Right as promised here I am. Its been a few weeks ago since we went but seems months!
Firstly to tell you about the City we stayed in. I say City but if you went you would most likely call it a Village. St Davids is UK’s smallest city due to having a Cathedral. A lovely one at that, in fact a favourite with photographers. Here is where it is on a close up of a map.
We were there on a bank holiday weekend, and it definitely got busy. Alot of surf type people too as close to an amazing beach called Whitesands Bay, plus others.
Now the journey from Sheffield to St Davids was fun and shockingly the kids behaved quite well, specially with the fact the journey in the car was just under 6 hours in the end. Traffic wasn’t a great problem, but we kept hitting jams, that lasted 10 minutes maximum and then no sign of why there was ever a queue. It was probably the worst close to Swansea. All in all the whole journey was fine though. There was the obligatory mini party in my head as we entered past the English border into Wales.
St Davids may be small but it doesn’t mean there isn’t anything to do. There are numerous walks on the Pembrokeshire Coastal Path, the Cathedral and Bishops Palace, lots of lovely pubs, a brilliant arts and crafts scene (which is one of the big pulls for me), and some lovely Coffee shops/Cafes (including my favourite…. Pebbles). Pebbles is one of those Coffee shops where I feel relaxed, and yes I escaped there a few time.
We had the luck of staying central in the City, at a place I know and love called Y Nyth (The Nest). Its a self catering bungalow, with own parking, and means if you just want to spend the day local, there are no petrol costs. Plus walking is good for you! The garden was also very child safe and enclosed. The kids loved it, and spent many happy hours out in it playing.
St David’s Cathedral is something you have to visit if in the area. Inside you will notice one of the few remaining wooden carved roofs. It is still a working Cathedral of course and when we were there, there was a Music Festival on. So it was pretty busy with various concerts going off. If you want to know more about the Cathedral here is a link. http://www.stdavidscathedral.org.uk/
Next to it is the Bishops Palace, a ruin now but all the same beautiful. You have to pay to get round it but only a small amount. The Cathedral like Donations, and you have to pay £2 to take photographs. Anyway the Bishops Palace was built to house the Bishop and his myriads of helpers, family and guests. You can see it at various levels and and again it is fantastic for photo’s. http://www.tripadvisor.co.uk/Attraction_Review-g552051-d544253-Reviews-St_Davids_Bishop_s_Palace-St_Davids_St_Davids_Peninsula_Pembrokeshire_Wales.html
I admit I spent the evenings which were fine, on a hunt for the perfect sunset shot over the Cathedral etc. It was a good way of getting to know the settings on my Nikon D80, which took over from my Canon (which stayed in its bag all week). You can find the photo’s via the links to my Flickr and Viewbug sites at the end of the blog. I must say I was not the only Sunset watcher, there were quite a few there with camera’s at the ready.
Whilst there we also booked the boat trip for Owen and myself. Luckily we were first to book for the Tuesday evening after checking the weather for the best time to go. It cost a bit but it is well worth it. We picked a 2 hour trip, so we could get the most out of it. If you ever go its the Voyages of Discovery office and I highly recommend it. http://www.ramseyisland.co.uk.
I have to say the weather for the week was pretty well behaved. There was only one afternoon where it rained, the rest was sunshine mainly.
15 minutes or so from St David you will find Newgale beach. Just to warn you this is not your nice sandy beach…. pebbles everywhere. Not always the best thing with big feet like mine but a must see. This was Ruths encounter with the sea. A funny one for us, not so much for her but she recovered quick enough. Basically the tiniest of waves got her and she ended up on her bum and soaked. Guess who didn’t have sapre clothes in her bag. She wasnt too fussed when in the car eating a biscuit though in her top half dry clothes.
Oh we also collected a few stones for painting, perfect craft equipment.
Inbetween Newgale and St Davids is a lovely village called Solva (Solfach n Welsh). This is a harbour village and dons the typical various coloured buildings. Now this time it was a brief visit to previous holidays in the area. We went for tea one evening at The Harbour Inn. Great food and atmosphere. We did get to have a little walk at the harbour before heading back though.
Take a peek at http://www.solva.net/ ….
A few miles the other side of St Davids is another quaint harbour at Porthgain. A harbour with history, you can still see the old workings and ruins from the slate and brick industry, especially if you walk up onto the cliff path. Again links to sites will be added.
Owen had a walk up to the cliffs with me, and as you can see he loved it. Obviously a nip into the local gallery was needed as well as coffee stop.
This is definitely one for nature lovers. Book in St Davids then a short drive and you will get to St Justinians and the lifeboat station, where the boats depart from. There are various trips from 1 and a half hours, to half dayers. We took the 2 hour trip, and ended up at front of the boat when we got on. Wasn’t so sure how Owen would cope but he proved he had sea legs and loved it.
There are rapids near Ramsey Island, and even that was fun in Owen’s eyes. Not only did we get to see Ramsey Island but also the outcrops islands called The Bishops. We saw various seabirds, birds of prey and seals. Including Fulmar, Chough, Oyster Catcher, Shag, Cormorant, Razorbill, Guillemot, Buzzard, Peregrine Falcon, Tern and Puffin. Not bad in two hours.
Closer to Saundersfoot and Tenby but only 45 minutes from our base. Another must see for families, and fun for all ages. This is second time we have been. Owen was younger than Ruth when he first went. Basically it is a huge Zoo, Adventure Park, Farm and also houses an indoor Vintage Fairground! And entry costs are very reasonable. They also have a huge indoor playcentre, and honestly I think it is the best one for kids I have seen so far. You could lose your kids for hours in it. If you have kids and are near it check it out. http://www.folly-farm.co.uk/
Just down the road from St David’s, this has to be my favourite beach. No games or arcades, just a beach, walks to go on, a shop and cafe and toilets. Ok you have to pay to park, but it is worth it unless you go later in the day and its free. It is one of those beaches where surfers hang out too.
Caerfai Bay and Porthclais
These places are walkable if you have the time to go from St Davids, and well worth a visit. Porthclais is another harbour now disused apart from pleasure seekers using it. Again amazing little walks to go on, as all these places join together on the Pembrokeshire coastal path.
Caerfai is even closer to St Davids, and a new one for me. After hearing of it we decided to have a peek. At first I didn’t see a beach but after a quick walk with my camera I came across the path and discovered what seemed a very popular little beach.
Arts and Crafts
Now as you can imagine around these areas there are some very talented people, and my favourite type of souvenir and holiday reminder is bringing home cards of people’s art home with me. Here are a few sites of some of the talented people who caught my eye…
I do hope to get a few framed but maybe look to them for inspiration too. Even the chocolate shop is artful in its own right. As well as delicious….
And yes of course a bought a few!
Another good gallery is in Solva. Raul Speek is the artist and we discovered his work years ago. The gallery has improved now and also has a cafe. Raul is also a musician and hails from Cuba.
We took the scenic routine home through mid Wales, via Cardigan Bay and Aberaeron. I know its kind of toilet humourish but we drove through my fave name place… Panteg. Makes the mind boggle haha. Unfortunately we didnt stop at Aberaeron this time round, but I do love the place and we are considering exploring this area a bit more next time.
Break time was at Llangurig, a small but wonderful place to stop, especially at the Black Lion Pub. It isn’t a child based country style pub, but they pulled all the stops for the little ones. The owner had a huge daft Newfoundland dog which Ruth loved. Even Owen had a stroke, and he is a bit more wary than Ruth with dogs.
These are just a few phone pics from the journey home.
To view the photographs I took here are the links…
Albeit this being a swift lowdown of my holiday, as been 2 weeks and not been able to go into much detail as I could have, had I done a daily blog, I hope the photographs tell the rest to you 🙂