Porth Clais/St Davids

Short Walk

DISTANCE/DURATION: 2.6 miles (4.2 km) 1 hour 15 minutes.
PUBLIC TRANSPORT: Service bus St Davids 411 or 413, *Puffin Shuttle 400, *Celtic Coaster 403 from St Davids to Porth Clais and back (*hail & ride, Easter to the last Sunday of September).
CHARACTER: Rugged coast, fields and livestock, reasonably level.
LOOK OUT FOR: Porth Clais harbour/lime kilns and St Non’s Chapel.

Visit the place where legend says a King was turned into a giant boar.

Porth Clais harbour at the mouth of the River Alun was once the place where goods were brought in for the cathedral in St Davids (St Davids peninsula was known as Dewisland to the pilgrims who came there to visit his shrine in the cathedral.

In Welsh, St David’s name is Dewi Sant, so Dewisland was the land of Dewi). They would land at Porth Clais and walk to the shrine via St Nons Holy Well and Chapel (below St Non’s Retreat).

The narrow harbour here was carved out by meltwater about 7000 years ago at the end of the last Ice Age.

It was a busy port from the sixteenth century, carrying not only pilgrims but limestone to be burned in the lime kilns that surround the harbour. Its mentioned in the Mabinogion in the tale of Culhwch and Olwen as the place where the Twrch Trwyth (the Irish king who’s been turned into a giant boar with a comb and scissors between his ears) comes ashore.

St Davids, the cathedral and the Bishop’s Palace are a must-see.

Find this walk

Grid ref: SM745245


  • Take great care when on the Coast Path
  • Stay on the path and away from cliff edges
  • Wear boots and warm, waterproof clothing
  • Take extra care in windy and/or wet conditions
  • Always supervise children and dogs
  • Leave gates and property as you find them