|The coastal path: ...any and all of it! You're in the middle of the Pembrokeshire National Park here, and the coast path will take you for miles and miles around the coast in both directions. Just pick your stretch and go for it! You'll be rewarded with peace and quiet, fabulous views, and a chance of seeing some great wildlife. Get organised with the coastal shuttle bus and you'll even be able to get a lift back to St Davids, just a few yards from your front door.
Whitesands Bay and Carn Llidi: The ultimate beach experience when you want modern convenience too, Whitesands is a long expanse of beautiful sand bordered by fascinating and endless rockpools. The beach is also the base for lots of outdoor activities from swimming and bodyboarding to kitesurfing and boating. If you're lucky you may even see the locals out in force to cheer on the local gig in a "round the islands" race. (The pub's often quite busy that night . . .) The beach has a big car park, lots of loos, and a splendid shop/café , selling everything from hot meals and icecreams to surfboards, wetsuits and kites.
But you can also walk along the coast path in either direction from Whitesands and enjoy the total peace and tranquillity of the cliffs and little coves inaccessible by car. If you head north towards St Davids Head you can go up the rocky outcrop to Carn Llidi and its ancient burial chamber, and see for miles and miles.
Whitesands faces west and so can be quite bracing when there's a strong breeze coming in off the sea, especially if you're here off season. If you feel like something a little more sheltered, we'd recommend . . .
St Non's Chapel and Caerfai: Caerfai is the nearest beach to the house; it's a gorgeously picturesque little series of coves. It is easily walkable from the house unless you have limited mobility or extremely small children, but there is also a small car park at the top of the cliff if you prefer to drive. (If walking, we prefer to follow the path alongside the Warpool Court Hotel out to the cliff path rather than going along the roads.) There is a steep path from the cliff path and car park down to the cove, which faces south and is much more sheltered on windy days than Whitesands. You'll need your tide tables for this one, though, as there's hardly any beach at high tide. To make a circuit of it, go along the cliff path to St Non's chapel, which celebrates the birthplace of St David and commemorates his mother, St Non. Caerfai is more of a "get away from it all" beach, ie no shop, café or loo.
The Bishop's Palace: Next to the Cathedral, and run by Cadw (Welsh Heritage). One of our top favourites, and we know of several people who've taken out season tickets so they can go every day! The Palace is in ruins but very satisfactorily complete ones, with dozens of staircases and hundreds of hiding places A must if you have children (check out the exhibition showing the contents of a mediaeval loo . . .) It's also a suntrap, so a lovely place to take a book and have a snooze in the sun. Cadw run some lovely events, and we have enjoyed both open air Shakespeare and a demonstration of a mediaeval surgeon's craft there in the most atmospheric conditions imaginable.
Eating out: St Davids has been described as one of the culinary hotspots of Wales, and to make matters even better you can walk out of the front door and be at your chosen restaurant within two minutes; so there's every opportunity to explore some rather good wine lists without having to worry about who's driving! Look out for the wild food festival (www.reallywildfestival.co.uk).
Our current favourites for eating out include:
Eating in: There's a wealth of locally produced food round here which is great. The butcher and fishmonger is across the road from the house, just a few yards up into the square. Keep going a bit further and you'll be at the deli, stocked with all sorts of delicious things. And there's a proper local supermarket too, CKs, selling everything you'd expect and within walking distance.
Shopping: A lot of the shops in St Davids look quite small from the front and they're mostly Aladdin's caves with some very sophisticated and smart goods for sale. Try Window on Wales, Jalimali and Taylors, and look out for local artists and craftspeople exhibiting in the school hall during school holidays. If you are interested in arts and crafts, a visit to the world-famous woollen mill, Melin Tregwynt, is a must (see www.melintregwynt.co.uk) - it's about half way between St Davids and Fishguard and a destination in it's own right.
The cathedral: How could we not include the masterpiece we look out on every day? One of the most majestic cathedrals in the world, and the only one I know of with a sloping floor. In mediaeval times, two pilgrimages to St Davids were worth one to Rome, and three equalled one to Jerusalem.
The Music festival in late May / early June - usually the same week as summer half term - is glorious, not least because you can walk through the cathedral during the day to listen to the rehearsals as well as doing it properly in the evening (www.stdavidscathedral.org.uk , and then click on the links to music and the festival). And again, all within a couple of minutes walk of the house. (well, one minute down the hill and five back up again, if we're completely honest.)
And best of all, the great outdoors! This is a great base for an active holiday, whether you like walking, surfing, coasteering, sailing, kayaking – you name it! And there are activities for all ability levels – whether you’re a beginner or an expert, 8 or 80. Have a look at www.tyf.com for a taster of all the adventures you can have in St Davids – as they say, whether you're after a gentle introduction or a mind-blowing adrenalin rush, you’ve come to the right place.
Have a great holiday!