St Davids (Not St David's)
St Davids is named after the patron saint of Wales, Saint David. St Davids is the smallest city in Britain with a population of just over 1,600. City status was awarded in 1995 although the roots of St Davids go back to the 4th century when St David himself lived. St Davids was designated as a conservation area by the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park in 1972.The magnificent Cathedral at St Davids dates back to the 12th century, although several older cathedrals were built before that on the same site. Unfortunately, St Davids was prone to Viking attacks, being so close to the sea. The Vikings destroyed several of the older structures. Modern day St Davids is a quaint and characterful place much loved by everyone who knows it.St Davids Cathedral is built from a local stone with a beautiful pink and grey colouring. It occupies the valley floor below the village. As you approach from The Square, you can't see the Cathedral until you get fairly close. When you pass through The Gatehouse, it's magnificently revealed in front of you.The Cloisters have recently been rebuilt and look as if they have always been there. Next door to this is The Refectory café and restaurant serving superb food.Next door to St Davids Cathedral is the ruin of The Bishops Palace and well worth a visit. Now run by CADW, the Welsh historic buildings agency, the Palace became one of the victims of the reformation when many ecclesiastical estates were confiscated. Once a grand fortified residence, the palace was one of several grand residences in Pembrokeshire including Lamphey Bishop's Palace and Llawhaden Castle.Shopping In St Davids
There are several interesting shops in St Davids clustered, mostly, around the old cross. There's also a good seasonal local market there on Thursdays from April to end of September.St Davids Peninsula has some of the most magnificent coastal scenery in Pembrokeshire. This is the heart of The Pembrokeshire Coast National Park and The Coast Path walking is delightful.
A comfortable circular day walk starts from the square in the centre of St Davids, past the National Park Visitor Centre to Carfai Bay. Then follow The Coast Path in a clockwise direction to either St Justinians or Whitesands Bay before turning back inland.
The newest facility which opened in 2008 is the Oriel y Parc Gallery. The National Park visitor centre has been extended to accommodate a state of the art gallery used to display national treasures, including the works of Graham Sutherland who was a Pembrokeshire resident for much of his life. The gallery is open all year and is free of charge. There is also a cafe on site and lots of information for visitors.