Top 10 walks in Carmarthenshire, Wales

BRITAIN magazine
Llyn y Fan. Credit: discovercarmarthenshire.com

Carmarthenshire is often called the Garden of Wales and offers enchanting woodland, stunning coastline and beautiful castles. We don our walking boots as we explore this gorgeous area and share our top 10 walks

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Llansteffan. Credit: Discover Carmarthenshire

1. Llansteffan Coast and Castle

Sample the best of the Wales Coastal Path around Llansteffan. Start off at the sandy beaches of Llansteffan and make your way through the enchanting woodland to see the beautiful Scott’s Bay. This stunning beach has views across the Tywi Estuary and due to its hidden nature can feel like you’ve discovered your own private bay. Continue to follow the coastal path up to the historic Llansteffan Castle where the panoramic views are worthy of a photo or two.

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Carreg Cennen Castle. Credit: Visit Britain

2. Carreg Cennen

Carreg Cennan is one of the region’s idyllic ruined castles. It has been referred to as one of Britain’s most romantic ruins and is well worth the strenuous walk. The views over the Black Mountain from the top are as impressive as the Red Kites and Buzzards that circle its peak. And what’s best is that there’s a great country pub, the Cennan Arms Inn, in the unspoilt village of Trapp where you can end your walk. With heaps of history, this pocket of countryside is home to all types of terrain meaning there are walks available for all levels.

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Llyn y Fan. Credit: discovercarmarthenshire.com

3. The Lady of the Lake

Visitors to Britain will know that we’ve got some pretty beautiful lakes, but this one in Carmarthenshire remains a little bit of a secret still. The dramatic views and dark glimmering waters of the Llyn y Fan Fach are enclosed by grassy mountainsides. Folklore tells of a young farmer who, in the 13th century, spotted what he claimed was the most beautiful woman he had ever seen merge from the lake and so do keep an eye out for this mystical Lady of the Lake. Circling the lake provides a pleasant walk for all levels, but those wanting more of a challenging walk can scale the mountainsides and admire the glacial lake from above. Who needs the Lake District?

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Dolaucothi Gold Mines. Credit: Discover Carmarthenshire

4. Gold Mines at Dolaucothi

The Roman gold mines at Dolacothi are the only known Roman gold mines in Britain. Start with an underground mine tour and have a go at panning for gold before you set off on one of the six well marked trails which take you into the woods and around the estate. These tell of the history of the estate, the gold and other interesting stories to keep the whole family entertained.

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Dylan Thomas Boathouse. Credit: National Theatre Wales

5. The Dylan Thomas Birthday Walk

There’s no better time to visit the region of the Welsh great, Dylan Thomas. For those simply wanting to follow in his footsteps the Laugharne coastal walk showcases the best of the area. Our advice would be to follow the route of Thomas’ favourite walk as once described in his Poem in October. Expect lovely views across the estuary to Laugharne Castle and the landscape that inspired this literary legend. Finish your walk with a visit to the Boathouse in Laugharne, where he spent the last years of his life – there’s a charming little teashop in the museum too.

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Sandy Water Park. Credit: discovercarmarthenshire.com

6. Sandy Water Park walk

This gentle stroll around the lake of Llanelli’s Sandy Water Park and along the Millenium Coastal Path is one for all. Spot orchids, sea birds, water birds in the lake and then venture through the Mabinogion Woods with its literary inspired sculptures. The Llanelli Beach is the highlight of this part of the Millenium Coastal Path which offers unparalleled views over the Carmarthen bay.

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Dinas Nature Reserve. Credit: discovercarmarthenshire.com

7. Twm Sion Cati Cave Walk

Did you know Wales has had its very own Robin Hood character? The highwayman Twm Sion Catti was notorious in the area and this walk takes in the glorious woodland and along the River Tywi up to the highwayman’s cave. Here you’ll find hundreds of years’ worth of visitors names carved into the rock at the caves entrance. Make sure to pass through the Gwenffrwd Dinas RSPB Nature Reserve too.

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Kidwelly. Credit: discovercarmarthenshire.com

8. Kidwelly Walk

This trail takes in medieval castles, picturesque riversides and delightful wildlife. You’ll visit Carmarthenshire’s most complete medieval castle which featured at the start of the Monty Python and the Holy Grail film. Following the river will take you down to the Kymer canal and quay – said to be one of the oldest in Britain – which now welcomes you as a nature reserve. It’s a real favourite with birdwatchers as the birds flock to the estuary and marshlands.

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Dinefwr Castle. Credit: discovercarmarthenshire.com

9. Llandeilo and Dinefwr Castle Walk

Llandeilo is a chic, bustling market town in the heart of Carmarthenshire. Bursting with galleries, craft shops and fashionable boutiques it sits on the edge of the Brecons Beacons National Park. From the town, head out to the Tywi Valley past the St Teilo’s well, known for its healing properties, and into the National Trust parkland at Dinefwr. Here you will find Dinefwr Castle, which was once the seat of a regional prince and now sits atop a hill as a picturesque ruin which overlooks the valley. Further on through the parkland you’ll find Newton House. This grand country home sits in Capability Brown gardens which contrasts with the Gothic exterior of the historic house. Wind your way back to the town through the woodland which is captivating in spring with a carpet of bluebells.

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Cenarth. Credit: N McCall

10. Cenarth walk

The picturesque village of Cenarth is probably best accessed by this stunning riverside walk along the River Teifi. Start at the ancient market town of Newcastle Emlyn with its medieval castle and tales of myth and legend. Some say this is the place where the last dragon in Britain was killed. Along in Cenarth you’ll find dramatic river falls and in spring you may even see the leaping salmon in the falls. Cenarth is home to the unusual museum of coracles – one of humanity’s oldest forms of river transport. Rest up in the riverside teashop before heading back down the river to complete your walk.

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