Eat, play and explore
We are surrounded on the south and west by the Pembrokeshire Coast Path. The coast path between Porthclais and Caerfai was voted “most beautiful coastal scenery in the British Isles” in a television programme.
It is possible to go rock climbing from the cliffs adjacent to the campsite. You can also go sea kayaking, canoeing, dinghy sailing and boating from the adjacent Porthclais Harbour.
A little distance away is the beautiful sandy Caerfai beach, one of the four best beaches in the British Isles (Holiday Which). Very safe for small children and toddlers with shallow rock pools for paddling and shrimping.
The large sandy beach of Whitesands is nearby. This has golden sands at all stages of the tide, with easy access for pushchairs from the adjacent car park. Whitesands is an EEC Standard Blue Flag Beach (free from contamination and manned by Lifeguards). Enjoy a quiet picnic and swim at the sheltered sandy beaches of Porthlysgi, Porthselau, Porth-melgan or Caerbwdi, accessible only on foot. The large sandy beaches of Traethllyfn and Newgale are only a few miles away. Abercastle, Aberbach and Abermawr have rock pools and sandy beaches. The tiny picturesque Porthclais harbour, beloved by children for “crabbing”, has a slipway for launching small boats and boat park. There is also a famous lifeboat station at Porthstinian. Boat and fishing trips to the offshore islands are organised by local fishermen.
Spring arrives early in the Peninsula and the area is beautiful with an abundance and variety of flowers and birds. The campsite is surrounded by the coast path on the south and west with its miles of spectacular scenery. The offshore islands of Skomer, Grassholm and Ramsey are famous for their resident and migrant birds and grey seal colonies. The surrounding countryside is a haven for badgers, seen on a late spring evening.
In May the abundance of wild flowers on the cliffs produce truly breathtaking scenery – among the most beautiful in the British Isles.
Summer pursuits include swimming or relaxing on the sands at the nearby beaches of Caerfai and Whitesands, or, for the energetic, surfing, windsurfing, boating, fishing, pony trekking and golf, and there are many castles, islands and ancient monuments to visit.
In September seals swim between Porthstinian and Treginnis, where they breed in the sheltered coves and in October the mother seals can be seen suckling their young.
Autumn is long and mild. Walk along the Coast Path to see the newborn seal pups in the quiet coves. Visit prehistoric monuments, the iron-age hill-fort at Caerfai and neolithic burial chambers on Carn Llidi. In autumn the heather and gorse on St Davids Head create spectacular patches of purple and gold. The rare parasitic plant, Dodder, is to be found on the heather and gorse opposite Carreg yr Esgob (Bishop’s Rock). Christmas and New Year. St Davids with its cathedral and mild weather forms an ideal setting for family reunions or a quiet, secluded break. Choral and orchestral concerts are organised in the cathedral and choral evensong is sung by the Cathedral Choir.
Whatever the season there is something for both young and old, indolent and energetic. Aber Mawr, Porthlysgi, Porthmelgan and Pwll Deri are just some of the tiny bays to explore.
At hand is Ramsey, a few minutes sailing time from St Justinian’s with seals basking below cliffs, soaring with kittiwakes.
Scramble up Carn Llidi or Pen Berry on a clear day, to be rewarded with a glimpse of Ireland, laze on Whitesands beach, a surfer’s paradise, wander down flower-strewn lanes between disused mills and tiny coves, once bustling medieval trading ports, or participate in “Adventure Activities” organised by the National Park and Outdoor Pursuit Centres – surfing, windsurfing, sea canoeing, kayaking, abseiling and climbing, mountain biking or pony trekking.
The St Davids Peninsula – Dewisland, the Land of David – is a land of ancient history, of myth and of legend with a tranquil, timeless atmosphere. This remote peninsular is one of the wildest and most spectacular stretches of the National Park. Pembrokeshire – Penfro in Welsh – translates as “Land’s End”.
The sea has been the major influence on the way of life of those who lived on the peninsular. From early prehistoric times, the Western Seaways have been used as a major highway by settlers and saints, pilgrims and pirates, traders and travellers
The earliest settlers to arrive by sea built megalithic burial chambers or cromlechau, such as Coetan Arthur, on St Davids head. Solitary standing stones remind us of the people who created large temples from the “Bluestones” of the nearby Preseli Hills.
On many promontories you can find the embankments and earthworks of iron-age forts. You can see hut circles of an iron-age village on St Davids Head and the stonemarked boundaries of their narrow field system run northwards from Carn Llidi to the sea.
Later came the Celts, whose stories and songs have been handed down in the folk tales of the Mabinogion and who left inscribed stones bearing the Ogham script. In historic times there was a catastrophic tsunami to which the tree trunks, to be seen on Whitesands at very low tide, there witnessed.
Early Christian missionaries also travelled by sea, and this peninsula was an important focus of the Celtic Church. Holy wells and Celtic crosses carved on wayside stones mark the ancient pilgrim route. Three pilgrimages to St Davids were worth one to Rome.
The National Park runs several activities each day during the holiday season and less frequently the rest of the year – walking, pony trekking, boat and coach trips.
Further details are in the free newspaper, Coast to Coast, available from the Tourist Information Centre in St Davids or by post from The Information Service Pembrokeshire Coast National Park – 01646 624800
Maps and guides of the local area are available from the St Davids bookshop in The Pebbles 01437 720480, and from the Tourist Information Centre on the left as you enter St Davids from Haverfordwest, 01437 720392. The Pembrokeshire Coastal Path meanders around the peninsular, over high cliff tops, rugged promontories and into a succession of sandy coves and beaches. It is a perfect paradise for walkers, and inland, too, are footpaths, bridle paths, old green lanes and ancient pilgrim ways. You can take an easy circular walk from the campsite from 2 to 14 miles or longer completely away from the main roads!
The cathedral is a local music centre, with choral evensong, organ recitals and choral music from artists of international reputation.
There are many restaurants and coffee shops to choose from in St Davids alone, catering for all pockets.
TYF Adventure are one of the UK’s most respected outdoor activity operators, based in St Davids. They pioneered coasteering, started a world freestyle kayaking championship series, and were the first adventure business to go carbon neutral and commit to 1% for the Planet. TYF create adventures that set new standards of play and learning that help people to reconnect to themselves, friends, family and nature. Half days, full days and multi activity breaks available year round.
Call 01437 721 611 or visit www.tyf.com to find out more.
Blue Shark charters is the only charter fishing vessel running fishing trips from St. Justinian’s harbour on the outskirts of St. David’s. Being the most westerly harbour on the welsh coast they are ideally situated to get you quickly out to some of the many offshore reefs, sandbanks and wrecks located off the west wales coast.
Whether you just fancy nipping out into Ramsey Sound for an hour and a half mackerel trip to ‘feather up’ a couple of fish for your tea, or a full day out in search of some monsters of the deep on one of the many shipwrecks in the Irish Sea, the crew are able to help you. 07779646635.
Launching – slipways and public boat parks are at nearby Porthclais harbour and Fishguard. There are also slipways at Whitesands bay and Solva harbour. Boat trips along the coast and around Ramsey Island from St Justinian, Whitesands Bay and Solva. Landing trips to Ramsey Island from St Justinian – details from the Tourist Information Centre St Davids – 01437 720392.
Falcon Boats St Davids – 07494 141764 – firstname.lastname@example.org
Aquaphobia offer boat trips around Ramsey Island and also dolphin watching trips. – 01437 720471 or 07967 774053 – email@example.com
Bowlings Riding School – Rudbaxton, Haverfordwest. Tel: 01437 741407
Email – firstname.lastname@example.org
Bowlings riding school situated near Haverfordwest offer riding lessons and hacks.
East Nolton Riding Stables – Nolton – Tel: 01437 710360
Email – email@example.com
Nolton Stables are situated near Newgale, offering beach riding for all ages and abilities. For more experienced riders their 2.5 hour ride will take you through the quaint village of Nolton, around their privately owned valley before heading over the family owned farmland which is situated on the cliffs between Nolton and Druidston followed by a canter on the beach to finish off.
St Davids City Golf Club – Whitesands Tel:07974 764862
Email – firstname.lastname@example.org
Situated 2 miles west of St Davids in a splendid position overlooking Whitesands Bay. The course is a 9-hole, 5911 yard SSS 70, 18-tee links course, Open all year. The clubhouse has showers, toilets and changing facilities. Visitors are welcome.
There are three art galleries to visit in St Davids as well as several craft shops.
Jim Harries, Woodturner– Siop Fach, Mathry – Tel: 01348 831379
You can see woodturners at work. Fruit and salad bowls, bread and cheese boards, soup bowls, named eggcups and many more wooden gifts. High quality furniture is a speciality- Welsh dressers, tables and chairs and four-poster beds. Open all year, 7 days a week.