On the welcome sign to Tenby there is a line from the ancient Greek writer Euripides.
It says, ‘The sea washes away all the ills of men’ and it was originally inscribed above the door of Tenby’s bathhouse when it opened in 1810. The bathhouse was the brainchild of local entrepreneur Sir William Paxton who reckoned that the beautiful South Wales fishing village could be a magnet for those very first tourists looking for rest and relaxation.
Sir William’s vision combined with determination and hard work paid off and laid the foundations for Tenby’s still thriving tourism industry. With a beautiful coastal landscape, historic landmarks and family friendly attractions, it remains one of Britain’s most popular seaside towns, which was why we were so pleased to add the Fourcroft Hotel to our growing portfolio of Welsh properties.
Nestled between the rolling hills of Pembrokeshire and the beautiful Carmarthen Bay the Fourcroft Hotel enjoys and its own private pathway leading down to the beach.This special Tenby retreat is a little slice of Great British seaside history and it is theperfect base for exploring the town with its medieval walls and iconic pastel coloured houses, and the wider Pembrokeshire area, which in 2018 won the BBC Countryfile Magazine Award for the holiday destination of the year.
They judging panel aren’t the only ones to think this place is pretty special. Boasting some of Britain’s best-preserved coastline, in 2010 a panel of National Geographic experts heaped even more praise on the area, rating Pembrokeshire as the second-best coastline in the world (it was just nudged out of the top spot by the Avalon Peninsula in Newfoundland).
Nowhere in the Pembrokeshire National Park is more than ten miles from the sea and with 11 Blue Flag beaches it has some of the best places to dip your toe in the water in the whole of the UK. Add in historic castles, fabulous water parks, wildlife attractions and adrenaline-filled adventures and this corner of South Wales really does have it all.
While tourism is the area’s biggest employer, this isn’t a place which rests on its laurels. The Destination Pembrokeshire Partnership was set up to increase visitor numbers outside of the summer months and to ensure that the long-term tourism offer remains robust in an ever-competitive marketplace.
It’s already doing sterling work. Appealing to a wide visitor demographic, from couples to families in every income bracket, average room occupies for the area’s hotels and B&Bs have increased. Key to this success has been the launch of a number of niche events in the area which now attract a loyal following.
Now in its ninth year, Ironman Wales brings one of the world’s toughest endurance races to Tenby. The gruelling triathlon takes place in September and now attracts 10,000 visitors to the town and generates an incredible £3.5m for the local economy.
- Castle Beach: Superb sandy beach against the backdrop of historic ruins.
“Such an amazing beach with a castle above and a great cafe too, go explore this and the other two in Tenby – an amazing town.”
St Catherine’s Island: Small island which at low tide you can walk to from Tenby.
“This is a fascinating place to visit and is highly recommended. It has an unusual history as being a place of dizzy hedonism, a fort and once even a zoo. Check it out.”
- Wales Coast Path: Dedicated footpath which hugs the 870-mile coastline.
“The amount of wildlife never fails to amaze me. There are so many chances to see rare birds and animals such as chuffs and grey seals.”
- Pembrokeshire National Park: The only UK park designated due to its spectacular coastline.
“The whole coastal area of Pembrokeshire is picturesque sea cliffs and moody colours, a place that can provide real solitude and the pristine beauty you can only find far from cities.”
- Manor Wildlife Park: 52-acre zoo recently bought by TV presenter Anna Ryder Richardson.
“Definitely the best zoo ever. Ridiculously fluffy bunnies, cute lambs, mohican-sporting warty pigs, hopping wallabies, lemurs, tigers and strange looking chickens all reside in this zoo.”
- Steep Ravine:Climb, balance and zip wire your way around a tree canopy adventure.
“My daughter did the high wires here for 2hrs and loved it! The instructors were fab and were very helpful. Can’t recommend this experience enough.”
- The Dinosaur Park: Spot more than 30 dinosaurs on the woodland trail.
“We’ve been coming here since we were kids ourselves, now we take ours when we’re in Tenby. What a great place!”
- Blue Lagoon Water Park: Indoor water park with spa pool and play areas.
“Fantastic time was had, kids loved it and didn’t want to come out. The lazy river is well worth a few dozen goes.”
- Secret Owl Garden: Get up close and personal with 25 species of owl at Picton Castle.
“Getting to fly owls and have the chance to view them up close in excellent surroundings is such a great way to spend a day.”
- Pembroke Castle: Grade I listed medieval castle which has recently been restored.
“We were blown away by the castle’s historical and architectural history, which we learnt about on the guided tour.”