Year of Adventure 2016 St Govan's Chapel

Imagine a tiny chapel big enough for one person built into the rocky cliff that has stood the test of time since the 14th Century.

undefinedIs it legend or it is real?
It’s a bit of both actually!  This tiny single chamber chapel made of limestone nestled in the cliffs at St Govan’s Head in South Pembrokeshire is a curious little find. 

There are many stories surrounding St Govan, an Irish monk who lived in the 6th century who had links with St David (the patron Saint of Wales) and one of King Arthur’s Knights of the Round Table.  According to legend, St Govan was set upon by Irish pirates and sought refuge in the cliff rocks.  The cliff opened up and left a fissure just big enough for him to hide until the pirates left. 

In his gratitude, St Govan stayed here to warn the locals of other impending pirate attacks if they were to return.
He died in 568 and tradition says that his body is buried under the alter in the chapel that bears his name. 

Are you ready challenge the legend?
The chapel built many centuries later is situated very close to where St Govan retreated in later years.
Put your adventure cap on and take a walk down the flight of steps to the chapel and you will be rewarded with amazing coastal views.

But legend has it that there the number of steps is never the same going down as is it going back up!


  • This walk is on the Castlemartin firing range.  It is closed with the range is in use.  For information on live firing times, please phone 01646 662367 (recorded message) or visit online Castlemartin firing range notices
  • For more information on how to get to the chapel and route description, visit Pembrokeshire Coast National Park website
  • Looking for a shorter walk?  See the Pembrokeshire area for walks between 0.6 – 5 miles (0.8 km -8km)
  • Find out what else you can do in Pembrokeshire, see the Visit Pembrokeshire website.