We have put together this guide to Tenby in West Wales to showcase the very best that this wonderful coastal setting has to offer.
From gleaming beaches to vibrant attractions, stylish bars to country pubs, and heritage landscapes to coastal views, Tenby in Pembrokeshire has long been renowned as a favourite seaside holiday destination.
Bursting with heritage and atmosphere, this medieval walled seaside town is most recognisable from the colourful houses that line the seafront and sweeping sandy beach below. It’s the perfect place for a bucket-and-spade break with family and friends with plenty of things to do and places to visit during a Wales holiday.
Get to know this characterful Pembrokeshire town in our Tenby guide and discover fun-filled family attractions, romantic landscapes and soft sand beaches waiting to be explored. Read on for lots of Tenby holiday inspiration.
There are three sandy beaches in Tenby made up of Tenby North Beach, Castle Beach and Tenby South Beach – yet there are many more scattered along the coastline nearby. For more days by the sea, local beaches to visit include Saundersfoot Beach, Lydstep Beach, Manorbier Beach and Broad Haven Beach.
Tenby North Beach
Tenby North Beach is tucked away beneath the North Cliffs, surrounded by the harbour and by Tenby itself. This is the iconic Tenby beach which is often photographed and a favourite of many who visit on holiday.
It’s a sheltered, east-facing beach and can be a protected suntrap on windy days. You can hire deckchairs, swim in the clear water and it is also the beach for Tenby’s famed Boxing Day Swim.
Access: Steps down from North Cliff or accessed via slipway through the harbour.
Dogs: Summer restrictions. Must be on a lead by the promenade and harbour.
Castle Beach and St Catherine’s Island
One of the top sights in Tenby is St Catherine’s Island, a tidal island home to a Napoleonic Fortress that you can walk across to from the gleaming sands of Castle Beach. Part of St Catherine’s Island is not open to the public, although you can visit nearby Caldey Island with boat trips that leave from Castle Beach too.
The beach itself is a wonderful place for swimming, playing beach games and relaxing, with amenities including a café, accessible toilets and a museum/gallery behind on Castle Hill.
Access: Via the harbour or by steep steps from The Paragon.
Dogs: Summer restrictions
Tenby South Beach
This dog-friendly beach in Tenby welcomes hounds and their owners all year round – it’s the perfect place for morning walkies or a game of fetch in the waves. Stretching for a mile and a half, it offers loads of wonderful space for walking, games and sandcastle building.
The further from town you walk, the quieter this beach gets, so it’s a good choice for escaping the crowds during your holiday. It’s also a great beach for water sports including kayaking/canoeing, surfing and windsurfing.
Access: Steps and disabled access.
Dogs: Dog-friendly all year round on part of the beach.
If you are planning on bringing the family pet along on your next West Wales break, take a look at our guide to Tenby's dog-friendly beaches and enjoy dog walks by the sea.
Family attractions near Tenby
Manor House Wildlife Park
Meet a host of amazing animals on a walking safari through Manor House Wildlife Park. See rare species including Sumatran tigers, white rhinos, and red pandas – you can even feed the wallabies during your Pembrokeshire family day out.
They offer animal experiences and adoption too, such as ‘Be a Keeper’, ‘Meet the Species’, or the rather daunting ‘Look a Rhino in the Eye’ experience.
The Dinosaur Park Tenby
With more than 30 dinosaurs throughout the woods to spot as you wander around at The Dinosaur Park, any youngsters will have a thrilling time exploring this dinosaur-infested landscape.
Besides this Jurassic woodland, there are plenty of rides and activities for youngsters and big kids to try. Race about on the Hurricane Cars, time travel in the Virtual Reality Shack or bounce your way through the Adventure Net.
Heatherton World of Activities
This fun, family attraction just outside of Tenby hosts a wealth of thrilling rides and activities for big kids and youngsters to enjoy on a day out.
On your trip to Heatherton World of Activities, head to the Family Fun Zone for mini golf and jumping pillows, the Adrenaline Zone for paintballing and treetop trails, or the Play Zone for pedalos and soft play.
Historic sights to see
Perched on a headland connected to the shore by an isthmus, this 13th-century ruined castle was originally built by the Normans and is an enchanting place for a stroll beside the sea.
Take in Tenby’s picturesque coastal views and soak up its history with a visit to the remains of Tenby Castle.
Tenby Museum and Art Gallery
With an ever-changing schedule of exhibits to peruse, Tenby Museum and Castle offers an insight into the local maritime history and has a wide selection of artwork and collections on display.
It also claims to be the oldest independent museum in Wales, dating back to 1878, and is a great rainy day attraction.
Tudor Merchant's House
See the beautiful 16th-century Tudor-style architecture, replica Tudor furniture and working kitchen as you explore the Tudor Merchant's House.
Cared for by the National Trust, this attraction replicates what this home would have looked like back in the 1500s when it was first built for a successful merchant and his family.
Places to eat in Tenby
Harbwr Tap and Kitchen
Cosy up in this traditional, dog-friendly pub in Tenby; complete with original beams and friendly staff, Harbwr Tap and Kitchen is a great place for beer lovers. It is located right by Tenby harbour and offers up a wide range of ales – you can even purchase your favourite brews to enjoy back at your cottage.
This cosy restaurant with the lively atmosphere of a traditional village pub yet a contemporary vibe, is a wonderful place for a meal together while in Tenby. Stables Restaurant sits in Tenby’s beautiful old town, near the medieval Town Walls and has a great choice of fine wines, tasty beers, and hearty food.
Set near Tenby Harbour, so you can watch boats sailing in and out to sea, The Stowaway is a delightful place to eat out in Tenby. With a wonderful selection of cakes, coffees and light lunches available, it’s ideal for grabbing a bite to eat as you explore this historic coastal town.
Pembrokeshire towns and villages
Once a Norman stronghold, this stylish town in West Wales is now a beautiful place for shopping and dining, with colourful houses and community events throughout the year.
This Pembrokeshire town is 10 miles from Tenby and home to the Bluestone National Park Resort, the Cwm Deri Vineyard and the Narberth Food Festival, making it a firm favourite among visitors.
Best known for being the location of Carew Castle and Tidal Mill, this pretty village sits right on the banks of Carew River and is a peaceful setting for a country escape.
Carew Celtic Cross is another great sight to see during a stay in Carew in Pembrokeshire, and this village is just 6 miles from coastal Tenby. Step back in time by investigating the village’s 2000-year history during a rural break.
Only 3 miles along the coast from Tenby, these two communities complement each other perfectly, with Tenby being a bustling beach resort and Saundersfoot offering a more sedate day by the sea.
Unwind and explore the stunning sands of Saundersfoot Beach and the bay, before wandering through the village to see the quaint houses and grab a bite to eat on a visit.
Map of Tenby
Plan your Tenby holiday…
Retreat to Tenby
Begin searching through our wide range of Tenby holiday cottages to seek out your perfect base for your next seaside break.
With large houses for big groups, family cottages for everyone to bundle up in and two-person escapes for a romantic getaway, you’re sure to find a cottage to catch your eye.
Disclaimer: Whilst every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information at the time of writing,
please ensure you check carefully before making any decisions based on the contents within this article.