St Davids Accommodation and Holiday Guide Pembrokeshire

Introduction

The magical city of St David’s is the smallest city in the UK. It lies close to a spectacular stretch of wild coast line with plenty of activities, including dolphin watching, mountain biking, horse riding, surfing or just a leisurely stroll along the vast beaches.

The magical city of St David’s is the smallest city in the UK. It lies close to a spectacular stretch of wild coast line with plenty of activities, including dolphin watching, mountain biking, horse riding, surfing or just a leisurely stroll along the vast beaches.

St David’s is one of the most magical spots in the UK. What it lacks in size, it more than makes up for in other ways. The city is clustered around the cathedral, an elegant and detailed building that is the spiritual centre for Wales. Founded in 550 by Wales’s patron saint – St David, or Dewi Sant, who was born and baptised near here, the place was deemed so important by the Vatican that in 1120 Pope Calixtus II decreed that just two pilgrimages to St David’s were equal to one to Rome!

Hundreds of reasons to stay in St David’s

Despite having only one pub, it is a deceptively lively place that attracts people for many and diverse reasons. The excellent beaches attract surfers, windsurfers, kite surfers and indeed anyone in search of high adrenalin sports.

The wild rugged coastline, which forms part of the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park, appeals to walkers and nature enthusiasts alike. The savage beauty of the coast and the unique light fascinates artists and art lovers and the city has a number of art galleries and craft shops that reflect this.

The centre of the city is Cross Square, and is a triangular crossroads with a stone Celtic cross in the centre. The High Street runs down to Cross Square and over The Pebbles to the Cathedral.

The Cathedral

A dusky mulberry colour, and is built on the spot that St David Chose for his monastery. It seems a strange choice, as it is situated in a dip, but this was in the vain hope that raiders would miss it. The area is called Glyn Rhosyn in welsh, which means “Valley of the little Marsh”. Access to the cathedral is via 39 steps, after Thomas Cramer’s key tenets of Anglicism. The tower of the cathedral has clocks on only three sides, as the people of the North section of the city were unable to raise the funds.
Open Mon -Sat from 8 - 6.30 and 12.30-5.30.

Famous visitors to the cathedral include William the Conqueror in 1081 and Henry II came in 1171 and in 1172.
The building dates back to the 12th century, although subsequent additions and alterations have taken place. An earthquake in 1248 is responsible for the sloping floor and the leaning pillars. The Irish oak ceiling, added in the 15th century, has carvings of green men, ancient pagan symbols, believed to represent harvest and fertility.
The shrine to St David, damaged during the reformation, can be found in the north choir aisle and his relics are kept behind the altar. Interestingly, the choir contains a small stall which is reserved for the monarch, and this is unique.
Works were carried out in the 19th century by Sir George Gilbert Scott, and these include the brightly coloured ceiling in the presbytery.

The Bishop's Palace

Beyond the River Alun lies The Bishop’s Palace, a fantastic ruin, originally built by Bishops Beck and Gower in the early 14th century. It is said that’s it’s destruction was due to Bishop Barlow in the mid 16th century, he had 5 daughters and apparently used the slates from the roofs to pay dowries to other bishops, to marry his daughters! The colours of the volcanic rock, used to construct the building are vibrant and enchanting, glowing purple red and green. The corbels display human heads and domestic animals, as well as mythical creatures.
In the summer, the ruin provides a spectacular backdrop for open air plays.

In and around the area

From Cross Square in the centre of St David’s continue down Goat Street to St Non’s Bay. St Non was St David’s mother and it is said that she gave birth to him, nearly a mile south of the cathedral in a lane leading to the bay that now carries her name. It is a spectacular stretch of coast and the waters are said to have curative powers.

Also in the vicinity of St David’s is Whitesands Bay, one of the region’s finest beaches, with a vast stretch of sand and popular with surfers. In 1882 a tugboat went aground here and occasionally, at very low tides, you can see the wreck.

St Justinians, not far from St David's is where the boats that go to Ramsey Island leave from. Just continue along the road past the cathedral and the bishop's palace. Ramsey Island Boat Trips takes trips to the island as well as Whale and Dolphin watching trips.
Click here for Ramsey Islands Boat Trip details


The only tour operator allowed to land on Ramsey is Thousand Islands Expeditions based in Cross Square St David's.
Click here for Thousand Islands Expedition details

 

Last Updated: 28 Apr 2015


This Grade II listed, stone granary building has been lovingly converted into 2 spacious, modern apartments by skilled craftsmen. There are beautiful views out towards St David's head on the coast and down to the Bishop's Palace and Cathedral nearby.