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Towy Valley courtesy Visit Wales Laughharne Sands by Barbara Ballard Carmarthenshire has a variety of scenic attractions. In the north and central areas gentle green hills and valleys reign, while the southern part encompasses a coastline of cliffs and sands: the Cefn Sands, the Laugharne Sands and the Pendine Sands of Carmarthen Bay. Two river valleys provide wooded gorges. Wherever you go there is something of interest.

National Showcaves countryside by Barbara Ballard The National Showcaves is the largest showcave complex in Northern Europe. Two curious men accidentally discovered it. There is much still waiting to be explored in this huge complex. The site, located on the edge of Brecon Beacons National Park, is a "Site of Special Scientific Interest".

Carreg Cennen Castle by Barbara Ballard Carreg Cennen Castle, near Llandeilo, is situated atop a precipitous limestone crag 300 feet (100 m.) above the valley floor. A climb from the valley is necessary to reach it, but the views over the green hills and countryside are worth it. Originally a Welsh site, it was conquered by Edward I. Both the English and Welsh held the castle during the medieval period. What we see today survives from the 14th century.

Dolaucothi Gold Mines by Barbara Ballard The Dolaucothi Gold Mines, a scheduled ancient monument, are located just outside the village of Pumsaint. The Romans removed over ˝ million ton of rock-the rolling ground and humps in the landscape resulted-leaving behind chasms and pits where they mined the gold veins. The Romans left in the 4th century, leaving barracks, bathhouses and other town remains. There was a short burst of underground mining in the 1930's that didn't last.

Cenarth bridge by Barbara Ballard Cenarth is a small village of historical buildings, including a medieval mill (non-functioning) and pub (still dispensing). The bridge over the River Teifi allows for great views of the low falls.

National Coracle Centre by Barbara Ballard The National Coracle Centre tells the fascinating history of coracles, a fascinating mode of river transportation. In the past men made a living fishing the river. Today, coracle races and the beauty of the village are the main attractions.

Aberglasney walled garden by Barbara Ballard The Lost Garden of Aberglasney, a garden "lost in time", is a fascinating site. Set in the beautiful Tywi Valley, the garden and the decayed mansion on the site were abandoned to the elements until re-discovered. The house and property passed through various hands over the centuries until, around 1950, it became vacant.

Aberglasney yew tunnel by Barbara Ballard Now owned by a trust, the gardens are being restored, but the mansion is past renewal and mostly roofless. One of the interesting features is a yew tunnel planted in the 18th century. A cloister garden parapet allows you to walk along the top of the walls for views over the garden below. It's quite an atmospheric spot.

National Botanic Garden wetland discovery centre courtesy the Garden The National Botanic Garden of Wales is about as modern as you can get. The main purpose of the garden is not to display fancy blooms but to provide an educational facility for research, sustainability and conservation. Plants were gathered from 10 countries and five continents.

Glasshouse at the National Botanic Garden courtesy the Garden The centrepiece of the garden is the Great Glasshouse-the largest single span glasshouse in the world at 328-ft (100m) long and 164-ft (50m) wide. It's not a tropical paradise but a Mediterranean garden watching over the most endangered species in the world.

Wetlands Coastal Park courtesy the Millennium Wetlands The traffic-free Millennium Coastal Park cycle-way forms a scenic link in the 186-mile Celtic Trail which links major towns and attractions in south Wales. It traverses the new Millennium Wetlands reserves, a golf course, the new Millennium Quays, a seafront, six fishing lakes, Bury Port Harbour and ends up at Pembrey Country Park.

Pembrey Country Park by Barbara Ballard Pembrey Country Park, an eight mile (13km) long sandy beach, the Cefn Sidan Sands, is just down the road from Kidwelly. This is a perfect family holiday spot with train rides, golf and camping.

Kidwelly Castle by Barbara Ballard Kidwelly Castle's substantial remains are a rebuilding of an original 12th century castle on the same site. Overlooking the tidal water of the River Gwendraeth, it kept guard on the coast for the Normans and construction continued off and on through the 16th century. In the 1500's it belonged to the Tudors. A gatehouse constructed in the 1400's still stands in the town.

Dinefwr Castle courtesy Cadw Dinewfr Park courtesy David Smith Geograph Britain and Ireland Dinefwr Park has a host of attractions that include a medieval deer and cattle park, a restored ice house, a Victorian Italianate garden, countryside walks, the remains of two Roman forts, Dinefwr Castle, and Newton house, a National Trust property.

Dylan Thomas Boathouse by Barbara Ballard Its once famous resident, the Welsh poet Dylan Thomas, put the village of Laugharne on the map. He is best known internationally for his play, "Under Milkwood". His most famous poem is "Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night." An alcoholic, he died at the early age of 39. He lived in the Boathouse, now a heritage centre, and is buried at St Martin's Church in the town.

There is also a medieval castle in the village that was transformed into an Elizabethan mansion. The outer ward has a large diamond-shaped curtain wall while the inner ward hyas two large round towers connected by a Tudor hall. On the north side is a gatehouse.

National Wool Museum courtesy David Gearing Geograph Britain and Ireland The Welsh National Wool Museum provides an insight into the woolen industry by displaying the techniques and technology of yesterday and providing, at the same time, a working woolen mill. The process from wool to cloth is demonstrated. Visitors also learn about the community that was a vital part of the mills.

Carmarthenshire Attractions

For opening times and full details of attractions see the Attractions section of our website.

Abeerdeunant Farmhouse
Taliaris, Llandeilo
Tel. 0 1558 823 902

Aberglasney Gardens
Llangathen, in the Tywi Valley; off the A40
Tel. 0 1558 66 8998
For photos and more details see our garden article Lost Garden of Aberglasney

Carmarthen Castle
Off B4312 at Carmarthen Carmarthenshire Attractions

Carmarthen Heritage Centre
Carmarthen, on the A40
Tel. 0 1267 223 788

Carmarthenshire County Museum
Abergwili, two miles east of Carmarthen, on the A40
Tel. 0 1267 228 696

Carreg Cennen Castle
Minor roads from A483 to Trapp; near Llandeilo
Tel. 0558 822 291

Castell Du (Sennybridge Castle)
Sennybridge, on the A40, on private land

Ciffig Church
Near Whitland, on the A40

Dinefwr Castle
Dinefwr Park, off the A40, one mile west of Llandeilo

Dinefwr Park
Llandeilo; off the A40

Dolaucothi Gold Mines
Pumsaint, Llanwrda
Tel. 0 1558 650 177
For photos and more details see our article Dolaucothi Gold Mines

Dryslwyn Castle
Five miles west of Llandeilo, B4297; from A40 or B4300

Dylan Thomas Boat House
Laugharne, on the A4066; then along a footpath
Tel. 0 1994 427 420

Gelli Aur Country Park
Gelli Aur, Carmarthen; On B4300
Tel. 0 1558 668 885

Holy Trinity Church
Two miles from Llanegwad

Kidwelly Castle
Kidwelly, Carmarthenshire; on the A484
Tel. 0 1554 890 104

Kidwelly Industrial Museum
Kidwelly, on the A484
Tel. 0 1554 891 078

Laugharne Castle and Gardens
Laugharne; on the Taf River estuary
Access from A4066 St Clears
Tel. 0 1554 890 104

Llandovery Castle
Llandovery, on the A40

Llandovery Fort
Llandovery, on the A483

Llanelly House
Bridge Street, Llanelli, Carmarthenshire
Tel. 0 1554 772 857
Web: Llanelly House

Llangadog Castle
Llangadog, on the A4069

Llansteffan Castle
Llansteffan, on the B4312

Museum of Speed
Off the A4066, at Pendine’s Sands in building overlooking the beach
Tel. 0 1994 453 488

National Botanic Garden of Wales
Middleton Hall, Llanarthne; off the B4310
From the A48 between Carmarthen and Cross Hands, follow the signs
Tel. 0 1558 668 768
For photos and more details see our garden article National Botanic Garden of Wales

National Coracle Centre
Cenarth, on the A484
Tel. 0 1239 710 980
For photos and more details see our article Cenarth

National Show Caves
Off the A4067
North-east of Swansea, east of Carmarthen, south-west of Brecon
Tel. 0 1639 730 284
Web: National Showcaves

National Wool Museum
Dre-fach Felindre; four miles east of Newcastle Emlyn
Tel. 0 1559 370 929
Web: National Wool Museum

Newcastle Emlyn Castle
By the town of Newcastle Emlyn
Between the A475 and the A485

Newton House
Dinefwr Park, Llandeilo, on the A40
Tel. 0 1558 823 902

Oriel Myrddin Gallery
Church Lane, Carmarthen
Tel. 0 1267 222 775
Web: Oriel Myrddin Gallery

Parc Howard Museum and Art Gallery
Llanelli on the A484
Tel. 0 1554 772 029

Paxton’s Tower
On B4300, from Llanarthne
Tel. 0 1558 822 800

Pumpsaint (Luentinum) Fort
Off the A482 to Llandovery at Pumpsaint, Llanwrda

St Clears Castle
.5 mile from St Clears, on the A40/A477

St Edgwad Church
Llanegwad, east of Carmarthen, on the A40

St Llawddog Church
Cenarth, on the A484

St Martin Church
Laugharne, on the A4066

St Mary Church
Just north of Llandovery, on the A483

St Mary Church
Kidwelly, on the A484

St Mary Magedelene
St Clears, on the A40

St Peter’s Church
Carmarthen, on the A40

Talley Abbey
Talley, on the B4337

Near Whitland, on the A40

Photo of Dinefwr Park by David Smith, National Wool Museum by David Gearing, both courtesy Geograph Britain and Ireland.
Other photos courtesy of Cadw, and Visit Wales and by Barbara Ballard

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