Situated on the River Tywi, the Welsh town of Carmarthen was originally the site of a Roman fort. Its strategic location meant it was an important centre for the county. It was well known for agriculture and wool until the development of the Iron and Coal industries in the 18th Century.

Today, Carmarthen is a modern, bustling social centre and retains its position as county town of Carmarthenshire.


Thanks to its wild and romantic countryside, Carmarthenshire is known as 'the garden of Wales'. Naturally it is a magnet for walkers, climbers and outdoor enthusiasts, and Carmarthen is a good base from which to explore the miles of stunning scenery. Should the weather not permit this, be sure to head to the town's leisure centre for a good range of indoor sports activities.

Walking and hiking are not the only ways to see the countryside. Carmarthen is very close to the Gwili Steam Railway, a heritage line offering steam hauled excursions. Why not enjoy the best of Wales from the window of a vintage train?

The town of Carmarthen has been long associated with the romantic legend of King Arthur. Folklore has it that Merlin was born in the caves outside the town. While this is probably a myth, there is a castle in the town centre that is well worth a look. Of particular interest is the keep (or gatehouse), one of the finest examples in the country. The town also boasts some of the finest Victorian gothic architecture in Wales, most of it still in civic use.

History buffs will also enjoy St Peter's Church, which dates back to the 12th Century. Make sure you look out for the Roman table situated in the porch. You can discover more about the story of Carmarthen at the Aberwili Museum, just over a mile from the town centre. Exhibits include archaeological finds and works of art.

Summer visitors should arrange their visit to coincide with the annual Merlin and Magic Festival, which includes a number of family events and a medieval banquet.


As Carmarthen is the county town it hosts a range of individual shops, specialising in everything from tobacco to bridal wear. Of particular note are the number of retail outlets devoted to both to antiques and antiquarian books. Those preferring national brands should make their way to the Greyfriars shopping centre

Nightlife and Eating Out

Carmarthen hosts an extensive range of pubs and inns, serving a mixture of English and Welsh dishes. If you prefer something a little more spiced there is two curry houses to choose from.

Thanks to the Halliwell School of Theatre and Performance, Carmarthen has its own source of dramatic productions. The Halliwell Theatre can seat 350, and regularly hosts some of the most promising new talent. Recitals and choir concerts may also be seen at the Lyric Theatre and St Peter's Civic Hall.

If you prefer a film, there are two cinemas in the town showing the latest releases.

Tourist Information

Carmarthen Tourist Information Centre,113 Lammas Street, CarmarthenSA31 3AQTel: 01267 231557Fax: 01267


The nearest airport is Cardiff International, which is located within driving distance.

Carmarthen is on a main railway route with fast links to most major UK cities. It is also served by a regular timetable of coaches from London and other British cities.

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