Coetan Arthur Dolmen – Saint Davids, Wales - Atlas Obscura

Coetan Arthur Dolmen

A Neolithic tomb hidden among a spectacular boulder-strewn stretch of coast. 


Just north of the glorious Whitesands Beach, on the very western tip of the St. David’s Head Peninsula in Wales, is a dolmen called Coetan Arthur. Legend says King Arthur himself chucked the stones from nearby Carn Llidi.

The megalithic tomb dates from between 4000 to 3000 BCE. The dolmen, which is formed by two vertical megaliths erected to support a flat capstone, is partially collapsed, but still impressive nonetheless. The huge capstone is about 20 feet long and eight feet wide. 

Perhaps surprisingly, the tomb can be rather difficult to find. The peninsula is a jumble of rocky outcrops, boulders, and Iron Age remains, so those who may not know the dolmen is there may mistake the Neolithic tomb for just another pile of large rocks. 

The area around the old tomb is definitely worth exploring and offers great views over the beautiful Whitesands Bay and out to sea toward nearby Ramsey Island. The headland is formed from volcanic rock, some of it dating back almost 500 million years. This geology is best illustrated by nearby Carn Llidi, the towering jagged hill, which provides an interesting backdrop to the area.  Ponies roam the heathland, adding further atmosphere to this beautiful, rugged area.

Know Before You Go

The only way to explore St David’s Head is on foot and the easiest place to start is from the car park at Whitesands Bay. Head north from there up the coast path. Be sure to wear appropriate footwear and be prepared for any rain. This ancient tomb is quite well hidden within the landscape.

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