The smallest city in Great Britain has art galleries, a magnificent cathedral, secluded beaches and wildlife-spotting adventures.
Surrounded by the stunning coastal landscapes of Pembrokeshire, St. Davids is an inspiration to artists and a playground for beach and water-based activities. Once a Celtic stronghold, St. Davids is named after the patron saint of Wales, who was born here in the 6th century. Although officially a city, it bears more resemblance to a close-knit village. It’s a place proud of its roots and you’ll often hear people conversing in Welsh as well as English.
A great place to start your visit is at the glorious St. Davids Cathedral, built in 1181 on the presumed grounds of St. David’s monastery. Admire the richly decorated altar, chapels and cloisters. Gaze in admiration at the shrine to St. David and browse exhibitions of art and antique treasures. Stroll amid the ruins of the medieval Bishop’s Palace, the setting for open-air music and theater performances during the summer months.
Wander around the unhurried city streets, framed by perfectly preserved stone houses and interspersed by leafy squares. Spot work by local artists at the Oriel-y-Felin Gallery and Oriel y Parc Gallery. Peek inside boutiques, chocolatiers and craft shops. See displays of sampler, decorative embroidered cloths, at The Sampler Tea Room and Museum.
Set at the northern tip of St. Brides Bay, St. Davids is close to several beaches, some well-known and some off the tourist trail. Whitesands Bay is popular with surfers while Porthmelgan Beach is great for exploring rock pools. Also worth visiting are Caerbwdi, Caerfai, Porthclais and Porthllisky. Getting between the bays and beaches is enjoyable via the scenic Pembrokeshire Coast Path.
Nearby St. Justinian’s is the starting point for excursions around the waters of St. Davids Peninsula. Have fun on an exhilarating jet boat ride or go mackerel fishing. Join bird, dolphin and whale-watching tours. Cruise around rugged offshore islands, including Grassholm and Ramsey Island.
Public buses connect St. Davids with major destinations in Wales’ Pembrokeshire region such as Haverfordwest, Milford Haven and Pembroke. Extend your stay to explore the picturesque villages that pepper St. Brides Bay. A coastal bus links the city with Broad Haven, Little Haven and Marloes, among others.