This place of beauty and legends is also full of surprises – we’re betting
- St Davids is actually a city
It may be village-sized, with a population of around 1,600 people, but this beautiful ancient hamlet was awarded city status in the 16th century due to its fantastic diocesan cathedral. This makes it officially the smallest city in the United Kingdom – that’s a bucket list tick if ever we heard one!
2. St Davids has a castle
Everyone’s heard of the beautiful cathedral built by St David and his monastic settlers, but little is known about the earlier earthwork castle. We do know that it was the most westerly of the Landsker line castles and was built for the Bishop of St Davids, long before the cathedral and palace were built. It’s even rumoured that William the Conqueror stayed here! Now it’s barely visible under the undergrowth and situated on privately owned land.
3. This is the birthplace of Wales’ Patron Saint
St David was reputedly born at St Nons, a mile outside the city centre, during a ferocious storm. He was born to Saint Non and a chapel that was erected on the site was named in her honour. Close to the ruins of this chapel lies the holy well of St Non, with spectacular views over St Bride’s Bay.
4. The highest point in St Davids is Carn Llidi
Speaking of spectacular views, your horizon view from your St Davids Escapes cottage will most certainly include the ancient cairn of Carn Llidi. This rocky bastion overlooks Whitesands Bay and is one of several ancient cairns dotted along the North Pembrokeshire coastline. The walk to the top of its 181-meter peak isn’t too taxing and delivers breathtaking views of St Davids Head and the islands beyond.
5. St Davids has its own gin
You heard us correctly – the most popular holiday spot in Wales makes the most popular cool drink! St Davids Gin offer two distinct flavours: Ramsey Island Welsh Dry Gin, made from botanicals foraged from the iconic island itself, and St Davids Seaweed Welsh Dry Gin. Both offer a taste of this abundant green coastline. The perfect tipple for your stay on the peninsula!
6. We have our own version of a Cornish pasty
As far as things you didn’t know about St Davids, this is a delicious surprise. The St Davids Oggie is our version of a pasty mostly associated with Cornwall, although the origins of this savoury snack are unknown. What we do know is that oggies have been made here since 1811, feeding the constructions workers of the Cathedral. What makes the St Davids Oggie special is that they are filled with fresh, luscious local lamb, leeks and redcurrants.
7. The famous Welsh nickname ‘Taffy’ actually originated here
While many associate the affectionate nickname as having derived from the river Taff, St Davids residents claim otherwise. Taffy is a derivation of the name Dafydd, which is Welsh for David. The name Dafydd was so popular in the 18th century that the version ‘Taffy’ became the English name for a Welshman, much like Paddy is for an Irishman.
We’re sure that, if you’ve not visited before, Pembrokeshire will not only surprise you, it will exceed all of your expectations. We’d tell you more secrets of St Davids and its beautiful surroundings, but, to be honest, we don’t want to spoil the surprise – come and experience the wonder for yourselves!