With its green rolling hills and quiet rural byways, it's no surprise that Carmarthenshire has become known as 'The Garden of Wales'. In the solitude of the vast countryside, follow the course of picturesque rivers and visit the numerous castles dotted throughout the county.
Carmarthenshire has some of the oldest, most complete castles in the whole of the UK, set in stunning locations with their turrets, towers and secret passages. The great castle at Carreg Cennen crowns a formidable rock in remote country. Various legends strongly link the mythical magician Merlin to Carmarthen.
This area includes the western end of the Brecon Beacons National Park and Brechfa Forest, both perfect for walking, cycling, and horse riding. The Brecon Beacons are also known for hang gliding, paragliding and climbing and Brechfa Forest is a renowned mountain-biking centre (Bikebrechfa).
Between Cross Hands and Llandeilo, there's the 64-acre Llyn Llech Owain Country Park which has a variety of habitats around a lake. Lots of the paths are surfaced and there are walks, picnic areas and a café as well as mountain bike trail and adventure playground. Another park, Gelli Aur, has a manor house currently closed for renovations although some of the walks are open.
Pretty market towns nestle in the valleys, such as the little town of Llandovery, which has colourful painted houses set around a cobbled market square and Carmarthen, the busy centre for the region, with its pedestrianised squares and ancient castle gateway.
Picturesque Railway Trips
The Gwili Steam Railway is a living reminder of a Great Western Railway branch line winding through steep and wooded valley hills.
A trip on the Heart of Wales Line is a wonderful way to view the Loughor Estuary and scenery of the Towy Valley, including the picturesque viaduct at Cynghordy to the north of Llandovery.
Some of the best things to do in the Heart of Carmarthenshire
We love lunch or dinner at Y Polyn Restaurant, sublime food and excellent service in relaxed surroundings.
We visit frequently throughout the year, there's always something different going on.
Carreg Cennen is our favourite Carmarthenshire castle: open all year, it's spectacular and has a very good cafe!
Attend a concert or two at the Llandeilo Fawr Festival of Music in July
Favourite walks include the Black Mountain and Brecon Beacons. The Brechfa Forest trails are great for off-lead dog walking.
The Gwili Pottery is a wonderful place to buy gifts and watch the potters at work.
Looking for somewhere to stay in the heart of Carmarthenshire?