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  1. ITV Report

Destination Wales: Exploring Britain's smallest city

Throughout the month of August, our ITV reporters will be travelling to all four corners of the country to discover some of Wales' hidden gems and most idyllic destinations.

In the first report of the series, our West Wales Correspondent Kevin Ashford travels to the city of St Davids to find out why its become such a popular destination for 'staycationers' and tourists alike.

Nestled in the heart of Pembrokeshire lies a tiny city, Britain's smallest one at that. Despite its size, the city of St Davids has a big character.

St Davids is a vibrant location with a deep history and breathtaking coastline. It has long been a favourite for artists, travellers and surfers.

The coastline is renowned for its beauty and wildlife

Take a look at this video of a colony of seals showing off around Ramsey Island.

The island is one of the biggest breeding colonies in the UK and is a Site of Special Scientific Interest.

Atlantic greys are a very popular sight around the coast. They can live between 25-35 years old.

The seals can hunt by whiskers alone with whisker thought to have 1500 nerve endings. Even blind seals have been known to survive because of this.

Many people travel to St Davids to visit the famous cathedral, where Wales' patron is buried.

The town was awarded city status in the 16th century, but lost this in 1888. It was restored in 1994 at the request of Queen Elizabeth II.

In addition to the cathedral that draws in tourists from around the world, St Davids is also a base for walking and water sports. The entire coastline forms part of the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park.

Medi George, Pembrokeshire Coast National Park Authority

We caught up with some tourists to find out what brought them to St Davids.

Kevin went coasteering to explore the coastline up close...

Boat trips are also a popular excursion where people can spot local wildlife and catch a glimpse of impressive birds and sea life around St Davids.

It must be twenty years since I first visited St Davids in Pembrokeshire. Thankfully there have been plenty of return trips since then.

In many ways, little has changed in Britain’s smallest city and that is part of its charm. True, there are more coffee shops, art galleries and surfboard sellers than two decades ago and at the height of summer season, it does feel a bit busier in the centre of St Davids.

However even in August, you don’t have to go far in this part of the world to find seclusion in some of the most beautiful scenery imaginable.

And then there’s the locals - who have always been nothing short of warm and welcoming.

Perhaps it’s the knowledge that somewhere this far off the beaten track relies on its visitors that encourages their smiles – even though the number of those visitors is increasing as the tourism industry diversifies into areas such as adventure holidays, both on and off shore.

I am always slightly wary of telling too many people about the virtues of St Davids – concerned that too big an increase in tourists might spoil this hidden gem.

However I probably shouldn’t worry - this is a part of Wales where there’s plenty of room.

– Kevin Ashford

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