Llandeilo & the Tywi
Past v Present: Castle clashes with Glasshouse
Llandeilo and the surrounding Towy Valley have the most iconic structures, ancient and modern, in the whole of Wales. The heart stopping beauty of Carreg Cennen Castle perched precariously and almost inexplicably on a steep cliff compares insanely with an equally breathtaking yet modern structure lower down the beautiful valley - the world’s largest single span greenhouse that is home to the National Botanic Gardens.
Carreg Cennen Castle
Insane, because it seems ridiculous to mention both iconic and different manmade structures so improbably in one sentence. Carreg Cennen Castle dates back to the 12th Century. If it is spotted when driving by for the first time there is an irresistible urge to pay it a visit. From its ramparts there are astonishing panoramic views; a spookily vaulted passageway and a nerve jangling, ghostly, underground cave. You can only marvel at the engineering ingenuity of Carreg Cennen’s Castle builders and the bravery of its assailants. They would have faced Herculean body sapping efforts to strain up the steep hillsides or tackle the steep cliffs supporting its formidable walls.
National Botanic Garden of Wales
From one extreme to the other and the fragile looking masterly engineered glasshouse at the National Botanic Garden has over 8,000 plants decorating 560 acres of countryside. The Gardens have a comprehensive programme of activities and plantings change throughout the season with occasionally rare flowerings of exotic plants that attract attention from around the world.
Close by are the Aberglasney Gardens that have been the inspiration to poets and artists for nearly 550-years and in the last century, photographers too. It has been described without favour as the finest garden in Wales, so deserving of its heritage garden of excellence label. In addition the surrounding countryside offers the enchanting Dinefwr Castle; the Welsh Princes battlements of Dryslwyn Castle that is steeped in the Welsh history of betrayal and blood and the well preserved National Nature Reserve and Castle at Dinefwr Park and Castle.
In juxtaposition with all this splendour there is the folly of Paxton’s Tower commanding exceptional views over an extraordinarily beautiful valley.
Trading route cross roads
Heavenly ice cream and sweets
Llandeilo is a modern trading route with a stagecoach past that is reflected in its great diversity of retail opportunity. From fine wools and linens to Heavenly ice cream and sweets; fashion experts there are a veritable treasure trove of unusual gift opportunities from the shops that tumble through the town.
If fairies exist... they’re here
If fairies have ever existed at the bottom of gardens they will be here at Golden Grove. A secret place with its own herd of fallow deer Gelli Aur (Golden Grove) Country Park, Llandeilo, is set in 40 acres of historic woodland that has been sensitively managed over more than 500 years. It boasts a remarkable selection of specimen trees including a towering and rare sequoia. It is all set around amazing walks with an album full of photographic landscape picture opportunities with spectacular views over the Towy Valley. Rainbows of bluebells, crocus, daffodils and hues of many more summer flowers blister the meadows and woodlands through the seasons as fallow deer ghost through the trees. The park is under new management with its stately home being refurbished to create a new visitor attraction.