St Davids, Wales

St Davids
Panoramic view of St. David's Cathedral, dating from around 1200. Photo © Sacred Destinations.

As all the signs will brag as you arrive, St Davids in Wales is the smallest city in Britain. Traditionally, being a city is not related to size but whether you have a cathedral. So although it is home to just 1,800 people, St Davids is a city! St Davids is located on the western tip of south Wales, just across the sea from Ireland. Its scenic seaside position, coastal walking trails, powerful waves and sandy beaches make it a popular destination for swimmers, surfers, paddlers, and hikers throughout the summer.

But it is the cathedral, not the surf, that has attracted millions of pilgrims to this remote spot since the Middle Ages and continues to draw crowds of visitors today. St. David's Cathedral is one of the most glorious in Britain, and is the largest and holiest cathedral in Wales. In medieval times, the Pope declared that two pilgrimages to St. Davids is worth one to Rome. Consequently, St Davids became rich and powerful, as the grandeur of the ruined Bishop's Palace still attests.

St. David's Cathedral
Founded in the 7th century, St. David's Cathedral in Wales was a major pilgrimage destination in the Middle Ages thanks to its relics of St. David (Dewi).
St. Non's Chapel
This small chapel ruin is picturesquely located in a field above St. Non's Bay on the Welsh coast. It is said to mark the site where St. Non gave birth to St. David around 500 AD.
Bishop's Palace
Standing in imposing ruins next to cathedral in St Davids, Wales, this building's grandeur even after much neglect testifies to the power and wealth of St Davids in the Middle Ages.
St. Non's Well
Said to have sprung up when St. Non gave birth to St. David around 500 AD, this holy well has long been believed to have healing properties.