We are in Pembrokeshire in Lower Solva, a village with a small harbour, which sits at the head of an inlet leading out into St. Brides Bay. It’s a grey day with rain building up in the clouds, but the forecast says dry.
Following the path up on to Morfa Common we head west along the cliffs towards St.Davids, the smallest city in Britain, courtesy of its cathedral. Slabs of dark granite cliff sweep down into the sea protecting small inlets where smugglers would unload their goods. Solva was a known centre for smuggling where even the local Baptist chapel was lit using candles made of smuggled tallow.
As we get closer to St Davids, a stern looking building appears on the horizon – the house appears to have its own chapel. Visitors are welcome so we go in to have a look.
A sweet old lady with a strong Irish accent is busying about and tells us we have missed mass by 5 minutes. I wonder just how many people had attended in such a small space. She also tells us that the house is used for retreats and after a bit more chat she wishes us a good day and scuttles out.
The chapel is dedicated to St. Non, who was the mother of St. David (the patron saint of Wales for the uninitiated) and she has her own well where the water is said to cure all manner of ailments. I do not know whether the idea is to submerge your afflicted body part or drink the water but I was not about to do either.
Here she is again…….
From here we head back down to the coast path through Portclais and following the advice of a local, decide to head for Porthlysgi Bay. There are some terrifying drops on the way.
Porthclais has an ancient harbour and even on a dull day the colours and formation of the rocks on the sides of the cove are startlingly beautiful.
Eventually we reach Porthlysgi Bay from where we’ve been told there is a footpath cross country up to St Davids.
We find the wide grassy path that leads up to a minor road and follow it into the village/city. On the way Damian is smitten by a herd of young bullocks.
This is our first sight of the cathedral……………….
And here is the centre of the village – I am so glad we are here in December and not at the height of summer.
We check in to our accommodation, have dinner and after a few New Year’s greetings to family and friends we are asleep by 10.30pm. New Year’s Eve for us is not what it used to be!
Distance: 9 miles