St Non's Chapel To Porthclais Harbour Coastal Walk | One Of The Best Walks At St Davids, Wales
If you like walking, then the circular route from St Davids to St Nons Chapel, along the Pembrokeshire coastal path to Porthclais harbour and back is a GREAT walk!
St Davids may be one of the smallest cities in the world, but it is not short on walking routes, sights and beauty!
The route in this review combines rural, coastal and historical sights all in one, with bags of stunning scenery, exciting and unique wildlife and a varied walking experience.
Should it be a glorious sunny day, or windy and wet, this particular route is one for the bucket list!
Check Out Our Video Review!
About The Route
It goes without saying, the circular route including St Nons & Porthclais can be done in reverse, extended, made shorter or other paths, routes or roads can be taken to make it ones own.
However, we believe our routes makes for a very interesting and varied walk with lots to see and experience along the way.
Although the route requires a certain level of fitness, it is not overly demanding and enjoyable by most and is approximately 5-miles long.
Such makes it very accessible to many, and people who may struggle with the full route can still enjoy much of the splendour and beauty without having to walk too far as it is possible to drive to most of the key points of interest we have mentioned.
The Walk: St Davids To St Nons Chapel
The route we advise is slightly different from what is in our video above.
In the video above, we take the country lane (Goat Street) straight to St Non’s from St Davids, which is a quicker route.
However, what we advise is that you walk the public footpath, as plotted above between Goat Street and Maes-Y-Dre. About one-third of the way down the footpath, you will come to a public walking route between two fields which leads to St Nons Chapel.
This route will take you down through varied and interesting farmland, with several interesting features, such as the ‘tree tunnel’ below. It is a beautiful easy walk and a good warm-up to the coastal path ahead.
Depending where in St Davids you start, this way will take you around 15 to 25 minutes to walk at a steady pace.
The Walk: St Nons Chapel
The remains of the chapel at St Nons dates back around 1500 years, which also includes a well which may have healing properties.
St Non is said to be the mother of St David, the patron saint of Wales, whom St Davids ‘city’ is named after.
Understandably, historical data is a bit sketchy for this site and the people that surround it. History and religion aside, this is an interesting and beautiful area and worth the visit!
The Walk: The Coastal Path
The walk from St Nons Chapel to Porthclais can be as little as 20-30 minutes, but expect it to take quite a bit longer if you intend to stop and take in all the beauty and sights along the way!
The path is delightful to walk! No two parts are the same, plus there is a stunning array of flora and wildlife along the entire section.
Caught on a sunny day, the coastal waters will be varying shades of blue and green around the bays. It is nothing short of gorgeous!
Hopefully, heights are not an issue, as there are multiple places along the way were you a literally one step away from death!
The Walk: Porthclais
This 12th-century port is not short of history. From its coal and timber importing history to the limestone kilns used for over 350 years, Porthclais has an interesting storey to tell!
Even if history does not interest you, the beauty of the area is hard to ignore. As you walk in from the coastal path, you will see the port in its entirety from the best vantage point.
In the summer months, it is common to see people launching canoes and small boats from the boat ramp. Not something you are likely to do yourself when walking around from St Nons, but the option is still available to you!
There is a Kiosk at the car park near the boat ramp that is open during the main season (Apr to Oct). They serve different food and drinks, but one not to miss is the local ice cream they sell!
Unless you have lactose intolerance or a dairy allergy, you shouldn’t skip on the opportunity! The prices are very reasonable, and the ice cream is some of the best you can get.
It is the perfect place to stop, as it is about halfway along the route we have specified, plus there are public toilets here, which are often very handy.
The Walk: Back To St Davids
The route back to the ‘city’ will take you down a path between farmland.
Do not let this fool you! The walk is fascinating and has several vantage points closer to St Davids, which make for excellent views. Plus there is a swing from a tree hidden away on the route we take you that kids can enjoy!
Be careful not to miss the turning point into the path that takes you up to the higher parts and swing. The looking tropical plants here can hide the route!
The Walk: Fancy Some Food or A Pint?
The final part of the route will bring you back into the beautiful ‘city’ of St Davids.
As you walk towards St Davids Catherdal, as the route we have given shows, you will pass the Farmers Arms pub, which is the perfect place to stop for some essential refreshments and a nice bite to eat!
Alternatively, there is The Bishops pub around the corner, which is equally as nice for both food and drink!
The choice is yours, but after that walk, either one of these excellent pubs will be welcomed by most!
St Davids Cathedral & The City Centre
If you haven’t explored St Davids Cathedral already, you are in for a treat!
With over 1500 years of traceable history, fabulous architecture and stunning grounds, let alone inside the Cathedral, the site is a national treasure!
It should be fully explored and experienced in person as there are many beautiful sights and interesting features.
The old part of the Cathedral is chargeable to walk around. As mentioned in the video, there aren’t lots of different things to see there, and if you are on a tight budget, and/or history is not your thing, you might not see the value in it.
However, if you are interested in history, the architecture, or even not, but if the fee is comfortable for you, you should go and check it out. The little you pay goes towards the running and upkeep of the Cathedral, which is said to cost more than a whopping £3000.00 a day!
You are now just a short walk from the town centre and its shops and facilities, but the route we have specified is worth those few extra steps as it is very pleasing to walk down and will be the perfect end to this fantastic walk!