, I wanted to share some of my top spots and the best things to do in Tenby when you visit. Have the best trip!
1.) North And South Beach
Remember I said that Tenby has lots of sandy beaches? Well, the north and south beaches area a great place to start. Not only are they totally lovely, but they’re literally minutes from the historic streets of Tenby itself.
They’re the kind of beaches that you can visit and spend a whole day lapping up the rays and surf. Just make sure to pack some sunblock as that Welsh wind can be deceiving. I’ve left the beaches in Tenby looking like a lobster before.
Best still, because the beaches are pretty vast, there’s plenty of room for everyone; even in the high season.
2.) St Catherine’s Island
Perched just shy of the shoreline, St Catherine’s Island is really easy to visit from the beach by foot. Now, I know what you’re thinking! How do you get to an island on foot?
Well, at low tide, St Catherine’s becomes a tidal island (similar to Holy Island) that’s easy to stroll across the sandy banks.
Once here, take a little tour around the old property. Yes, it looks a little shabby and rustic but that’s part of its charm. It costs around £4-ish, to head inside and it’ll take around 45-minutes to have a good stroll.
3.) Castle Beach
Soaking up the rays at Castle Beach is easily one of the best things to do in Tenby if you love the seaside. Not only that, but it’s also often the most loved of all the beaches around Tenby itself.
It might be smaller than North or South Beach but it’s totally lovely, especially for some chillout time before lunch.
You’ll also have some epic views of St. Catherine’s Island, too.
4.) Tenby Castle
For me, you’ll get some of the best views from Tenby at the castle itself. You see, on a very crisp and clear day, you can even see right across the Bristol Channel, too.
Now, although lots of Tenby Castle is in ruins, it’s still worth a gander to learn more about the history of the town itself. After all, there are centuries of history in this area.
The walk up can be a little steep, so make sure you’ve packed some comfy shoes. Saying that it’s relatively short so don’t worry too much.
Oh, also, it’s a totally stunning spot to watch the sunset and to visit the RNLI Lifeboat Station, too.
5.) Caldey Island
In the summer months, there are regular day trips over to Caldey Island, that sits quite far from the shores of Tenby itself. It’s a pretty historic and monastic island that’s totally gorgeous and pretty unique in the UK.
Completely cut off by the sea, it’s only accessible by the small boats that travel to and from the island. Now, you don’t really need to book these in advance (and you’ll see them for sale once in Tenby).
That being said, it can be busy in the summer months so book it when you take your first stroll through the town itself.
Oh yeah, and don’t forget to grab some of the homemade chocolate that the monks make on the island. It’s delicious.
6.) Green Bridge
So, although there’s a heap of the best things to do in Tenby around the town itself, there are also a fair few spots that are less than a 30-minute drive away.
One of these spots is the Green Bridge, which we loved! Similar to Durdle Door in Dorset, it’s a natural arch that juts out into the sea and is so dramatic to see.
Now, to get here, you will need to drive through a Ministry of Defense area (which you’re allowed to do, so don’t panic). Just keep an eye out for the ‘tank crossings’! I kid you not!
Oh, and if it helps, this is the car parking area we parked to explore the coastline.
7.) Tudor Merchant’s House
Okay, so, the Tudor Merchant’s House has called Tenby home for at least 500 years! It has such a long history in the town and is really easy to spot whilst strolling through Tenby itself. Nowadays, it’s run by the National Trust and is a great little spot to visit whilst exploring the little streets of Tenby itself.
Once inside, you’ll be able to explore the different floors and see what life would have been like many years ago!
8.) Five Arches Gate
Tenby was once a fortified coastal town and protected by an imposing wall to keep enemies out. Lots of this wall still exists to this day and you’ll be easily able to spot it whilst wandering the little streets.
One place to look out for is the Five Arches Gate that was once an entrance to Tenby itself. Nowadays, you can walk through the gates and into the ‘old town’ just like you would have done many years ago. It’s so nice to see it still standing.
9.) Stroll the harbourfront
For me, one of the best things to do in Tenby is to walk the harbourfront area.
Starting at The Croft, I love to walk down, via Crackwell Street, towards Pier Hill and finally, following the Esplanade over to South Beach. It’s a lovely way to see Tenby.
Plus, if you’re fancying a longer ramble, keeping on strolling until you reach Giltar Point (at the end of South Beach) or even further along the Pembrokeshire Coastal Path. It’s totally gorgeous.
10.) Explore the historic streets
The thing that makes Tenby so special is its mix of beach time but also it’s totally quaint town that’s totally epic to explore without any definitive plans.
Now, one thing to remember in Tenby is that you can’t get lost (for too long).
The town is pretty small and it’s totally easy to navigate once you’ve been strolling around a few times. I usually dislike those ‘get lost in town’ kind of things, but it’s so intimate and small that you’re never truly lost.
Whilst wandering, make sure to stop off at the Stables Restaurant for their freshly caught scallops and visit The Salt Cellar for an evening meal. They have such a yummy menu with fresh fish and traditional favourites like scotch egg, which I love.
Oh, and if you’re visiting on a Sunday, be sure to grab a Sunday roast at The Fat Seagull. You’ll leave stuffed.