Ian Smith and family visit Tenby

Pembrokeshire: a first-time visit

New visitor, Ian Smith, shares some thoughts on his wonderful experience holidaying in Pembrokeshire


“I have just returned from a week in Tenby, my first ever visit. The question I’ve asked myself constantly is, why did it take me 55 years to spend time in this fabulous town?

Perhaps I was put off by Wales’ reputation for being wet, but why? In meteorological terms, Tenby is pretty much next door to Devon!

©Ian Smith
South beach Tenby

We were a party of 5: 2 adults and 3 teenage children (14, 16 and 17) and we unquestionably had one of our best holidays ever. That the sun shone all week was, of course, a big part of it, but even without that, there is so much that Tenby and Pembrokeshire can offer. We were welcomed with open arms wherever we went, we were not ripped off in any way at all – the prices of everything, everywhere, were reasonable. The flower displays were truly impressive, particularly outside the pubs, and there were more art galleries than amusement arcades.

©Ian Smith

I watched the lifeguards working. They were excellent, constantly looking and patrolling for people who may have got in difficulty in the water – I’m a strong swimmer but it was reassuring to see how we, the visitors, were being cared for. We swum through the natural tunnel under St. Catherine’s Island and looked up at the nesting birds; unable to record by photography but committed firmly to memory.  The beaches were very clean, the water too, and from what I could see, very safe for small children. There was space for everyone on the beaches for playing games, walking and of course for building the essential sandcastles.

©Ian Smith
Castle beach, Tenby

The coastal scenery was superb; the boat trips we took around the islands were excellent – informative and fun (in the case of the speedboat). We visited other beaches, Saundersfoot and the glorious Barafundle Bay (where the only manmade things in sight were those brought to the beach by its daily visitors).

©Ian Smith

The 5:30 sunrise over the Carmarthen Bay on Saturday morning was worth disturbing sleep for – priceless yet free. As we sat on the beach at the end of our holiday we remarked how it felt like we’d been abroad; it felt so different, so magical.

©Ian Smith

Thank you Tenby for providing us with a wonderful family holiday and memories to cherish. Don’t change anything.

And the thing is, I’m very difficult to please!

Ian Smith.”

Don’t wait as long as Ian did to explore Pembrokeshire. If you have a story like his, feel free to share it with us and remember to post pictures with the hashtag #VisitPembrokeshire on Instagram and Facebook. We love seeing your adventures!