On this post I will highlight the places we visited and the best places to see and the best things to do in St. Davids and Newport.
It was time to move on and we continued with our trip in the direction of the famous St. Davids.
St. Davids is located to the north of Tenby and above Haverfordwest, on the west side coast, but still in Pembrokeshire. It is known as the smallest city in Britain because of the magnificent Cathedral built in the 12th century. This is an iconic site, and you can learn the history of St Davids origins.
There are also other places to visit, such as the Oriel y Parc Galleries, and The Bishop’s Palace. We only visited the Cathedral as the other areas were closed at the time of our visit.
We spent a good two hours in there and after that decided to carry on with our trip. If you have time, you can take the boat trip to the islands of Ramsey, Grassholm, Skomer and Skokholm, where apparently you can get very close to the sea life.
We drove up north, passing through the Blue Lagoon. The Blue Lagoon was formed when an old quarry that was active in that place many years ago was blasted to form an entrance to allow the sea to get in. The blue colour of the water reflects the slates on the site.
Again, with time, you can do a long walk exploring the quarry area and beyond, but for us it was enough to see the Blue Lagoon and we just carried on with our next stop in Newport (the small one in Pembrokeshire, not the big one near Cardiff).
Newport is a very small town on the northwest coast. They say that Newport receives 16.6 hours of daylight in the summer, so ideal if you want to spend a few days relaxing on the beach looking at the Irish Sea while the sun sets.
Our hotel was nearby, but it was a bit too early for check-in and a bit late for lunch. We found a café in town that was still serving lunch, so we just had something to eat and pass the time before going to Llwyngwair Manor, our hotel for the next two nights.
Llwyngwair Manor is a refurbished Manor House converted into a hotel and about 2 miles from Newport. The site is also a caravan and mobile home park and is very large, with about 55 acres of land.
The room was comfortable, clean, and relatively new. The communal areas of the hotel could do with a revamp, but still of acceptable standards. At the time of our visit only breakfast was being served on site. I’m not sure if they never serve other meals or if it was because of the lack of staff and the Covid situation that the restaurant was not operating in full.
We had a bit of a rest before going out again for dinner.
We went for dinner at The Golden Lion, a pub in Newport. They are also a hotel, but it was full for the dates we were there.
The food was surprisingly good to be pub food being more akin to gastro pub fare than the usual pub grub. They have the daily specials on the blackboard and a regular menu, all based on seasonal local produce. It was an enjoyable meal and evening.
Breakfast at the hotel was good and after that we left to our day’s explorations.
The first point of stop was Cwn-yr-Eglys, which is a small hamlet between Fishguard and Newport with access to the Pembrokeshire Coast Path.
There is a small beach and the ruins of St Brynach’s Church, which was lost to the sea after a great storm in 1859. It is a seaside award beach good for swimming and snorkelling.
After walking around and taking some photos we headed to Pentre Ifan, a burial stone chamber from the Neolithic times.
The stones are the Pembrokeshire bluestones, the same that were used on the making of Stonehenge. This is a free monument open to the public and there is no need to pre-book a visit.
After visiting Pentre Ifan we decided to drive to Cardigan.
We had lunch at a café in the town centre and walked around town and visited Cardigan Castle nearby.
Only the walls and remains of the original castle can be seen today. There is 900 years of history on this site, and you can learn a bit of it in the exhibitions permanently shown on the castle or with the tour guides. You can learn from the start of the castle to the last owner of it, who lived in the Georgian house built on the site until she died.
The house was in a derelict state of repair since 1940 and was brought to life again with a full restauration funded by the Heritage Lottery Funding and European Grants in 2015. The castle has beautiful gardens that are Grade II Listed and a very good restaurant with stunning views in a contemporary design building.
On the way back to Newport we stopped at Castell Henllys for the last presentation of the day.
Castell Henllys is an Iron Age Village that had been reconstructed on the same place where it was 2,000 years ago. The village consists of four round houses reconstructed on their original iron age foundations.
There are guided presentations throughout the day, and we booked the last one of that day. The guides are dressed in costumes from the Demetae Tribe that lived in Wales during and after the Roman invasion. They tell the story very well with a bit of acting and it is very informative, especially for kids.
The presentation lasts about an hour, and you can also explore the houses, at your own time, before or after the presentations. This site is owned by Pembrokeshire National Park Authority and visits need to be booked in advance.
By the time we finished this last visit we were quite tired of walking around the whole day, but it was worth, and the day felt very productive.
Tonight, we had booked Trewern Arms, (another pub) for dinner. Dinner was OK, but not as nice as The Golden Lion.
Below you will find a list of what to visit, where to stay and where to eat in St Davids and Newport. I classified each place as follows:
BOLD – Visited, tried and recommended
NOT BOLD – Not visited or tried, but planning to visit or try and heard very good reviews
*** – Excellent
** – Good
* – OK
£££ – Expensive
££ – Fair and affordable
£ – Cheap
WHAT TO VISIT IN ST DAVIDS, NEWPORT AND AROUND
1 – St Davids Cathedral – ***
2 – Oriel y Parc Galleries
3 – The Bishops Palace
4 – Islands of Ramsey, Grassholm, Skomer and Skokholm
5 – Blue lagoon – ***
6 – Cwn-yr-Eglys – St Brynach’s Church – ***
7 – Pentre Ifan – ***
8 – Cardigan Castle – ***
9 – The Georgian House – ***
10 – Castell Henllys – ***
WHERE TO STAY IN ST DAVIDS, NEWPORT AND AROUND
1 – Penrhiw Priory – 5* – ££
2 – Llwyngwair Manor – 4* – ** – ££
3 – St. Davids Cross Hotel – 3* – ££
4 – Glendower B & B – 2* – £
WHERE TO EAT IN ST DAVIDS, NEWPORT AND AROUND
1 – The Golden Lion – Newport – *** – ££
2 – Trewern Arms – Newport – ** – ££
3 – St Davids Gin & Kitchen – St Davids – £
3 – Blas Restaurant – St Davids – ££
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