Blink, and you might miss the city of St Davids (Ty-ddewi). With a population of around 2,000, this is by far the smallest city in Britain – more of a one-street village with a handful of tea rooms, souvenir shops and restaurants, a flower-filled village square and just one proper pub.
For such a sleepy little place, the city gets pretty busy in summer when the hoards descend on Whitesands Beach just a few miles to the northwest. This is a renowned Blue Flag beach, consistently lauded as one of the best in Wales, if not in the entire UK. It’s a vast expanse of sand that stretches for a mile along some of Pembrokeshire’s finest coast, with waves that lure large numbers of surfers.
It’s typical of St Davids that, for such a hugely popular beach, there’s only one way to get to it; a tiny, winding country road that wiggles down to the café and car park. In peak season, when there are way too many cars to wedge into the car park, the road gets blocked and the sputtering queues stretch back almost all the way to St Davids. This is why it might be a far, far better idea to stay at the beach itself, where a neat little campsite occupies a prime spot within surfboard-dragging distance of the waves.
Whitesands Beach site is a very low-key place; open throughout the year, this runway-shaped strip of land has just a shower hut at one end and the beach at the other; a magnet for hardy, winter surfers and summer bathers alike. During the school holidays, the site expands to include an additional 6 acres of fields that slope down to the beach, and provide the best views around. There’s no reception (don’t bother to book, when you get there, just ask for Pete who runs the site) but there is a snack bar on the site, called “Beach Bites” and a café in the car park. In any case, campers don’t come here for the facilities. It’s the beach, the sea and the waves that pull in the punters. If you’re new to the sport and aren’t yet fully kitted out, don’t worry – you’ll find that you can hire all the bits and pieces you need back in St David’s.
With all the comings and goings to the beach, it’s perhaps not the quietest location, but once the sun starts to dip and the last shuttle bus leaves for St David’s, this special place is transformed. With a bright moon ethereally lighting the sea and the gentle wash of waves for a soundtrack, this is ‘city’ living at its very best. Not to be missed
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An absolutely beautiful spot. A group of 17 of us went for my birthday celebrations and we were welcomed with opened arms. We were placed further up in a separate field from families and quieter campers and we were pretty much left to our own devices. We pitched up camp and bbq'd to our hearts content. The beach is literally a stones through away so there was opportunity to have a camp fire down there too. Pete, who owns the site, was really friendly and helpful (you have to find him first though!) and gave us great directions for walking into St. Davids via an enchanting off road route. This walk takes about half an hour and you can stock up on supplies there and have a beer or few in some of the excellent pubs. the best are 'The Farmers' and 'The Bishops', both with superb beer gardens and great fish 'n' chips!
Toilets and Showers and general cleanliness;
The fields were really tidy and well kept and there is a shower block onsite with about 4 or 5 showers. You need a token to use these which you can ask Pete for. There is a really clean toilet block down in the car park for the beach which is really close to the camp site.
There is also a shop/ cafe that serves up brekkies and tea and coffee in the morning from 8.30 if you want that kind of thing and they also sell a huge array of Pembrokeshire Coast conservation area memorabilia, beach towels and games. It's far enough away to feel like you're literally camping on the beach and close enough for an emergency rounders bat and ball! The beach is huge and we were graced with amazing weather even though forecast was to pour down.
Would definitely recommend this site for groups of friends and we were chatting to a family further down the patch and they had had a lovely time too!
3 of 3 readers found this review useful.
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Right next to the Pembrokeshire Coast Path.
If it rains
Food & Drink
Beach Bites mobile snack bar on site in school holidays.