Caerfai is the nearest beach to St Davids. It is very popular for one main reason – it’s a suntrap! (South facing and surrounded by high cliffs).
You can also just sit and enjoy the fabulous panoramic views right across St Brides bay and the islands of Skomer and Skokholm from the picnic seats and benches at the top of the cliffs adjacent to the car park.
The path and steps to the beach are quite steep (& feel even steeper on the way back!). There are no toilet facilities.
For those coming by car, a word of caution – there is limited parking above the beach and the road from St Davids is also pretty narrow in places.
At low tide there are two areas to the beach, but when the tide is fully in, most of the sand disappears, leaving a shingly/rocky shoreline.
It a lovely family beach, as its not too big for children to run around without getting lost.
At low tide, it is reasonably rated for surfing. A popular activity web site rates it for other sporting activities: “Its enclosed nature makes it unsuitable for kiting or windsurfing though. It is however an excellent place for coasteering with plenty of caves and rocky outcrops to explore. The cliffs around Caerfai also provide some good, popular climbing routes”.
It is also a recommended Mackerel fishing spot.
The cliff formation is unusual and some of the cliffs are in the same distinctive red sandstone that was quarried at nearby Caerbwdy for the building of St Davids Cathedral.
There are also interesting rock pools and caves at Caerfai – but they must be explored carefully!
Geologically the cliffs are important and have an Epoch named after them – “Caerfai Epoch – The earliest epoch of the Cambrian Period in the chronostratigraphic scale”.
Despite their academic importance, keep away from the cliffs, as some are very unstable!
For the historically minded, there is a small hillfort nearby.
Caerfai is within easy walking distance of St Davids (1.5 miles).
A lovely walk along the coastal path is to St Non’s – a distance of about 2 miles. From St Non’s it is quite an easy route to turn inland and head back to St Davids.
The walk along the cliffs in the other direction from Caerfai takes you to the beach at Caerbwdy and from there onto Solva.
There is also the alternative of waiting for the Puffin Shuttle coastal buses, which regularly visit the accessible coves and beaches around the St Davids peninsula.
From Solva, as you enter St David’s, there is the National Park Visitor Centre – Oriel y Parc on your left. Turn down by it to Caerfai (1.5 miles).
If you require sustenance, head into St David’s where there are numerous eateries and shops.
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