Ammanford & Laugharne tourist information & travel guide
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Ammanford & Laugharne tourist guide
The third largest town in Carmarthenshire, Ammanford, and its immediate surrounding area in the South West of the county, is famed for being chock-full of medieval architecture. The majestic ruins of Carreg Cennen, 900 feet above the river in the town itself, dates back to the thirteenth century. It is noted for its very own vaulted underground passageway which leads to a natural cave - do bring a torch. It is said that this may have been inhabited way back in prehistoric times. The nearby village of Dryslywn features Dryslwyn castle, while Dinefwr castle can be found in Llandeilo village, set in the grounds of Newton House. Children will enjoy deer-spotting in the park around the castle and the unusual herd of White Park cattle, and from the top of the castle you can see a wonderful panoramic 360o view over the Tywi Valley and Carmarthenshire.
With a number of villages surrounding it, Ammaford has become very much the central shopping town for the immediate area, and as such, offers the visitor an excellent range of shops and eating establishments.
For the outdoor type there are plenty of opportunities to enjoy a good walk in wonderful surroundings, whether it's a casual nature and wildlife trek around Llyn Llech Owain lake, a more formal hike around the Betws Mountain reservoir area or just a quiet stroll along the riverbank at Glanamman Park which is just outside town.
For those wanting a little exercise in one place, there's tennis at Betws Park, with bowling and cricket available at Ammanford Park.
Of course, a visit to Wales, and in particular Carmarthenshire, would not be complete without a reference to its most famous and world-renown literary figure, Dylan Thomas and the town of Laugharne. Although saying it was "the strangest town in Wales", and an "English-speaking town in the heart of Welsh-speaking countryside", he spent the last four years of his life with his wife and three children in a boathouse there.
The boathouse has now become a heritage centre, with presentations and memorabilia outlining the poet's life. There is also a bookshop and tea-room together with viewing area over Dylan's beloved sand and sea. It was here that Dylan wrote Under Milk Wood.
There is also Laugharne Castle in the town, a recognised Welsh Monument dating back to the early 12th Century. Well worth a climb to see the Ferryside shore o the opposite side.
However, Carmarthenshire is more than just great countryside, fabulous towns, villages and castles galore - as if these aren't enough! Mention must be made of the superb coastline. We have already mentioned the gloriously sandy 8-mile long, award-winning, Blue Flag Cefn Sidan beach. And the beach at Pendine, where Malcolm Campbell broke three land speed records, is also fabulous for kids of all ages to make castles, have a picnic or simply take a long stroll in the sunshine. The seaside towns of Ferryside and Llanstephan, both offer the beach-holiday seeker a suitable and welcome retreat from the hustle and bustle of life in the city. Enjoy an ice-cream, have a crack at rock-pooling, take a dip in the sea or just relax and enjoy a picnic in the healthy open sea-air.
However, not many people realise that there is an alternative to walking on the beach, in the form of a gentle canter on horseback along the shore. Carmarthenshire is noted for a range of equestrian centres that cater especially for beachside riding, irrespective of your ability.