This great two-hour walk from Tenby to Penally will take you by beautiful beaches, a castle, a Tudor museum and a monastic island.
Famous for its beautiful sandy beaches, Tenby was originally founded as a Norman town, and later developed as a popular seaside resort in Georgian and Victorian times. It still retains plenty of its historic charm.
Meandering downhill from the station to the town beach, it’s worth a detour to see the medieval city walls on White Lion Street and the interactive Tudor Merchant’s House museum. Tucked away in an alleyway off the High Street, it’s a must for lovers of costume dramas.
North beach and south beach are divided by Castle Hill with its 13th-century ruins, lifeboat station and Wales’ oldest museum and art gallery. The adjacent harbour is a hive of small boats taking visitors fishing for mackerel or trips to off-shore islands.
Once on the beach, you’ve stepped onto a stretch of the 186 mile Pembrokeshire Coastal Path, and the Tenby to Penally section is an easy stroll along the beach. Walking west passed St Catherine’s island, which is accessible at low tide, you’ll soon leave most of the sunbathers (during summer) behind.
Sand dunes edge the top of the beach with a links golf course beyond. A half-mile out to sea is Caldey Island, reached via a 20-minute boat ride from the harbour. Cistercian monks still maintain the island’s sixth-century monastic tradition and it’s a peaceful haven for visitors, as well as the resident seals and seabirds, especially near the lighthouse. These days, the monks produce perfume, ice cream, cheese and chocolate, which they sell to tourists.
A couple of hundred yards before the end of the beach, turn right onto a path that crosses the dunes, golf course and railway line to Penally and its station, where trains can return you to Tenby.