Llandeilo Cottages

A thriving market town (population 1,700) with a mixture of Medieval, Georgian, Victorian and Edwardian streets clustered along which are many fine buildings of historic and architectural interest and an interesting range of small shops.

Dinefwr is a spectacular Welsh castle near the town on a ridge on the northern bank of the Tywi, with a steep drop of several hundred feet to the river. Dinefwr Park and Castle is an iconic place in the history of Wales. Two forts are evidence of a dominant Roman presence and the powerful Lord Rhys held court at Dinefwr and influenced decisions in Wales. The visionaries George and Cecil Rice designed the superb C18th landscape that can be seen today. The 'hands-on' Newton House gives visitors an atmospheric circa 1912 experience and exhibitions on the first floor tell Dinefwr's story.

Talley Abbey is a former monastery 6 miles north of Llandeilo in the Cothi valley; founded for the Premonstratensian order between 1184 and 1189, parts of the abbey church survive and the site is in the care of Cadw. There are two lakes near the abbey ruins, which were used for fish farming to support the community of monks. The abbey was dissolved by Henry VIII and the structure used for stone to build much of the present village of Talley and the chapel next to the abbey.

Set in the beautiful Tywi valley to the west of Llandeilo, Aberglasney House features one of the finest gardens in Wales with an extensive range of rare and unusual plants. Ten acres of gardens include three walled gardens, an Elizabethan/Jacobean cloister and rare parapet walk, a Cloister Garden where findings may date the site to the C13th, and an award winning indoor garden filled with exotic plants. Aberglasney Gardens have been an inspiration to poets since 1477. The story of Aberglasney spans many centuries but the house's origins are still shrouded in obscurity.

A little further west is Dryslwyn Castle, a Welsh castle sited on a hill roughly halfway between Llandeilo and Carmarthen. Probably demolished in the early C15th, fragments of the castle remain and much has been revealed by recent excavation.

South-west of Llandeilo is Gelli Aur (Golden Grove), a Country Park with 60 acres of wooded parkland surrounding a magnificent mansion. With commanding views across the beautiful Towy Valley, Gelli Aur was once the home of the Vaughan and Cawdor families. First established in 1560, the park as it is known today began to take shape in the early 19th Century, when the Cawdor family created the gardens, arboretum, tearooms and a Renaissance-styled mansion.

Four or five miles further south-west, near Cross Hands, is the Llyn Llech Owain Country Park. A network of footpaths provides for some enjoyable walking with a specially constructed path that allows safe access around the lake and the surrounding peat bog. A forest track offers a longer walk or cycle ride around the park and there is a rough mountain bike trail for the more adventurous cyclist.

Castell Carreg Cennen is in the village of Trapp, four miles south-east of Llandeilo in a spectacular location above a limestone precipice. It consists of a strongly walled and towered square court; all the towers are of different shapes and there is a great twin-towered gatehouse on the north side and a range of apartments on the east side of the court. The castle is under the care of Cadw, who have renovated and restored some of the remains.

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