Discover Llansteffan and nearby
One of South West Wales best kept Secrets
Picturesque Llansteffan Village, lying just seven miles from Carmarthen and commanding fine views over the Towy Estuary, provides an ideal holiday setting for those wishing to combine a relaxing coastal break with a glimpse of friendly rural life and the occasional day spent touring the heart of the West Wales countryside.
There is a bistro serving locally caught fish, a pub serving good food, and a shop in the village, plus a tea room and a fish and chip shop within yards of the cottages. Commercialised it certainly is not, but charming, characteristic, quaint and scenic are some of the adjectives that come to mind.
In addition to the beach, with swimming particularly recommended at Scott’s Bay, visitors will be delighted with the beautiful walks both along the coast and inland towards and around the neighbouring villages of Llanybri, Llangain and Llyngynog.
The village is in a conservation area and the headland known as ‘Werle Point’, stretching around Scott’s Bay (5 min. walk from Innisfree) towards Laugharne and the Tâf Estuary, has been purchased by the national trust, and there is a footpath along its expansive beaches and cliff tops with views reaching as far as the Gower peninsular and the Pembrokeshire coast.
The 12th Century Llansteffan church is of great interest and visitors will be impressed by the fine ruins of ‘Hen Gapel’, Llanybri and Llansteffan Castle.
Be assured that in the Llansteffan area you can rely on a warm welcome amidst some of the finest unspoilt coastal scenery of West Wales.
Perched on the headland overlooking the Estuary stands Llansteffan Castle, which commands magnificent views. The evolution of its fortifications is of particular interest, achieving greatness during the English conquest of Wales late in the 13th century.
Its importance was due to the immense strategic value of the castle’s position and the mouth of the River Towy, when defence against approaches from the sea were so important. The fortifications are one of a line of castles that extend along the South Wales coast from Chepstow to Pembroke, and Llansteffan served as a station to send signals to other castles along the sweep of Carmarthen Bay.
The magnificent Great Gatehouse was built in 1280, and this became the castle’s main living quarters. As a fortress it was cruelly efficient, and above the entrance to the gatehouse one can observe the slot-shaped shoot through which boiling liquids were poured onto attackers. Less lethally, water was also sent cascading through to douse fires intended to burn down the gates.
The ruins are freely open to members of the public at any time.
Children's Play Area
There is a large play area just 50 yards to the rear of the complex, that includes a football pitch, cricket ground and indoor gym. A children's play area consists of a slide, swings and roundabout. There are also swings, climbing frame and a slide etc at the front of Innisfree on the beach side.
Some interesting places to visit are listed below for the convenience of those wishing to spend a part of their time exploring the immediate countryside:
Carmarthen, with its excellent museum; the excavated remains of a fine Roman Amphitheatre at Priory Street; impressive new Leisure Centre; unrivalled shopping facilities in West Wales with new shopping Mall open 2010.
Dylan Thomas’ Boathouse Museum, Laugharne: The former home of the Poet Dylan Thomas has been converted into an interesting Museum of his life and work and is open to the public seven days a week in season.
Oakwood: the ultimate theme park experience.Check out the Wales' Biggest Theme Park at www.oakwoodthemepark.co.uk
The National Botanic Garden of Wales: Situated just outside Carmarthen, this £43 million scheme is one of the most ambitious environmental projects ever attempted in the UK, and the first new major botanic garden for over a century. The centre piece of the 568 acres is the largest single span Glass House in the world and houses a wide variety of exotic plants from around the world.
Gwili Railway: Trains run from the village of Bronwydd just outside Carmarthen and provides passengers with a beautiful three-mile round trip.
The Teifi and Towy Valleys: fine stretches of natural inland river scenery with excellent fishing. Places of particular mention include Cenarth Falls and the Museum of the Woollen Industry, Drefach, Velindre - both in the Teifi Valley.
The Millennium Coastal Park at Llanelli: popular for family days out with great views across to the Gower Peninsula. The Wetlands Centre nearby is great for birdwatchers, especially during the winter months when thousands of visiting birds can be seen here.
Llansteffan is ideally situated for a touring holiday, and is central for Tenby with its boat rides and theme parks , Pembrokeshire, St. Davids, the Brecon Beacons, Swansea and the Gower Peninsular.