One of the best feelings is when your destination exceeds all expectations. High expectations usually lead to disappointment, while low expectations turn out as is…. It is a rare commodity these days for somewhere to blow me away. Maybe its high expectations or the fact we have been so spoilt with such incredible cultures, countries, sites and experiences.
Recently however we have stumbled across one such town that truly exceeded expectations.
The quaint Welsh town of Tenby was the setting of our families first ‘out of country’ holiday, and it was wondrous.
Tenby is a small Welsh town situated in the county of Pembrokeshire, approx. 4-5 hours’ drive from London.
The town hugs the coastal cliff line and is home to some of the most incredible golden sandy beaches I have seen in the British Isles. In all honesty the beach actually rivalled some I have seen Australia and the Americas. The vast soft sand glistened against the blue skies and beckoned us to relax and enjoy the tranquillity.
The town itself has a magnetic draw, not only is it visually one of the most stunning towns we’ve seen but as an older port town retains a sense of authenticity. The remains of St Catherine’s Fort and the town’s walled defences are still very evident, and as such add an awe of mystery to the town. The cobbled side streets and scattered boutiques, eateries and independent shops and make wandering a sheer delight. Following the winding streets down to the harbour could not have been more picturesque.
The harbour is quite literally a scene out of a painting, a perfect contrast of rugged coastline and tranquil inlet waters. You can imagine it has been this way for years and will continue to be this way long after we have gone. Dependent upon the sea tides, the boats can resemble a flock of majestic sea birds, or a haunting array of ghost ships deserted on the beach.
Image Courtesy of http://www.visitpembrokeshire.com/
The harbour houses a number of seaside huts, all offering boat excursions to nearby wildlife sanctuaries, scenic cruises and even the occasional deep-sea fishing trip. One hut however offers a different delicacy, provided by the ocean itself. Simply Seafood offers a huge selection of fresh fish and seafood, that rivalled that we have had experienced in the far reaches of the world. The lobster and dressed crab was simply divine. There is nothing quite like fresh seafood, caught that morning and cooked by yourself to your own preference. I am literally salivating just writing about it.
As if the town itself didn’t house enough delights, the surrounding landscapes are just as intoxicating, with deserted beaches, hidden coves and acres and acres of wide open green space. Freshwater west was completely deserted and encapsulated a true air of tranquillity and beauty. You can wander the vast countryside at leisure, with areas such as Stakepole and Colby Woods leading the way for inspiration.
The town is also surrounded by a number of tourist attractions, amusement parks, museums and local farms. Not usually something we would consider on a holiday, but we decided to try highly rated Folly Farm and we were not disappointed. Folly Farm is essentially a mix of a farm. Small theme park and a zoo, a perfect place to entertain a toddler for a number of hours with interactive farm sessions and a wide variety of animals.
We visited Tenby in the British Autumn when the majority of wildlife had left and the days are a little chillier, however by this we benefited with empty beaches, clearer roads and a touch more peace.
We went for a cheap break to Wales but what we found was a location that will no doubt become a family tradition. We simply can’t wait to return….
To view other blogs from the UK please click here.