St. David’s – Britain’s smallest City

With most of the holiday gang having an unexpected lie-in our planned early departure to St. David’s didn’t materialise and we ended up being a couple of hours late – much to the drivers annoyance 😉

Welcome to St. David's signpost

However, once we were on our way we were all mesmorised by the wonderful coastal views and sandy beaches which we took in along the way to Britain’s smallest city.

The coastal walk around Druidston Haven looked stunning as we slowly drove past and although we couldn’t see how to get to the beach, I’ve little doubt that it was another of Pembrokeshire’s hidden gems.

The view overlooking Druidston Haven

Next stop was Nolton Haven a small but impressively sandy and secluded spot and well worth a visit if only for a bite to eat or temporary respite from the narrow and meandering B4341. One word of advice about the road – try and avoid meeting the Pembrokeshire Coastal Bus service en route, otherwise like me, you’ll need to reverse some 50 metres so it can get past!

Nolton Haven beach

The real stunner however was Newgale beach whose golden sands seemed to stretch for miles and was quite spectacular and reminiscent of the large sandy beaches of the Gower that I am more accustomed too.

Newgale Beach from a distance

After going through the small village of Solva we had almost reached our intended destination. It had been many years since I – or indeed the rest of the gang – last visited St. Davids and I couldn’t help but feel that it had lost some of its quaintness due to becoming more comercialised with an abundance of bistro’s and designer chic clothes shops.

A street name plate in the City

Whilst wandering around the “city” the vast array of accents that we overheard – particulary American – gave testament to the commericial changes and I suppose any person with some business acumen would see the potential of certain establishments.

Although the weather was very sunny it was surprisingly chilly due to the blusterly north easterly wind, so we quickly headed for the sanctuary of St. David’s main attraction – the Cathedral.

St. David's Cathedral and daffodils

St. David's Cathedral

Here is a picture of the ruins of the Bishops Palace, which is adjacent to the cathedral.

The ruins of Bishops Palace

Once inside the cathedral, we were amazed by the colourful stain glass windows that decorated the interior and the very impressive organ – which impressively overshadowed the numerous pews.

Stained glass window from inside the Cathedral

More stained glass

The organ at St. David's Cathedral

It’s also worth mentioning that the St. David’s cathedral website is very informative and well worth a read – especially if you intend visiting or simply wish to know more about its history.

The view when leaving the cathedral

Before concluding our visit to St. David’s we took a stroll around the award winning Oriel y Parc Gallery. The gallery won the prestigious ‘Rural Areas and Natural Environment Planning award’ in 2009 for its use of state-of-the-art green technologies and is a well worth a visit on any day out in St. David’s.

Part of the Oriel Y Parc complex

Oriel y Parc is the National Park Authority’s visitor centre for St. David’s and provides you with all of the information you’re likely to need for your visit. You’ll also find several galleries – including collections of art and treasures from the National Museum of Wales – a café and a shop. But perhaps best of all are the regular events held at the complex for children – all of which are related to the environment and its sustainability.

After returning back to base and relaxing a wee bit (i.e. stuffing our faces with some pukka tucker) we decided to round off our day with an evening stroll along the beach at Broad Haven.

Sun setting over St. Brides Bay

Watching the sun setting over St. Brides Bay was very romantic… even if a wee bit chilly!

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