9 Things To Do In Carmarthenshire


Visiting Carmarthenshire? In the heart of South West Wales, this unassuming county is packed with hidden gems to see. 

Carmarthenshire swoops up from Carmarthen Bay all the way to the craggy Cambrian Mountains and the western edge of the Brecon Beacons. It’s known for its legendary associations with Merlin – supposedly born in Carmarthen town – and for its rugged coastline, craggy castles and rolling Welsh countryside. 

With so many places to go, the hardest part is choosing which ones to leave out. We’ve put together this list of the nine best things to do in Carmarthenshire: from Roman relics to rare birds and outdoor activities, here’s your guide to the places you shouldn’t miss.

Glorious Carmarthenshire views (Robin Greenwood/Pixabay)

Carreg Cennen Castle

Never mind Carmarthenshire, Carreg Cennen is one of the most scenic castles in Wales. It’s built above a dramatic limestone precipice in the Brecon Beacons National Park, its turrets and crenellations rising up out of the rock. 

The original castle was built in the 12th century by Lord Rhys, then later expanded by the Normans; most of the remaining ruins date back to Edward I’s reign. However, evidence points to the site having been in use as a defensive structure since as far back as the Roman and prehistoric eras. A secret tunnel leads under the castle to a freshwater spring (you can hire a torch to explore it from the tearooms at the bottom of the hill, or bring your own). 

Plan your trip to Carreg Cennen from a nearby campsite in Llandeilo.

Llyn y Fan Fach

In the Brecon Beacons National Park, at the northern edge of the Black Mountains, Llyn y Fan Fach is atmospheric enough that it’s easy to believe in its legends: supposedly, this is where the Lady of the Lake rests. From the ridgeline of Bannau Sir Gaer, the Camarthen Fans’ rocky slopes pour down into the glassy glacially formed lake. 

You could take things easy with a gentle stroll around the lake, climb up the mountain slopes for sweeping scenic views – or make like the Lady and go for a dip. This is a fantastic wild swimming spot (just make sure you bring a towel and some dry clothes to change into).

 A steam train chugs through the Welsh valleys (Lee Rogers/Pixabay)

The Heart of Wales Railway

This steam railway line runs for 121 miles through the heart of Wales (from Swansea to Shrewsbury) and was first opened in 1868, making it over 150 years old. 

The route can’t be bettered: it passes 19th-century spa towns like Llandrindod Wells, two plunging aqueducts and glorious rural scenery. We recommend stopping off at any of the stations along the way to walk a section of the Heart of Wales Line Trail (and, more importantly, see the steam trains puffing by in all their glory). 

Ready to get your ramble on? Read our guide to the best walks in Carmarthenshire

Pembrey Country Park

It’s all about adventure at Pembrey Country Park. While you could simply get some well-needed relaxation here – the parkland has some 500 acres of glorious nature –  Pembrey is also home to a staggering array of activities, ranging from crazy golf and nature trails to dry skiing, horse riding and tobogganing. With several food options and no shortage of things to do, it’s a great family day out.

Go further afield and take a ride through the Millenium Coastal Path: its 19km cycle path leads from Pembrey all the way to the Llanelli Wetland Centre, with fabulous views out over Carmarthen Bay and beyond as you pedal.

Days out at Pembrey and the Millennium Coastal Park are easy from campsites near Llanelli.

The world’s largest glasshouse, at the national Botanic Garden of Wales (James Thomas from Pixabay)

National Botanic Garden of Wales

If you had to guess where the world’s largest single-span glasshouse was, you might not guess Carmarthenshire. But here it is – a whopping 110m by 60m, with a futuristic design which gives the effect of a transparent spaceship crashed into the ground. It’s home to water sculptures and features, and landscapes like a Mediterranean ravine and Chilean fuschia garden. 

There’s more to see in the surrounding botanic gardens: stroll past the Japanese Garden’s cherry trees and tea house, walk through wildflower meadows, or explore Regency-era parkland. The garden doubles up as both a visitor attraction and a centre for conservation and research, and is set in the lush Tywi valley.

Aberglasney Gardens

Aberglasney House is a Grade II-listed mansion surrounded by more than 10 acres of grounds. Garden styles (there are over 20) range from naturalistic British woodland to Alpine and Asiatic plantations – plus a walled garden and kitchen garden – but the jewel in the crown here is the Elizabethan cloister garden, lovingly restored to its original condition. 


Strike gold with a visit to Dolaucothi. Looked after by the National Trust, this ancient site is the only known Roman gold mine in Britain. It was established around 74 AD, after which Roman mining continued for the next 200 years. It then lay fallow until the 19th and 20th centuries when the mine was once again used, this time to extract copper. 

You can explore the Victorian mine workings – including plenty of industrial equipment above and below the surface – and take a tour down the old Roman mine shaft to learn what techniques and technology were used nearly 2,000 years ago.

Pick out a campsite near Llanwrda for your day at Dolaucothi.

 Expect flamingos galore at Llanelli Wetland Centre

WWT Llanelli Wetland Centre

Feel like visiting a lagoon full of flamingos? Head to Llanelli Wetland Centre, where you can see flocks of brightly coloured birds scattered over 450 acres of lakes, woodland, gleaming pools and sparkling lagoons. Other wildlife you might see include kingfishers, water voles and lapwings.

If you’re visiting with kids, you may be pleased to hear there are wild outdoor play areas to explore, plus an indoor soft play area.

Looking for something a little more coastal? Check out our guide to the best beaches in Carmarthenshire.


Legend says that the sorcerer Merlin was born in Carmarthen. Whether or not that’s true, it’s certainly the oldest continually occupied town in Wales, with strong Roman heritage. 

It’s the county town, so you can expect everything from a vintage steam railway and coracle fishing (if this floats your boat, look out for the annual Carmarthen River Festival) to shopping, art galleries and laser tag. If the weather’s good, there are plenty of countryside lanes to explore nearby. If it’s rainy, head to a cookery workshop at cosy Y Sied.

Carmarthen County Museum is a short drive out of town but well worth a visit – it’s housed in a 13th-century building with big gardens and a lake.

Choose a Carmarthen campsite for your stay in the area


Ready to plan your trip? We have some traveller resources for you. Read our ultimate guide to camping in West Wales, then explore campsites in Carmarthenshire.