As you can see from our previous blogs, cosying up in one of St Davids Escapes’s gorgeous Pembrokeshire cottages, with the fire roaring and nature doing its epic, energetic thing outside your doorstep is, in our view, the best way to spend winter breaks. The other side of this hygge coin is a tiny city which draws an entirely different crowd when the sun is shining. That’s right – being at the tip of a peninsula means dramatic winters and balmy summers. St Davids transforms annually from a quiet hideaway to a bustling holiday spot, allowing visitors a completely different view of this phenomenal part of Pembrokeshire.
So what can you get in Pembrokeshire that you can’t get anywhere else during the warmer months, we hear you wonder?
Here are our top 4 reasons why you should definitely visit St Davids this summer.
Visit St Davids: for the surf
When we think of summer staycations in Britain that involve watersports, we inevitably think of the reputation of the Cornish coast. But that coastline also has another reputation – being so busy that you can’t park/drive/stay anywhere without lots of forward planning. This is why we believe that you should visit St Davids rather than St Ives. No offence to our Cornish cousins, but being as we’re sitting right in the middle of the only coastal National Park in the UK, crowds are not as much of an issue here.
We recommend that experienced surfers head down to Newgale beach, where the pebble beach runs in a messy curve along this central part of St Brides Bay, allowing for excellent surf and exceptional views. For the less experienced surfer, then Whitesands bay is a smoother beach offering more mellow surf. Local surf eficionados Ma Simes Surf School teach lessons there daily over the summer, as well as hire out wetsuits and boards for those who just want a splash about. See their website http://www.masimes.co.uk/surfschool/
to book your surfside adventure.
Visit St Davids: for the food
Yeah, we know we talk about it a lot, but here at St Davids Escapes, we cannot stress enough how wonderful the food is on this peninsula. In an age of fast food and convenience meals, why not also give your digestion a well-deserved break from your hectic lifestyle and treat it to the freshest organic produce Pembrokeshire has to offer? The best spots for summer meals in the sunshine are The Druidstone Hotel for their Feast evenings perched atop a cliff overlooking the whole of St Bride’s Bay, or The Shed in Porthgain, where you can have the freshly caught and cooked fish and chips sitting in its ancient slate harbour, listening to the fishing boats bringing in their yield. St Davids also boasts a growing number of ice cream vendors, from The Bench right on St Davids High Street, to Pointz Castle ice cream parlour near Newgale, and Lochmeyler Farm Ice Cream, stocked by many of the city’s cafes and restaurants. All use local milk and fascinating flavours – we particularly love Lochmeyler’s Pembrokeshire Salted Caramel flavour. It’s the perfect treat after a stroll along the coastal path.
We’re big fans of al fresco dining during the summer, and you need no other reason to visit St Davids this summer than for the plethora of breathtaking picnic spots. If we had to choose then the Chapel of St Nons, the mother of patron Saint David, a mile outside the city and right on the coastal path would be our favourite – there is something special, spiritual even about this spot. You can also picnic within the cathedral grounds, taking in the history and majesty that is the reason for our city status. Or, if you’re happy to risk sand in your sandwiches, then why not stock up on locally caught fish from Mrs Will the Fish in Solva and cook up a beach feast over a barbecue. One of the greatest joys of the being on the westernmost point of Britain are the sunsets. Go to bed with sandy skin, the scent of bonfire in your hair and a belly full of fresh Pembrokeshire fish.
Visit St Davids: for the wildlife
While we know we’re just one of many peninsulas along our beautiful British coastline, we really do have a lot to brag about in St Davids that can’t be said of anywhere else in Britain. For example, we have the oldest volcanic coastal rock formations in the UK, visible from Lower Treginnis, just outside St Davids and overlooking Ramsey Island. And whilst we’re talking islands, did you know that almost half a million Manx Shearwaters live on Skomer Island? That’s the largest colony of the albatross’ cousin in the world, and all a boat ride away from your Pembrokeshire holiday cottage. Local boat company Falcon Boats will take you from the car park at Oriel y Parc in St Davids out to sea to visit the puffins on Ramsey Island, or to watch Minky whales and bottlenosed dolphins playfully skim the waves. The summer is the perfect time to go out on a boat trip to visit St David’s diverse coastal creatures. Did we mention the puffins? There are over 8,000 pairs of Atlantic Puffins on these islands, and they’re not too camera shy, either! Pembrokeshire offers plenty of opportunities to get up and close with nature on many levels, whether it’s with seals in September or Red Kites high on the peninsula’s many peaks.
Visit St Davids: for a mindful holiday
Being over an hour off the M4 is not as inconvenient as it sounds. In fact, we offer a challenge: we dare you to see how long it takes you to begin to relax between the end of the motorway and your St Davids Escape cottage. We’re betting you’ll feel quite calm driving through West Wales’ idyllic countryside, making you in the holiday mood by the time you arrive. When you visit St Davids, it’s almost impossible not to feel more mindful: we may not have a theme park or shopping mall for a wide radius, but we have more fresh air and spiritual spots than you can cram into a short break. It is, after all, the birthplace of our Patron Saint, and the monks founded the religious order on the banks of the river Alun flowing out towards St Davids Head because of the intensity of this ethereal place, wild and energetic. Health benefits are a big reason to visit St Davids: cold water swimming can help boost your metabolism, mood and is great for your skin. The sea air is good for your brain and will help you get an amazing night sleep. And the 186 miles of coastal path Pembrokeshire has to offer, curling all around the St Davids peninsula, is a great way to stretch your legs while boosting your happy hormones on a hike in Welsh paradise.
We think that St Davids in the summer accommodates your perfect coastal holiday – don’t forget to tag us in your summer holiday snaps in St Davids with the hashtag #stdavidsescapes