The primary place to go for drinks on a night out in Tenby is the square in the high street. Located at the bottom of the square are Tenby's 3 most Popular pubs: The Lifeboat Tavern, Tenby House and The Buccaneer.
The Lifeboat Tavern
Fun bar staff that are always smiling and happy to help, bar is made from an old wooden lifeboat. The usual clientèle are usually ordinary folk everyone there to have a good time and not cause trouble. Prices however are some of the highest in Tenby, as of April 2012, £3.40 for a pint of lager.
Bar staff tend to be grumpy, but do serve quite quickly. Lots of room for dancing, sitting comfortably on sofas or playing pool depending what you would like to do.however, you can get shady characters that appear in this pub but they tend to hover outside in the beer garden.
The Buccaneer Inn
Probably Tenby's most popular pub. Drinks are served quickly with a smile, surprisingly as the staff must be so stressed due to the high number of customers on a Saturday night. Lots of room in the beer garden to spread out with outside heaters provided. However there is no room inside as everyone sits or stands in the main bar room, crowd up the narrow hallway to the toilets and beer garden meaning you will either spill or be spilled on in your efforts to find somewhere to go where you can drink your pint without feeling like a sardine. Toilets are small too, takes 20 mins before you can get to them.
There are also dozens of more pubs available depending what you would like to experience... for quiet drinks try the Quay Room, down the alley besides the Lifeboat Tavern or The Hope and Anchor, further down the square. You can try the Normandie halfway along Upper Frog Street. but it doesn't have the same atmosphere as a seaside town pub should. There is the twisted Shamrock, an Irish bar, located down a narrow alley besides the Normandie. The only pub to avoid is The Three Mariners due to the people that go there - Underage kids, rowdy hen nights and rowdy stag nights.
As for nightclubs, there are three that will each try to lure you to them...
The Prince of Wales
The POW or Prince of Darkness as the locals call it, is a small upstairs nightclub located on Upper Frog Street. Unlike the other nightclubs in the area, the POW doesn't try to lure you from other clubs but rather rely on it's position being the only nightclub within Tenby. It's lack of effort in drawing you in is refelected in it's apperance inside. Besides the light up dance floor nothing is attractive about this place. It's only appeal is that it's the last place open in Tenby to get a drink which is at 2:30am. £5.00 entry, free before 12:00am when you buy a drink.
This is just on the outskirts of Tenby towards Penally. If you're staying at Kiln Park for a holiday, this would work out as it's about 500 yds from DJ's. You can reach there by minibus travel which picks up people from the square for free. DJ's often has decent shows on and deals at the bar. as well as rather attractive barmaids. However you are left to your own devices at 3:30am when shuts to find your own way home. Taxi's will be very expensive at this point. £4.00 entry. Free on Fridays.
This is located in Saundersfoot about 3 miles away from Tenby. Like DJ's this is also reachable by free minibus travel. Lovely girls from the sands come to the Tenby pubs on Fridays and Saturdays to offer free entry or half price entry cards. Inside are two bars to reduce queuing, quick and friendly bar staff. comfortable seating, VIP area with free champagne. The dance floor itself is a decent enough size to not be too crowded on a busy night, has decent light effect and sound system and a Dj which doesn't mind taking requests. Due to the bouncer's policy of no drinks on the dance floor you don't have to worry about standing on glass or stickiness. The bouncer's have zero tolerance for stupid behaviour. You will receive one warning if they don't like your behaviour, if you persist they will escort you outside. There is also a fast food bar by the back door if you want to grab food before you leave when it closes at 3:30am. £6.00 entry, usually free before 12:30am on Fridays or £3.00 before 12:30am on Saturdays, provided you got tickets being handed out in the pubs earlier.
Dress Code: Hats not allowed in nightclubs, tracksuits frowned upon.
I could have been horrible and put this pub under the 'warnings and dangers' section, but I like the Three Mariners, in a strange sort of way. It was once listed in a UK tabloid newspaper as one of the UK's top ASBO drinkers pubs. For those not familiar with UK terms, ASBO stands for 'Anti Social Behaviour Order'.
The first time - and not the last time, please note - I came here it was full of women on a Hen Night. This is an interesting British custom, where women get together to have a drink the night before one of the group gets married. A Welsh hen night will often end with the Tom Jones classic 'Delilah being sung. When I got married over 20 years ago, we just met for a drink, but in recent years the whole thing has become much more expensive an elaborate with groups of women (and men - 'stags') going off for long drunken weekends.
Tenby is a popular stag and hen night destination - up to a dozen groups going round town. This particular group had a giant inflatable pink phallus with them, and most of its entourage were eventually sick on the floor. ... odd thing was that throughout the proceedings the wide sports-screen TV was showing the archaeology programme, 'Time Team'.
Maybe try the Threee mariners when there is a karaoke night on (and an absence of vomiting) - it could be fun. Note that my picture was taken from the safety of a nearby churchyard!
I think the 'stag and hen' thing is dying down a bit in Tenby, thank goodness. Promotion of pre-wedding binge-weekends means that when you arrive late at night at this quaint little town you'll see bouncers in dinner jackets outside many of the backstreet pubs. Also a popular place for squaddies on a Saturday night. Please don't be put off by this - there are other places to eat and drink in town, and the Three Mariners itself is a friendly place.
Dress Code: The rougher the joint the posher the dress code, is my view!
I've just returned from an excellent holiday in Tenby, and noticed that the 3 Mariners pub has quite a lot of bad press out there. I feel strongly that I should try to counter this view. I found it to be the best pub out of the many I staggered through during my stay, with a warm, friendly welcome and I also played a few great games of darts with the local team. All and all a pub that can be highly recommended.
Dress Code: No dress code