Tourist Information in Carmarthenshire & Swansea
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Carmarthenshire & Swansea Tourist Information




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Carmarthenshire, with its rural environment and mainly agricultural based commercial activity, is known as The Garden of Wales. It also boasts a coastline replete with fine beaches - notably those at Pendine and Cefn Sidan - while the sleepy seaside town of Laugharne was home to Dylan Thomas. He lived at the Boathouse, now a heritage centre, and is buried at St Martin's Church.

The county town of Carmarthen ("Merlin's City") stands just a few miles beyond the western end of the M4 motorway making even this part of west Wales a convenient destination for people as far away as London. Prior to the arrival of the Romans in Britain, this area was occupied by a Celtic tribe called the Demetae and Carmarthen was their capital. Eventually the Romans arrived in the area and created a settlement, Maridunum, which served also as the administrative centre for the ancient tribe. The remains of a Roman amphitheatre, one of only seven remaining in Britain, can be found in the town.

The Normans built a mighty castle on a crossing point of the River Towy. Its ruins still dominate parts of the area and are now the location of local administrative buildings.

Head for the Tywi valley and you will find some of the most romantic and unspoiled scenery in South Wales. Don't overlook the glorious National Botanic Garden of Wales, the centrepiece of which is the world's largest, single span glasshouse.

Carreg Cennan Castle, near Llandeilo, is a ‘must see’ attraction. It is built on top of a 300ft crag and offers spectacular views over the Welsh countryside.

Also worth a visit are the Dolaucothi Gold Mines at Pumsaint (Pumpsaint) have a long history. They have not been actively worked since before the war, but they actually date back almost 2000 years when gold was mined here by the Romans. Now in the care of the National Trust. There are guided tours of both the Roman, Victorian and the 1930's underground workings so that visitors can experience the harshness of the working environment for themselves.

The Dan-yr-Ogof caves, nearby on the edge of Brecon Beacons National Park, form the largest complex of their kind in northern Europe.
  

Images of Carmarthenshire and Swansea


South of Carmarthenshire lies Swansea. It is difficult to imagine that this sprawling, modern city once stood at the heart of a Viking settlement controlled by an axe-wielding warrior named Sweyne Forkbeard.

Today the place is a forward-looking metropolis and has become the main shopping arena for the fast-growing population of the south west of Wales.

The secret of its success, then and now, is its strategic location on the magnificent Gower Peninsula from where ships and cargos of all kinds can be directed across the Bristol Channel and out into the wider world. The island-like area bristles with history and excitement even for those families intending to do no more than explore its miles of golden beaches, bays, and seaside attractions. Although the Gower peninsula stretches for only 19 miles, it boasts 70 bays and beaches. It was the United Kingdom’s first designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and is a popular haunt for surfers, riders and walkers.

Little has changed over time and there is a host of landscapes, from estuaries and wild moorland to dramatic limestone cliffs. It also boasts many historic sites that range from Neolithic "Arthur's Stone", "Giant's Cave" - a burial chamber dating back over 5,000 years – and Paviland Cave, which contained the oldest modern human remains ever found in Britain.

Shipbuilding began here in the 13th century with the port of Swansea growing to be one of the most important in Britain. Huge quantities of coal were exported while copper was brought in from as far afield as South America. The city also produced fine porcelain and stained glass.

During the blitz, German bombs reduced most of the Victorian city centre to rubble, with the remarkable Victorian Grand Theatre being one of the few old buildings to escape.

Its Maritime Quarter in Swansea Bay has since been turned into a haven for tourists, bristling with boats, yachts and attractive museums. Wales' National Literature Centre, an observatory, art galleries and a working woollen mill are all here. The Swansea Maritime and Industrial Museum is housed in restored waterfront warehouses and contains varied exhibits including vintage motor vehicles and boats.

Singleton Park contains the city's botanical collection while Plantasia boasts 1,000 varieties of rare and unusual plants in a tropical glass pyramid.

IMAGES: CCL

Carreg Cennen Castle - Cered
Pwlldu Bay & Bishopston valley - Nick Andrews
Burry Port Harbour - David Lewis


 

Tourist Information Centres

Carmarthen Tourist Information Centre
113 Lammas Street, Carmarthen SA31 3AQ
Tel: 01267 231557  Fax: 01267 221901
E-mail: CarmarthenTIC@carmarthenshire.gov.uk

Llandovery Tourist Information Centre
Heritage Centre, Kings Road, Llandovery SA20 0AW
Tel: 01558 824226

Llandeilo Tourist Information Centre
Rhosmaen Street, Llandeilo SA19 6EN
Tel: 01558 824226

Llandeilo Tourist Information Centre
Crescent Road, Llandeilo, Carmarthenshire SA19 6HL
Tel: 01558 824226  Fax: 01558 824226

Millennium Coastal Park Tourist Information Centre
Discovery Centre, Millennium Coastal Park, North Dock, Llanelli, Carmarthenshire SA15 2LF
Tel: 01554 777744  Fax: 01554 757825
E-mail: discoverycentre@carmarthenshire.gov.uk

Llandeilo Alternative Information Outlet
Car park, Crescent Road, Llandeilo, Carmarthenshire SA19 6HN
Tel: 01558 824226

Laugharne
Corran Books Ltd, King Street, Laugharne, Carmarthenshire SA33 4RY
Tel: 01994 427444  Fax: 01994 427709

Brynamman
Brynamman Community Resource Centre
Heol Cwm Garw, Brynamman, Rhydamman SA18 1BU
Tel: 01269 823400



  

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