Fans of the yuletide rom-com “The Holiday” will understand why a Christmas cottage break can offer up the perfect traditional festive holiday. Whether you fancy breaking out the board games with the kids or snuggling up in front of the fire with your beloved, a Christmas cottage stay can ensure that you all have the most wonderful time of the year. After all, Christmas is a time where we yearn for the simplicity of chestnuts roasting on an open fire, some carol singing and lots of scarf-wrapped opportunities to walk off one-too-many minced pies.
While the snow scenes of Christmas cards may be rare nowadays, a Christmas cottage break in St Davids certainly hints at nostalgic Noel nights. Our chocolate box cottages, idyllic coastal setting and the echoes floating up the lamp-lit streets from the cathedral provide a Victorian-style backdrop for the best Christmas yet. The logs are crackling, the presents are under the tree, and your Christmas cottage is feeling well and truly festive. Now what? Don’t sit around waiting for Santa – take a look at our Christmas Memories list to make sure you’ll never forget your seasonal stay in St Davids.
Stock up on stocking fillers
Yes, we know that we’re 40 minutes from the nearest department store, but to be honest, there’s nothing like St Davids for unique Christmas gifts. This area is known for its plethora of artists and authors, and the artisan shops here reflect that. The galleries are ram packed with fantastic local artwork, depicting your beautiful surroundings – St Davids is not just for Christmas, you can take it home and put it on your wall. You could spend a good hour traversing the treasure trove that is Window on Wales, full of handcrafted Welsh goodies, perfect as stocking fillers. For the water sports fans in your life, then both the TYF shop and Ma Simes’ shops both offer clothing, gifts and vouchers for coasteering, boat trips and surfing lessons. You’ll need a whopping big stocking for a surf board, though! There’s also lovely local butcher if you’re staying in for Christmas, and St Davids Food and Wine offer goodies galore and deli delights for your Xmas Eve drinks and nibbles. No need for a last-minute present panic – our littlest city has plenty to offer to cram under your tree.
Give back to nature
Christmas is a time for giving, so why not give back to the beautiful coastline while on your Christmas cottage stay? There’s nothing like showing some appreciation for Pembrokeshire’s glorious beaches by joining in a beach clean. Many local organisations including Surfers Against Sewage and Pembrokeshire Coast National Park are pro-active in collecting plastics that float onto our beaches from across the sea, as well as collating any litter left on the beaches locally. Surfers paradise Newgale Beach holds an annual Christmas beach clean or check out Pembrokeshire Coast Care on Facebook. You can always grab a bag and go litter picking while walking the dog – the locals will love you for it! It’s an excuse to stretch your legs, get lungs full of sleep-inducing sea air, and a last-minute opportunity to cross off a good deed from your resolutions list before it comes back around!
Go to Midnight Mass
You don’t need to be religious to take advantage of this Christmas tradition. And when your Christmas cottage location is in or around Britain’s smallest city, then you can kill two birds with one stone. A visit to St Davids Cathedral at any time is captivating, but at Christmas, with carol singing ringing up the valley from a candle-lit sixth-century red stone showplace? We’re betting it’s the most festive Christmas Eve you’ll ever have! Then, with the sounds of the choir singing “Silent Night” ringing in your ears, you can sneak back to your Christmas cottage. Light the fire, turn on the tree lights and pour a glass of something bubbly while you wait for Father Christmas to arrive. Bliss!
Go out for dinner
For some, the roasting of the turkey, the kitchen filling with the delicious smells of the Christmas feast to come, is as much of a Christmas tradition as the presents and the decorations. But for those of us who are no great shakes in the kitchen, why not skip the cremated parsnips and cottage cheese style brandy butter and let someone else do the hard work? After all, this Christmas cottage break is supposed to be a relaxing break, even for the chef! The Old Cross Hotel, right on the square in the heart of St Davids, is open for Christmas dinner. This building is at least 200 years old and has been serving dinner to guests since 1899. Refurbished in 2014, it is one of St David’s busiest eateries during the summer and offers your festive dinner with all the trimmings on the Big Day. Or why not pop to local hotel Twr y Felin, where you can order yourself a cheeky little Christmas cocktail to top off your perfect Christmas cottage break in this bucolic little city?
Go on a New Years Day Swim
Well, let’s be honest, after all Christmas food, it’s probably a good idea to get outside and move a bit, right? Well the local charitable group The Penknife Club have organised the ultimate communal outdoor activity to kickstart your metabolism and banish those mince pie thigs! Brave the beach, get your Christmas bikini on and join the New Years Day Swim at Whitesands beach. It may be chilly, but it’s one of the most exhilarating things you could do to celebrate the first day of a brand-new year of possibilities, so why not start it with a courageous bucket list tick? It may seem freezing, but actually, the sea is a solid 12 degrees centigrade, so think warm thoughts and dive right in!
Please comment below and share your St Davids Christmas Memories with us – we’d love to hear from you! If you’ve missed out on a Christmas cottage break this year, then take a look at our perfect properties for your Easter break!