St. Davids is Britain’s smallest city and was officially granted city status in 1994 when Queen Elizabeth II granted the civic charter. It is in fact no larger than a village, having a population of about 1500, though has historically always been a city due to the presence of the Cathedral.
The city offers a variety of shops ranging from those selling fresh local produce, art and craft, surfing equipment, shoes and clothes. Indeed in recent years St. Davids seems to be growing as a centre for clothing retail attracting brands such as Fat Face, White Stuff, Joules and Crew to name but a few. The city also boasts a fine farmers market which springs up around the market square once a week.
Tourism is the city’s main financial stay all year ‘round and comes into its own when flooded by incomers during the summer months. The tourist information centre occupies a relatively new, award winning building, which also houses a cafe and an art gallery. The gallery has an ever changing collection and is frequently used as a venue for lectures and talks and during the summer has an artist in residence.
The main attraction is the wonderful 12th Century Cathedral and nearby Bishop’s Palace. Both these stand low in the Vale of Roses on the River Alun. History tells us that this site was chosen so as to keep them safe and out of the sight of Vikings invaders. Today the Cathedral is not only a place of worship, but is a spectacular venue for concerts, music festivals, ceremonial events and indeed as a film set for period productions.
The Cathedral is unique and is one of Wales’ primary tourist attractions. It is indeed said that in the 12th Cenrury, Pope Calixtus II decreed that two pilgrimages to St. Davids were equal to one to Rome!
Engulfing this unique village city is the beautiful coastline that attracts walkers from all over the globe. Its breathtaking scenery offers an incredible resource of wildlife, both flora and fauna, spectacular seabirds and sea life. Caves are stumbled across and offer their enchantment, and windswept beaches of golden sand provide ideal locations for picnicking, walking and many outdoor activities such as surfing, coasteering and kayaking.