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Carmarthenshire

Photo of Carmarthenshire

About Carmarthenshire

A region of wild natural beauty, Carmarthenshire will forever have a place in the annals of history as the home of Dylan Thomas and the source of his inspiration. Known as the "Garden of Wales", with her wild rolling foothills peppered with medieval castles, ancient forests, golden coastlines and rugged mountains, Carmarthenshire is a region ideal for hikers, history-lovers and poets. Whether you're riding a horse on the Pendine Sands, trekking up Black Mountain or exploring Kidnelly Castle, you will find yourself lost in a different world. Ideal for a weekend away or a writing retreat, our collection of the best places to stay in Carmarthenshire will leave you breathless.

Carmarthenshire is a region defined by profound natural beauty, a beauty best told by one of her most cherished children, the poet Dylan Thomas. From his boathouse overlooking Carmarthen Bay, he distilled the beauty of the green valleys, rugged mountains and raging seas into romantic lyrical symphonies that forever enshrine towns like Laugharne in the western canon forever. In Fern Hill, a poem about his childhood on a farm in Laugharne, he wrote "and green and golden I was hunstman and herdsman, the calves sang to my horn, the foxes on the hills barked clear and cold, and the Sabbath rang slowly in the pebbles of the holy streams."

Paying homage to their most-famous son is a must: his boathouse, complete with his manuscripts, notes and boiled sweets, is open to visitors and offers a fascinating insight into the mind of a poetic genius. The countryside surrounding is also stunning and the views of the bay are to-die-for. The historic towns littered throughout the county are lovely. Carmarthen, for instance, is the oldest town in Wales: a picturesque collection of colourful seaside houses, while Laugharne has all the trappings of a quaint country town - an assortment of old stone houses overlooking Carmarthen Bay. If you're in Carmarthen, be sure to check out the Creepy Carmarthen Tour for a grisly insight into the ghosts, murderers and executioners of the town's deep history.

From the golden coastline of Carmarthen Bay in the West, the ancient forests in the heart of the region to the great Brecon Beacons in the East, Carmarthenshire is a place that rewards the active holidaymaker: you can canoe down the white water rapids of the River Teifi, cycle through Crychan Forest or go walking through the Wetlands spotting wild animals. The many ruined castles lying scattered along the crests of hills are well worth checking out: Carneg Cenmen Castle in Trapp, for example, is a haunting ruin sitting alone on a rocky hill, and the castles of Laugharne, Llansteffan and Kidwelly - all overlooking Carmarthen Bay - are magnificent examples of medieval architecture.

Not to miss

  • Pay homage to the great poet Dylan Thomas at his boathouse in Laugharne, overlooking the Bay of Carmarthenshire. An utterly spellbinding location, perfectly distilling the wild windswept romance of the region.
  • If you like canoeing, why not try your hand at navigating the white rapids of the River Teifi? Or canoe through the Wetlands near Llanelli.
  • Hiking through the Brecon Beacon National Park is a must. Full of pure lakes, rolling foothills and dark mountains, it is an utterly magical place.
  • If you're a history-lover, Carmarthenshire is definitely the place for you. Throughout the rugged land are old Norman castles nestling on hilltops like Carneg Cenmen Castle. Laugharne, Llansteffan and Kidwelly Castle are also worth checking out, particularly for their sublime location overlooking the Bay of Carmarthen.
  • For a more relaxed day-out, why not head over to the National Botanic Garden of Wales, in Llanarthne?
  • If the kids are bored, take them on a trip to Carmarthen and go on The Creepy Carmarthen Tour: an entertaining (and sinister) history of the murders and executions of Wales' oldest town.

Carmarthenshire's romantic natural beauty is incredibly inspirational. It is the quintessential countryside retreat, ideal for writers or couples on a weekend away. The best places to stay in Carmarthenshire will make you fall in love with this magical place.

The best places to stay in Carmarthenshire

Rural escape

  • Coedllys Country House: a charming B&B with gorgeous views of the Welsh countryside, offering 3 traditionally-furnished rooms. Ideal for those craving simplicity amidst the arms of nature, they serve afternoon tea.
  • The New White Lion: in an utterly spellbinding location in the Brecon Beacons, offering 6 cosy rooms. Ideal for walkers and artists, prepare to warm yourself by a log fire, enjoy a hot bath and eat homemade jam and scones.

Romantic retreat

  • Glangwili Mansion: ideal for couples on a weekend away, this beautiful property is set within hills and forests. A revamped historic mansion, with chic and contemporary interiors, it is the perfect romantic retreat.

Historic stay

  • Browns Hotel: built in 1752, this was the watering-hole of Dylan Thomas and has become iconic amongst his fans. Offering 14 elegant rooms, it is ideal for those wishing to explore the poet's past and the town of Laugharne.

Spa break

  • The Corran Resort & Spa: a converted dairy farm with a spoiling spa and 21 chic-rustic rooms, it makes for a relaxing stay. The award-winning restaurant is excellent. A truly luxurious stay.

For an apartment or villa

  • Our partner Booking.com has a wide range of apartments and cottages in the nearby area.

Travel information

  • Fly to Cardiff Airport, which is only an hour away from Carmarthenshire.
  • If you want to rent a car, contact our partner Rentalcars.
  • Head during the summer months, when the temperature ranges between 11 and 20 degrees.

Still not sure?

Best Hotels in Carmarthenshire

  • The Cawdor 23 rooms from £65

    Llandeilo, Carmarthenshire

    A landmark building in the lovely village of Llandeilo. Large rooms mix contemporary design with a traditional feel. High ceilings with criss-crossing wooden beams. The large bar sells regional drinks and the restaurant serves up wholesome welsh food. An ideal base for exploring Wales.

    Country Escape  -  A cosy hotel with plenty of walking opportunities from the Brecon Beacon National Park to Pembrokeshire and Cardigan Bay.
    Great walks  -  Just outside the town find yourself in stunning countryside with endless walking options.
    Sights nearby  -  Nearby attractions include the medieval Dinefwr and Carreg Cennen castles.
    Traditional
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  • Browns Hotel 14 rooms from £75

    Laugharne, Carmarthenshire

    Built in 1752 and forever linked to poet and writer Dylan Thomas, Brown's Hotel is now an iconic literary address. The rooms have been elegantly refurbished and the bar is stocked with plenty of Welsh ales. An ideal place to stay for any Thomas fans looking to relive and explore his past.

    Full of character  -  Was favourite watering hole of poet and writer Dylan Thomas
    Great walks  -  Follow the lovely two-mile 'Dylan Thomas Birthday Walk'
    Sights nearby  -  Visit the magnificent Laugharne Castle
    Birdwatching  -  Birdwatching at the Grist
    Recommended by  -  Good Hotel Guide
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  • Coedllys Country House 3 rooms from £100

    Carmarthenshire

    Guests will fall in love with the animals and the owners of this charming B&B. Rooms are decorated in a traditional farmhouse style with brass beds, floral wallpaper and furnishings and stunning views of the Welsh countryside. Breakfast and afternoon tea are served. An animal enthusiasts dream!

    Sights nearby  -  The Dylan Thomas Boathouse, where the acclaimed writer spent the last years of his life is just a short drive away.
    Great walks  -  The Wales Coast Path traverses the rugged beauty of the welsh coastline.
    Restrictions on children  -  Children over the age of 12 are permitted.
    Local markets  -  Good for local colour.
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  • The New White Lion 6 rooms from £120

    Dyfed, Carmarthenshire

    For walkers and artists, and all those who love the great outdoors, The New White Lion in the Breacon Beacons and Cambrian Mountains is a wonderful retreat. After a day in dramatic scenery sleep and eat in the greatest of comfort. Cosy log burning fires, lavish rooms, hot baths and huge breakfasts.

    Sitting Room  -  Come back to homemade scones and jam in front of a blazing fire
    Local exploring  -  Stunning scenery and exciting and dramatic mountain biking
    Bar  -  Honesty bar, the hotel is very relaxed and welcoming
    Restaurant  -  Recommended.
    Recommended by  -  Mr & Mrs Smith
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  • Glangwili Mansion 4 rooms from £120

    CARMARTHENSHIRE, Carmarthenshire

    A chic B&B boasting a glorious location surrounded by hills and forest. The hosts have given the historic mansion a complete revamp leaving the interiors fresh, contemporary and light. Combining the tranquil location and abundance of outdoor pursuits in the region, this is the ultimate rural escape.

    Country Escape  -  A secluded property surrounded by beautiful Welsh countryside.
    Sights nearby  -  Visit nearby Laugharne, with its historic castle and literary connections to Dylan Thomas.
    Great walks  -  Take long walks through the Brechfa Forest, starting right from the property.
    Restrictions on children  -  Children over 12 years old are welcome
    Recommended by  -  I Escape
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  • Llwyn Helyg 3 rooms from £125

    Carmarthenshire

    A contemporary country house offering a luxurious rural escape near Brecon Beacons National Park. Three spacious rooms boast modern bathrooms, elegant furnishings and large sash windows making the most of the scenic surrounds. Ideally positioned for exploring this historic corner of Wales.

    Country Escape  -  A magestic country house set in beautifully manicured gardens.
    Sights nearby  -  Visit the spectacular Aberglasney House and award winning gardens.
    Great walks  -  Find miles of scenic nature trails to be explored.
    Restrictions on children  -  Adult only
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  • The Corran Resort & Spa 21 rooms from £209

    Laugharne, Carmarthenshire

    Converted 16th century dairy farm in the depths of South West Wales. Exceptionally generously sized rooms and suites. Heavy wooden beams and exposed brick walls sit against contemporary furniture and fittings. Award winning restaurant serves Welsh cuisine. Extensive spa. An excellent choice.

    Back to Nature  -  A lovely country resort surrounded by the ocean, the Towy estuary, and acres of marshland.
    Total relaxation  -  Totally unwind with luxorious spa, hot tub, swimming pool and miles of lovely walking.
    Great walks  -  Bring your wellies and you pooch and head out to the surrounding marshlands for some scenic walking.
    Romantic  -  Good for couples.
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