Llandeilo is known as the jewel in the crown of the Tywi valley. Along the river Tywi, which is the longest river flowing entirely in Wales, the traveller meets every type of countryside from the high wild moorland, from whence it springs, to the gentle rolling wooded hillsides, which shelter Llandeilo. The Tywi, along with its tributaries, temporarily disappears into the calm waters of the Llyn Brianne reservoir, one of the largest man made lakes in Wales,to emerge again and flow through some of the most fertile agricultural land in Wales before it merges into the tidal reaches of Carmarthen Bay. Near Llandeilo the Tywi meanders through the tiny village of Bethlehem, where many local people travel to post their Christmas cards which are then stamped by hand with the village postmark.
All along tits meander the Tywi is surrounded by beautiful countryside so for Llandeilo to be called the jewel in the crown of this region is indeed an accolade. The early history of Llandeilo is closely related to the establishment of Christianity in Wales. St Teilo established an early Christian monastic settlement here. But the history goes much farther back than that, to the Romans who established a long term encampment at Llandeilo. Traces of several of their buildings have been found. The Romans settled to enjoy the abundance of game and fishing in the area and also for the wealth to be had from the gold they mined nearby, at one of the largest gold mines in the Roman Empire.
After the Romans came the Britons and Dynevor Castle, one of the most spectacularly sited of Welsh castles, was built on the northern bank of the Tywi, with a vertiginous drop of 300 feet to the river. Rhys ap Gruffydd, a king of Wales was an occupant of the Castle.
A more fragment of history is the railway disaster during the great storm of 1987 when the 5.27 from Swansea to Shrewsbury was derailed when the bridge, which spanned the Tywi crashed into the sea taking the train with it, with the loss of four lives.
When the Castle and woods came up for sale it was about to be bough by a timber company who planned to fell the ancient Castle woods and replace them with fast growing conifers. A Llandeilo man started a fund, Castle woods were saved and the West Wales Naturalists trust was formed. Thanks to them the ancient woodland still blooms in spring and early summer with bluebells, wild garlic, dogs' mercury, lesser celandine, wood sorrel and the delicate wood anemone, and the trees shelter the wild fallow deer.
The traveller enters Llandeilo by road on the A 483 which enter the small town over an elegant stone bridge which spans the Tywi. Although deep in the countryside Llandeilo is handy for many other Welsh beauty spots. It is near the Brecon Beacons National Park and the Black Mountains and just a short drive to the golden beaches of the Gower Peninsular and an hour's drive to the delights of Pembrokeshire.
Croeso a mwynhewch is the greeting which welcomes you to Llandeilo which means, welcome and enjoy.
Serviced accommodation - hotels and B&Bs
Bed and breakfast near Llandeilo
Sleeps 1 to 6 – £40 to £80
En-suite B&B at Manordeilo, between the market towns of Llandeilo and Llandovery. Ideally situated for touring Mid and South Wales. Evening meals available on request. Spanish and Italian spoken. Distance 3.9 miles.Full Details
Self catering – cottages, houses and apartments
Holiday let at Dryslwyn in Carmarthenshire
Sleeps 1 to 4, 2 bedrooms – £75 to £95 per night
A quaint, romantic and traditional pretty Welsh cottage with lots of charm and character in perhaps the loveliest of Welsh counties. Timeless, inspiring lush green valleys and gentle wooded hills, a place of quiet pleasures. Distance 4.7 miles.Full Details
Llandeilo holiday cottages
Sleeps 1 to 4, 3 bedrooms – £285 to £435 per week
Nestling in the peaceful, unspoilt countryside of the Towy Valley and overlooked by the twelfth century Dinefwr Castle, Llety Mieri offers three award-winning self catering cottages for all the family. Distance 2.1 miles.Full Details
Statics, Touring and Campsites
West Wales caravan and campsite near Swansea
£14 to £23 per night
River View Touring Park has many awards in recognition of the care provided to visitors and the environment. The site is in the beautiful countryside of Carmarthenshire, within easy reach of its attractions, the Gower Peninsula, Carmarthen and Swansea. Distance 9.1 miles.Full Details
Black Mountain static caravans and campsite
Sleeps up to 6, 23 bedrooms – £200 to £350
This 6.5 acres park has panoramic views in all directions. We have pitches for touring caravans and tents, with hard standings and electric hook-ups, and a small number of static caravans which are available for hire. Distance 9.2 miles.Full Details