Wales is known for having some of the best beaches in the UK, although not exactly great swimming beaches so naturally during my time in this land I had to venture to the coast. Within 3 hours of Cardiff lies a historic and rather idyllic little town that my eye rested on and so I went.
Tenby is the kind of town where you depart from the train and walk up a street surrounded by homes with no an inkling of what this beach town has to offer. Following that road all the way to the wide skies, the clear and still air gives way to a sea breeze and suddenly you stand across the road from the edge of the view down to a wide beach dotted with boats hovering in the surf or left stranded on the beach by the wide flowing tide. It leaves one a little breathless from the beauty of the yellow sand and blue shores you’d imagine only being able to find in Greece or Turkey or Spain, anywhere but the United Kingdom.
It’s the kind of beach town small enough for people to say hello as you walk down the street. Locals mingle freely with tourists so much so that you don’t know which are which and it doesn’t seem to matter because everyone seems to get along anyhow.
Getting down to the beaches, that even on a summer solstice kind of night are pretty empty of people while the sunset overhead puts on a show. Yes, this town is quietly welcoming and wooing you into staying longer and the time to leave will come far far too soon.
Tenby’s history dates back to a poem in the 9th Century, but only grew as a seaport (thanks to it’s hilltop position and protected harbor) in the 11th and 12th Centuries. After being attacked by Welsh forces in the 12th and 13 Centuries a castle wall was built to protect this important town. The coastal portions of that wall no longer stand, however, within the town it still stands as strong and imposing as ever.
With large hills jutting up from the sandy shore the town was designated as conservation area by Pembrokeshire Coast National Park in the 1970’s making it a unique gem. The town won a bronze award for the Best UK coastal resort in 2013, showing that it offers beauty as well as historical charm.
One of the most interesting features of Tenby is St Catherine’s Island just off the coast and accessible only during low tide (and good weather). It has a fort that can be visited when accessible for £3.50. Having previously served as a home and a zoo this building has had a varied and interesting past.
If you ever have the chance to visit Wales then take the time to visit the charming and coloful town of Tenby, its atmosphere will demand your shoes be removed and a drink placed in your hand to relax away the time while the waves lap at the shore, it’ll be hard to leave when the time comes. I know it was for me.
Visit Tenby should be the first port of call, this site even includes weather and traffic information of the town.
Visit Pembrokeshire is an informative all round site on everything to do in the region.
If a boat trip around the Pembrokeshire coast is of interest then Tenby boat tours is worth your time (there’s even a seal safari).
If you would like to visit the local museum (with a sea view), then here is the site.
After a few days of lounging on the beach, you may get bored and want to get your adrenaline going with paintball or go-karting then here is Heatherington World of Activities to get the blood running.