Visiting Tenby - The Fortress of the Fish - A Beautiful Medieval Harbour Town in Wales

in #travel8 years ago

Do you like panoramic views of the sea while eating fish and chips? Or enjoy peaceful evening walks below medieval castle walls?

Beautiful Tenby is a medieval harbour town in Pembrokeshire, South West Wales and one of my favorite places in Wales to visit. It offers a fascinating history, miles of unspoilt sandy beaches and the striking medieval walls and barbican gatehouse which are centuries old.

As film maker Ed Skelling once said "It's an uncomfortable fact, that the history of our world is all too often defined by conflict", and this is certainly true when you look back at the turbulent history of Tenby.

The town in Welsh is called Dinbych-y-Pysgod, translated as "Little Town of the Fishes" by some, and also referred to as the "Little Fortress of the Fish" by others. Whether looking for relaxation or activities, visitors today will find many interesting ways to spend their time.

The monastic Caldey island is only a short boat trip away during the summer months

There are also variety of pubs and restaurants to cater to differing tastes. Whatever your preferences Tenby has a myriad of qualities that make it an off beat destination for tourists in the UK, Europe and the world over.

A Brief History

The town was first founded possibly as a Norse settlement. It offered a natural harbour and was renowned for having strong fortifications and the pleasantness of its people. However, the fortifications weren't enough to stop a number of invasions, notable ones in 1187 and again in 1260 from rulers including Prince Llewelyn. Later the Prince had to relinquish his control of the coast after being defeated by Edward I.

Soon after the town was rebuilt with better fortifications. Arches had been built around the original wall, with arrow slits higher up on the wall. During the War of the Roses Henry Tudor departed from Tenby when he began his exile. After the war he would be crowned Henry VII.

The town's fortifications were improved yet again in the late 1500s when the coast was threatened by the Spanish Armada. By this time the walls were six feet thick with some areas adjoined by ditches up to thirty feet in width. Tenby would see fighting on its soil, but it would be from within, moving between royalist and parliamentary leadership during the civil war, and was captured by Oliver Cromwell's troops March 7th 1644.

By the Victorian era Tenby was being sold to the public as a health resort, others touted that its coastline and cliffs were ideal for study. Walkways were built and wealthy holidaymakers established homes on the cliff tops to get the best views.

Today Tenby continues to attract tourists with its preserved Victorian buildings and its castle ruins.

If you do decide to visit, here are a sample of things to do and explore.

• 1 - Tenby's four beautiful beaches are one of the prime attractions. North Beach, South Beach, Castle Beach and Harbour Beach are easy to reach, and are lovely for walking, bathing or taking photos. Tenby has received many Blue Flags for cleanliness .

• 2 - Caldey Island, just off the coast of Tenby, this place was settled by Cistercian monks more than a thousand years ago. The monks welcome visitors during the summer season.

• 3 - Take a trip back in time at the Tudor Merchant's House, located within the walled old town. This three-storey house includes a latrine tower, andFlemish chimney if that's your cup of tea!

• 4 - The Tenby Museum is possibly the oldest independent museum in Wales. The exhibits include local archaeology, natural history and Victorian antiques.

• 5 - The nearby Heatherton World of Activities is a fantastic destination. Paintball, mazes, and the Treetops trail are just a few of the fun adventures available.

• 6 - Manor House Wildlife Park, only two miles from Tenby, offers an up-close look at exotic animals such as lemurs, wallabies, rhino, camels and tapirs with Walk-through's and a Wildlife Trail.

• 7 - Also a short drive from Tenby is Folly Farm. More than just a farm, with several amusement and activity areas there is plenty for everyone, it is geared at younger members of the family

• 8 - Those who visit the coastal areas for the fishing can enjoy one of the charter boats leaving the harbour daily, for Caldy Island in the summer.

• 9 - Oakwood Theme Park enjoys a reputation as one of the best theme parks in Britain. Set in 80 acres of Pembrokeshire countryside, it offers dozens of rides and attractions.

• 10 - Art Matters at the White Lion Street Gallery, is just one gallery that gives local and nationally known artists a platform for their work.

Speaking of art and inspired by the "little fortress of the fish" I drew this cartoon, my personal impression of Tenby :)

If you would like to learn about another interesting place to visit in Pembrokeshire, Wales, you're welcome to read my article on St Davids, the smallest city in the UK -

Thanks for taking the time to read this, cheers!


Very nice and colorful :)

Cheers, thanks again for checking it out

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