Dyfed

Scenic Carthmarthen

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Overview

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.

Kidwelly Castle

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.

Carmarthen SA31

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.

Paxton’s Tower

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.

Aberglasney Gardens

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.

Newton House

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.

Dinefwr Castle

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.

Garn Goch

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.

Carreg Carren

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.

Overview

1

Pembrey Country Park

2
5.4 miles

Kidwelly Castle

3
9.4 miles

Carmarthen SA31

4
9.1 miles

National Botanic Garden of Wales

5
3.1 miles

Paxton’s Tower

6
5.9 miles

Aberglasney Gardens

7
5.9 miles

Newton House

8
0.4 miles

Dinefwr Castle

9
6.7 miles

Garn Goch

10
39.9 miles

Carreg Carren

What to see and do…

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About the Scenic Carthmarthen Trail

Distance: 86 miles
Cites / Towns: 10
Number Of Businesses: 0

Whether you are looking to relax or take part in more energetic activities start at Pembrey Country Park with its 8 miles of beach and 500 acres of woodland to explore.
Head north stopping at Kidwelly for the fine example of a Norman castle and to explore the Industrial Museum recording the history of tin and coal mining in the area. Travel to the old town of Carmarthen once a major centre in Roman times – the amphitheatre remains still visible, as well as a Norman castle.

The National Botanic Gardens of Wales and grounds host a variety of gardens including the world’s largest single span glasshouse. In nearby Llanarthney the walk up to the imposing folly of Paxton’s Tower offers views of the River Tywi valley and the Botanic Gardens.

A different type of Garden can be found at Aberglasney including the Ninfarium a sub tropical indoor garden growing between part of the Mansion ruins and protected by a glass atrium.
Newton House, at Dinefwr includes the house, extensive gardens and grounds, a deer park and the nearby Dinefwr castle ruins. Finally you enter the Brecon Beacons and at Garn Goch can see two Iron Age Hill forts before ending at the ruins of Edward I’s Carreg Carren castle.

Castles of the Tywi

The journey up the Tywi valley brings the chance to see castles at Kidwelly, Carmarthen, Dinefwr and Carreg Carren but also the chance to see two Iron Age hill forts at Garn Goch.

The Garden Route

As well as splendid scenery along the way the spectacular gardens at the National Botanic Gardens of Wales, Aberglasney and Newton House will be of interest to keen and amateur gardeners alike. The largest single span glasshouse or the atrium protecting an indoor garden offer some unique areas to explore.

Towns & Historic Buildings

Whether it is exploring the streets of Camarthen, probably the oldest recorded town in Wales and its Roman amphitheatre remains, the imposing architecture of Newton House or the neo gothic folly of Paxton’s Tower there is plenty to see and do.