St. Davids: A Walker’s Haven in Wales

Address: St. Davids Wales SA62 6SL United Kingdom— Get directions
Website: www.stdavids.co.uk
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Rostra rating: 3.5

St. Davids dates to the 6th century when the Saint David, himself the son of Saint Non, founded a monastery on a the river Alun in Pembrokeshire. The monastery became a cathedral and pilgrims–to include three kings, a queen, and a pope–flocked there to pay homage to the patron saint of Wales. But the resulting wealth attracted the attention of Vikings and other marauders, who plundered and burned the cathedral while enslaving most of the population during the 11th century.

The rebuilt cathedral and town were spared Henry VIII’s suppression of the English monasteries because his grandfather Edmund Tudor was entombed in front of the high altar. Unfortunately Oliver Cromwell was not inclined to be so merciful and the cathedral was again devastated in the 17th century by his troops. The present incarnation of the cathedral dates from 1793 but by the 19th century St. Davids had entered a period of what looked to be permanent decline.

St. Davids was saved by the construction of decent road connecting the peninsula to the rest of Wales, the advent of mass tourism, and the royal family. Both Queen Elizabeth II and Charles, the Prince of Wales have visited St. Davids and in 1995 the queen reinstated St.Davids as a city (the smallest in the UK). Today ST. Davids is a holiday beach town located just inland of the spectacular Pembrokeshire Coast Path.

St. Davids

St. Davids Cathedral

St. Davids Cathedral

Address: 2 High St., St. Davids Wales SA62 6SD United Kingdom— Get directions
Telephone: +44 1437 720250
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Rostra rating: 3

The main attraction in town is St. Davids Cathedral and well worth an afternoon’s visit. Be sure to avail yourself of the free hour plus tour.

Cwtch

Address: 22 High St, St. Davids Wales SA62 6SD United Kingdom— Get directions
Website: cwtchrestaurant.co.uk
Telephone: +44 1437 720491
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Rostra rating: 3

The town itself sports three pubs and several hotels with convivial bars and restaurants as well as Cwtch, a fine dining venue, and several nice cafes. It gets crowded but never rowdy and the drivers are all very polite and safe.

Decent food shopping is to be had within easy walking distance of the city center (St. Davids is actually a city, the smallest in the UK). There is an excellent deli/specialty store (St. Davids Food and Wine), green grocers (the Veg Patch), and a very good local butcher shop (Gwyn Davies Butchers). The local supermarket is just OK but very handy.

Pembrokeshire Coast Path

Address: Pembrokeshire Coast National Park, St. Davids Wales SA62 6BN United Kingdom— Get directions
Website: www.visitwales.com/explore/national-parks/pembrokeshire-coast
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Rostra rating: 4

The real glory of the location is its easy access to the Pembrokeshire portion of the Welsh Coast Path that runs some 870 miles along the entire length of Welsh coast. You can walk as far as you want in either direction on well sign posted and maintained foot paths that run along the tops of the cliffs hovering above the ocean. Wild life includes seals, porpoises, whales, and many different species of birds.

Cwtch
Pronounced 'cutch' (as in crutch), and meaning 'hug' in Welsh, this restaurant is considered the best in St. Davids. Cwtch has earned a Michelin Plate status for 'good cooking.' TeamMago's first impressions were less than stellar or even bib. Things got better with the starters and the lamb shoulder was nice and crispy.
Address: 22 High St, St. Davids Wales SA62 6SD United Kingdom— Get directions
Website: cwtchrestaurant.co.uk
Telephone: +44 1437 720491
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Rostra rating: 3
Gwyn Davies Butchers
There were few options for markets in St. Davids, Wales, but we enjoyed grilling everything that we bought from Gwyn Davies Butchers.
Address: 2 High St., St. Davids Wales SA62 6SD United Kingdom— Get directions
Telephone: +44 1437 720250
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Rostra rating: 3
Pembrokeshire Coast Path
The very best part of our stay in St. Davids, Wales, was the easy access to the Pembrokeshire Coastal Walk. The views are breathtaking and the walking easy.
Address: Pembrokeshire Coast National Park, St. Davids Wales SA62 6BN United Kingdom— Get directions
Website: www.visitwales.com/explore/national-parks/pembrokeshire-coast
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Rostra rating: 4
St. Davids Cathedral
The second best thing about St. Davids (the first being the coastal walk) is the St. Davids Cathedral. Both the history and the architecture were fascinating. There are free guided tours throughout the day. But there are also volunteers from the community standing about who are always ready to answer questions.
Address: The Pebbles, St. Davids Wales SA62 6RD, UK United Kingdom— Get directions
Website: stdavidscathedral.org.uk
Telephone: +44 1437 720202
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Rostra rating: 4
St. Davids Food and Wine
There were few options for markets in St. Davids, Wales, but one of the best was St. Davids Food and Wine. Not only did they have the essentials for cooking in our rental, but they also served up some nice sandwiches from the deli section.
Address: High Street, St. Davids Wales SA62 6SB United Kingdom— Get directions
Website: stdavidsfoodandwine.co.uk
Telephone: +44 1437 721948
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Rostra rating: 3.5
St. Davids Rental
Matthew James is the winner of MagoGuide's Host of the Trip Award for the 2016 Grand Tour. He is extremely friendly and helpful. The rental itself was one of the best we have ever rented in a over a decade of short term rental in North America and Europe. Thank you Michael for a wonderful stay!
Address: 31B New Street, St. Davids Wales SA62 6SW United Kingdom— Get directions
Website: https://www.homeaway.com/vacation-rental/p8172187
Telephone: +44 7581 812269
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Rostra rating: 4
St. Davids, Wales
St. Davids is a holiday beach town located just inland of the spectacular Pembrokeshire Coastal Trail.
Address: St. Davids Wales SA62 6SL United Kingdom— Get directions
Website: www.stdavids.co.uk
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Rostra rating: 3.5
The Bishops
The Bishops was a fun place to go for a pint or two in St. Davids, that is if you could find a place to sit down. We enjoyed the little nook to the right of the bar.
Address: 22-23 Cross Square, St. Davids Wales SA62 6S United Kingdom— Get directions
Website: thebish.co.uk
Telephone: +44 1437 720422
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Rostra rating: 3
The Cross Hotel
We enjoyed our breakfast at The Cross Hotel. Basic but good.
Address: Cross Square, St. Davids Wales SA62 6SP United Kingdom— Get directions
Website: stdavidscrosshotel.co.uk
Telephone: +44 1437 720387
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Rostra rating: 3
The Farmers Arms
We found ourselves going back to The Farmers Arms time and again during our stay at St. Davids. The food was typical pub grub, but good. The outdoor seating was especially pleasant. And there was almost always seats available in the bar area.
Address: 14-16 Goat St, St. Davids Wales SA62 6RF, United Kingdom— Get directions
Website: farmersstdavids.co.uk
Telephone: +44 1437 721666
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Rostra rating: 3
The Veg Patch
The Veg Patch in St. Davids, Wales, had some good produce and eggs. Kind of essential since we were trying to cook some our meals in the rental flat.
Address: 16 Nun St, St. Davids Wales SA62 6NS United Kingdom— Get directions
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Rostra rating: 3


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Morgan Hart

MagoGuide.com was launched in 2011 as a website and virtual storefront to showcase Patti's software and Morgan's content. Dedicated to slow travel, culinary excess, and ripping good yarns, MagoGuide is the digital scriptoria for the Mago Scrolls, Morgan's historical fiction series about the Punic Wars in general and one Mago of Syracuse in particular. Although Morgan has written a great deal of non-fiction over the years in the form of specialized journal articles, book reviews, op-ed pieces, and (his personal favorite) the most unpopular coffee table book in the history of the planet, he always viewed himself as a happily frustrated novelist. Get more information about Morgan's novel and travel writing at our Products page.

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