Start on the coast at Pembrey, head to Kidwelly Castle and then on to Carthmarthen. Visit the National Botanic Garden of Wales and then via Paxton’s Tower to Aberglasney Gardens. Take in Newton House and Dinefwer Castle before arriving on the edge of the Brecon Beacons to visit hill forts and Carreg Cennen Castle.
Pembrey Country Park
500 acres of woodland and 8 miles of sandy beach looking across Carmarthen Bay. No wonder it is one of the top tourist attractions offering a myriad of things to do from just relaxing to walking and cycling or even trying the dry ski centre and tobogganing down through the trees.
The 13th century well preserved castle rises from a mound on the banks of the river Gwendraeth and dominates the market town of Kidwelly. The area had an industrial past based on coal and tin and whilst nothing beyond the canal remains it is remembered in the Industrial Museum.
Sited on the banks of the River Tywi Probably the oldest town in Wales and can trace its roots to the pre Roman period. It is the site of a Roman Amphitheatre whose outline is still visible and ruins of a Norman castle. The bustling town, especially on market days, is well worth a visit.
National Botanic Garden of Wales
568 acres have been divided into many different gardens to suit individual interests. The largest single span glasshouse in the world houses many exotic species. Outside there are walled, Japanese, Apothecary gardens and woodland walks. The spring meadow walk or the wooded valley and waterfall of Pont Felin Gat will entrance.
This is a folly on the grand scale. Set on a hillside near Llanarthney and overlooking the river Tywi this neo gothic structure was built in the early 19th century by Sir William Paxton reputedly to honour Horatio Nelson following his death at Trafalgar.
The fine house and gardens featured in the BBC’s A Garden Lost in Time. Its 10 acres include the unique Elizabethan cloister garden and the partially restored house includes the glass house roof to the sub tropical indoor garden with plants growing between some of the remains.
Owned by the National Trust there are still remains of the 16th century house though the current impressive façade dates from the mid 19th century facelift. The extensive gardens and grounds were designed by George and Cecil Rice with help from Capability Brown. The deer park was part of the naturalised setting for the house.
Set on top of a hill with commanding views overlooking the River Tywi this stronghold of the princes of Deheubarth changed hands numerous times during the English conquest of Wales.
On the edge of the Brecon Beacons the hillside hosts the remains of two iron age forts. The stone cairn and impressive ramparts combine with views over the wide Tywi valley.
The site has been fortified for centuries before Edward 1’s castle building programme established the present ruins in the 13th century. Its spectacular setting on a hilltop now largely commands rolling agricultural land. The grey stone of the castle looks as if it has grown out of the rocky hilltop.