Tenby is a small, walled town, with a sheltered harbour that has been a settlement since the 9th century, and probably before, when it most likely began as a hill fort with a commanding position across the Bristol Channel and Celtic Sea.

Thick stone enclosing walls gave the security that allowed Tenby to grow as an important seaport, but continuing battles between the English and Welsh meant that they had to be strengthened many times. Today the walls still surround the Old Town, which for the modern tourist is full of olde worlde charm. Stone steps and narrow alleys (below) characterise this part of Tenby, with plenty of rough-hewn stone buildings that date back hundreds of years.

In the Middle Ages, Tenby harbour was a busy and important port, with trade locally and to Bristol and Ireland. Tenby boats also exported products to Europe such as wool, skins, canvas, coal, iron and oil. Imports were important too, with the first oranges in Wales landed by a Portuguese ship in 1566.

Shopping in Tenby today seems good for a place of this size, with most of the Old Town dedicated to the tourist trade. If you have a sweet tooth, Welsh Sweets and Treats (below) has to be on your must-visit list.

What’s Tenby like now? Pretty good actually, with a small museum that’s well worth a visit, though Saturday nights in Old Town may be on the noisy side for some gentlefolk. Here there are plenty of pubs and bars, packed with people keen to have a ‘good night out.’

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