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  • Writer's pictureSoo Hammond

A Guide to St David’s, the Smallest City in the UK.

Updated: Feb 15

Discover the charm and allure of St. David’s, the smallest city in the UK, nestled in the picturesque landscapes of Pembrokeshire, Wales and home to the patron saint of Wales. 


Check out Top of the Woods glamping campsite travel guide and discover the history & culture, its natural wonders, and the culinary delights of this wonderful city and the surrounding area.  It has everything, the surf, beaches, culture and history, stunning landscape, and some fantastic independent shops.


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Whitesands a beautiful beach by St David's City, the smallest city in the UK

Exploring Cultural Gems.

St Davids Cathedral & Bishops Palace.

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St Davids Cathedral, in the city of St David's in Wales

Dive into the rich tapestry of St. David's history with visits to iconic landmarks such as St. Davids Cathedral and the neighbouring Bishop's Palace.


St David’s cathedral dates from the 12th and 13th centuries and is considered one of the finest examples of Early Gothic architecture in Britain. The site itself goes back to the 6th century when a monastery was sited there and is a famous pilgrimage route. Travellers from all over journeyed to pay homage to Wales’s patron saint as they visited the tomb of St David.


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Bishop's Palace in the city of St David in Wales

Next door to St David’s cathedral is the substantial ruins of Bishop's Palace and gives a flavour of how the Bishops of St David’s would have lived in the 13th century. Today it is ruins but despite this, Bishop's Palace remains an important historic site and is a popular tourist attraction in St David’s. The palace is believed to have been built on the site of an earlier Roman fort and is considered an excellent example of medieval architecture.


Why not take in the atmosphere and explore the city's medieval streets, including its market square, which is home to a weekly market and several independent shops and galleries. Also, search out the nearby Oriel y Parc Gallery and Visitor Centre, which showcases Welsh artists, culture and history of Pembrokeshire.


Discover Nature's Bounty

St Davids Peninsula

Venture into the wilderness of St. David's Peninsula, home to a thriving marine reserve and captivating coastal vistas. If birds are your thing, marvel at the diverse array of seabirds nesting along the cliffs or embark on a scenic walk along the Pembrokeshire Coast Path where you can expect to see seabirds such as guillemots, razorbills, kittiwakes, and puffins nesting on cliffs.


Or visit the nearby Sommer Island, located within the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park. This is an important global breeding ground for Manx shearwaters and Atlantic puffins, where approx. 50%* (*Joint Nature Conservation Committee) of the UK population breed on Pembrokeshire’s islands.

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Skomer Island - Pembrokeshire Puffins.

In the surrounding waters of the Marine Reserve, why not book a boat trip and you may see a variety of marine life. Dolphins which can be seen all year round or seals, porpoises & whales which are frequently seen in the surrounding waters of St David’s Peninsula and along the Cardigan Bay.


Or why not just take a scenic walk along the Pembrokeshire Coast Path, which offers stunning views of the coastline and a popular destination to get your binoculars out. Birdwatch, or see if you can spot the largest pod of dolphins In Europe, that live year-round along this Pembrokeshire wild coastline.

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186 miles of the Pembrokeshire Coastal Path, a walker's paradise.

It is important to note that the best time to observe wildlife varies depending on the species and time of year, so do check with local tour operators or wildlife experts for the most up to date information.


Thrilling Adventures Await: for adrenaline junkies, surfers & wild swimmers.

For adrenaline enthusiasts, St. David's offers an array of exhilarating activities, from wild sea swimming, surfing the Celtic waves at Whitesands Bay to embarking on coasteering expeditions along rugged coastlines. Afterward, unwind with a tranquil wild swim amidst the serene woodlands at Top of the Woods campsite.


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Pembrokeshire Surfing

Surfing the celtic sea

The waves at Whitesands Bay are popular for surfing, and there are surf schools that offer lessons and rentals for those who are new to the sport. You can read our popular blog for more detail, 3 best surfing beaches in Pembrokeshire


Sea Kayaking

The nearby coast and estuaries offer scenic kayaking routes, and rentals and guided tours are available.


Coasteering

Why not try your hand at Coasteering, an adrenaline-fueled activity that involves exploring the coastline by climbing, swimming, and jumping along cliffs and rock formations & was invented here in Pembrokeshire!


Wild swimming

Or if you love wild swimming, why not take a walk into the woods from Top of the Woods campsite and take a refreshing woodland dip in the waterfall, before you even head out for your days adventure!

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Top of the Woods glamping campsite - wild swimming in the woods

Indulge in Culinary Delights of St Davids  

Savor the flavours of Wales at St. David's eclectic eateries, where locally sourced ingredients shine. From innovative insect-inspired dishes at Grub Kitchen to wood-fired pizzas paired with artisanal ales at Grain, culinary adventures abound in this gastronomic haven.


Check the websites, for their location in St Davids and opening times.



Bug burgers or mixed insect pakoras!…

Yes you heard right – try the future of sustainable food if you dare! The UK’s first full-time edible insect café/restaurant. It’s not just insects on the menu and the main ethos of Grub Kitchen is to serve freshly cooked, local, and sustainable food. There is a focus on plant-based dishes and children’s meals are always available.


Also, don’t forget to pop in and visit Dr Beyson Bug farm a visitor attraction focused on the wonderful world of bugs; the future of bugs in farming, bug research and is a conservation centre, next door to the Grub kitchen.

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Bug Farm & Grub Kitchen at St David's, the smallest city in the UK

A great charming waterhole for tired feet & dogs


The perfect watering hole after your exploration of the city & the surrounding area. The pub is easy to find, just head to Cross square in the centre of the city of St David’s and you will spot the pub.  You are rewarded with great views of St David’s cathedral as you enjoy that well-earned pint.

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The Bishops Pub in St Davids city.

Woodfired pizza and local brewed ale in the heart of St Davids City

Grain, started as a collaboration between Bluestone Brewing Company and The Canteen, Newport with a passion of bringing Welsh produce to the plates of Pembrokeshire, in Wales.


A selection of stone-baked pizzas, yummy snacks and refreshing beer, all with a focus on local produce, hearty portions and a relaxed atmosphere. We’re all about inclusion and bringing the taste of Pembrokeshire to everyone, from gluten-free beer and pizzas to a range of vegan specials. There’s something for everyone at Grain and your four-legged friends are welcome too!

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Grain Pizza and craft beer in St Davids in Wales

Plan Your Escape to St. David's – There is plenty to do in the area & take advantage of the bank holiday weekends coming up to fully immerse yourself in the enchantment of St. David's and uncover even more hidden treasures in this captivating city.

 




 

Top of the Woods Provides the Best Eco Luxury Glamping & Camping Holidays in Pembrokeshire and Cardigan Bay in Wales, UK. Sustainable Staycations. Beaches. Nature. Woodlands. Dog Friendly.


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