The walled seaside resort of Tenby has been popular with tourists for many years. Sheltered from the harsh Atlantic Ocean and the Irish Sea, it was a natural place for the Vikings to settle in the 9th century. In the 1100s, the Normans invaded, constructing the town’s protective walls and the castle in 1158. Tenby’s harbour assured the town’s economic importance to Wales with its exports including coal, iron, wool, and skins, and in 1566, oranges from Portugal were first enjoyed in Wales.
Attracting visitors from around the world, Tenby still has well-preserved walls and is known for its gloriously painted Victorian-era houses, craft industry and family-friendly beaches. The railway station, in the heart of town, has a regular train service, and there are many places to stay, from cosy B&Bs to comfortable hotels.
1. Build Sandcastles on Tenby's North Beach
With three beautiful sandy beaches to choose from, North Beach offers the most. A lovely protective cove with the tide in, when the sea retreats, the soft sand stretches for two miles joining up with South Beach. North Beach is close to the town with all its amenities and has good access for everyone.
Not only awarded the Sunday Times Beach of the Year, North Beach also has been given blue flag status, meaning it's recognised for its water quality, safety and environmental programme. There is also a regular lifeguard service, adding to its popularity with parents of young children.
Just off the beach, St Catherine’s Rock rises from the sea. A tidal island, the rock is home to a Napoleonic fortress built in 1867 and is renowned for its marine wildlife and plants. Learn all about the island’s fascinating history on a tour, which can be booked in Tenby.
- Perfect for family fun
- Blue Flag beach
- Tenby's North Beach Website
2. Explore Dinosaur Park
For a truly unique experience, head out into the woods around Tenby. There you’ll encounter wild, ferocious dinosaurs hiding around every corner, or crashing through the trees hunting their lunch. Dinosaur Park provides the ideal day out for dino fans.
Through the bluebell woods, and across crystal clear streams guides will introduce you to the friendlier dinos, such as the plant-eating Brachiosaurus and cute Triceratops.
The park has plenty of other attractions, too, including hurricane cars, disco boats, tractors and super bouncy trampolines. The on-site Ribcage Cafe offers delicious freshly prepared meals and snacks, and the shop is packed with gifts, books and more.
Whether you’re a dino fan or have children who can’t get enough of the scaly lizards, Dinosaur Park is a must-visit.
- Enjoy a dino adventure
- Tickets from £12.95
- Dinosaur Park Website
3. Go Wild at Manor Wildlife Park
Covering more than 52 acres, Manor Wildlife Park is one of Tenby’s most popular attractions and is widely recognised as having some of the best captive breeding projects in the country. The pair of critically endangered Sumatran tigers are part of the European Endangered Species Programme, and along with the southern white rhinos captive breeding project, demonstrate the zoo’s strong conservation ethos.
A feature of the zoo are its walkthrough exhibits. These allow visitors to get up close and personal with the animals. Sharing a lemur’s lunch, sitting amongst the wallabies, fussing red pandas and holding hands with gibbons all make Manor Wildlife Park unique in the world of zoos. With four species of lemurs, monkeys, zebras and meerkats, there’s always something going on.
There are opportunities to adopt your favourite animal with regular updates, photos and cuddly toys. This helps to fund the vital conservation of these animals in the wild. The zoo has other attractions, including a giant bouncy castle, play areas and an on-site cafe serving delicious freshly prepared meals.
- Experience the world’s wildlife here in Wales
- Tickets from £15.95
- Manor Wildlife Park
4. Enjoy the thrill of Oakwood Park
Oakwood Theme Park is a great day out. In fact, it's Wales’ biggest theme park, and it delivers on every front.
Since it opened in the late 80s it’s broken new ground, mixing adrenaline-filled excitement with a family-friendly atmosphere in the heart of beautiful Pembrokeshire. Incorporating thrilling BMX and go-kart tracks, a 3D cinematic experience, a giant water chute, and the 85-foot-tall (26 m) Megafobia which has been voted among the best roller coasters in Europe. Vertigo - the UK’s tallest sky-swing, Drench and Speed - a Gerstlauer Euro-Fighter roller coaster with a heart-stopping 97-degree drop, means there is no end to the excitement.
With no fewer than five roller coasters, four water rides, and another 17 rides to enjoy, the park also includes an area just for smaller children. The attractions here are designed to stimulate and encourage children to explore, learn and play together. From the Jolly Roger Pirate Ship to a giant soft play area, even the youngest child is catered for without parents having to worry.
- The biggest theme park in Wales
- Incredible rides and roller coasters for the whole family
- Oakwood Theme Park website
5. Meet meerkats and mighty lions at Folly Farm
Deep in the heart of Pembrokeshire, at Kilgetty, Wales transforms into the African Savannah, where lions roam, rhinos wallow and giraffes wander. Not too far from the wilds of Africa, you can experience the best that Asia has to offer, including cute, fluffy red pandas, leopard cats, and long-beaked pelicans.
But with 120 acres of fun, Folly Farm offers so much more. Alongside the 250 exotic animals, you can meet farm animals, including squealy piglets, goats, ponies, and rabbits. With chickens, alpacas, and even beautiful barn owls, there are animals galore here, and once you’ve had your fill of the fluffies, why not head to one of the eight adventure play areas or the fairground?
All your favourite rides are here – there are 17 different rides in the vintage fairground including a giant big wheel, merry-go-rounds, dodgems and loads more.
Being members of the British and Irish Association of Zoos and Aquariums (BIAZA) and the European Association of Zoos and Aquaria (EAZA), Folly Farm plays an important role in conservation, and if you wish, by adopting your favourite animal, you too can help to protect animals in their natural environment. At just 1.3 miles from Kilgetty railway station, it really is a great day out for all the family.
- 120 acres of wildlife watching with 250 exotic animals
- Petting zoo with farm animals
- Adopt your favourite animal