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Best St. Davids Attractions best place to cover

St. Davids Cathedral

St. David‘s is a city; in reality, it is the smallest metropolis in the United Kingdom. However, this does not imply a paucity of activities, St. Davids Cathedral as I discovered on my recent excursion. St. David’s Cathedral and the adjacent Bishops Palace are the highlight.

For many of the other activities, however, you’ll need to travel outside of the ‘city’ to the St. David’s peninsular, where you can visit Ramsey Island and walk along breathtaking sections of the Wales Coastal Path, including the Blue Lagoon.

Visit the historical St. Davids Cathedral

St Davids Cathedral is one of the most popular attractions in West Wales and the earliest ancient cathedral settlement in Britain. It is dedicated to St. David, the patron saint of Wales, who resided in the region and founded a monastic community on this site approximately 1,500 years ago.

The cathedral is free to visit, but the cost of maintaining such a large, historic structure is significant, so I recommend a donation of £5 per adult. Unfortunately, there are no regularly scheduled public guided excursions, but there are informational panels located throughout.

Explore the medieval Bishop’s Palace ruins

During the 12th century, increasing numbers of pilgrims visited the newly constructed cathedral in St. Davids. To match the splendor of the newly constructed cathedral, it was determined that the bishop’s residence should be equally impressive.

Henry de Gower, who was the bishop of the cathedral at the time, converted the ancient servants building into a palace2 for this reason.

From the exterior, you can observe the ruins to get a sense of how magnificent this palace once was. Observe the rose window that identifies the Grand Hall, where the bishop would host prominent pilgrims.

If you wish to learn more about St. David’s and its history, I recommend that you enter. It is a paid attraction managed by CADW, so admission is free for members. The palace is open throughout the year; learn more about visiting here.

During your visit, keep an eye out for buttons that, when pressed, will play a brief audio explanation of your surroundings.

Travel by watercraft to Ramsey Island, St. Davids Cathedral

Ramsey Island is located approximately 1 kilometer off the coast of St. Davids. The island is owned and managed by the RSPB as a nature reserve, and it is one of the finest places in Wales to see rare choughs, seals, and a diversity of seabirds. Within a few minutes of leaving the shore, we spotted porpoises, a close relative of the dolphin.

To reach Ramsey Island, you must depart from St Justinians lifeboat station, which is a 10-minute journey from St David‘s city center. Between April and October, there are multiple departures per day.

Two kinds of excursions are available to Ramsey Island. I went on an island-wide sightseeing excursion that lasted approximately one hour. You will be accompanied by a guide who will point out fauna from the boat without leaving the vessel. The other type of tour is a landing tour, in which you are dropped off and given 4-6 hours to explore the trails and look for wildlife on your own.

There are several companies that offer sightseeing excursions, but only one company (Thousand Islands) is permitted to offer landing tours. I have compiled a comprehensive guide to visiting Ramsey Island, detailing the prices and distinctions between the various tour operators.

Stroll the circular St. David’s Head footpath

Pembrokeshire National Park is the only littoral national park in the United Kingdom. National Geographic Traveler magazine ranked it as one of the top destinations in the world, praising the ‘rocky precipice summits, sandy beaches, and ancient footpaths’3.

With its location along the small Pembrokeshire peninsular, St. David’s provides convenient access to some of the path’s most scenic sections. The St. David’s Head circular route is one of the most well-known footpaths.

This moderate route consists of rugged coastlines set against mountain backdrops and several prehistoric monuments, such as the Coetan Arthur, a Neolithic funerary chamber constructed as early as 4000 B.C.

Enjoy a peaceful location at Caerfai Bay

Caerfai Bay can be found 1 mile south of St. Davids. It is a small stony cove surrounded by multicolored grey, green, and bright pink boulders. At low tide, there is a sandy beach and numerous rockpools for children to investigate and presumably discover marine life.

The shore can be reached via a steep, meandering path, and other than free parking, there are no other facilities such as restrooms; the closest ones are in St. Davids.

Caerfai Bay has powerful sea currents and no lifeguards, so I would not recommend swimming there unless you are an experienced swimmer – see my next recommendation for a safer swimming location.

Whitesands Beach offers sunbathing St. Davids Cathedral

Behind the shoreline, which is now popular for sandcastle-building, surfing, kayaking, and windsurfing, there are traces of a St. Patrick chapel from the sixth century submerged beneath the dunes.

This beach also features an abundance of wildlife, including seabirds, seals, and porpoises that are frequently observed near the coastline.

There are 60 parking spaces available above the shore, but they are frequently full due to the beach’s popularity, St. Davids Cathedral. The summertime operation of the Celtic Coaster shuttle bus from St. Davids is an alternative method of transportation.

Dine at Dr. Beynon’s Bug Farm, St. Davids Cathedral

1 mile outside of St. Davids, Dr. Beynon’s Bug Farm is a scientific research center and functioning farm. Attractions at the farm include a tropical bug menagerie, a bug museum, an insect farm exhibition, and a gift shop.

This is an entertaining and educational family activity. I would recommend allocating an hour for this.

I also visited the on-site Grub Kitchen, where I sampled peppery insects. It’s a good thing you can’t see my expression in this photo because my taste receptors were not pleased!

Visit the Gallery and Visitor Centre at Oriel y Parc

Oriel y Parc is the primary visitor center for Pembrokeshire National Park, located in St. David‘s. Due to a partnership with the National Museum of Wales, it also serves as a distinctive gallery with family-friendly art, exhibitions by local artists, and community-based courses.

It is free to visit and one of the few things to do in St. David’s when it’s pouring. In addition, there is a shop and the Pilgrims Café, which serves a variety of delectable dishes.

St. David’s Escape Room

The St Davids Escape Room is a thrilling experience for people of all ages, with a St Davids-based theme. If you have never participated in an escape room, it is when you are confined in a room and must find clues and solve puzzles to escape. If you are able to escape before the timer expires, you triumph.

At St David‘s Escape Rom, there is a traditional escape room with a local theme as well as an outdoor escape room consisting of a ropes course with locks and challenges. The outdoor option is especially appealing if you have a dog because you can bring your four-legged companions along.

Due to the popularity of this activity, reservations are required to avoid disappointment. Additional amenities include complimentary parking, a shop, and restrooms. East Farm Tretio is located 10 minutes outside of St. David’s.

Climb the cliffs at the “birthplace of coasteering.”

TYF initiated the world freestyle kayaking championships, a precursor to coasteering. Almost fifty years later, the exhilarating sport is popular throughout Wales, but the best place to try it is in St. David’s, where it originated.

Coasteering consists of scrambling, ascending, swimming, and jumping around a cliffside. In addition to being an adrenaline-pumping experience, you will also appreciate breathtaking views and see fauna along the way.

They offer a ‘discovery’ tour for novices and those new to the sport, as well as a ‘explorer’ program for the more daring. TYF offers coasteering sessions every single day during the summer, so there are no minimum group proportions to worry about; simply secure a date on their website.

See the birthplace of St. David at St. Non’s Chapel and Well

St. Davids Cathedral, the patron saint of Wales, is said to have been born at St Non’s Chapel and Well, which is named after his mother. Even though little remains, this site remains an essential pilgrimage destination.

As you approach the chapel ruins, keep an eye out for the supposedly curative St. Non’s Well.

I recommend combining the chapel and well with the St. Justinian’s lifeboat station, which is the departure point for the Ramsey Island excursions I mentioned earlier.

There is a very tiny parking lot for eight vehicles approximately 100 meters from the chapel, or you can walk along the coastal path from the parking lots near the lifeboat station. This attraction is provided for free.

Climb Carn Llidi

Carn Llidi is a feature of the Pembrokeshire National Park and towers over Whitesands Bay at a height of 594 meters. It is feasible to see the Wicklow Mountains in Ireland from the summit on clear midsummer evenings.

As you might anticipate from a mountain with a height of 594 meters, the ascent will be strenuous, so only those with a high level of fitness should attempt it, and it is probably not appropriate for younger children.

We are certain that any four-legged companions would enjoy the walk, but they may be a bit exhausted afterward!

Take a dip in the Blue Lagoon, St. Davids Cathedral

The Blue Lagoon’s history is industrial. Prior to 19105, it served as the primary slate quarry for the St Brides Slate Company.

Today, the aquamarine waters sheltered by craggy cliffs present the ideal opportunity for swimming. Those who are courageous enough (I was not) can leap or dive from the designated area with two launching locations.

You can also wander around the top of the lagoon, where there are abandoned structures from when the mine was operational.

Although admission to the Blue Lagoon is free, parking at Aberdeiddy shoreline is charged at £4 per vehicle. Refer to my Blue Lagoon travel guide for more information.

Purchase some artworks at Goat Street Gallery

Goat Street Gallery, located in the center of St. David‘s, displays a variety of artworks by local artists and craftspeople, including ceramic and textiles created by gallery proprietors Daniel and Amanda Wright.

This is a minor attraction, but I felt compelled to include it because their work deserves recognition. Several of the works depict scenes from the surrounding area, including St. Davids Cathedral. They make excellent mementos to remind you of your trip.

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