Tenby

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Tenby Harbour

Tenby (Welsh: Dinbych-y-Pysgod, "little town of fishes") is a beautiful walled town in South Wales that spills out pastel colored buildings along cliffs and around sandy bays. Tenby is one of Wales' premier tourist spots, and is located on the south Pembrokeshire coast, about 80 kilometres (50 miles) west of Swansea.

Understand[edit]

The town of Tenby dates back to the Norman conquest, and the town walls were constructed in 1093 in order to defend it from the Welsh. Due to its somewhat remote location, however, the town and its quaint cobble streets and sandy beaches remained off the tourist trail until the Victorian era. Then, with the influx of wealthy merchant families from Swansea, Cardiff and further afield, Tenby was suddenly in a vogue, and the town's appeal as a picturesque spa has remained ever since. Although, Tenby is one of Wales' most popular holiday destinations, it has resisted over commercialization and remains a very elegant and pleasant family holiday venue..

Cars are banned from the historic centre of the town during the summer months, which adds greatly to the appeal of the town as a place to relax and unwind.

Get in[edit]

By train[edit]

Tenby is connected by local rail line to Swansea, Cardiff and Pembroke Dock. During the weekends in the summer there are a limited number of direct services to and from London Paddington, though there are frequent services to connect with trains to London and elsewhere in England, from Carmarthen, Swansea, or Cardiff.

By bus[edit]

Regular service from Swansea. Infrequent National Express service from London and Birmingham

By road[edit]

M4 to end (near Swansea), A48 to Carmarthen, A40 to St Clears, A477 to Kilgetty, A478 to Tenby.

Get around[edit]

The small town can be covered on foot.

See[edit]

  • Narrow cobbled streets packed with quaint shops and cafes.
  • Caldey Island. A Cistercian Monastery located on an island just off Tenby's coast. At low tide, ferries leave from Tenby Castle Beach and at high tide from Tenby Harhour. Fare: £10 (£5 for children)
  •    Tudor Merchant's HouseQuay Hill, Tenby, SA70 7BX +44 1834 842279, e-mail: . Open April 1 to September 30, M-Sa 10AM-5PM, Su 12noon - 3PM. A 15th century town house open to the public.
  • Tenby Museum and Art Gallery +44 1834 842809.
  •    North BeachTenby. North beach looks onto Tenby's old fishing harbour and out onto Camarthen Bay. This beach provides one of the most popular backdrops for portrait pictures and is the focus of most photographers who visit Tenby, providing them with some of the most dramatic sunrises set parallel to a quaint pastel coloured harbour filled with working trawlers. Goscar Rock sits in the centre of this mile long beach providing hours of fun for young and old to sift through the rock pools, shelter from the winds and, for those who dare, a small climbing adventure (although not advised for any novice climber).
Gumfreston Church of St Lawrence. Outside there is the shaft of a churchyard cross, and three medicinal springs rise in the churchyard, the water of which contains iron and chalybeate. In the wood to the south of the churchyard wall are the ruins of the village that stood beside the quay on the river estuary. This was a transfer point for goods from the road to little coasting vessels. It was also on the pilgrimage route across south Wales to St David's.
  •    St Lawrence’s Church. Gumfreston's Church of St Lawrence is romantically situated in a wooded dell and dates from the late 12th century although generally of the 14th to 16th centuries. The tower was formerly detached and the church was well restored in 1869, including new roofs and church furnishings. The porch on the western side may be a remnant of an earlier church on the site, which was a “llan” (walled enclosure around a church) in era of Celtic Christianity.
    On the wall are the faded outlines of what was once a large and dramatic mural depicting Jesus Christ, fishing nets and other implements. This has been interpreted as a message to the congregation to avoid working on the Sabbath.
    Three holy wells in the churchyard attracted pilgrims in ancient times. People still visit the church to collect a little of the well water, or to pray.
    The revival of interest in Celtic Christianity has prompted the development of “services of light” every three months in the church, focusing on Celtic spirituality and led by lay members of the congregation. Services of stories and songs about Celtic saints are a popular feature of the Tenby Arts Festival.
  •    Tenby dinosaur park.
  •    Ritec Fen (south of Gumfreston). Ritec Valley site of special scientific interest

Do[edit]

Choice of attractions on the B4318...

Buy[edit]

  • Tenby has many interesting shops tucked away in the alleys.
  • The Caldey Island gift shop at the top of Quay Hill has some unusual hand made gifts. Try the chocolate. It's delicious!

Eat[edit]

As a major tourist centre, Tenby is certainly not lacking in cafes and restaurants.

  • Plantagenet House, Quay Hill - located in an historic stone building, the cafe-cum-restaurant oozes with charm - good and reasonably priced meals - wood burning stove in winter.
  • 25 Cafe25 High Street. Simple, but freshly made meals.
  • Fecci & Sons Ice Cream Parlour, Upper Frog Street. Award winning ice cream.
  •    Ossie Morgan's RestaurantFourcroft Hotel +44 1834 842886. Featuring local, seasonal produce, meals are freshly prepared by skilled chefs familiar with a seaside appetite. From traditional cooked breakfasts, exciting bar lunches and delicious evening menus, they cater for all tastes & most dietary requirements.
  •    The BaytreeTudor Square +44 1834 843516, e-mail: .

Drink[edit]

Pubs[edit]

There are a large number of pubs to be found in Tenby, many offering food during the day in a family friendly environment.

Coffee[edit]

  • Caffe Vista3 Crackwell Street. Overlooking the harbour and North Beach, in a Georgian building. Great views, outstanding coffee, cakes, good breakfasts and Greek food.
  • 25 Cafe25 High Street.

Sleep[edit]

This guide uses the following price ranges for a standard double room:
Budget below £60
Mid-range £60-100
Splurge £100+


Tenby has a great variety of accommodation, and B&Bs are plentiful. However, advance reservations are recommended during the summer months.

Budget[edit]

Mid-range[edit]

Splurge[edit]

  •    Giltar HotelThe Esplanade +44 1834 842507, e-mail: . Based on the Esplanade overlooking South Beach. A few minutes walk from the walled town of Tenby. 60 rooms (Standard, Premier and Deluxe). Restaurant and 'The Cwtch' Bar. Small car park at rear of the hotel. £50 to £165 (including breakfast).
  •    Fourcroft HotelNorth Beach +44 1834 842886, e-mail: . This place offers well-equipped rooms, many with lovely views over the old fishing harbour and across Carmarthen Bay. It's part of a Listed Georgian terrace, built over 175 years ago as individual summer houses. A lift runs from the first half landing and there are footpaths directly to the beach. from £120 per room per night£.

Self-catering[edit]

  •    FBM HolidaysSlate House, St Julian's Street (North of Tenby's harbour),  01834844565, e-mail: . FBM Holidays have been providing self catering holiday homes in Pembrokeshire for over 180 years, from cottages to penthouse apartments or a large family home; even a place for the dog. Properties range from 3- to 5-star.

Connect[edit]

Go next[edit]

  • Pembroke - Pembroke Castle, medieval Norman castle, and birthplace of King Henry VII.
  • St Davids - The UK's smallest city - imposing cathedral.
  • Swansea - Wales' maritime city is around 80km from Tenby - wide range of cultural and leisure amenities.
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