Growing up in Pembrokeshire I have had the pleasure of spending many sunny (and rainy) days in St David’s, each time I return I find another reason as to why I love it even more.
When you think of St David’s, i’m sure the St David’s Cathedral (that makes St David’s the smallest city in the world) springs to mind, and there is no doubt that this magnificent Cathedral is a beautiful wonder in its own right! However, this blog is to express there is so much more to St David’s other than it’s beautiful Cathedral.
If you want to know where to uncover a quaint gallery with gorgeous local art, a very loved and old recycled book, a craft work shop, and of course the best foodie stops (including ice cream) and places to stay, carry on reading this blog..
What to do..
Your itinerary for the day is probably going to be weather dependent, the great thing about St David’s is you’ll find something to do come rain or shine. When the sun is shining, you can’t not visit St David’s Cathedral. The beauty of this building will be sure to stop you in your tracks anyways. It seems to be one of these places that no matter how busy during the peak of summer, its atmosphere always remains to be peaceful and relaxed. Pack up a picnic with your favourite sandwiches and relax on the glorious surrounding green grounds.
So where to next? Before you go anywhere I highly recommend you make a pit stop at Gianni’s Ice Cream (just a short stroll around the corner from the Cathedral). Here they make bench ice cream using traditional methods, so it tastes just like it was hand-cranked, as you’d expect. Using the finest local organic milk from Caerfai Farm they then mix in their secret homemade recipe. I’m still making my way through every flavour they have to offer – my over ruling favourite is still ferrero rocher! (let me know yours!?)
Now you’ve purchased a delicious ice cream, perhaps it’s time for a walk. If you’re after sea and sand – head Whitesands Bay, one of Pembrokeshires beautiful blue flag beaches. If you don’t fancy this 30 minute walk, jump in the car – there’s a large carpark at the beach! Enjoy an afternoon reading your favourite book by the shore, or for the more adventurous why not have a try at water sports – choose from kayaking, surfing, even wind surfing. You can hire all water sport equipment from the beach shop, don’t forget your go pro’s to catch them epic fails!
If the weather is not in your favour during your St David’s adventure, fear not. This has happened to myself many a times, but is also when I’ve found some of favourite things in St David’s! The Tyddewi Gallery exhibit a marvelous collection of ever-changing art by both local and invited artists. Paintings, ceramics, glass, bronze and metal are all part of this beautiful gallery. You’ll find it difficult to leave without making a small purchase! (Mine was a beautiful glass painted ball that now gloriously hangs in my lounge window).
I’m sure you’re aware that St David’s is known for being the smallest city – but I’m pretty sure it could take the title for having the smallest book shop too! This glorious idiosyncratic shop just opposite the cathedral has been established for over half a century. Still under the same family management, this unique shop has provided a book selling service to countless generation of readers. Often these well-loved and recycled books are the best finds as they’re unexpected! A must visit for all book lovers.
Where to Eat..
For a delicious, locally produced meal..
St David’s Kitchen – Farm to fork: St David’s Kitchen has been born out of a love for the St David’s Peninsula – the local community, the environment and locally grown food. They are well known for only serving the freshest local produce, including their own St David’s Welsh Black Beef (reared within the Pembrokeshire Coast National park just outside St David’s) and newly added to their menu Ramsey Island lambs and venison. I love that they support local farmers, producers and fisherman and I’m sure this is how they deliver such spectacular food to your plate.
For a cosy coffee and glorious slice of cake..
Oriel Y Parc…
If you’re after a warm cup of coffee and a hearty slice of victoria sponge this is the place for you. Oriel y Parc aim to provide more options than your average café; gluten free, vegan and dairy free options are also available. Located inside a National Park building, after your coffee wonder around the gift shop and art gallery in partnership with the National Museum of Wales.
For pub grub and a great cider..
A traditional small and cosy village pub is the Farmers Arms. Here in this quirky old styled building you’ll find lots of friendly locals and tourists alike enjoying the weekend with great food and ales on offer. For a friendly, bustling atmosphere and comforting pub grub this is definitely worth a visit!
Where to Stay..
Stay in the heart of St David’s with Coastal Cottages:
Sleeping 4 in 2 bedrooms
Penlan Cottage is one of a pair of semi-detached cottages set down a lane surrounded by farmland yet only a 10 minute downhill walk from the tiny City of St Davids.
Beautifully restored and renovated, it retains all its original charm and has been wonderfully furnished by a local interior designer (Pethau Bychain- Ritson Interiors) reflecting the soft tones of nature with greys, blues and coral complimenting the timeless comfortable feel. Enjoy a morning coffee on the bench on the front terrace and soak up the lovely views.
A weeks break starts from £483
Sleeping 6 in 3 bedrooms and welcoming 2 pets.
Greystones House is a charming, grade II listed, end of terrace house, built from the same stone as the Cathedral set right in the heart of the tiny City of St David’s. Renovated throughout, it has been beautifully furnished in an eclectic mix of carefully sourced antique and contemporary pieces, yet retaining many original features and character with practical, wood floors and local artwork on the walls; the cosy sitting room with wood burning stove makes a delightful retreat
A weeks break starts from £465
Sleeps 6 in 3 bedrooms and welcomes 1 pet.
3 Stable Yard is a modern spacious detached executive house, one of a pair built in a courtyard tucked just off the main street in the heart of the popular tiny city of St David’s.
Beautifully finished and stylishly furnished to a high standard, the wooden floors throughout are complimented by Laura Ashley fabrics and modern furniture in warm calming tones to create a relaxing ambience. The fully fitted kitchen/diner leads to the light lounge with wood burning stove for chillier evenings, French doors open onto a small, sheltered and enclosed lawned garden – ideal for an alfresco meal!
A weeks break starts from £525
Sleeping 8 in 4 bedrooms and welcoming 1 pet.
Dating back to the 1850’s, 44 High Street is another Grade II listed house. Set right in the heart of this bustling tiny city, all its shops, galleries, restaurants and pubs are just yards from your door.
Renovated throughout, it retains all its original charm with beams, exposed stone walls and feature fire places, it is furnished in a stylish mix of antique pieces with a modern twist. Conveniently situated with all the facilities on your doorstep, spend time visiting the Cathedral and exploring the ruins of the Bishops Palace, the beach at Caerfai is less than a 1 mile walk away or Whitesands Beach renowned for surfing with both experts and beginners alike is only a short car trip.
A weeks break starts from £550
Sleeping 6 in 3 bedrooms and welcoming 1 pet.
Whitewell is deceptively spacious and beautifully furnished in a contemporary style to a very high standard to provide modern quality accommodation. Tucked away down a quiet lane which leads to St Nons Bay and the Pembrokeshire Coastal Path, just off the centre of St Davids.
The wonderful fully fitted kitchen leads to a spacious dining area, with French doors opening to a paved patio which enjoys lovely rural views. There is a further patio door off the lounge giving plenty of space to enjoy an alfresco meal within the large, mature lawned garden, while the three bedrooms all make delightful retreats.
A weeks break starts from £550
For any more information on these delightful cottages click here or call us on 01437 772 755 to book today!