Two days of our recent Pembrokeshire holiday were focussed around Tenby, which is one of the main seaside towns in west Wales. Perched on a cliff, Tenby is a pretty and historic harbour town with a 13th century stone wall and huge sandy beaches. Chris and I spent a very rainy weekend there in October 2020 but, at 26 degrees, thankfully this time the weather was much better..
The purpose of the first day in Tenby was for our coasteering experience. We were all able to park in the multi storey car park for £5 for the day.
We had arrived in the morning and walked along the extensive sands of the south beach.
From the south beach we headed up into the town in search of a drink and and early pre-coasteering lunch!
We had a sandwich lunch in the Three Mariners pub, sitting outside in a shady section of the street.
What is coasteering?
We were not really sure either but it looked a fun thing to do! Visit Wales explains “It’s about rock-hopping, shore-scrambling, swell-riding, cave-exploring and, yes, cliff-jumping.” That is what we were letting ourselves in for! Woohoo…
Based on their 100% 5 star Trip Adviser scores and being close to where we were staying, I had booked the coasteering experience with Tenby Adventure and on this occasion 10 of us were participating.
Tenby Adventure are based at Tenby harbour and the location for the coasteering depends on tide and weather conditions. We were fortunate to have perfect weather and were able to coasteer on St Catherine’s Island which is a short walk from the Tenby Adventure base.
We were each given a wetsuit and had also been asked to bring our own shorts and a pair of old trainers with us. We were able to get changed in their small unit and leave our clothes and valuables in shelves at the back. We were then each given a coasteering helmet and a pair of gloves before setting off…
Heading off to St Catherines Island for coasteering.
The first thing we did was to swim out to the island (the other side of the island shown above), climb out onto the rocks, up a few steps and jump into the sea! This started with a height of about 10 feet. Neither Chris or I had ever jumped into the sea before and I had some concerns about stupid things like sea water getting up my nose! However it wasn’t too bad at all and we all took turns and did a couple of jumps each.
Next was a swim to another rock where we climbed out and did some scrambling along before jumping in again. Throughout the coasteering, our knowledgeable guides informed us of interesting facts about the sea, wildlife and geology of the rocks.
Very annoyingly we had an issue with our go-pro battery which refused to charge meaning we were unable to capture any photos of our coasteering experience. Second best was to use images from the website of Tenby Adventure… we looked just like this!
One of the best bits was ‘swell riding’ i.e. the experience of swimming into and out of caves with the waves going in and out! If you catch the wave right, it will sweep you along into and out of the cave although this resulted in crashing into your friend in front of you! This was a surreal but fun experience 🙂
Interestingly, when Chris and I last visited the tide was far out and we were able to walk around the very spots that were deep underwater on our coasteering day. There was no way we could have jumped into the sea back then!
Overall, everyone had a great time, loads of laughs and we would highly recommend Tenby Adventures. They took safety very seriously and were patient at all times, doing their best to encourage us all but without any pressure.
Once the experience had finished we headed back to the holiday house and celebrated with an evening meal in the Angel in Narberth.
Tenby… the following day
The next day was grey and overcast, we had all had a late night and to match the weather were feeling somewhat jaded. We hadn’t made any real plans but decided to go our separate ways and do our own thing.
Some of the group had brought their stand up paddle boards with them so they went to Tenby south beach to paddle board. Chris and I decided to have a pub lunch and a wander around Tenby historic town.
We walked through the colourful historic narrow streets and past some of the quaint shops.
Not really into shopping, Chris and I made our way to the south beach, had a coffee in Salty’s Beach Bar and met up with the others who were finishing off their paddle boarding. By now it was around 4 pm and starting to rain so we all went back to the holiday house for the rest of the evening. Thankfully the rain was just a light shower so we enjoyed a pleasant evening eating snacks and having a few drinks on the patio.