Think of Wales and you probably think of castles.
You won’t be disappointed as Castles tend to pop up around nearly every corner on a drive through Carmarthenshire. Today’s stunning countryside hides the evidence of fierce battles and lives lost at the many Castles. Today’s castle battles are more likely to take the form of a race to the top and the only thing lost is Dad’s pride as he comes a close second to his young child dressed as a knight.
With so many Castles within a short drive of the farm it’s easy just to pop out to let the children run off steam, take a leisurely afternoon walk to the top or challenge yourself to a run and still be back at the cottage for tea!
For a full history of the Castles in Carmarthenshire check out Cadw or click on the individual links for the individual castles below
Dryslwyn Castle (3 miles)
Apart from our own wooden play castle, Dryslwyn is the closest castle to the farm. Perhaps not a castle you’d choose to spend a night in, as very little remains except the eye catching views across the Towy Valley from the top of the steep hill. The Towy river meanders it’s way towards Carmarthen on one side and towards Llandeilo and Dinefwr castle on the other.
Stand on the bridge across the river (if you dare, it vibrates when the traffic crosses) and spot the sewin escaping the fisherman’s rod. Watch the swans and geese enjoying the wet fields and sit at the picnic benches by the river and enjoy the view.
Carreg Cennen Castle (6 miles)
Our guests’ favourite castle situated in the middle of a family farm. It may be a steep bracing walk to the top so take your time. Meet the striking rare breed longhorn cattle grazing the surrounding fields (so please keep your dogs on a lead). Don’t forget your torch to explore the tunnels below the castle before retiring to the tearoom to enjoy a well earned snack.
Dinefwr Castle (3 miles)
Just around the corner from Dryslwyn castle, Dinefwr stands on a hilltop in the Towy valley. Access is gained via the National Trust park at Dinefwr another huge favourite with our guests.
You have a choice of routes to walk to the top and the views across the river and back towards Newton House and the beautiful parklands make the effort worthwhile. The children will love running around fighting pretend battles. Walk back through the woods. In May the carpet of bluebells is a stunning.
Dinefwr is the attraction that keeps on giving, one day you can walk to the castle, another watch the deer in the deer park or take a special tour around the house. Join the Nordic Walkers for an exploration of the many different walks or even join a badger hunt one evening. Lovely on site cafe for lunches and tea and cake.
Llansteffan Castle (17 miles)
Situated by the beach at Llansteffan the castle is a definite favourite with our guests. Impressive views over the estuary of the River Towy out to Carmarthen Bay and on a clear day onto the Gower make it worth the climb. Carry your picnic to the top and enjoy lunch with a view, relaxing in the sun trap of the castle walls while the children explore.
Carmarthen Castle (11 miles)
Carmarthen castle is in the centre of the town and surrounded by cafes and shops in Knot’s Square. Very little remains today but if you venture through the gateway and into the Tourist Information Centre you can access the old prison cells.
Kidwelly Castle (16 miles)
Probably the most impressive castle ruin in Carmarthenshire. Kidwelly Castle is well worth a visit and provides a fantastic imaginary playground for the children. With 2 towers to climb to the top, there’s plenty of scope for defending the castle and defeating the enemies.
Laugharne Castle (19 miles)
Think of Laugharne and you probably think of Dylan Thomas. You can combine a visit to his writing shed and the Boathouse . All within easy walking distance of the car park by the estuary but watch the tide times!
Llandovery Castle (16 miles)
The construction of this motte and bailey castle probably began around 1116. It was destroyed in 1532 and never rebuilt. Today there is little more beyond the gatehouse and D shaped tower to visit.
Newcastle Emlyn Castle (19 miles)
The castle overlooks a loop in the Towy River. It was probably intended as a county seat rather than a military post. Furthermore it is the only native Welsh castle to be built of stone in this part of Wales.