Rolling coastal hills, crags, and pretty coves make St Davids perfect for pitching.
Ancient Britons dubbed the St Davids area a “thin” place, where the gap between Earth and Heaven was small. Rimmed in a shoreline of bizarre rock formations, deep coves, and dreamy fishing villages, this is still a spiritual spot: full of millennia-old burial mounds and the end point of a major mediaeval pilgrimage route. A feeling of serenity remains, and there is no better way to experience this than camping out on the crag-dotted grasslands around Britain’s westernmost city, St Davids itself. Clock the exquisite cathedral and other historic sights, take a boat trip, or wander for hours from bay to clifftop to charming seaside settlement along the coast path winding right around the region.
St Davids’ go-to sandy beach is 2.5 miles northwest of the city. It’s a popular place with swimmers and surfers alike, but big enough to absorb the crowds. The campsites here are all on or just off the approach road, below the rocky hill of Carn Lidli. Hit the beach, hike the many footpaths or discover the fascinating ancient history of St Davids Head to the bay’s north.
St Justinian’s really is the end of the road—as far west as you can go in Wales—and is a secluded place to camp, despite being under 2 miles from St Davids. The grassy pitches here invariably scoop big sea views. There is a clutch of campsites off the quiet lane from St Davids down to the pier from where boats go to isolated Ramsey Island, a nature reserve.
This large bay curving south of St Davids, flanked either side by Ramsey and Skomer Islands, is a wild romp of craggy cliffs and sandy coves known as ‘havens’. The hiking is excellent, with the whole thing linked by the Pembrokeshire Coast Path, and there are several cute-as-a-button fishing villages. There are campsites all the way around.
The main tourist season is Easter through September, with early May and September seeing less crowds than the main holiday season, despite overall promising just as much chance of sunny, dry weather. This is Wales though, so come prepared for rain and cool temperatures any time! St Davids’ Cathedral Festival of classical music in late May makes an atmospheric time to visit.