Caerfai Bay and St. Non’s Chapel

333 Reviews

Star Travel Rating

5/5

Review type

Things to do

Date of travel

April, 2023

Product name

Caerfai Bay and St. Non's Chapel

Product country

United Kingdom

Product city

St. David's

Travelled with

Family

Reasons for trip

Culture/Sightseeing

The Pembrokeshire Coast Path National Trail is within easy walking distance of the city of St. David’s. One afternoon an aunt, uncle and I headed south from the tourist information centre on the corner of High Street and Glasfryn Road and walked about a mile to the coast path at Caerfai Bay. With us were their two corgi/border collies – basically corgis with border collie colouring. There is a car park across the road from the tourist centre however, we were staying in a holiday let in St. David’s and were on foot. The road has many twists and turns, and you have to watch for cars and farm machinery. Alternatively, you can drive down the road to the free car park at Caerfai Bay. There are no services at this car park so be sure to go before you leave St. David’s.

At low tide there is a small beach to explore after you scramble down the steep hill (be sure you check the tide tables). We chose to stay on the path and head right towards St. Non’s Chapel. A surprising sight was what appeared to be a RNLI rowboat out in the water making its way past St. Non’s Bay. We later saw it on its way back. Whoever was in the rowboat was sure getting a good work out that day! We’d seen rowers out practicing a number of years ago in St. Ives, but the sea was much calmer that day. As we rounded the point, we saw some people wearing helmets jumping off rocks at the base of the cliffs. We later learned that they were coasteering – climbing, jumping, scrambling, swimming and exploring along the coastal cliffs. One look told us it wasn’t the activity for us! I’d seen people doing something similar in the rivers and streams in the Lake District but doing it along the rugged coastline of Wales is an added level of extreme.

As we continued around the point my uncle was wondering whether we should double back or continue on. We didn’t have a map and weren’t sure of what was up ahead. There were a number of people traversing the trail in the opposite direction so I asked a couple if there was somewhere coming up where we could get off the trail and head back into St. David’s. Luckily, we were only about 350 meters from St. Non’s Chapel, so we continued on our way. The scenery was stunning. We kept the dogs on a short lead on the path as there is a sharp drop off the cliffs. The ruins of the chapel are in a fully fenced pasture and there was no livestock present, so the dogs had a good run chasing their favourite ball. As we were leaving, we saw the well that sprang up after St. Non gave birth to St. David one stormy night in the sixth century. There is a new sign at the small parking lot at St. Non’s Retreat explaining the legend of the birth of St. David, the patron saint of Wales. From this point, we headed back into St. David’s on a road that brought us out on a bridal path and eventually down to our favourite ice cream at The Chocolate Chapel. This one isn’t a ruin.

Denise Bridge

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