Llanelli in Carmarthenshire sits on the Loughor estuary on the South Wales coast. Recent years have seen regeneration of the docks and landscape around the town, as part of the Millenium Coastal Park project. Now Llanelli is known for the wildlife havens of the National Wetlands Centre and Sandy Water Park, Millenium Quays and the Discovery Centre, the Machynys championship golf course and the Festival Fields.
Activities and Days Out
At the Millenium Quay in Llanelli, you can join the Millenium Coastal Path, a largely traffic-free path along the Carmarthen Bay coast that is part of the All Wales Coastal Path. Being mainly level and hard surfaced, it is perfect for family cycling (bikes can be hired from the Discovery Centre) and is wheelchair accessible. From the path, you have glorious views of the bay and the Gower Peninsula.
The Swiss Valley Cycle Route follows a disused railway line, climbing gently from the Millennium Coastal Park into the hills above Llanelli and ending at the peaceful Lleidi reservoirs. Great walks are possible in this scenic location, too.
The renowned Machynys Golf and Country Club is open to non-members; you can enjoy the spa and brasserie in the superb club house as well as a round of golf on the Nicklaus-designed course.
The name Llanelli is translated as the Church of St Elli - nobody knows if this was a man or a woman. According to some academics the church is dedicated to Elli, a daughter or granddaughter of Brychan, who gave his name to Brecon. Others are equally adamant that it is dedicated to St. Elli, a Saint of the 6th century and the second Abbot of Llancarfan. Now you know!
Sport plays a big role in Llanelli, and there is nothing bigger in the town than rugby. The town is home to the famous Scarlets and Stradey Park, the rugby union ground which was one of the stadiums used during the 1999 Rugby World Cup. There's rubgy league too: the West Wales Sharks who play in the Welsh Conference Premier Rugby League.
In Bowls, Llanelli hosts the annual Welsh International Open, which is part of the World Bowls Tour. The event is held at the Selwyn Samuel Centre. The area has three golf courses, including the Machynys Peninsula Golf & Country Club, which is and has been the host of the Wales Ladies Championship of Europe since 2005.
Other noteworthy events are Into the Future Festival, an educational event about the environment and technology; Llanelli Big Day Out, a pop and live music event in August; and Llanelli Christmas Carnival in November.