12 Things to Do in Tenby, Wales that You Can’t Miss (2024)

written by local expert Catrin Lynn

Catrin is a history enthusiast based in Wales. Her passions are her animals, exploring the Welsh mountains with her husband, wellness, and traveling to different European cities.

Looking for the best things to do in Tenby? I got you covered.

From exploring ancient cobbled streets to basking in the sun on pristine beaches, the list of things to do in Tenby is as enchanting as the town itself.

Born and raised in Wales, Tenby is my favorite seaside town in Wales so trust me when I say, I have a lot to share with you!

What makes Tenby so special? It’s a blend of its rich history, the vibrant and welcoming community, and the breathtaking natural beauty that seems to be around each corner.

Follow me through the captivating streets of Tenby, a town where every moment is a chance for a delightful discovery.

tenby island
Tenby Island in Wales

Things to do in Tenby, Wales

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1. Explore The Picturesque Harbor 

Exploring the picturesque Tenby is a beautiful and rewarding experience making it one of the best things to do in South Wales.

The gentle lapping of the waves and the salty smell of sea air can transport visitors to a different world.

The harbor is often home to various boats, from sailing yachts to luxury cruisers, all of which create unique scenery. Take a stroll along the harbor walls and admire the many boats moored in the harbor.

The views are breathtaking, especially at sunset when the sky turns gorgeous with hues of orange and purple.

You will find a fantastic selection of restaurants, cafes, and bars where you can grab a bite or a drink. Here you can enjoy the scenery even in the rain.

View of South Beach in Tenby, Wales
Visiting South Beach is one of the best things to do in Tenby, Wales

2. Enjoy Tenby’s History

Walking through the cobbled streets is one of the best things to do in Tenby. Each stone underfoot, worn smooth by centuries of passersby, tells a story.

The streets are lined with colorful houses that add charm to the town’s historic character, making it a top attraction in Tenby.

Visiting The Tenby Museum and Art Gallery is a journey through the rich history of this coastal town. Perched on Castle Hill, it’s the oldest independent museum in Wales and a must-visit, especially among the things to do in Tenby in the rain.

The museum is a treasure trove of maritime history, showcasing the stories of fishermen and sailors who once called this port home.

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3. Catch Some Rays at Tenby’s Beaches

Tenby’s beaches are a pristine paradise, boasting cleanliness that has earned them numerous awards. These stretches of golden sand are a top attraction in Tenby, Wales, inviting visitors to experience their natural and well-preserved charm.

If you’re heading to the area, enjoying a beach day is one of the best outdoor activities in Wales. Here are some beaches worth visiting during your trip:

North Beach

North Beach is a golden sandy haven dotted with intriguing rock pools and the imposing Goscar Rock.

It proudly holds a Blue Flag certification, a testament to its exceptional water quality, making it one of the top things to do in Tenby. With easy accessibility, it can get very busy during the summer months.

Harbour Beach

Harbour Beach, the smallest of Tenby’s beaches, is a picturesque gem beautifully located within the harbor itself.

Its proximity to the town and the unique Stowaway Cafe, tucked into one of the old archways, make it a perfect spot for things to do in Tenby in the rain.

From here, visitors can embark on boat tours departing to Caldey Island.

Castle Beach

Nestled between Castle Hill and the East Cliff, Castle Beach lies in a scenic cove, offering the opportunity to walk out to St. Catherine’s Island at low tides.

Facilities such as the Dennis Café, a hire facility, deck chair rental, and toilet facilities are conveniently available. Plus, boat cruises to Caldey Island depart from this beach at low tide making it easy to visit more attractions in Tenby.

South Beach

South Beach is a majestic stretch, with two kilometers of golden sands extending from St. Catherine’s Island to Penally Beach onto Giltar Point.

It has been honored with both the Seaside Award and the Blue Flag Award. South Beach offers a quieter, less touristy experience compared to North Beach. I’d highly recommend a bar called Salty’s. The food and service are always fantastic here!

Penally Beach

Penally Beach is an undeveloped stretch of coast, backed by dunes, which connects to Tenby South and Castle Beach in one complete stretch.

It’s a popular spot for dog walkers and offers stunning views of Tenby town, including St Catherine’s Island and the Fort, making it one of the key Tenby things to do.

Tips for a Peaceful Beach Day

If you’re planning a day at the beach, I would recommend arriving early as Tenby can get busy. Respect the environment by using designated bins for your rubbish, and embrace the serene atmosphere with a good book or a stroll along the shore.

Spots for Sunsets

For a breathtaking sunset visit North Beach and Castle Beach. As the sun dips below the horizon, these beaches offer a front-row seat to one of nature’s most beautiful displays.

Castle Beach in Tenby, Wales
Castle Beach in Tenby, Wales

4. Try Out The Local Restaurants and Cafes

You will never go hungry in Tenby with its endless possibilities of eateries. You will find something for everyone here.

You can enjoy laid-back cafes that suit the calming seaside ambiance of this Welsh town, which offers an excellent selection of fish dishes, a nod to Tenby’s maritime heritage.

You will also find a selection of restaurants serving high-quality food. I recommend trying some fish while you’re staying in this fisherman town, embracing one of the authentic attractions in Tenby.

My favorite Sunday roast is at the Billy Can, which can be found on Lower Frog Street. I would suggest booking in advance as it does get quite busy, especially when looking for things to do in Tenby in the rain.

Check out these other recommendations for Tenby:

The Baytree: Enjoy locally sourced food in this cozy and welcoming restaurant in the center of Tenby. A family-run, independent business that offers a varied menu of fish, meats, vegetarian and vegan options. You can also enjoy live music from time to time.

Top Joes: For something a bit different, give Top Joes a try for some mouth-watering’ wood-fired pizza. You can enjoy a great selection of pies, as well as salads, sides, and sweets. It’s perfect for a relaxed meal when considering things to do near Tenby.

The Plantagenet House: This ancient pub in the heart of Tenby has been serving up delicious food and drink for over 500 years. The menu blends traditional pub grub with modern twists. It’s a great spot to grab a bite or enjoy a pint.

Stowaway Coffee Co: For a quick nibble or a caffeine hit, check out Stowaway Coffee Co. This independent coffee shop has a superb range of artisan coffee, tea, and baked goods, and it’s the ideal place to stop for breakfast or lunch.

These are just a few of the many delectable places to eat in Tenby. Whether you crave seafood, Welsh cuisine, pizza, or coffee, you’ll surely find something that tickles your fancy.

5. Hike the Coastal Path

Nestled along the stunning Pembrokeshire coastline, the coastal path in Tenby, Wales, is a walker’s paradise. The coastal path from Tenby to Saundersfoot is a must for anyone visiting Tenby. In fact, it’s worlds apart from the Welsh city of Swansea!

This stunning 12.7km walk offers breathtaking views of the Pembrokeshire coastline. It is a moderately challenging route, with some steep inclines and declines, and a mix of woodland and cliff-top paths.

This walk is manageable even in rain but make sure you have sturdy footwear as it can get muddy. Be sure to carry water, and check the weather forecast before setting off.

This is one of the most invigorating things to do near Tenby, especially for nature lovers.

The path will take you to Saundersfoot and back, but there is a bus if you only fancy going one way. Saundersfoot is a lively harbor village where traditional Welsh charm meets golden sands.

Similar to Tenby, it has a beach with plenty of restaurants, pubs, and cafes. I would recommend stopping here to look around and maybe enjoy a glass or two in one of the bars overlooking the sea. Talk about relaxing!

Colorful houses on the coastline in Tenby
Colorful houses on the coastline in Tenby

6. Dive Into Some Water Sports

If you enjoy water sports, or if you’re looking to learn, Tenby is the place for you. Here are some of the activities you can dive into:


Tenby’s South Beach is a popular spot for surfers, offering a great combination of waves for both beginners and experienced surfers. Surf schools and rental shops are available for those who need equipment or lessons.


Paddle your way around Tenby’s stunning coastline. Kayaking allows you to explore the area’s natural beauty at your own pace. It’s a fantastic way to get close to marine life and is a great thing to do in Tenby in the rain or shine.


For the ultimate adventure, try coasteering – a blend of rock-hopping, shore-scrambling, swell-riding, and cliff-jumping. It’s a unique way to explore Tenby’s rugged coastline and is offered by various local companies, such as Tenby Water Sports.

Stand-Up Paddleboarding (SUP)

My favorite water-based activity (maybe because it’s the only one I’m coordinated enough for) is SUP. Enjoy the serene yet invigorating way to explore Tenby’s waters. You’ll find plenty of rentals and lessons available.

Jet Skiing:

For those looking for a bit more speed, jet skiing is a thrilling option. Rentals are available at several locations in Tenby, offering a unique way to take in the sights of the coastline.

New Quay is another amazing destination to enjoy watersports in Wales!

7. Check out the local shops

Tenby has a variety of independent shops that sell everything from clothing and art to souvenirs. You can spend a few hours wandering the streets and pebbled alleyways looking through the local shops.

Tenby also has an indoor market with a handful of shops that are open from Monday to Saturday.

Exploring the town’s streets and alleyways is a fun way to spend a rainy afternoon, just make sure to remember your umbrella or waterproofs.

Harbour Bar in Tenby
Harbour Bar in Tenby

8. Try out the local nightlife

Tenby has a thriving nightlife with many pubs and bars catering to all tastes. It’s also somewhere for you to hide away from the rain while enjoying a glass or two:

  • The Buccaneer Inn: This lively pub is located on the seafront and boasts a great selection of beers, wines, and spirits. With regular live music and a cheery ambiance, it is a perfect spot to unwind and enjoy a good time.
  • Tenby’s Nightclub: As the name suggests, this is Tenby’s go-to spot for dancing. With a mix of chart hits and classic anthems, it’s where the town comes to let loose. The energetic crowd and lively DJs make it a must-visit for anyone looking to dance the night away.
  • The Hope and Anchor: This pub offers a pint with a view – it’s located right on the harbor, offering stunning seaside views. With a great selection of ales and a warm, welcoming atmosphere, it’s the ideal place for a relaxed evening with friends, especially if you love a pub with character and charm.
  • The Cove: If cocktails are your thing, The Cove is your spot. It’s modern and chic, with bartenders who are artists in their own right. From classic mojitos to inventive new mixes, this place is a cocktail lover’s paradise. Plus, the stylish interior makes it feel like a special occasion every time you visit.
  • The SandBar: This beachside bar is a great place to enjoy a drink while soaking up the sun (or sheltering from the rain). The relaxing atmosphere accompanied by its varied range of beers, ciders, and wines, makes it a sought-after haunt for locals and tourists alike.

These are just a few of the excellent pubs and bars in Tenby. Whether you’re in the mood for a wild night out or a cozy place to relax with a drink, you’re sure to find something that tickles your fancy in this enchanting town.

9. Take A Trip To Caldey Island

Fancy a tranquil escape? Just off the coast of Tenby, Wales, Caldey Island is your ticket to chill. It’s like stepping into a different world, where the waves gently lap against pristine beaches and time slows down.

This island isn’t just about stunning views; it’s got soul. Literally. A community of Cistercian monks calls this place home, and they’ve been here for over a thousand years.

Pop into the historic Abbey Church – it’s one of the most unique attractions in Tenby’s backyard.

Rain or shine, Caldey is a nature lover’s dream and one of the best things to do in Tenby in the rain or sun. Wander through lush woodlands, spot seals lounging on the rocks, and catch sight of seabirds soaring over the cliffs. It’s a snapshot of Wales at its wildest.

Before you hop on the boat back to Tenby, swing by the monastery shop. The monks here craft some seriously lovely perfumes and chocolates. It’s a sweet way to remember your visit and a perfect thing to do near Tenby.

How to get to Caldey Island:

Ready to check out one of the top Tenby things to do? Boats to Caldey Island set sail from Tenby Harbour when the season is right. It’s a quick trip, but it feels like a world away.

caldey island
Caldey Island

10. Visit a Church

Whether you belong to a religion or not, visiting a church is usually a fascinating experience due to the history and architecture of the buildings. In Tenby, you’ve got some stellar options that are worth a peek, rain or shine.

St Mary’s Church

St Mary’s Church, located on High Street, is more than just a beautiful building; it’s a warm welcome wrapped in stunning architecture. It’s one of the oldest and largest parish churches in Wales, and stepping inside feels like a journey back in time.

This church is a living piece of Tenby’s history. The stained glass windows are a sight to behold, and the intricate woodwork of the roof – it’s like an artist’s masterpiece.

It’s one of those attractions in Tenby that’s perfect for a reflective moment or just to soak in some local history.

St Julian’s Chapel

You can also visit St Julian’s Chapel, which is perched right on the harbor. It’s smaller than St Mary’s but no less charming.

This quaint and peaceful place is a window into the history of Tenby’s fishing community. It’s been a spiritual home for fishermen for centuries, and the maritime vibe is strong here.

It’s one of those Tenby things to do that offers a quieter, more reflective experience.

11. Visit A Nearby Castle

Pembroke Castle

Fancy stepping into a real-life fairy tale? A short drive from Tenby, Wales, you’re in Pembroke, home to a massive, well-preserved castle. Its history coming alive, and it’s one of the top attractions near Tenby.

Ever wanted to walk through a medieval fortress where knights and nobles once roamed? Pembroke Castle is your chance. It’s got towers to climb, secret tunnels to discover, and stunning views over the river.

Plus, it’s a perfect thing to do in Tenby in the rain, with plenty of indoor exhibits to explore.

If you’re keen to explore the castles and learn some history, you can take this trip which includes Pembroke Castle, Tudor Merchant’s House, and other historical sights.

Pembroke Castle is about a 20-minute drive from Tenby. Just hop on the A4139 and follow the signs. If you’re not driving, no worries – there are regular bus services from Tenby to Pembroke.

Manorbier Castle

Manorbier Castle is a Norman stunner with a garden that’s just begging for a stroll. It’s a chill day out and a stone’s throw away from Tenby.

Manorbier Castle is like stepping into a storybook. It’s got that rugged, romantic vibe that’s pure Wales. Wander the rooms where Gerald of Wales, a famous 12th-century scholar, once lived.

Check out the chapel, the turrets, and the stunning walled gardens. It’s one of those Tenby things to do that feels like a real discovery.

Manorbier Castle is an easy 15-minute drive from Tenby via the B4138. If you’re going car-free, catch a train from Tenby to Manorbier – the castle is just a short walk from Manorbier Station.

View of St Catherines Island
View of St Catherines Island

12. Enjoy A Day At Folly Farm

Rain or shine, Folly Farm is the ultimate day out. Seriously, this place is like several days out rolled into one.

Whether you’re a kid or just a kid at heart, Folly Farm is packed with fun, animals, and more fun. It’s one of those top things to do in Tenby that you can’t miss.

If you’re an animal lover like me, you might be concerned about zoos and farms but Folly Farm is committed to conservation and animal welfare.

The zoo is designed to provide environments that are stimulating and as natural as possible for the animals. They also have a dedicated team of experienced zookeepers who ensure that the animals are well cared for, healthy, and enriched.

The zoo participates in various breeding programs for endangered species, working with other zoos around the world to help increase the populations of animals that are at risk in the wild.

They are members of the British and Irish Association of Zoos and Aquariums (BIAZA) and the European Association of Zoos and Aquaria (EAZA), which set high standards for animal welfare and conservation.

Getting to Folly Farm from Tenby is a breeze. It’s about a 15-minute drive from Tenby. Head north on the A478, and you’ll spot signs for Folly Farm before you know it.

No car? No problem. During the summer, there’s a bus service (the 360) that runs from Tenby right to Folly Farm’s front door.

There are also lots of Tenby campsites located a short drive away from Folly Farm. This makes them a great accommodation option if you plan on visiting this well-loved farm.

Tenby is where stunning beaches meet history-soaked streets, and adventure is just part of the daily routine. Looking for a thrill? Coasteering has your name written all over it.

More into history? The castles are like stepping into a time machine. If you’re caught in the Welsh rain, there’s no shortage of cozy spots to escape to.

From the bustling life of the harbor to the inviting warmth of local cafes, Tenby isn’t just a destination; it’s a whole vibe. So, whether you’re near or far, make Tenby your next stop. Trust me, this Welsh gem is more than worth the journey.

Things to Do in Tenby Frequently Asked Questions

Is it worth visiting Tenby?

Absolutely, Tenby is a seaside gem that offers a perfect blend of natural beauty, history, and Welsh charm — it’s a must-visit!

What is Tenby popular for?

Tenby is famed for its stunning beaches, vibrant harbor, historic castles, and that irresistible, laid-back coastal vibe.

Does Tenby get busy?

Yes, Tenby can get lively, especially in the summer. However, that’s just a testament to its charm and appeal — everyone wants a piece of this Welsh paradise!

Does Tenby have a town center?

Indeed, Tenby’s town center is a delightful maze of cobbled streets, quirky shops, and cozy cafes — it’s the heart of this wonderful town.

What is it like to visit Tenby?

Visiting Tenby feels like stepping into a postcard; it’s a blend of scenic beauty, warm locals, and a sense of adventure that’s hard to beat.

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