Things to do in St Davids
For the smallest city in Britain, St Davids certainly managed to pack tons to see and do. Steeped in history, this village-sized city is named after the patron saint of Wales, but it’s also got places you can visit that date back millions of years!
Nowadays, it’s a bustling city of quirky shops, restaurants, galleries, and attractions dotted around the stunning coastline. If you’re looking for things to do in St David's as a day out away from our Kiln Park, Penally Court, or Lydstep Beach holiday parks, we’ve got you covered.
St David’s Cathedral
You can’t visit St Davids without stopping to marvel at the Cathedral. After all, it’s the reason for St Davids’ city status. There’s nearby parking and dogs are allowed on the grounds.
The cathedral may be smaller than what you may have seen in larger cities, but its exquisite architecture and picturesque setting in a vale near the River Alun make it well worth a stop.
Once you’ve taken plenty of photos with the family on the grounds, step inside to explore the treasury and library, both of which hold precious books and artefacts belonging to the clergy, dating back centuries. You can view the recently restored shrine to St David, the saint and bishop which many Welsh legends are based upon. Learn about why this area is so deeply tied to Christianity and how it became a place of pilgrimage.
The high ceilings and intricate stained-glass windows are a sight to behold, and there are many plaques to read so you can learn more about the cathedral’s story.
While you’re here, take a visit to the Dewi Acre, the church’s community garden, and on to the Refectory, serving up homemade, locally-sourced food and drinks.
While the Bishop’s Palace may lay in ruin, you must visit while you’re at the cathedral — it lies right next door to it, just across the River Alun. When the cathedral was newly built, the palace served as a place for the bishop to live and entertain guests that arrived there to honour St David.
As you walk around the ruin, you’ll be able to see the magnitude of the rooms and get a feel for how grand it would have been in its heyday.
Walking around here you can read the information boards to get an understanding of the history of the building and the part it played in St David’s history. There are lots of hidden passageways, nooks, and crannies to explore, plus the stairs up to the first floor give you breathtaking views of the city. Dogs are allowed to explore the whole ruin with you!
From here, it’s not too far to walk or drive to the main streets to find places to grab some food (or head back to the Refectory in the cathedral).
Shopping in St Davids
For a tiny city, St Davids has a vibrant city centre full of shops you can have a nose around. The main shopping street here starts at the square at the end of Goat Street, with other smaller little streets as offshoots from here.
There are the usual chain stores as well as independent boutiques, though you’ll be forgiven if at first glance you think these are quaint little cottages!
Sweet treats make some of the best gifts, so head to Chapel Chocolates on The Pebbles. They make homemade chocolates and sweets with vegan options, too.
Past the war memorial in the centre, you can find Tyf, a sustainable outdoor shop — perfect if you forgot to bring your waterproofs or need an extra pair of walking shoes for your coastal path hikes.
There are art galleries here and plenty of restaurants, coffee shops, and cafes too for when hunger strikes.
Goat Street Gallery
Just out of the main city centreyou’ll find the Goat Street Gallery. The converted chapel is a work of art in itself with its giant windows and stained glass. It’s owned by Daniel and Amanda Wright, a local ceramicist and textile artist.
On display, you can view international and local art inspired by nature, history, and local heritage. You’ll have the opportunity to buy a piece of art to take home too.
Ramsey Island Nature Reserve
If you want natural things to do near St Davids, take a boat out to the gorgeous RSPB-owned island. It spans 640 acres of rugged land and is home to endangered species such as the chough and peregrine falcon.
You’ll want to prepare for any weather when you visit, as there isn’t much man-made shelter! If you’re a member of the RSPB, you’ll get free access, but fear not if you aren’t — there’s only a small fee to access the island.
On your trip here you can spot tons of wildlife in its natural habitat, from baby seals, birds, slow worms, wild horses, harbour porpoises and even dolphins on your journey to and from the island. There’s a cafe and toilets available near where you disembark.
Whitesands Bay and St David’s Head
Did you know that this part of Wales is some of the oldest land in the British Isles?
At St David’s peninsula, you can walk along rocks that date back six million years. To get there, you’ll want to stop off first at Whitesands Bay where there’s a stunning white sandy beach (and a car park). From here, you’ll stroll on foot along the Pembrokeshire coastal path — the only way to get to the peninsula.
On your walk you’ll encounter some rugged terrain and long grasses, so make sure to don your comfiest walking shoes. At the peninsula, you’ll get to rock-hop and take in the sights, including Ramsey Island.