The quaint riverside village of St Dogmaels is on the northern border of Pembrokeshire close to the market town of Cardigan.
St Dogmaels is significant because the Pembrokeshire Coast Path starts or finishes here, depending on which way you’re walking it.
Nearby is the dune-backed Blue Flag beach of Poppit Sands.
The nearest train station with ongoing bus connections is probably going to be Carmarthen.
The Poppit Rocket coastal bus service links St Dogmaels with Cardigan, Poppit Sands and Newport. Services are specifically designed to help walkers with one morning service to drop you off at your start point and one afternoon service to pick you up again.
There has been a settlement at St Dogmaels for a very long time but nothing remains prior to the Norman invasion. It was the Normans who established the Priory in 1113, which was subsequently upgraded to an abbey in 1120.
Cardigan Bay Active operate from the quay on the south side of Cardigan Bridge. They provide a range of activities including coasteering, surfing kayaking at sea or on the river, wildlife watching boat trips, bushcraft, climbing, and mountain biking.
Pembrokeshire Paragliding uses Poppit Sands on occasions when the wind is too strong for cliff tops.
The Coach House Heritage Centre opened next to the Priory in 2008. It is built in an old coach house with a modern extension and incorporates both historical interpretation of the village and surrounding area and a cafe. The centre provides an interpretation facility with models and displays and an internationally important collection of inscribed Christian stones dating from early Celtic times between the 7th & 10th century and which pre-date The Abbey.
The centre provides educational facilities for schools, colleges and archaeological researchers. It also provides a venue for St Dogmaels History Society, workshops by local artists and rolling exhibitions of arts, crafts, local history and natural history.
St Dogmaels Abbey was founded in the twelfth century on a site occupied by a pre-Norman monastery. Parts of the church and cloister are 12th century, however, the west and north walls of the nave are 13th century and the north doorway 14th-century ornamentation. The north transept is Tudor. The footings of the chapter house can be seen to the west of the cloister, with the adjacent monk’s infirmary standing almost to roof level. After the Dissolution of the Monasteries, the church continued to be used for a time by the parish, and a rectory was built into the southwest corner of the cloister.
A Sagranus Stone in the church of St Thomas the Apostle bears an inscription in the ancient Ogham Script. The Church is next to the Abbey.
Y Felin Water Mill is one of only two working mills in Wales. The mill has been completely renovated with its original machinery intact. Y Felin dates back to the twelfth century and is thought to have been built by St Dogmaels Abbey. A guided tour of the mill will reveal how their wonderful selection of flour is made, including Welsh organic wholemeal, seed and herb, and garlic and chive. The delightful tea room offers a mouth-watering selection of fresh home-made produce, including scones, cakes, bread and light lunches.
Food and Drink
The Coach House visitor centre has a great cafe as does Y Felin Mill.
The Ferry Inn occupies a lovely riverside location at the western end of the village.
The Teifi Net Pool Inn has a great view of the river. All their food is homemade by their house chef.
The White Hart is on Finch Street on the Cardigan side of the village. It’s a historic Inn with a lot of character, some great beers and a wide-ranging menu.
The Teifi Waterside Hotel just before you reach Poppit Sands has a good menu with a lot of local produce on it including locally reared lamb steaks, line-caught Sea Bass, Dressed Crab, Lobster and Cardigan Bay Prawns. Also Caws Cenarth cheese and ice cream from Crymych.
There’s a cafe at Poppit Beach in the car park and a fish and chip shop on the High Street.
There are a few hotels, guesthouses and B&Bs in and around St Dogmaels. There is a holiday park and a campsite at Poppit and a touring caravan site at Cemaes Head. There are plenty of self catering cottages in nearby villages.