Porth Clais Harbour

Looking over Porth Clais Harbour from the cliffs above

Porth Clais is a pretty little harbour on the south-western tip of the St David’s Peninsula. Once a trading port alive with industry, nowadays it’s a popular spot for kayakers, small boat owners and captivating coastal walks.

The harbour itself was built in the 12th century to serve the city of St David’s and proved to be a bustling port, with ships importing and exporting goods for the coastal communities. Timber, grain, limestone and coal were among the items traded, with the latter two fuelling the onshore lime kilns and nearby gas works.

You can still see the lime kilns on either side of the harbour, but all that remains of the gas works is the former pump room, which is now home to our refreshments kiosk.

Coast paths, climbing, crabbing and kayaking

Once you’ve explored the industrial heritage of Porth Clais, make the most of its seaside location. Put on your walking boots and enjoy our circular route around the Treginnis Peninsula or just take a more leisurely stroll along the water’s edge.

Kids will love joining in with our crab catching events along the harbour wall – we host sessions throughout the summer holidays. Or you could take to the water and go kayaking with one of the local activity operators.

The rocky slabs just east of the harbour mouth are also a great place for climbing groups and outdoor adventure.

Things you probably didn’t know about Porth Clais

  1. The harbour and land came into National Trust ownership in 1940.
  2. The National Trust car park is on the site of the former gas works, which were demolished in the late 1960s.
  3. The first record of trade from Porth Clais is found in a 1385 account of building works at St David’s Cathedral.
  4. The old harbour wall is believed to have been constructed by the Romans.
  5. Lime from Porth Clais was likely to have been used for agriculture to neutralise acidic soil and improve crop growth.