St Davids is a tiny city with lots to offer. It’s steeped in history, culture, and religious heritage. In a way, a visit here is an immersion in the rich past of Wales. However, St Davids has moved with the times and these days offers so much more than its historical landmarks.
The streets are lined with independent shops nestled alongside familiar favourites. Galleries boasting incredible local artwork, cafes serving delicious treats, and restaurants working wonders with seasonal ingredients all have their place here.
St Davids is the perfect balance as it is walking distance from the Pembrokeshire Coast Path and stunning beaches, while being inland enough to be surrounded by rolling green fields and be sheltered somewhat from the elements.
Here is our ultimate guide to St Davids.
Things to do
St Davids Cathedral & Bishops Palace
A visit to St Davids simply must include a dip into the city’s rich history. St Davids Cathedral sits at the bottom of St Davids, and is the focal point of the city. As you walk down the hill through the streets, it gradually comes into view. Take the walk down the Cathedral’s steps and slope slowly, and take in the whole view of this magnificent building before you enter into its breathtaking hush. Make sure to look up at the wonderful ceilings!
The ruins of the Bishops Palace lie next door to the Cathedral. This is a fantastic place to wander around, or sit on the lawn and gaze at the surrounding walls. It’s always worth checking out the Cathedral’s event schedule while you’re here.
Oriel Y Parc
Oriel Y Parc is the Information Centre at the top of the city, and is so much more! The art gallery hosts wonderful exhibitions, and they have so many events that there’s almost certainly something to do there while you’re here, especially over the school holidays!
There are many ways to experience the coast around the St Davids Peninsula, and one of the best is absolutely from a boat! Boats run from St Justinians, just a couple of miles outside St Davids, and travel out, around and on to the surrounding islands. We recommend heading around Ramsey Island with Falcon Boats, landing on Ramsey with Thousand Islands, or heading out to Skomer to see the puffins with Voyages of Discovery!
Hire a Bike
To take in the surrounding countryside at your own pace, hire a bike! TYF Adventure provides electric and hybrid options, as well as child trailers so your little ones can sit back and relax. The folks at TYF know the area well and will be able to recommend the best places to cycle.
Explore the Shops
If you fancy taking a break from the activity side of things and indulging in some retail therapy, St Davids is the place to be! From souvenirs and thoughtful gifts to beautiful homewares and fantastic food, there’s something for everyone. To find a rundown of all our favourite shops, click here.
St Davids Golf Course
This golf course has some of the best views out and over Whitesands Bay and St Davids Head. It’s perfect for an afternoon of golfing in the sunshine. For information and pricing, click here!
Dr Beynon’s Bug Farm
This is a truly unique experience, just outside St Davids. This all-weather, award-winning working farm allows kids and adults alike to get to know some fascinating insects, grubs, and bugs up close! As well as the Exotic Bug Zoo, there’s the beautiful pollinator trail and their fantastic restaurant, Grub Kitchen.
After all that, you’re going to want to relax, and what better way than to indulge in some pampering? Menevia is a wonderfully calming bathhouse close to the centre of St Davids. Whether you would like your nails glammed up for a special occasion or a full body massage after a day out on the coast, this is the place to go!
Beaches near St Davids
Whitesands is located 2 miles outside St Davids. It’s a great all-rounder, being a favourite among local surfers, walkers, and sunbathers alike. Feel the sand beneath your toes, take a dip in the clear waters and top it all off with chips and a hot chocolate from Whitesands Beach House!
A walkable mile outside St Davids, you’ll find Caerfai Bay and the beach that nestles next to it. This is a glorious spot at which to join the Pembrokeshire Coast Path, or take a picnic down onto the beach and enjoy the sheltered spot.
Just around the corner from Caerfai, this is a small mostly pebbled beach ideal for a quiet picnic on a coast path walk. There aren’t any facilities here, and can really feel like your own little cove!
Discovering St Davids – Walks
St Nons Circular Walk
This stunning 4-mile circular walk takes in St Non’s Chapel, Porthclais Harbour, and comes back round to St Davids Cathedral. Porthclais is the ideal picnic stop, especially in the summer months when the kiosk is open for a coffee!
St Davids Head
Start at Whitesands car park and set off on this beautiful, fairly easy walk out to St Davids Head, with the optional extra detour to climb Carn Llidi. On a clear day, the view is truly breathtaking!
St Davids to Solva
Just under 5 miles on the coast path, this walk begins at St Nons, takes in some of our favourite views, and ends at the harbour village of Solva, where pubs, cafes, and fish and chips await! When you’ve finished exploring, hop on the bus back to St Davids.
Places to Eat and Drink
We’ve heard it’s the most important meal of the day, and St Davids doesn’t disappoint. We recommend:
The Mill for a big, fuelling cooked breakfast
Pilgrims Cafe for twists on the classics (think avocado on toast with spiced granola on top)
Bagels and Brews every Saturday, with the added plus of being able to take away and eat anywhere you fancy!
With so much to do around the St Davids Peninsula, you’re going to need your caffeine fix!
Porthclais Kiosk – for coffee by the sea
Unsunghero – for takeaway coffees and some epic surf gear, outdoor accessories, and clothing.
If you want a delicious lunch on the go to eat where you like, here are our recommendations:
St Davids Food & Wine – for local treats and baguettes from their scrumptious deli counter
Losh’s Pasties – for indulgent pastries that will draw you in as the scent wafts down the High Street
Fish & Chips on the Cross Square – grab a takeaway from Peters Plaice and watch the world go by
It’s time to relax with great food, drinks, and company!
Grain – for pizzas and sharing boards at the heart of the city
St Davids Cross Hotel – with a fantastic beer garden for cocktails and a menu bursting with gastropub classics
Blas at Twr y Felin – for a high-end experience, perhaps if you’re celebrating while you’re here!
The Farmers Arms – a favourite with locals
Y Can Cwrw at The Courtyard at Pencarnan – for craft beers with a sea view from the roof terrace
What holiday is complete without ice cream?
The Bench – for exciting flavours and dog ice creams!
Chapel Chocolates – for classic ice creams and tasty souvenirs to take home
If you’re staying with us, you’ll have a lovely cottage to go back to after a day on the coast. For those evenings in, you’ll want to stock up on some local delights from:
St Davids Food & Wine
As well as their deli counter, there’s a shop full of wonderful delights with which to experiment in the kitchen. Their wine selection is also worth a visit in itself!
Peninsula Produce Food Hub
This local scheme allows smaller producers to take orders online, and so there’s a fabulous array of goods on offer. Place an order during the week for collection on a Saturday – it couldn’t be easier!
WEST POINT TRADING (THE VEG PATCH)
Lovely fresh veg, super snacks, exciting ingredients, and lots more. This shop is bursting with goodies to keep you filled up on holiday and take home as gifts.