What is the smallest city in the UK with a cathedral? - Geographic Pedia (2024)

Exploring St Davids: Britain’s Smallest City with a Cathedral

As a traveling chef, I have had the opportunity to explore various cities and towns across the United Kingdom. One place that stands out in uniqueness is St Davids, the smallest city in the UK with a cathedral. Despite its small size, St Davids offers a fascinating blend of history, culture, and natural beauty that is worth experiencing. Join me on a virtual tour as I highlight my favorite things to see and do in and around this miniature metropolis.

St Davids, located in Pembrokeshire, Wales, is a captivating city built on the site of a monastery founded by St David (Dewi Sant) in the 6th Century. Although it is no bigger than a village, the city earned its status through a Royal Charter granted by HM the Queen on June 1, 1995. This charming city has been a place of pilgrimage for centuries, drawing visitors from far and wide.

One of the main attractions in St Davids is the St Davids Cathedral. This Anglican cathedral, known as Eglwys Gadeiriol Tyddewi in Welsh, holds immense historical significance. Its construction dates back to the 12th Century and it has been a prominent place of worship ever since. The cathedral’s stunning architecture and serene atmosphere make it a must-visit for architecture enthusiasts, history buffs, and those seeking a spiritual experience.

While exploring St Davids, take some time to stroll through its streets and soak in the calm atmosphere. The city’s easy pace of life and picturesque surroundings make it an ideal destination for relaxation. Immerse yourself in the local culture by visiting the various shops, cafes, and galleries that showcase the work of talented artisans and craftsmen.

As a nature lover, I highly recommend exploring the beautiful coastline surrounding St Davids. The city is located near the most westerly point of Wales, offering breathtaking views of the rugged cliffs and pristine beaches. Take a leisurely walk along the coastal path, breathing in the fresh sea air and marveling at the stunning scenery. Ramsey Island, just off the coast, is a nature reserve that provides a sanctuary for various seabirds and marine life – a haven for wildlife enthusiasts and birdwatchers.

Now let’s answer some commonly asked questions about St Davids and cities with cathedrals in the UK:


1. Why is St Davids considered the smallest city in the UK?

St Davids earned its status as a city through a Royal Charter granted by HM the Queen on June 1, 1995. Despite its small size, it holds the distinction of being the smallest city in the UK with a cathedral.

2. How many cities in the UK do not have cathedrals?

There are 18 cities in the UK that do not have a cathedral. Additionally, there are 13 towns that have an Anglican cathedral but do not have city status.

3. What are some other cities in the UK without cathedrals?

Apart from St Davids, cities in the UK without cathedrals include Birmingham, Bath, Hull, Southampton, Stoke-on-Trent, and Wolverhampton.

4. Are there any cities in England with two cathedrals?

Yes, Liverpool is one such city in England. It is home to both the Gothic Anglican cathedral and the modernistic Catholic cathedral, each with its own unique architectural style.

5. How does St Davids compare to other small cities in England?

St Davids is not only the smallest city in the UK with a cathedral, but it is also among the smallest cities in England by population. With just 1,600 residents, it offers a unique charm and tranquility that is hard to find in larger urban areas.

6. What is the significance of cathedrals in the UK?

Cathedrals hold great religious and historical significance in the UK. They are often architectural marvels and serve as important cultural landmarks, attracting both religious pilgrims and tourists alike.

7. Can a cathedral be affiliated with a Protestant denomination?

Yes, cathedrals can be affiliated with Protestant denominations such as the Church of England, the Church of Scotland, and some Lutheran churches. The presence of a cathedral does not necessarily indicate a specific religious affiliation.

8. What is the oldest cathedral in the UK?

Canterbury Cathedral, founded in 597, is considered the oldest cathedral in England. It is home to the Archbishop of Canterbury and holds a significant place in the history of the Anglican Communion and the Church of England.

St Davids, with its rich history, tranquil atmosphere, and beautiful surroundings, is a hidden gem waiting to be explored. Whether you are seeking a spiritual experience, a taste of Welsh culture, or simply a peaceful retreat, this miniature city with its magnificent cathedral will leave you enchanted. As a traveling chef, I consider St Davids a must-visit destination for anyone looking to embark on a unique and unforgettable journey.

What is the smallest city in the UK with a cathedral? - Geographic Pedia (2024)


What is the smallest city in the UK with a cathedral? ›

St Davids is a tiny cathedral city (really no bigger than a village) built on the site of the monastery founded by St David (Dewi Sant) in the 6th Century. The City status of St. Davids was granted to all of St. Davids by HM the Queen by Royal Charter on 1st June 1995.

What is the UK's smallest city? ›

St Davids is the United Kingdom's smallest city by population (number of residents within the wider community was 1,751 in 2021) and urban area, however it is not the smallest city by local authority boundary area (which is the City of London).

Does St Davids have a cathedral? ›

About St Davids Cathedral

St David chose this wild, beautiful region as the site of his monastery in the 6th century and you will find his shrine in the purple-stoned cathedral, which nestles inconspicuously in a grassy hollow beneath the rooftops of the tiny city.

Which is the second smallest city in England? ›

With a population of 15,00, Ely is the second-smallest city in England. It is very proud of its connection with eels, hence its name. Even the cross in the cathedral, called The Way of Life, has an eely feel. Local restaurants serve the real thing caught in the River Great Ouse in the form of pate, stew, and pie.

What is the only city in the UK with two cathedrals? ›

Liverpool is blessed with two cathedrals – one Catholic, one Anglican – and as well as contrasting in styles, they are both unique in other ways.

Is there a city in the UK without a cathedral? ›

It is a common misconception that a cathedral defines, or is a requirement for, a city. There are many cities in the UK that don't have a cathedral, for example: Bath, Cambridge, Leeds, Nottingham, Plymouth and Wolverhampton.

Is London the smallest city in UK? ›

It is also the smallest English city by population (and in Britain, only two cities in Wales are smaller), and the smallest in the UK by area.

What is the least densely populated city in the UK? ›

According to the 2021 census data, there are only 26 people per square kilometre in Eden.

What is the smallest city? ›

Vatican City, the smallest city in the world. Many people identify cities with enormous geographical areas, tall skyscrapers, and congested streets jam-packed with people and traffic. However, certain cities worldwide contradict this idea due to their lesser populations. The Vatican is one such city.

Is St Davids Cathedral the smallest in UK? ›

St Davids Cathedral (Welsh: Eglwys Gadeiriol Tyddewi) is an Anglican cathedral situated in St Davids, Britain's smallest city, in the county of Pembrokeshire, near the most westerly point of Wales.

Is St Davids still a city? ›

St David founded a monastery here in the sixth century, and his shrine now sits at the heart of this great church, completed in the 13th century. It dominates this diminutive city of around 1,800 people, which had its city status reaffirmed by Queen Elizabeth II in 1994 in recognition of its early Christian heritage.

Why is St Davids Cathedral famous? ›

There has been a church on the site of the Cathedral since the 6th century. Saint David founded a monastery there and it has been considered a holy site ever since. In the 12th century, Pope Calixtus II declared it a place of pilgrimage.

What are the 3 smallest cities in England? ›

List of smallest cities in the United Kingdom
CityArea (body/locale)Census population
City of London18,583
St Asaph33,485
28 more rows

What is the oldest city in England? ›

Colchester is said to be the oldest recorded town in Britain on the grounds that it was mentioned by Pliny the Elder, who died in AD 79, although the Celtic name of the town, Camulodunon appears on coins minted by tribal chieftain Tasciovanus in the period 20–10 BC.

What is the hilliest city in England? ›

England's highest city, according to the ONS (care of blogger John Mostyn), is Bradford. It possesses both the highest single point within the city boundary (324.9m, putting it ahead of Sheffield, Stoke and Birmingham), and the highest average altitude (168.788m).

Are there any towns in the UK with a cathedral? ›

There are 48 cathedrals in the UK. Most are in cities, though some – such as Guildford and Northampton – are in towns.

What are the 3 smallest cities in the UK? ›

List of smallest cities in the United Kingdom
CityArea (body/locale)Country
City of London1England
St Asaph3Wales
28 more rows

How many cities in UK have 2 cathedrals? ›

No, not even the only city in England. Newcastle, Norwich and Portsmouth also have both an Anglican (C. of E.) and a Roman Catholic Cathedral.

Do all UK cities have a cathedral? ›

In the 20th century, it was explicitly recognised that the status of city in England and Wales would no longer be bound to the presence of a cathedral, and grants made since have been awarded to communities on a variety of criteria, including population size.

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