Kidwelly & the Gwendraeth
Milk & honey flows in medieval battleground
Forks of the River Gwendraeth flow by the sport of kings at Ffos Las Racecourse to the home of Welsh Princes at Kidwelly Castle. Blood was spilled on the lower valley plains as the many well recorded battles over centuries raged in the shadow of the splendour of Kidwelly Castle’s walls. The castle dominates the lower valley and is remarkably well preserved. It attracts visitors in profusion every year. From its arrow slit towers, ramparts and dark dungeons you get a sense of what it must have been like to be under siege. The gatehouse still has its murder holes and portcullis slit from which were poured boiling oils or rocks hurled to rebel its invaders.
Riverside Walk at Kidwelly
Riverside walks will take you southwards to the sea via an ancient quay that was served by the world’s oldest recorded industrial canal system created by Thomas Kymer. The canals brought coal from Pembrey and Llanelli and walks will take you in the other direction passed an industrial museum that coal fuelled - the site of the Uk’s second oldest recorded tinplate works.
Nearby the Ffos Las racecourse was the first newly created horse racing experience in the UK for 70 years and is enjoying a heavy calendar of events throughout the year because of its mild climate and forgiving course. It attracts masses to its race and special event days that sre huge family entertainment opportunities.
Llyn Llech Owain
While Princess Gwenllian is said to haunt lands near Kidwelly Castle, further up the valley at Llyn Llech Owain is a 63-acre park that has an equally fascinating history. It has spectacular lakeside walks and a well worn legend about Owain Lawgoch - Owain of the Red Hand. He led an army of French mercenaries against the English in the Hundred Year’s War.
At the head of the valley, Mynydd Sylen stands testimony to yet another landmark of history with the famous Rebecca Rioting against toll road charges. The whole valley has suffered conflict from the medieval times. Kidwelly is one of the oldest communities in Wales and flourished when, to consolidate the Norman hold on the district, the Flemish, French and English migrated to the area. Belying this bloody past the valley is now a tranquil milk and honey basket of agriculture oozing refreshment and fine dining opportunities as you waft the bird filled skies where once arrows flew.
Swing low sweet golf cart
Glyn Abbey Golf Course offers the whole family an opportunity to sample or play golf over a tremendous 200-acres of rolling countryside with fairways cast like a green duvet blanketing the landscape. The championship course is suited to all levels of playing ability and ideally suited for non golfing visitors who want to chance their arm on the "Mission" course, a nine-hole beginners’ course.
Dusty trips down lost industry trail
Kidwelly Industrial Museum
Kidwelly's Industrial Museum is a great day out for a trip down the dusty corridors of time to see how the workplace for many has changed so dramatically over the centuries. There is ample parking and something of interest for the entire family from steam locos to relics of tin plate and early days steelmaking. It reflects an age too when newspapers were hammered out on massive presses and prepared on Linotype machines (complex lead font producing typewriters) that are the size of a garage. All staggering to see are marvel at.
Black 'hole' is now a whole lot of fun
Why would you want to visit a area that was once described as "the biggest hole in Europe?" Well, now it has been transformed to a "Whole lot of fun area" attracting race goers from around Europe. When the comment was made is disparaging terms Ffos Las was a massive black scarred area ravaged by open cast mining. It has been transformed to a racecourse nestling in the valley between attracting top flight races, trainers and horses to a year round season or entertaining family fun days.