Place Category: Feature
Centred around an ancient Abbey, St Dogmaels sprawls along the River Teifi towards the wide sands at Poppit. With a regular, award winning, local produce market, places to stay and to eat, and plenty to visit, there are many reasons to visit this most northerly outpost of Pembrokeshire.
St Dogmaels has a very different feel to its Ceredigion neighbour, Cardigan. There’s been a settlement here since the 6th century and the village saw prosperity in the 18th and 19th centuries as the port of Cardigan grew in importance. As the river silted up, maritime industries died back and there has been little commercial development in St Dogmaels since the 19th century. Today, sprawled along the bank and up the valley, the village is centred very much on the ruined 12th Century Abbey and visitor centre that welcomes people throughout the year. A hub for fantastic, fresh local produce, St Dogmaels is perfect for a meander through quiet streets followed by a riverside drink or meal and a great base for exploring the North Pembrokeshire coastline on foot or by boat. Whether you’re a fan of ancient history, are seeking the vibrant wildlife of the Teifi Estuary, or want to discover all the beach has to offer at Poppit Sands (perhaps with the added excitement of a lifeboat launch thrown in) St Dogmaels is well worth a visit. At St Dogmaels Abbey & The Coach House Visitor Centre (home to a weekly Farmers market awarded the 2016 BBC Radio 4 Food & Farming Awards Best Market) you’ll find a café, locally made crafts, a varied programme of exhibitions, classes and open-air theatre productions on offer. The Water Mill still produces flour – ring the bell and ask for a tour – or browse around The Boat Shed Gallery or St Dogmaels Pottery. Poppit Sands offers lifeguarded swimming, surfing and beach fun or check out the lifeboat station and shop. There’s a car park, café, and public toilets. Set off from St Dogmaels to explore Cemaes Head and beyond as you head south to Newport on the Pembrokeshire Coastal Path. Watch out for wild ponies and, in the sea, seals and the famous Cardigan Bay dolphins.
ACCOMMODATION, FOOD & DRINK
Much of the accommodation in and around St Dogmaels is self-catering, B&B or guest house. There’s camping at AlltyCoed on Cemaes Head, a Youth Hostel at Poppit Sands, Cwm Connell Cottages or 5* luxury holiday cottage, Seaview in nearby Moylegrove. Food ranges from café style fare at the Coach House and the café at Poppit Sands, to Bowens renowned fish & chips and ‘gastropub’ with stunning river views at The Ferry Inn and the Webley Hotel. If you’re cooking your own, check out local seafood from Len & Mandy Walters of Cardigan Bay Shellfish and fresh veg from Glebelands Market Garden.
NEED TO KNOW
Getting there: Leave the A487 at Cardigan and follow signs to St Dogmaels/Llandudoch.
Parking: On-street parking is limited. A central car park off the main street & limited parking at The Coach House visitor centre. There’s a pay & display car park at Poppit Sands.
Dogs: restricted access to Poppit Sands from May to October.
Public Transport: The 407 runs between Cardigan/Aberteifi, St Dogmaels and Poppit Sands. The 405 ‘Poppit Rocket’ links key locations on the Pembrokeshire Coastal Path and stops at St Dogmaels and Poppit.
Richards Brothers 01239 613756 http://www.richardsbros.co.uk/local-bus-services/
St Dogmaels Abbey & The Coach House http://www.stdogmaelsabbey.org.uk/ 01239 615389
Cardigan Bay Fish http://cardiganbayfish.co.uk/home/ 01239 621043
Glebelands Market Garden http://www.glebelandsmarketgarden.co.uk/ 075115 46701
The Ferry Inn http://www.ferry-inn.co.uk/ 01239 615172
The Webley Hotel http://www.webleyhotel.co.uk/ 01239 612085
AlltyCoed Campsite & Yurts http://www.alltycoedcamping.co.uk/ 01239 612673
The Boat Shed Gallery http://boatshedgallery.co.uk/ 01239 612580
Poppit Sands Lifeboat http://rnli.org/findmynearest/station/Pages/Cardigan-Lifeboat-Station.aspx
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