Located in the southwestern region of Wales, Carmarthenshire is a county blessed by Mother Nature. As the garden of Wales, it's vibrant fields, charming woodlands, and stunning coastline, Carmarthenshire has become an attractive proposition for every nature lover.

In our area guide, we traverse the picturesque beauty of Carmarthenshire, delve into the cultural richness of towns like Carmarthen and Llanelli, and provide practical information for living in this region. This guide will cover all aspects including history, key landmarks, activities, recommended living areas, best schools, and transport links to ensure you become as fond of Carmarthenshire as we are.

History of Carmarthenshire

The history of Carmarthenshire is as enchanting as its landscapes. Known as the Garden of Wales, it's rich in Celtic significance, with Carmarthen reputed to be Merlin, the famous wizard's birth place. The Roman and boom of tin and coal mining days left behind a legacy of historical landmarks and industrial heritage sites, the remnants of which are scattered throughout the county. Fast forward to today, Carmarthenshire is now a charming blend of historical significance and modern vibrancy.


Standing as silent storytellers to Carmarthenshire's rich past, the county's landmarks are a fascinating blend of natural and man-made wonders. Carreg Cennen Castle, perched on a hilltop and offering panoramic views, is a must-visit for history lovers. The National Botanical Garden of Wales is a 'green' wonder showcasing an array of exotic plant life housed within the domed Great Glasshouse. Llyn y Fan Fach, a lake nestled between peaks of Black Mountain, is a divine spectacle, steeped in folklore and magnificent beauty.

Landmarks we love

  • Paxton's Tower, Carmarthenshire - This neo-gothic folly is a grand sight to behold. Built in memory of Lord Nelson, it offers stunning views of the Towy valley, ideal for a relaxing retreat.
  • Kidwelly Castle, Kidwelly - Dating back to the 12th century, this remarkably preserved castle is famed for its circular towers. It provides a glimpse into the county’s medieval history.
  • Dinefwr Park, Llandeilo - Famed as a beauty spot, it’s home to a 12th-century castle, an 18th-century landscaped park, and a prized deer park.
  • Laugharne Castle, Laugharne - A 13th-century castle turned Tudor mansion, this site offers a peek into the past with traces of Dylan Thomas, the famed poet.
  • Millennium Coastal Park, Llanelli - A 22km stretch of coastal path, bird-watching points, cafes and a discovery centre, this is perfect for seaside walks and family picnics.

Top 10 things to do in Carmarthenshire

  • Walking tour of Carmarthen Tom, Carmarthen - Explore the oldest town in Wales, steeped in history and folklore.
  • Visit Pembrey Country Park, Pembrey - With 500 acres of parkland and a 8 mile sandy beach, it's an ideal spot for family outings.
  • Cycle in Brechfa Forest, Brechfa - A blend of ancient woodlands and managed forests offering beautiful cycling tracks.
  • Visit Dylan Thomas's Boat House, Laugharne - Discover the iconic writing shed of the famed poet overlooking Taf estuary.
  • Explore Llansteffan Castle, Llansteffan - A dramatic castle overlooking the mouth of the River Tywi.
  • Visit Parc Y Bocs, Kidwelly - A farm shop, café, play area and animals make it an amusing family day out.
  • Carmarthen Bay Holiday Park, Kidwelly - Offers a variety of fun activities including heated indoor pool and soft play area for kids.
  • Walking tour in Llandeilo, Llandeilo - Walk the charming streets of this town garnished with boutique shops and charming eateries.
  • Adventure at Pendine Sands, Pendine - Enjoy a range of beach activities at this seven-mile sandy stretch.
  • Visit Cenarth Falls, Cenarth - Witness the grandeur of cascading waterfalls and a 200-year-old watermill.

Our recommended areas to live in Carmarthenshire

  • Carmarthen: As the county town, Carmarthen is a perfect blend of history and modernity, with a host of amenities and excellent schooling options.
  • Llanelli: A coastal town with beautiful sandy beaches, it has seen major regeneration with new homes, schools and leisure facilities.
  • St Clears: As a bustling market town, it provides great transport links to both Carmarthen and Swansea and holds an abundance of Welsh character.
  • Ammanford: Nestled at the edge of Brecon Beacons National Park, this former coal mining town is now a thriving commercial and shopping hub.
  • Llandeilo: Known for its community spirit, elegant Georgian and Victorian buildings, Llandeilo provides a picturesque country lifestyle.

Best schools in Carmarthenshire

Carmarthenshire boasts a wide range of excellent schools catering to various educational requirements. For primary education, schools like Ysgol Griffith Jones in St Clears, Ysgol Gymraeg Ffwrnes in Llanelli, and Richmond Park School in Carmarthen are widely acclaimed. For secondary education, schools such as Queen Elizabeth High School in Carmarthen, Ysgol Bro Dinefwr in Llandeilo, and Ysgol Y Strade in Llanelli consistently demonstrate high standards. Also, there are options for bilingual education like Ysgol Gyfun Gymraeg Bro Myrddin in Carmarthen. Further Education opportunities are available at Coleg Sir Gar, which has campuses throughout Carmarthenshire. For those considering university education, the University of Wales Trinity Saint David has a campus in Carmarthen offering a diverse range of courses.

Transport links in Carmarthenshire

Carmarthenshire is well-connected by road, rail, and air. The M4 corridor offers direct links to Swansea and Cardiff to the east while the A48 and A40 serve as conduits to the rural areas. The county is served by Arriva Trains Wales providing convenient services to Swansea, Cardiff and beyond. Regular bus services connecting the major towns and rural areas make public transport easily accessible. For air travellers, Cardiff airport can be reached in just over an hour and provides both domestic and international flights.

In conclusion, Carmarthenshire is a charming blend of natural beauty, cultural richness, and modern amenities. Whether you are drawn by its scenic landscapes, historical and cultural landmarks, outdoor activities, excellent schools, transport links, or the pleasant pace of life, Carmarthenshire assures a lifestyle of comfort and quality. Living here offers a unique opportunity to enjoy modern conveniences while being surrounded by enchanting scenery and a community rich in warmth and friendliness.

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