Car-free adventures nearCarmarthenCarmarthenshire
Take the train to Swansea with Great Western Railway and continue to Carmarthen for some fabulous car-free adventures. Walk in the footsteps of the Welsh poet Dylan Thomas, visit atmospheric castles and long sandy beaches. See the world's largest single-span greenhouse when you take the bus to the National Botanic Garden of Wales, blooming in Carmarthenshire all year round. Ride the waterside railway from Carmarthen back towards Swansea and find places to cycle, ski, toboggan, catch a ferry or hike the Wales Coast Path.
1. Botanic Garden by bus
A huge and colourful collection, spread over nearly 600 acres of Carmarthenshire countryside, opened in May 2000 incorporating the grounds of an 18th century mansion. The National Botanic Garden of Wales is home to thousands of different plants and the on-site British Bird of Prey Centre with twenty species of raptor. This is a destination worth travelling for. The Great Glasshouse, largest of its kind in the world, contains a King Protea, an exotic orange sunburst of a flower from South Africa.
- To find out how to get there follow Good Journey’s directions.
- A twenty-minute bus ride, along and over the River Towy, brings you to the garden where you can get 50% off when you show your bus or train ticket or bike helmet.
2. Dylan Thomas in Laugharne
“It was my thirtieth year to heaven
Woke to my hearing from harbour and neighbour wood
And the mussel pooled and the heron
In the lovely village of Laugharne, you can recreate the poetic ramblings of Dylan Thomas, whose boat house is five minutes from the bus stop. The old harbour, now just a little river, the nearby woods, the salt marshes and herons, the castle “brown as owls” and the hilly paths above them are all still there for visitors to match to the original verses of Poem in October, written on the poet’s thirtieth birthday.
- A way-marked walk traces the scenes Dylan Thomas saw back in the 1940s as he pondered the nature of mortality and the shifting landscapes of Laugharne.
- How to get to Laugherne by public transport: Bus 222 sets off from Carmarthen bus station, just over the river from the railway, every couple of hours Monday to Saturday.
- The bus takes half an hour to reach the village. Get off at Brown’s Hotel or the Grist and head for the Castle to walk the “birthday walk”. Follow the signs (and coast path way marks) from the little bridge near the castle, along the river and up into the woods along a primrose-fringed path.
- Returning to the castle, turn right along Cliff Road to visit the writing shed where Dylan Thomas wrote Under Milk Wood and the boat house, where he lived.
- There are several great cafes nearby for refreshments after your walk.