A Weekend in Tenby

Barafundle Bay

As mentioned in our Pembrokeshire Part 3 post, our week in the holiday house had come to an end and as the six of us had packed up and left and were having a final breakfast in Newport, Chris and I deliberated on whether to go home or stay…

The weather wasn’t looking too good with Storm Alex heading towards the UK however…

We said goodbye to Yvey, Matt, Clare and Steve and Chris and I sat in a car park and made a decision to spend the weekend in Tenby! As a coastal town we figured there would be things to do and the rain wouldn’t spoil our weekend.

We also had to check the current UK local lockdown regulations as at the time this was impacting much of South Wales. Thankfully this excluded Tenby!

Setting off to explore Tenby

Having checked into our hastily booked Bed & Breakfast we spent Friday afternoon exploring Tenby… or trying to while dodging rain showers…

With its pastel coloured buildings and quaint harbour Tenby has been a popular holiday destination for many years. During the summer boat trips are available to nearby islands for bird watching or relaxing on sandy beaches.

Tudor Merchant’s House

As we walked into the heart of Tenby we came across the Tudor Merchant’s house, a stone building built in the late 15th century. This is the oldest house in Tenby and would have been occupied by a merchant conducting his business.

Castle Beach

In the blustery rain we made our way to Castle Beach, a huge stretch of deserted sand! I guess this would be packed with holidaymakers in the summer.

Blustery beach
St Catherine’s Island

St Catherine’s Island is a huge rock on the top of which sits a fort which was built in 1869. In low tide you can simply walk across the sand explore many caves. However you need to ensure you keep an eye on the tide as the rock becomes an island in high tide!

Exploring caves on St Catherines Island at low tide
St Catherine’s Island

By now the rain was heavy and the wind was almost gale force so we had to give up exploring Tenby. We found one of many town centre pubs in which to shelter while we decided to look online for a restaurant for dinner later in the evening.

Thai Massaman Curry

The dreary weather this didn’t stop us enjoying a couple of delicious meals while in Tenby and there are many excellent restaurants to choose from. On the Friday evening we had Thai curry in the Coach and Horses in Upper Frog Street which we highly recommend!

Saturday

We had considered a walk from Tenby to Saundersfoot and back however our B & B hosts suggested this might be muddy and unenjoyable and recommended visiting Stackpole, Barafundle and Manorbier. Our friend Matt had also suggested this so it seemed a good plan!

We drove for 30 minutes or so and parked in the National Trust car park in Stackpole. As with most Pembrokeshire car parks, we needed some £1 coins for the car park and paid £3 for 3 hours. As the web link mentions, there is a decent cafe with a large seating area which sells coffees, snacks etc. This was open while we visited in early October.

Stackpole

The tiny picturesque Stackpole Harbour is one of the smallest in Pembrokeshire and was built in the late 1700s to ship stone from a nearby quarry. We spent a short time having a look around the harbour and climbed up onto the headland to see the adjacent dramatic coastline.

Stackpole coastline
Chris

We followed the signs to Barafundle Bay, walking along the grassy slopes of the cliff tops of the Stackpole Estate.

Choughs

We spotted some choughs (pronounced ‘chuff’) as we made our way towards Barafundle. Choughs are a type of crow and are identified by their red bill and legs. They are native to the western coasts of the UK and Ireland as shown on this RSPB page.

Barafundle Bay

Barafundle Bay has a beautiful and remote beach which has been named as ‘one of the top beaches in the world’ on occasions. The only way to get to the beach is by walking for about half a mile (as we did) from either Stackpole car park or the other side from Broad Haven South.

Coffee on Barafundle beach

We were thankful that the morning had stayed fairly dry with just the odd bit of drizzle and enjoyed a coffee and snack in a sheltered corner of the beach. We walked a bit further around the coast towards Broad Haven South but turned back when it began to rain…

Manorbier beach

From Stackpole, we drove back towards Tenby and stopped at Manorbier. Google Maps took us along tiny roads into the village where we were reminded just how un-commercialised this part of Wales is. No dual carriage ways linking coastal towns or villages that you might see in many parts of England.

Manorbier beach

Manorbia has another wide expanse of sand and a small stream running straight into the sea.

Sea anemone

Within the rock pools where we saw many blobby red sea anemones. With their tentacles tucked in they looked like small lumps of jelly.

Manorbier Castle

Manorbier is dominated by its 11th Century Norman castle which overlooks the beach from its imposing position.

Manorbier Castle

The castle is open mostly year-round and was £5.50 each to enter. It might be a good idea to check in advance if any events or private functions are taking place.

Wedding venue

The castle can be hired for weddings which would provide a wonderful location for any couple getting married.

The castle is small and it only takes about 20-30 minutes to have a look around. However it is quite interesting to see the dungeons and the turrets and learn a little about the local history.

We parked in the beach car park from which we visited both the beach and the castle… more £1 coins needed…

From the castle we drove back to Tenby. By now heavy rain had stopped play again so we spent a couple of hours in our comfortable room, chilling out with a gin and tonic for the last full day of our trip.

Grilled hake fillet with roasted summer vegetable cous cous served with red pepper sauce!

While chilling we found it difficult to book a table for the Saturday evening… even though it was a rainy weekend in early October, many of the restaurants were already full. We managed to get a table in the Blue Ball and while a tad expensive we were not disappointed! The meal was delicious 🙂

The weather had further deteriorated with torrential rain on the Sunday. If you are fortunate to have good weather while in Tenby there is lots to do… you could do the walk to Saundersfood and back or drive further around the coast, just a short distance to the Bosherton Lily Pools and Broadhavens South area as we did on our first day in Pembrokeshire the week before. As it was so rainy we decided to drive home after breakfast…

We were fortunate to have discovered the Beachcomer B & B in which to stay for 2 nights. The hosts, Sharon and Andrew were incredibly welcoming and helpful, the room was large with a couple of comfy chairs and a fridge and the breakfast each morning was fabulous! The B & B was located close to the seafront and old town of Tenby and just a few minutes walk from both of the restaurants we visited. They also have parking available! Perfect 🙂

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