A Gem of a Little City

339 Reviews

Star Travel Rating

5/5

Review type

Destination

Date of travel

April, 2023

Product name

St. David's, Wales

Product country

United Kingdom

Product city

St. David's

Travelled with

Family

Reasons for trip

Culture/Sightseeing

We spent a week in St. David’s in April and experienced glorious sunshine most days despite some chilly weather. The main attraction in this little corner of Pembrokeshire, is the cathedral. It is this majestic building that gives the small settlement of under 2,000 people its city status. Unlike many cathedrals which are built on a hill so they can be seen from anywhere nearby, St. David’s cathedral is built in a hollow. As you walk through Tower Gate and down The Pebbles, you will have a perfect view of the building and the ruins of the Bishop’s Palace behind. You work up an appetite climbing back up the hill to the shops and cafes! We had just missed the daffodils on the hills surrounding the cathedral – we imagined they would have looked amazing. What we saw were three giant wooden skeps (medieval beehives) on one side of the building. The hives are made of Canadian cedarwood and are works of art by Bedwyr Williams.

Although we walked around the cathedral a few times during our stay, and heard the choir on one occasion, having the dogs with us, we never ventured inside. We just missed the one day a year when the dogs are invited inside for the Blessing of the Animals. Everywhere else in the city the dogs were welcomed with open arms. We were surprised to see signs on doors and in windows saying well behaved dogs were welcome, even in small gift shops where wagging tails could do some damage.

River Alun runs between the cathedral and the Bishop’s Palace, and we took a lovely walk one day following the river behind the cathedral, past the community gardens, over Penitent’s Bridge, up Quickwell Hill to the old schoolhouse and the house with the sod roof and back into the center. All roads seem to lead to the cross in the center of the city and the war memorial and gardens. Here the daffodils were still in bloom.

The tourism information center is on High Street attached to the round turret with the statue outside of a Wild Boar which appears in the Welsh tales of the Mabinogion. Look for the razor, comb and scissors on its head.

Before you get to Tower Gate, you have to walk past Chapel Chocolates and its very enticing aromas. We gave in to temptation a couple of times and not only walked out with bags of sweets but also delectable ice creams. Another place that we visited more than once was Pebbles Yard Gallery and Espresso Bar for lattes and coffees which we enjoyed on their patio. The gallery has quite an array of jewelry and glassworks.

It may be small but that is part of the charm of St. David’s. It is a great place to spend some time and use as a base to explore the coast of Pembrokeshire.

Denise Bridge

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