Coastal jewel named 'best' in UK that's 'just like being in the French Riviera'

A coastal jewel with colourful houses, cobbled streets and stunning beaches has been named the 'best' seaside town in Britain - and it's easy to see why.

Boasts four stunning beaches just a short stroll from the town centre and quaint cobbled streets that could turn heads in Italy or on the French Riviera, the attractive collection of brightly-coloured houses sets it apart from many towns across Britain.

The ever-charming harbour of Tenby is a hotspot for tourists wanting to experience a traditional British seaside holiday, with its tourist destinations always buzzing during the popular seasons. Located in south Wales, Tenby has brilliantly adapted to the evolving requirements of traditional British seaside vacations.


It offers an optimal blend of stunning landscapes, pristine sandy beaches, leisure activities, and modern dining options. For those coming from Lancashire, it's approximately a five-hour drive.

Venturing beyond Tenby's historical 13th-century walls, visitors are greeted by sun-kissed beaches and awe-inspiring cliffside views over the sparkling water towards the captivating Caldey Island, the M.E.N reports. Tenby also offers an energetic food and pub scene, it even has its own brewery, as well as charming cobbled paths, where one can enjoy a relaxing pint or try some local delights.

The vibrant homes of the town, perched above the scenic harbour, are instantly recognisable. Tenby's history can be traced back to the Norman conquest, with medieval structures still tucked away in its alleys and hidden corners.

Since the Victorian era, it has been a cherished seaside resort. Today, it's celebrated for its four beaches, narrow cobblestone streets, bustling pubs, top-notch restaurants and classic seaside allure.

Beach enthusiasts will be delighted by the three miles of sandy stretches encircling the town. Castle Beach was named the UK's best beach in 2019 and currently boasts a 4.8 out of 5 rating on Google.

Where to eat in Tenby

You're spoilt for choice in terms of places to eat, from gastropubs and boutique eateries to barbecue and craft beer specialists.

With an overall score of 4.5 on TripAdvisor, The Billycan is an independent bar, restaurant and hotel nestled in the heart of Tenby. Offering a delicious range of pub classics and innovative bistro-style dishes, this popular spot also serves up a fantastic Sunday roast. It's perfect whether you're visiting as a couple or as a family with kids of any age.

Another must-visit for foodies is Tap and Tan. This independent craft beer taproom and live fire cookery, which has high ratings on TripAdvisor, is renowned for its meaty feasts and carefully curated menu made from locally sourced ingredients. Other top spots to eat in Tenby include Indie Burger, known for its gourmet burgers.

Where to drink in Tenby

Found down a cobbled alleyway, Harbwr Tenby is a gem in this popular seaside town, boasting a 4.5 overall score on TripAdvisor. Visitors love the friendly atmosphere. Patrons can freely walk into the on-site brewery and see the beers being made, or enjoy some first-class pub grub in the attached pub. Other popular pubs include the Hope and Anchor and the Coach and Horses.

Where to stay in Tenby

There are numerous hotels and BandBs scattered throughout the town, with rooms to suit visitors on every budget. According to TripAdvisor, the Broadmead Boutique BandB is the top-rated accommodation in town, boasting a perfect score of 5 out of 5.

For those seeking a touch of luxury during their getaway, the Heywood Spa Hotel is just the ticket, boasting pampering services for its guests. Meanwhile, the Penally Abbey Hotel and Restaurant presents breathtaking views, matched with complimentary tea and cake for an unforgettable experience.

You may also consider booking one of the illustrious clifftop houses - they pose as the ideal option for group holidays.

What about Tenby's beaches?

Tenby has no less than four public beaches all within a short walk of the town centre.

Whether you opt for North Beach, South Beach or the more secluded Castle Beach and Harbour Beach, each offers a picturesque escape. North Beach is particularly famous for its "superb, sheltered, sandy beach with the pinnacle of Goskar rock sticking out of the sand in the middle".

For those seeking charm on a smaller scale, Harbour Beach is sure to please. Nestled within the harbour and bordered by quaint cottages and a historic castle, it's especially beloved by families for its safe and watchful environment.

Meanwhile, Castle Beach boasts easy access via a purpose-built ramp, revealing golden sands and the magnificent sight of St Catherine's Island's fort during high tides. Those returning from a trip to Caldey Island, famed for its medieval church, meticulously maintained monastery and exclusive chocolate factory, will find their way back ashore at Castle Beach.

And then there's the vast South Beach with more than a mile of golden sands.

Tenby has lots of cafes along its sandy shores offering refreshments and ice cream. The town is easily accessible via public transport, with services to Tenby Station on the Pembroke Dock branch railway.

How Tenby clinched the 'best' rating and what visitors think

Tenby scooped the title of the best destination for holiday fun, notching up a stellar 7.71 out of 10 in a study by OLBG. The research took into account a variety of factors such as the number of pubs, restaurants, museums, parks, zoos and aquariums, water and amusement parks, arcades, beach review scores, hotel prices, Google searches, average temperature, average rainfall, and proximity to local train stations.

Tourists have also left their own rave reviews about Tenby. A family who visited in April 2023 called it a "beautiful town", sharing: "It is a place of beauty, a working environment with walkways, restaurants, cobbled streets and archways, smells and sounds. I loved it. It is so interesting to wander around from the lifeboat to the shore to see its working heritage. To the more modern aspects of tourism and restaurants, people queuing for boat tours and sea food kiosks. The cobbled streets with arches of shops and curios. Well worth a visit."