THINGS TO SEE AND DO
The cottages are only half a mile from the famous Pembrokeshire Coastal Path with its miles of spectacular scenery. The offshore islands of Skomer, Grassholm and Ramsey are renowned for their resident and migrant birds and grey seal colonies.
The historic Cathedral City/village of St Davids is just half a mile away, with a wide range of shops, banks and restaurants.
Open air theatres and concerts take place in the medieval Bishop's Palace.
Less than a mile 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 free 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 cottage is only a few hundred yards from the Pembrokeshire Coastal Path 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. Return to warmth and watch brilliant sunsets from the lounge windows. 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, Porth-melgan and Pwlderi 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 Berri 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 Ccetan 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 the embankments and earthworks of an iron-age fort are found. The hut circles of an iron-age village can be clearly seen on St Davids Head and the stonemarked boundaries of their narrow field system run northwards from Cam 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 flood to which the tree trunks, to be seen on Whitesands at very low tide, bear witness.
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 or by post from The Information Service Pembrokeshire Coast National Park County Offices, Haverfordwest, Dyfed SA61 1QZ.
Maps and guides of the local area are available at the bookshop in The Pebbles, St . Davids.
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. Easy round walks can be taken from the cottage from 2 to 14 miles or longer completely away from the main roads! Over the moor to Bryn y Gam, retuming via Catherine Street is 2 miles. Down the footpath to Melin Isaf, the top of the ancient hillfort at Clegyr Boia, returning via Porth Clais is 4 miles. Through the town to Caerfai, along the coastpath to Whitesands, returning via Penarthur and the Bishop's Palace is 14 miles. An inland walk to the heights of Penbem along the monk's way, or Ffoss y Mynach, is some 20 miles.
The cathedral is a local music centre, with choral evensong, organ recitals and choral music from artists of international reputation.
Dining and Eating Out
There are at least 12 restaurants and coffee shops to choose from in St Davids alone, catering for all pockets.
Tyr-y-Felin Outdoor Centre - St Davids - Tel: 01437 720391
Nationally recognised. Approved by BSA, BCU and WTB. Qualified instructors introduce you to a wide range of exciting pursuits: surfing, windsurfing, sea canoeing, kayaking, abseiling and climbing, mountain biking and assault course. All sessions are supervised by qualified instructors and are suitable for people aged 8 - 80. Special "Young Adventurer" day for 8-12 year olds. Child minding and baby sitting available.
Sea fishing is excellent from the rocks at Caerfai point, St Non's, and at Ogof Golchfa between Porthlysgi and Porth Clais. Angling trips from St Justinian and Solva - details from the Tourist Information Centre in St Davids - 01437 720392.
Sailing and Boating
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.
Bowling Riding School - Rudbaxton, tv Haverfordwest - Tel: 01437 87257 Centre for riding for disabled and Pemnbrokeshire College for their equine courses.
Dolrhanog Riding Centre - Newport - Tel: 01239 820432 Horse and pony treks across the peaks of the Preseli hills.
East Nolton Riding Stables - Nolton - 01437 710360 Riding over sandy beaches and farmland overlooking St Brides Bay. Hendre Eynon Riding Centre - 01437 720474 Escorted rides daily, hourly and afternoon rides, day courses. Maesgwynne Farm - Fishguard - 01348 872659 One hour and half-day treks, riding lessons. Creche facilities available.
St Davids City Golf Club - Whitesands - Tel: 01348 831607
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. 19th hole at the adjacent Whitzsands Bay Hotel. Visitors welcome - no booking needed. Fees £8 per day
St Davids School - Tel: 0 1437 720428
Arts & Crafts
John Williams Slate Craft and Engraving Workshop -Nun Street, St Davids -Tel: 01437 720498
John Williams is a native St Davids craftsman who hand carves Welsh slate producing house plaques, numbers, sundials, commemorative and memorial work. Visitors welcome to call in and see a rural craft of Wales.
Jim Harries, Woodturner- Siop Fach, Mathry - Tel: 01348 831379
The woodtumers can be seen at work. Fruit and salad bowls, bread and cheese boards, soup bowls, named eggcups and many more wooden gifts. High quality fumiture is a speciality- Welsh dressers, tables and chairs and four-poster beds. Open all year, 7 days a week.