Day Itineraries around Carmarthenshire
9 Itineraries featuring the highlights of Carmarthenshire
Itinerary 1 - Castle & Country Park
Kidwelly is a charming town best known for its castle, which overlooks the River Gwendraeth - one of the best-kept secrets in Wales. Kidwelly castle was built in 1106 and strengthened in 1270 creating the structure that visitors see today. Visitors can climb upstairs to the domestic quarters, visit the 14th Century gatehouse that still has its murder holes!
Spend the afternoon at one of Wales’ top attractions, Pembrey Country Park, and experience the superb award winning beach of Cefn Sidan, which been described as one of Europe's' finest beaches and has been a winner of the prestigious blue flag award 16 times. The eight miles of golden sands are fringed by dunes and boast stunning views over the Gower Coastline.
Besides the beach there is a whole host of attractions and activities in the adjoining 500 acres of parkland including a dri ski slope, the longest toboggan run in Wales, equestrian centre, narrow gauge railway, 9 hole pitch and putt, cycle track, large adventure playground plus numerous nature trails to take advantage of. The park also boasts a full program of special events and offers a booking service for guided tours.
Itinerary 2 - Llanelli Coast & Wildlife
The Millennium Coastal Park, winner of the UK National Lottery’s ‘Amazing Spaces Award’, is the biggest land regeneration project ever undertaken in Wales. 22km of coastline has been redeveloped and transformed from its industrial past to create a park with a stunning array of visitor attractions and wildlife habitats and is open all year round. The park strings together activities and attractions by a continuous traffic free cycleway and footpath. It is also home to the first Jack Nicklaus golf course in Wales.
Next pop into Llanelli, the largest town in Carmarthenshire that enjoys the same relaxing pace of life as many smaller seaside resorts. Wonder around one of the friendliest shopping centres or stroll around Parc Howard Museum and Art Gallery that holds a collection of local paintings and 19th Century local pottery, all surrounded by elegant gardens with views of the sea.
Join a fantastic guided tour of one of the world famous WWT centres founded by conservationist and artist Sir Peter Scott. The centre is home to thousands of the world’s most spectacular ducks, geese, swans and flamingos including some of the rarest species in the World. There's a fascinating interactive wetland discovery centre that demonstrates the importance of wetlands for both wildlife and people and the largest created wetland habitats in the UK, the ‘Millennium Wetlands.’ Here you can secretly admire, from a series of hides, a wonderful array of wildlife as diverse a dragonflies or Little Egrets.
Llanelli Coach Parking:
Drop off Waunlanyrafon (near Ty Elwyn)
Pick up Waunlanyrafon
Itinerary 3 - Carmarthen & Surrouning Area
Take a trip on the Gwili Steam Railway at Bronwydd and delve into the past on a full size steam railway. Enjoy the beautiful Gwili Valley and relax alongside the river for a picnic, walk the woodland walk and absorb the nostalgia of the bygone days. Refreshments and toilets are available on board the train.
Visit the surprising town of Carmarthen. Quaint old narrow streets and castle remains that date back to Henry I are placed harmoniously with a modern first class shopping centre occupied by a number of familiar High Street names. Carmarthen is famous for its market which sells a wide variety of fresh Welsh produce and are bursting with character and lively banter and must be visited, especially on market day - Wednesday.
make your way to the Oriel Myrddyn Gallery, a contemporary craft and regional art gallery or discover some of Carmarthen’s rich history at the newly restored Carmarthen Castle.
The National Botanic Garden of Wales : officially the nation's favourite Lottery funded environment project is set among 568 acres of Parkland in the beautiful Tywi Valley in West Wales, just 7 miles from Carmarthen. The garden’s centrepiece is the Great Glasshouse, the largest single span glasshouse in the world : an amazing tilted glass dome with a six metre ravine.
Coach Parking: Carmarthen Railway Station. Drop off point in Lammas Street.
Itinerary 4 - Wizards & Countryside
Enjoy a guided tour and walk the nature trail to the site of the Iron Age Hillfort and experience the breath taking views of Carmarthen and beyond enjoyed by Merlin the wizard. According to the legend Merlin is still imprisoned here.
Wander around the farmyard heritage centre, learn about local traditions and history, meet some of the animals, watch the cows being milked and spend time admiring the variety of gifts on sale. Light refreshments are available for purchase before moving on to Gelli Aur Country Park.
Gelli Aur Country Park is a mature landscaped park just two miles from Llandeilo surrounds a magnificent mansion and features fine views across the Tywi Valley. Attractions include nature trails, deer park, arboretum and terrace gardens, visitor centre, exhibitions and displays, children’s play area, picnic areas, plus guided walks and a full events calendar.
Visit Aberglasney Gardens - a unique and fascinating garden sprang to prominence when featured on the BBC TV series ‘A Garden Lost in time’ Join a guided tour of this rare garden dating back to the 16th/17th. The mansion house and the 10 acres of Garden are set in the picturesque Tywi Valley and contain an amazing variety and diversity of plants from tropical orchids to ancient trees. Creating interest throughout the year. Visit the Cloister Garden, Upper Walled Garden and the Kitchen Garden that leads to the Pool garden and be sure not to miss the Ninfarium which has been created within the ruinous courtyard of the mansion and houses a wonderful collection of scented sub tropical plants.
Itinerary 5 - Castles & Parks
Carreg Cennen is one of the most spectacularly sited Welsh castles. Teetering at the top of a limestone crag on the Black mountain with a 300ft vertical drop into the River Cennen below. Experience spell-binding views from the hilltop upon which the castle sits and stroll around the remains that date from 1300 or venture into the underground rock cut tunnel that goes right underneath the castle.
Take a stroll around the ancient Welsh capital of Llandeilo. A town surrounded by castles and has numerous antique shops and art galleries. Llandeilo with its narrow streets and attractive historic buildings retains its old world atmosphere, it has pretty pastel painted Georgian houses that sweep along the town’s immense bridge, the largest single span bridge in Wales and is situated majestically on a high bluff in the Tywi Valley and adjoining Dinefwr Park.
Dinefwr Park & Castle, a fantastic National Trust property and one of the finest 18th Century landscaped parks in Britain. Dinefwr has been at the heart of Welsh history for around 3000 years. Today following extensive remodelling, Newton House tells the story of how life was upstairs and downstairs in 1912. Enjoy afternoon tea within the café at Newton house before taking a walk on the boardwalk meandering through the bogwood, onto the millpond, pump house and experience wonderful views over the Tywi Valley or visit the romantic remains of Dinefwr Castle.
Itinerary 6 - Red Kite Country
Dolaucothi Gold Mines - set amid wooded hillsides overlooking the stunning Cothi valley these mines were first exploited some two thousand years ago by the Romans and Celts. Last worked in 1938, the mine workings remain in good condition and are vividly illustrated in the exhibition centre. Guided tours in the summer lead visitors underground to see the fascinating shafts below. Above ground visitors can view a Roman audit or mine entrance and there are displays of gold panning and 1930’s mining machinery in the mine yard with video and bilingual interpretation.
After lunch take a wander around Llandovery, an ancient market town situated on the edge of the Brecon Beacons National Park and a popular holiday base for walkers. Llandovery has a long history that includes legends like the Physicians of Myddfai and Twm Sion Catti.
The Llangadog Red Kite feeding station offers visitors the opportunity to get up close and personal with one of Britains rarest and most enigmatic birds of prey, the red kite. Every day at 3.00pm (BST, or 2.00pm GMT) food is placed outside a purpose built hide and around 30 red kites and buzzards perform an aerial dogfight before swooping to eat only feet away from the watching visitors.
Llandovery Car Park, Coach pick up Llandovery Car Park
Itinerary 7 - Poetry
Visit Laugharne - Wales’ most famous poet & writer, Dylan Thomas lived in this unique and attractive township and is buried in the local churchyard. The poet spent the last four years of his life (1949–1953) in the boathouse, during which time many major pieces of work were written - including 'Under Milk Wood'. The boathouse is now a heritage centre dedicated to the poet and has become a memorial to his life and works.
The town itself is quaint and charming and still follows the medieval layout; the area has stunning views over the estuary and miles of interesting country walks. Before leaving pay a visit to the uncommonly pretty castle restored and excavated to show its three faces to best advantage - medieval fortress, Elizabeth mansion and Victorian gardens.
Itinerary 8 - Newcastle Emlyn & Surrounding Area
Newcastle Emlyn is a town perched on the banks of the Teifi and is full of character. The remains of the castle, town hall, covered market, theatre and enticing shops lure tourists to sample its delights. After a stroll around the town make your way to the National Coracle Museum.
Enjoy a guided tour of the National Coracle Museum, which includes both the museum, and the Flour Mill. An international collection of coracles from as far a field as Vietnam, North America, India, Tibet and Iraq complement the collection of coracles from around our home islands. The museum also incorporates a workshop to show the ancient craft of coracle making. The exhibits include the various tools and implements used for the equally ancient art of poaching.
Finish the afternoon in the National Wool Museum and discover the story behind Wales’ beautiful cloths in the heart of Carmarthenshire’s countryside. Wool was the mainstay of the local economy in rural Carmarthenshire and this museum is a flagship museum that tells the story of the Welsh woollen industry. Fascinating demonstrations of spinning and weaving, imaginative displays of textiles, stories of the everyday lives of the workforce plus a shop and café - all housed within a working woollen mill.
Itinerary 9 - Coast, Craft & Gardens
Pendine’s vast expanse of sand dunes provides a popular seaside day out. There are cliffs to clamber and rock pools to explore. The beach has been used for countless land speed record attempts hence the Museum of Speed can be found here. The museum is dedicated to the world land speed record and named after its main exhibit Babs - a car which tasted both triumph and tragedy killing J G Parry Thomas in an attempt to break the world record.
Spend a few hours looking around St Clears - this modest market town with attractive local shops and a pleasantly unhurried atmosphere. The Normans constructed a castle, church and a priory in the town, which also played a prominent part in the infamous Rebecca riots of 1840 when the populace rose up against the tollgates, and many were destroyed.
Before moving on to Hywel Dda Centre stop in the West Wales Centre for Crafts, a wonderful gallery, perfect to spend a relaxing hour or two.
Make your way to Whitland for a guided tour of the Hywel Dda Interpretive Centre and Gardens. It is the only garden in Europe dedicated to the Law.
The garden consists of six areas representing different aspects of the Laws Illustrated on slate plaques with coloured enamels. The gardens surrounding the Information Centre are planted with specimens symbolic of medieval Wales.