Carmarthen tourist information & travel guide
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Carmarthen tourist guide
Prior to the industrial revolution, Carmarthen, on the River Towy, was actually the largest town in Wales. It still stakes its claim as the oldest town in Wales. Lying in the magnificent Tywi Valley, it takes its name - welsh being Caerfyrddin - firmly taken from Welsh Folklore which stakes its claim as the birthplace of Merlin (the Welsh 'Caerfyrddin' translates as 'Merlin's Fort') who, of course, was King Arthur's famed magician. It is also cited as bing the first walled city in Wales and the home of the legendry Black Book of Carmarthen which can be seen in National Library of Wales in Aberystwyth.
The ruins of the town's large Roman amphitheatre and Norman castle are both a must see for visitors, and the reopened Gwili Railway (a section of the former mail line to Aberystwyth make a great day out as a key heritage attraction. As previously mentioned, the Wales National Botanic Gardens with its endangered plants from around the world is worthy of a visit if only to marvel at the quite amazing and world's biggest single span glasshouse. A visit to the Aberglasney Gardens, dating back to the 16th and 17th Centuries and which are continually being restored. A quite unique winter garden has been installed with wonderful strange and exotic perfumed species from throughout the world, and it makes a truly memorable day out for the entire family.
There is plenty of good shopping along the historic 18th and 19th century streets, from locally-owned family businesses to the more familiar high-street brands, plenty of places to eat and drink. There is a weekly Farmers Market held on a Wednesday where many local delicacies can be obtained - including the world-famous Carmarthenshire Ham.
And for literary buffs, a visit to Laugharne just outside the town sees the 'shed' where Dylan Thomas wrote his world classic "Under Milk Wood".